How Do I Know If My Dog's Menstruation Is Normal?


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Oscar De La Huerte Profile
Although it can be easy to think of a dog's menstrual cycle as similar to that of a woman, the two things are actually quite different.

For starters, dogs go through something called a 'heat cycle' once or twice a year.

This cycle is also known as the Estrus Cycle, and consists of four stages:

A dog's menstrual cycle
  • Proestrus- Swollen vaginal area and some bloody discharge are signs of this stage. It lasts around 9 days.
  • Estrus - This stage also lasts around 9 days. Your dog will be ovulating and accepting male dogs.
  • Diestrus - This part can last up to 80 days, and is best described as a 'hormonal pregnancy'. Your dog may appear more bloated, and it may even begin to mother its toys. This is all just down to hormones, and doesn't necessarily mean your dog is actually pregnant.
  • Anestrus - This stage lasts 130 days. It is a period where a female dog's body rests and recuperates. The dog won't want to have anything to do with male dogs at this point.
Is my dog's menstruation normal?
During a normal heat period, the female dog will have a bloody or straw-coloured discharge from the vulva. Heat usually lasts about 3 weeks, and the discharge will appear more copious and more bloody at the beginning.  Other signs of heat are attractiveness to male dogs, calling, increased affection, standing to be mated, swelling and redness of the vulva and raising the hindquarters.

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