A FEMALE POMERANIAN IN HEAT IS NOT A TRIFLE
EXPLANATORY NOTE! This kind of posts regarding health and nutrition, which you will find in Pom Pom Dog, are written after having consulted several specialized texts and read different opinions. That is the reason why in case of doubt or problem, ask ALWAYS your veterinarian.
… and suddenly, one day Colette stopped eating, or she hid her food, or even she played with it without eating it. We thought that she was ‘dog-tired’ of eating always the same (Colette feeds mainly on fodder – we will talk about it another day), or even that Colette could have dental problems.
And because of a lack of experience: Colette is our first dog, and the only dog in the family. We were worried so we carried Colette to the veterinarian and when he asked us when she had been in heat for the last time and we answered him that two weeks ago, he said to us without any doubt that Colette had (fortunately!) “just a trifle” or scientifically said “pseudopregnancy”.
Lots of owners, among we include ourselves, don’t know or don’t pay special attention to their dog in heat. The truth is that it’s a very important moment in their life because it concerns not only her health, but also her mood. And this is the main reason why we have decided to publish this post in order to understand her behaviour.
It doesn’t exist a general rule because every female dog is a world unto herself but female dogs usually have her first heat from 6 months until 1 year.
It’s normal that the heat cycle repeats every 6 months, but there are female dogs, whose cycle repeats every 8 months or even every year.
It doesn’t matter that our female dog is in heat every 6, 8 or 10 months; we must monitor that she is regularly in heat, meaning that the same time happens between one heat and the next, keeping in mind that heat can last up to 2 years to adjust.
Lenght is about 21 days.
Advice! It is advisable to keep a record about the heat dates and its characteristics to inform the vet in a precise way.
SYMPTOMS DURING THE HEAT
The physical symptoms are:
- Vulva: progressive swelling and color change from pink to red.
- Nipples: swollen, more sensitive and darkening.
- Bloody discharge: produced to renew the endometrial layers (the uterus’ internal layer). It can last all the heat period (about 21 days) or finish in about 10 days.
The bloody discharge used to be red-rosy during the first week, cream-coloured during the fertile period and rosy in the end until it gradually stops.
Advice! Avoid giving her bath when she has blood loss and wait until the cervix closes; she will be less prone to develop a vaginal infection.
It’s very common that little breed dogs, as our Pomeranians are, have a “silent heat”, that is to say, heat without bloody discharge.
- She licks constantly her vulva to feel herself clean.
- Rise in her thirst level and frequent pee, as a result.
- Loss of appetite.
- Moving tail in front of a male, lifting it up to him to sense her scent.
- Sudden interest from the males in the female dog.
The main emotional symptom is a sudden personality change:
- Some female dogs could be more loving and demand more attention (for example, having a bowel movement where they’re not allowed).
- Other female dogs will show the opposite behaviour, becoming more cautious or even aggressive.
SYMPTOMS AFTER THE HEAT
It can happen that after each heat, the female dog shows some or even all the symptoms of pregnancy without being pregnant, because her organism keeps wrong hormone levels, making that her metabolism behaves as if it carries through a real pregnancy.
This “pseudopregnancy” situation or sometimes also called “phantom pregnancy” is quite common, since it’s a behaviour inherited from her ancestors, the wolves. In a savage pack, dogs fulfilled the substitute mothers’ role in case of the mother’s death in the labour or just to help her in the very big litters’ breeding.
Depending on each female dog, we can find symptoms like whimpering, appetite changes, floor and walls scratching, nests’ preparation gathering toys and hiding food, refusing to go for a walk or even secretion of milk. There’s no need for all the symptoms to happen at the same time, but in case you observe serious disorders, ask always your vet for a treatment.
Colette would feel a little bit ashamed if she would know that I talk about her privacy and even more if she would know that I publish photos of her in lingerie ; )
Heat pants are very useful to avoid that blood drops stain the places where the female dog is, and to avoid attracting attention from the males. In our case, since Colette licks herself constantly to feel herself clean, we also bought it to prevent her to swallow blood, to vomit and….why not, we also get better sleep without hearing to this impulsive “ice-creams’ greedy-guts” : )
These pants are washable to use them lots of times and made with materials totally respectful for our skin’s female dog. You must put panty-liners into these pants and change them daily. Do not forget to remove the pants for the female dog can do her bodily functions.
What’s your experience when your female dog is “in these days”? Does her behaviour change a lot?
We gladly wait for your comments : )