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· Dogs Corner » Celebrate Seniors » Oestrus (Heat) in Bitches ·

It can be very rewarding to successfully breed your bitch. Nonetheless careful thought and consideration should be given to the whole process from beginning to end. It is often thought that breeding your bitch is easy and will take place without much aid or intervention but nothing could be further from the truth. An owner will need to know about the bitches reproductive cycle, her gestation period and a knowledge of whelping and then rearing newborn puppies is necessary. When the process goes well it can rewarding but when things go wrong it too can be very disappointing. Please Contact Us if you have any queries about the breeding bitch

Oestrus ("Heat") is the mating period of female animals. When oestrus occurs, animals are said to be "in heat" or "in season". Dogs generally have their first oestrus cycle at 6 - 12 months of age. Some female of the large breeds, however, may not have their first estrus until they are 12 - 24 months of age.

The complete cycle takes about 6 months, resulting in two oestrus periods each year. Individual variation occurs, but a given female’s pattern tends to be repeated regularly.

The oestrus cycle can be divided into 4 stages:

Stage 1:

Proestrus - This stage begins with the appearance of vaginal bleeding. It normally lasts from 4 - 9 days. Male dogs become very interested in the female, however, she will not yet mate with them.

Stafe 2:

Oestrus - This is the stage in which the female will accept the male and conception can occur. The vaginal discharge is more yellowish than bloody. Ordinarily, the stage lasts for 4 - 13 days. Your female will stand still and hold her tail to the side when you touch her back or a male dog tries to mount.

Stage 3 & 4:

Metoestrus & Anoestrus - These two stages are periods of ovarian activity, but with no significant outward signs. False pregnancies frequently occur during metestrus.

Some Important Points

You should consider your pet to be "in season" for 21 days; 7 days coming into season, 7 days in heat, 7 days going out. Though conception is most likely during the middle 7 days, Mother Nature doesn’t always follow the rules. Confine your pet for the entire three weeks.

Remember that the above information is general. Not all females follow these patterns. Consult with the vet if your pet does not seem typical. Sometimes, cycling problems can be an early warning of more serious problems, and the sooner they are dealt with, the better.

Please Contact Us if you have any questions about Oestrus in your bitch.

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