There are a lot of cases when a dog’s vulva increases in size. Most often, this phenomenon occurs due to natural causes: heat or postpartum period. But sometimes this happens due to pathological processes occurring in the genitourinary system of the animal.
Physiological Changes during Heat
Normally the first estrus occurs in young females aged from 7 to 15 months. The following signs indicate the onset of this period:
- Intense molting prior to the appearance of the major signs.
- Frequent urination.
- An increase in size and the looseness of the vulva a few days before the first discharge.
- Anxiety, excessive arousal, flirting with males.
A young animal often tries to look under its tail, licks itself not knowing what was happening to it.
Note!A dog in heat has swollen vulva, increased in size. After 2-3 days of it scant spotting appears. If the animal lives in the house, at the first signs of heat, make sure that the furniture and carpets are well protected from stains.
By the end of the first week, the vulva may increase even more and become loose, while the spotting becomes lighter and more abundant. The most favorable time for mating is deemed to be after 8 – 12 days of swollen vulva in female dogs in heat (about the middle of the whole period and corresponds to the time of maturation of oocytes). The average duration of sexual activity is 3 weeks. In the first and last week of this period the vulva is rather compact and rigid, so contact for a young dog will be unpleasant. Mating is not likely to happen and a bitch can bite the male.
Sometimes the first heat comes before its normal term. Experienced dog breeders know, that in this it is better to postpone the mating. In fact, she is still a puppy and therefore could not give strong offspring. If the owners failed to control the situation and an unplanned mating took place, make sure that after giving birth, the bitch fully improved its health. Experts recommend the first mating to take place during the third heat.
What Should the Owner of the Dog Remember?
The fact that the dog in heat has swollen vulva should not be the reason to mate it. Contraindications are:
- non-treated and chronic diseases;
- recent birth (if less than 6 months have passed);
- reluctance of the owners to breed.
To avoid unplanned mating, adhere to the following recommendations:
- do not bring a bitch in places designed for walking the dog;
- do not let your pet off the leash (she can go away in search of the male and will not listen to you when you try to call her);
- refuse to participate in exhibitions and competitions;
- if mating did occur, do not terminate the pregnancy artificially (medically). This can lead to infertility in the future.
If the owner plans to receive offspring he/she should still have his/her eyes skinned. After mating with the chosen male, walk the female on a short leash. Do not let her off the leash, because there is a possibility of re-mating with a random doggy. Sometimes the females’ estrus is long-standing. If it lasts for more than a month, the dog should be taken to a veterinarian. Be prepared for the fact that your four-legged friend will have to endure an examination: to pass tests, perhaps, to pass ultrasound. A pathological condition can occur due to hormonal failure, vulvovaginitis, the appearance of a tumor. In any case, an appropriate course of treatment will be prescribed. Do not let the dog to swim in waters during heat (it can provoke the inflammatory processes of the genitourinary system).
What Do You Need to Know about Postpartum Heat?
The feature of the after birth estrus is that the spotting appear very early (in about 3 -4 months). If the female has been feeding the puppies for a long time, the interval increases to six months. The rest of signs are just the same: swollen vulva in dogs on heat, licking, spotting, frequent urination. In this period it is important to avoid mating. Pregnancy, birth and subsequent feeding depleted the body of the female. Her full recovery will take at least one year.
Other Causes of Vulva Increase in Dogs
Pathological changes in the size of the vulva in dogs are often accompanied by an increase in temperature. Swelling of the vulva can be caused by inflammatory processes in the uterus or vulva, cystitis, infectious lesions of the genital tract, allergic reaction to anything, injuries, tumors.
Not to break the reproductive function, the dog should pass a thorough examination and special treatment. And after that, a course of rehabilitation therapy is carried out.