The owners of some females say that the dog’s vulva is black during the heat. Veterinarians say that this situation should not cause concern to the owner, if there are no other deviations from the normal passage of this period. Darkening can be caused both by the rush of blood to the vulva and physiological characteristics of a particular bitch. If an animal in general behaves as usual (eats with appetite, shows no signs of anxiety other than interest to males, feels fun and playful), the owner of the pet can stay calm.
Terms and Features of Dog Estrus
The onset of puberty in female dogs is characterized by the onset of heat or estrus. It is a real challenge both for the owner and for the dog. The behavior and structure of the body during this period is changing dramatically.
.Note!If, dog’s vulva is black during the first heat, it indicates the state of readiness of the dog to breed, her transition to adulthood and it happens in females of 8-10 months
Sometimes the puberty period is accompanied by a process of pigmentation, which can also change the color of the vulva, abdomen and nipples to dark, often even black. The duration of estrus in dogs is 18-20 days and is divided into periods.
- Forerunner – no more than 10 days. There is swelling and an increase in the size of the vulva due to the flow of blood, the behavior of the bitch becomes playful, she flirts with the males, but snarls when they come close. During this period the first discharges begin and the dog washes itself actively.
- Direct estrus-up to 5 days. In the first 2 days, ovulation occurs and a bitch is ready to mate. Discharge color becomes light or they disappear, and the loop swells even more. At this time, the dog typically lifts up the pelvis and pulls the tail to the side.
- Metaestrus-1-2 days. The transition period from the stage of mating to the normal functioning of the body. Spotting finally stops and the body starts to produce progesterone, which is responsible for the state of pregnancy. If pregnancy does not come, then gradually its level decreases.
- Anestrus is a period of rest. The end of estrus and shift of the body functioning to the usual mode 100-150 days.
The duration of the the rest period depends on the breed and individual characteristics of the dog so the owner of the bitch, especially if she is involved in breeding, keeps a personal diary that reflects the time and circumstances of each heat, as well as the general condition of the dog.
When there Is a Reason to Worry: Diseases of the Reproductive System in Female Dogs
If a dog’s vulva is turning black, in some cases it may also indicate diseases in the genital area. One of the features of the functioning of the genitourinary system of a sexually mature female is the fact that a complete absence of mating or irregular mating can cause inflammation in the uterus. In addition, the physiological possibility of infection in females is much higher than in males. Therefore, bitches are more prone to various diseases. The most dangerous diseases are:
- Pyometra of the uterus. The disease is characterized by inflammation of the uterus and filling it with pus. At risk are individuals of 7-8 years regardless of the frequency of mating, nulliparous bitches and dogs with a tendency to manifestations of false pregnancy. A distinctive feature is the constant thirst against the background of the lack of appetite and increased belly. If after estrus the dog’s vulva turned black and there was purulent discharge, then it could also be the development of pyometra. In the presence of these signs, the animal must be urgently examined. As a rule, an operation to remove the uterus is required.
- Vaginitis or vaginal infection. A symptom of the disease is that the bitch is constantly licking the vulva, which is inflamed and increases in size, the color may also be darker than usual. The cause of the disease is bacterial infection, which could be determined by laboratory tests.
- Endometritis or inflammation of the uterus. The cause of the disease is considered to be hormonal disorders. It often manifests itself after a state of false pregnancy. In other cases, the underlying cause is vaginitis or viral infection. External manifestations: apathy, loss of appetite, frequent urination, purulent gray discharge from the vulva, fever, uneven heartbeat. In case of untimely treatment in the clinic the disease may lead to death.
The above mentioned diseases usually occur in the period immediately following estrus and can be a cause of death for females, so at this time it is necessary to provide a pet with extra care and inspection.
Thus, the darkening of the vulva during the heat of the dog in most cases is quite a natural phenomenon. But if there are other signs of diseases of the genitourinary sphere, it is necessary to immediately contact the veterinary clinic to establish an accurate diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment.