How Long Do Dogs Bleed When In Heat (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Usually 7 To 10 Days

Dogs usually go into heat between the ages of six months and nine years old. The length of time that a dog is bleeding varies depending on the breed.

For example, some smaller breeds may only experience bleeding for three days, while larger breeds can have symptoms lasting up to seven days. 

If one owns a female dog who is bleeding during this time, it’s important to keep her away from male dogs as she could get pregnant if they are allowed to mate with one another. During this time, the dog may have many symptoms as well.

How Long Do Dogs Bleed When In Heat?

DogsDuration 
Dogs bleed when in heat 7 to 10 days
Dogs start bleeding in4 to 24 months old

Bleeding for a long time is a common symptom of being in heat. The pet will start bleeding from the vagina, and the urine may also be bloody.

Blood from the vulva or vaginal region should stop coming out after about a week. If the bleeding is bright red, strong-smelling, and has streaks of blood clots, there may be a more serious issue. 

It’s important to take the pet to a veterinarian, even if it’s just one bleeding episode or all of this information fits with the dog’s situation because some situations require an evaluation upon first notice.

Bleeding in a dog’s cycle is a side effect of going into the estrus phase. It can last up to 10 days and stop anytime, but typically it lasts 7 to 10 days. Not all dogs experience bleeding, but they often experience abdominal cramping and an increase in vaginal discharges. Dogs that bleed still need veterinary care just like ones that don’t because there is no way for them to tell on their own if their bleeding has stopped or if they’re still needing more time on treatment.

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The hormone estrogen begins to rise again, triggering the rupture of a membrane lining the uterus (the endometrium) and shedding blood from the dog’s uterine lining. This process is what leads to an “ovulation” *period.* Progesterone levels decrease as estrogen rises, so dogs will also notice increased abdominal cramps and discharge.

Why Would Dogs In Heat Bleed For So Long?

Female dogs come into heat every 6 to 9 months. Dogs can have periods of estrus, or “heat,” where they will exhibit the behaviors of being in heat up to several times a year. 

Estrous cycles may vary in length between breeds and individual dogs, but most females will go into heat approximately every 6 months for 7 to 10 days at a time between periods. According to veterinarians, a dog’s body reaches equilibrium when it is in the heat for some time.

A female dog’s vaginal blood vessels react to its hormones during estrus and leak. When a dog goes into heat, the eggs inside the ovaries begin developing and consequently secrete estrogen, which causes these vaginal changes from stretching from one side of the uterus to another.

In addition, retro prolactin has been identified as an insulin-like transmitter hormone. Increased production of this hormone increases uterine vascularity and results in more bleeding during estrus cycles.

A dog in heat is usually hypersexual, restless, yelping vigorously when touched by another dog or human, licking themselves frequently on the vulva region, rubbing her vulva during urination on any available surface, including people’s legs. 

Dogs in heat will typically have a reddish-brown discharge. If one sees bleeding or a thick, yellowish discharge, call the veterinarian. If the dog has a “ruff,” thick fur that makes it difficult for other dogs to get close, she will usually stand still and look at them if they get too close. 

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Conclusion

Keep a leash on hand because the dog may have to urinate more when she’s in heat. Her vulva may be wide, red, or swollen with bleeding or blood-tinged discharge. 

Even though the dog bleeds during heat, she is not in pain. However, being in heat might make them uneasy and restless. If her symptoms seem to be causing discomfort, see the veterinarian. Some of the symptoms of being heat are being overly friendly with other dogs, mounting or humping, seeking out male dogs, turning the tail to the other side, fidgeting and restlessness, and many more depending on the dog size and breed.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0376635701001425 
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2752/089279302786992487