During a female dog’s heat cycle, a bloody discharge from the vulva is a typical occurrence. Dogs normally bleed and go into heat one to three times each year.
The bleeding, however, can be an indication of a potentially serious health issue if your dog has been spayed or you are aware that it is not yet time for your intact dog to go into heat.
If your dog’s vulva is bleeding, there are a number of potential causes, including trauma, tumors, infections, anatomical anomalies, blood clotting issues, and urinary tract diseases. A vet should examine your dog unless it is known that she is in heat and there are no other problems.
How do I treat a bleeding female dog?
If your dog is bleeding from her vagina and you don’t think she’s in heat, you should take her to the doctor. Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical examination and inquire as to when you first became aware of her problems. The vet will also inquire about the amount and kind of your dog’s bleeding, including whether it is spotting or hemorrhage and whether the blood is thick, thin, or mixed with other debris. Your veterinarian’s diagnosis will be aided by the responses to these inquiries, but more tests might be carried out to rule out other conditions.
To check for bacterial illnesses linked to vaginitis or urinary tract infections, your veterinarian may take a vaginal swab. To check for potential tumors, tissue samples taken from your dog’s vulva may also be examined. The location, size, and potential metastases of the tumor will be determined by a CT scan or X-ray if your veterinarian discovers tumor growth. Usually, surgery is performed to remove the uterus, the ovaries, and the tumor. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be used to eliminate any cancer cells that may be hiding and stop tumor growth from returning. Compared to humans, dogs are much more tolerant of chemotherapy and suffer from less illness and hair loss. However, some dog breeds, such as English Sheepdogs, Lhasa Apsos, Maltese, Schnauzers, Shih Tzus, and Poodles, are more prone to hair loss.
Can female dogs bleed outside of the heat cycle?
The fact that a female dog is in heat is the primary explanation for why she is bleeding from her vulva. The reproductive cycle of female dogs contains four distinct stages. Here are some of them:
- Despite not being fertile, the dog is preparing for this period by releasing hormones during proestrus. Both bleeding and vaginal edema may result from them. When there is blood on the ground where they are sitting, it is possible to spot dogs.
- Estrus: This is the dog’s reproductive period. The dog shouldn’t bleed, but it may linger for three to seventeen days. They’ll want to locate a mate and adjust their behavior in a number of ways.
- Depending on whether fertilization has taken place, diestrus varies. They can even begin lactating as their personality stabilizes. If they are expecting, fetal gestation takes place.
- Anestrus is a time when a woman is not engaged in sexual activity, either because she has just given birth to puppies or because her heat cycle is over. During this phase, there shouldn’t be any vaginal bleeding.
Heat first appears in fawns between the ages of 6 and 8 months, though it may appear sooner in smaller breeds or later in larger breeds. The heat cycle happens roughly every six months and is repeated a few times a year. The menstrual cycle may exhibit anomalies in younger females up to two years of age.
The bitch typically goes through physical and behavioral changes that naturally resolve themselves without any outside help. Because she is in the proestrus cycle of her heat period, a healthy dog is likely to bleed from her private areas. She shouldn’t bleed, though, during any other portions of her heat cycle. You must identify the cause if this happens. It might be a veterinary emergency if she is in pain, has purulent discharge, or exhibits other symptoms.
If a dog is sterilized and bleeding through the vulva, it may also be related to her estrus cycle. Even after being spayed, a dog may still have an ovarian remnant if she is bleeding. Even a tiny amount of it can produce enough hormones to start the heat cycle. Given that this is relatively uncommon, the following explanations make it more plausible that the dog is bleeding from her vagina.
Why is the private area of my female dog bloated and bleeding?
If you find that your female dog’s private area is bloated, it may be an indication of labor, an allergic response, an illness, or your fluffy companion commencing her heat cycle. The six causes of enlarged private parts in female dogs are listed below.
Your female dog will go into heat twice a year for roughly 3–4 weeks if she is still intact. The tissues surrounding the vulva will enlarge and face outwards during this time due to the dog’s body releasing more estrogen hormones.
Other common indications that a dog is in heat besides swelling in the intimate area include:
- Vaginal discharge with a bloody tint
- genital licking that is excessive
- excessive tail waggishness
- a rise in mountain behavior
- open to having male dogs lick and sniff her vulva
- frequent urinating, frequently in male dogs’ presence
- conduct that is agitated, anxious, or nesting
If the female dog’s vulva is enlarged and you see the majority of the symptoms listed above, your dog is most likely in heat. If the mating is successful, she will get pregnant. After the heat is passed, however, the vulva should grow back to its original size (within 2-21 days).
Infections of the urinary system are common in female dogs. For instance, older dogs and puppies may suffer from vaginitis, an inflammation of the vaginal region. Bacterial infections, structural defects, and even malignancy are all potential causes of the illness.
Vaginal inflammation comes in two different forms: juvenile vaginitis, which affects puppies, and adult-onset vaginitis (which affects older dogs and is more common in spayed female dogs).
In dogs, symptoms of vaginal inflammation include:
- Yellowish or white vaginal discharge
- vulva region licking that is excessive
- often urinating
- discomfort indicators when urinating
- a crimson vulva that has swollen
- Dog moving down the floor with her bottom.
Take your female dog to the vet for an inspection and treatment if you suspect vaginal irritation. If the problem is not handled in a timely manner, corrective operations including surgical cleansing and draining may be required.
When your dog is in heat, vaginal hyperplasia, a disorder, can also occur. As a result of tissue swelling in the vaginal region, you will see a dark pink or crimson tissue protruding from her vulva. Once the heat cycle is over, this situation ought to go away. If you don’t want your dog to become pregnant, you can choose to spay her, which will also stop vaginal hyperplasia.
Some female dogs who have had spaying still endure vaginal bleeding and vaginal edema. This happens when, following her spay operation, some ovarian tissue is still present inside the abdomen. If your dog’s private region is bloated and there is a vaginal discharge that has a bloody tint, be sure to take her to the doctor.
Your female dog’s private area may be enlarged as a result of pregnancy preparation. One of the changes you’ll notice in your pregnant dog as she approaches labor is enlargement of the vulva, which is one of the alterations. Other indications that a dog is giving birth include:
- Nervousness and restlessness
- panting while pacing
- refusal to eat and possible vomiting
- Nesting actions, such as dragging clothing and fabric to create a cozy bed
- The woman strains as her stomach tightens.
A female dog’s nipples will have grown larger in preparation for breastfeeding by the time she goes into birth.
Forced separation during mating
A copulatory knot, or getting stuck during mating, occurs in dogs. The male dog’s bulbous head grows as soon as his penis is inserted, “holding him to the female.” Only once the male dog ejaculates and his enlarged head shrinks down to normal size will the knot be broken, allowing him to leave.
The female dog may suffer injuries such as tearing of the vaginal area, internal damage, blood loss, and severe agony if canines trapped in the mating process are forcibly separated. The best course of action is to see a veterinarian because these wounds cause the vulvar area to enlarge.
Your female dog’s private area swelling could possibly be the result of an allergic response. It’s possible that your dog has an allergy to shampoo or that she got into contact with a plant that she is allergic to. Remember that the vulva is a sensitive area that can react to plant toxins or insect stings.
How dark is canine menstrual blood?
When a dog reaches adolescence, its first estrous (reproductive or heat) cycle will occur. Each cycle has multiple stages; the estrus stage is when a female is capable of becoming pregnant. A dog in the estrus stage is frequently described as being in heat or in season.
Puberty (or sexual maturity) usually occurs at around six months of age, but breed differences may apply. Smaller breeds typically experience their first estrous cycle at a younger age, but huge and giant breeds may not experience their first heat cycle until they are between the ages of 18 months and 2 years old.
How often does a female dog come into heat?
Although the frequency might vary between breeds and from dog to dog, the majority of dogs go into heat twice a year, or approximately every six months. Giant breed dogs may only cycle once every 12 months, however small breed dogs may cycle three times annually. It’s typical for young dogs’ cycles to be a little erratic when they first start reproducing. A female dog may take up to two years to establish regular cycles. With the exception of Basenjis and Tibetan Mastiffs, which normally cycle in the spring, (domesticated) dogs do not have a specific time of year when they procreate.
What are the signs of estrus?
The vulva will expand or engorge with the first symptom of estrus, though this swelling may not always be visible. A bloody vaginal discharge is frequently the first indication that a dog is going into heat for a pet owner. Sometimes the discharge won’t be noticeable until a few days after estrus has started. From dog to dog, the amount of discharge varies.
The first indicator of a dog going into heat for a pet owner is sometimes a bloody vaginal discharge.
As the cycle goes on, the color and appearance of the vaginal discharge will alter. The discharge starts off fairly crimson, but as the days go by, it thins down and turns pinkish-red and watery in hue. When a female dog is in heat, she may urinate more frequently than usual or exhibit marking behavior, when she urinates in small amounts on various items both inside the house and outside while on walks. Her urine at this time of the cycle contains pheromones and hormones that let other dogs know she is in a reproductive state. For this reason, male dogs in particular will be drawn to female dogs that are in heat.
Male dogs may start marking your property with their pee in an effort to reclaim their territory if they notice a female in heat from a distance.
How long does estrus last?
When a dog is in estrus, she has the potential to give birth. A dog will typically be in heat for 1 1/2 to 2 weeks, though this can vary depending on the individual and can be shorter or longer.
At what stage of the estrus cycle is the dog able to get pregnant?
The female dog typically ovulates around the time that the vaginal discharge turns watery; this is the point in her life when she is the most fertile and open to mating. She could become pregnant at any time while she is in estrus because sperm can remain viable in the reproductive system for up to a week and still be able to fertilize the eggs. Contrary to popular perception, tying with the male dog is not a need for a female to become pregnant (for further information see the handout “Estrus and Mating in Dogs”).
How can I prevent my dog from becoming pregnant?
Having your dog surgically sterilized (either by an ovariohysterectomy or a spay procedure) before her first estrous cycle is the best approach to keep her from getting pregnant. Most veterinarians advise conducting an ovariohysterectomy before the dog is six to seven months old because it can be challenging to estimate when this first cycle will take place.
Is there anything I can do if my dog has been mismated, or accidentally mates with another dog?
If this occurs, you must speak with your veterinarian right away. Within the first one to two days following mating, mismating injections can be employed, however there are hazards involved. Your veterinarian will go over your options and any potential dangers.
Should I let my dog have an estrus cycle or a litter of puppies before spaying her?
There are no justifiable justifications for allowing a dog to have a litter of puppies prior to spaying her. However, the general consensus at this time is that spaying will increase a dog’s lifespan. More recent research has shown that some larger dog breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds, may benefit medically from delaying their spay surgery until after their first heat cycle. Dogs can become pregnant during their very first estrous cycle, which raises the possibility of an unintentional breeding. Dogs can breed with anyone; this includes siblings, parents, and even children; a son can breed with his mother.
It’s a frequent misconception that allowing female dogs to have a litter of puppies will make them friendlier and more outgoing. This is untrue and does nothing but exacerbate the critical issue of dog overpopulation.
How can I tell whether my dog has a UTI?
UTIs (urinary tract infections) are fairly typical in canines. When they go outside, dogs with UTIs typically make frequent attempts to pee. Additionally, if having to urinate hurts, they may struggle or scream out or complain. Even blood has been known to occasionally appear in urine. Frequently licking one’s genitalia or dripping urine are other symptoms of a UTI. Strongly scented urine might also be an indication of an infection in your dog.
“A pause in housetraining is a warning sign that the bladder is not functioning properly.”
A lapse in housetraining is a warning sign that the bladder may be malfunctioning. A UTI may be to fault if this were to happen to your formerly well-behaved dog.
A UTI often happens when bacteria enters the bladder through the urethra. Although the bladder should generate sterile urine, if bacteria get inside, they can thrive and replicate, leading to an infection. Some dogs will also experience bladder stones in addition to their UTI, which creates the possibility of other health problems.
What does a urinalysis look at?
Your vet will first run a urinalysis if your cat exhibits urinary symptoms while visiting the office. When a UTI is suspected, the urinalysis can provide a wealth of crucial information regarding the urine. The following are things your veterinarian will examine:
- specific gravity of urine (how well the dog is concentrating their urine)
- pH (certain pH levels can indicate infection or other problems)
- ketones (sometimes seen in cases of diabetes or body-wasting)
- glucose (sugar in the urine, usually a sign of diabetes)
- bilirubin (a breakdown product of blood)
Following the measurement of these levels, the urine sample is put into a centrifuge and spun downward to allow cells and other debris to collect at the sample tube’s bottom. The debris can then be examined under a microscope to reveal the presence of crystals, germs, white blood cells, and even red and white blood cells.
The next steps in determining the dog’s urinary tract ailment may be influenced by what is discovered beneath the microscope’s magnification. For instance, if the urine contains crystals, your veterinarian could advise radiography (X-rays) or an abdominal ultrasound to check for bladder stones.
My veterinarian sent a sample of urine to a laboratory for a culture and sensitivity test. What is this?
Not every urinary tract infection is the same! Escherichia coli, a bacteria found in feces, is the organism that causes UTIs in dogs most frequently, but there are a number of other organisms that could also be at fault. It can only be determined which particular bacteria is at fault by growing it in a lab. The lab can test which drug will work best to treat the infection at the same time.
In order to try to provide the dog instant comfort, a vet will frequently prescribe an antibiotic that is among the most widely used for treating UTIs. A change in diet may also be advised, along with the prescription of painkillers (because UTIs can be painful).
An appropriate antibiotic will be recommended after the results of the culture and sensitivity tests are known. It’s crucial to retest the urinalysis after the course of antibiotics has been administered to ensure that the infection has been treated. If not, it is crucial to look into any other problems that could be causing the recurring UTI.
Are some dogs predisposed to UTIs?
UTIs are more common in older female dogs and canines with diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes) than in the general population. Dogs with bladder stones are also more likely to experience UTIs repeatedly. This emphasizes how crucial it is to receive a thorough diagnosis whenever there are signs of disease in the urinary tract. To restore bladder health, bladder stones must be removed or broken apart.
What can I do to prevent a UTI from occurring in the future?
If there is anything you can do to stop the UTI from coming back in your dog, your vet will let you know. A change in diet is frequently suggested. Additionally, they might suggest some drugs or nutritional supplements that might help alter the pH of urine, making it more difficult for an infection to spread. To put techniques in place that have been proven to be helpful, it is advisable to discuss UTI prevention with your veterinarian.