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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maya is in heat now. She came in to heat on Sunday, one day before she turned 10 months old. I have never had a dog in heat before, and so was hoping for some advice on how to get through it. I know the basics about when she is most likely to be fertile and to confine her for 3 weeks. I just could use some tips on the logistics of it all. I looked through some past threads and saw advice to use boys underwear to contain the bleeding. I tried that, but got a size that was way too small (6/7). So I'm off to buy more to try again today. Should I get men's smalls or try a larger boys size? She is 55 pounds. Right now we have part of the downstairs gated off with baby gates. She has access to the kitchen, dining room, hallway, downstairs bathroom, and the breezeway (an entry area with sliding glass doors on both sides and definitely her favorite spot in the house). The breezeway is the only carpeted area that she has access to now, so we have drop-cloths down to protect the carpet. The bleeding really hasn't been very heavy. At this point my challenges are that she is much clingier than usual due to the hormones and she really hates it whenever we go upstairs or in the living room. I am mostly staying in the kitchen/dining room to be close to her. She also is usually allowed on our bed and although she doesn't like to sleep on it, she likes to cuddle on it before bed. We have been having her sleep in her crate in our bedroom at night. She used to have free roam of the bedroom at night. She is doing okay with that, even though it's clear she doesn't like it or understand. Another challenge is that she is wanting to go out about every hour! She is peeing and pooping much more frequently. I don't know how much this is a need to go to the bathroom more, (which I did read often happens with heat) and how much it's reduced exercise from not being off-leash. She is a bit spoiled and is used to going for an off-leash walk through the woods at a local unofficial dog park almost every day. She runs a lot and plays with other dogs. So I am walking her more on leash. I think she got about 4 miles of on-leash walking yesterday, but it still is not nearly as much exercise as she gets from running around and playing with other dogs for an hour a day. To complicate matters further, the timing is bad because I am going to be out of town next week and my husband will be alone with her. He works full time and often evenings as well. He will be able to come home and walk her mid-day and before any evening meetings he has, so she shouldn't have to go more than 5 hours without going out, but she will be alone for much of the day. I would ask someone to come by and play with her and take her out, but there is no one I trust enough to make sure she doesn't get away when in heat. Normally I would, but I just worry that she could slip out the door or something with her raging hormones. She should be able to hold it for 5 hours, even while in heat, right?
Does anyone have any secrets for getting enough exercise while confined to a leash?
Also, does the volume of blood increase any after the first couple days, or does it remain the same?
I know the discharge changes from bright red to pink to straw colored, but what I don't know is how much discharge to expect when it is straw colored. Will we still need to keep her off carpeted areas/furniture?
Does the discharge continue throughout the 3 week period?
I read that the length of each stage of the cycle varies for each individual. Does it ever last longer than 3 weeks? (I know the fertile period tends to be the middle week, but is there any chance she could still be fertile 3 weeks after the first day of bleeding?)
We plan to spay her after this heat cycle, but how long after is ideal?
Are there any other tips that have helped you get through heat?

Sorry to go on so long and ask so many questions! I am definitely new at this! :confused:
 

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The cycle is approximately 21 days. this can vary, however, up to several days either way. The period during which a bitch will stand for a male is usually from about the 10th to the 14th day, again, this can vary a few days either way. to be safe, she should be under total supervision and away from any males for about 30 days. It is recommended that spaying be done approximately 4-6 weeks after the cycle ends, this allows for the vascularity to subside. *An exception would be if the bitch were accidentally bred, and a potential litter will be aborted - this should be done as soon as the bleeding has totally stopped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your help. I will call the vet to schedule her spay. For anyone else who has a dog in heat, I found that men's small underwear worked best. They are a 28 inch waist and she is just under 55 pounds.

Also, is it normal to drink more during heat? And how often should a dog have to go out?
 

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Thanks for your help. I will call the vet to schedule her spay. For anyone else who has a dog in heat, I found that men's small underwear worked best. They are a 28 inch waist and she is just under 55 pounds.

Also, is it normal to drink more during heat? And how often should a dog have to go out?
It is not unusual for them to be more thirsty, in part because it is not uncommon for them to actual have a UTI at the same time. Intake = output, so a dog drinking a lot will need to go out more frequently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We are on day 17 of heat, and everything has been going well. I have some more questions at this stage of the game though. Maya is still bleeding, although less than she had been. I had read that the "average dog" (and I know there is quite a bit of variation" bleeds for 7-10 days, then the discharge changes from bright red to pink to straw colored. I thought that the fertile period began about when the bleeding stopped. As of yesterday (just because I haven't really checked today) she was still bleeding. It does seem to be a little less red, and there is some straw colored discharge as well, but she is definitely still bleeding. However, I think I noticed her flagging when I was putting her underwear on on day 9 and again on day 14. I am very new to this and I could be wrong about the flagging, but she moved her tail to the side in a way I had never noticed before. So that would indicate to me that she was fertile beginning on or before day 9. How would you interpret these signs? From what I have read, based on the bleeding, she would be just beginning the fertile stage, while based on the flagging, she is probably coming out of it. The reason I would like to know is that if she is just starting the fertile stage, 21 days of confinement is definitely not going to cut it. I would rather not have to confine her for 30 days, but I will if I need to. She just misses the dog park and running through the woods so much! I want to be careful though. Is it possible to bleed through the fertile period? If this were your dog, how long would you confine her?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To update, today is day 18 and the bleeding has basically stopped. She is having straw colored discharge. I have not seen her flagging for several days. My assumption is that this weekend is probably too soon to let her off leash since the bleeding just stopped, but I would love to be wrong about that!
 
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