Can a dog get pregnant while bleeding?

This post aims to answer the following question: Can a dog get pregnant while bleeding? For this, we are going to talk about the female dog’s estrous cycle and the appropriate time for the dogs to reproduce so that they have a healthy pregnancy for the dogs.

Can a dog get pregnant while bleeding?

Yes, it is possible for a female dog to become pregnant even when mating at the time of bleeding. Bleeding in female dogs occurs in proestrus and females usually do not accept the male’s mounting at this time. However, some animals may begin to accept it mainly at the end of the proestrus. But how can female dogs get pregnant without having ovulated?

What happens is the male’s semen can remain viable for a few days inside the female’s genital tract. The researcher England and colleagues demonstrated in 1989 that the dog’s semen can remain viable for up to 11 days after entering the female reproductive tract. Thus, giving time for the female dog to ovulate, her oocytes to mature and thus fertilization to take place.

The female dogs estrous cycle 

To talk about the moment of reproduction it is necessary to understand a little about the female dogs estrous cycle.The estrous cycle in dogs is divided into 4 phases:

  • Proestrus;
  • Estrus;
  • Diestrus;
  • Anestrus.

Proestrus

In proestrus, the female canine body is preparing for ovulation and pregnancy. In this phase, hormones make the females have vulvar swelling, bleeding and become more attractive to males. However, at this stage the female still does not accept the male’s copulation. 

Proestrus can last an average of 9 days. Therefore, there will be a great chance that the female will become pregnant if there is reproduction with a male during this period.

It is the phase of the “dating” of the dogs, it involves games of attraction between the dogs. Female dogs can be more agitated during this period and even run away. It is important to beware of unwanted leaks.

Bleeding occurs due to the increase in uterine vascularization due to the action of the estrogen hormone, prevalent in the proestrus of dogs. At the end of proestrus, estrogen reduces in the blood circulation of female dogs, giving way to progesterone, which prepares the uterus for pregnancy, so some animals reduce bleeding.

Estrus

Estrus, also known as heat, is the period in which the female accepts the male dog’s copulation. It is at this stage that ovulation of the female dog takes place. So only copulations in this period will make the female dogs get pregnant. Estrus can be shorter in some animals as well as longer in others, ranging from 7 to 21 days on average.

In female dogs, the vulva remains swollen, but the bleeding may stop. Care must be taken, as many owners think that the heat is over because some dogs have stopped bleeding. But many times, she is just going through her most fertile period.

Diestrus

The diestrus is the phase in which the uterus prepares to receive the embryos, it lasts from 58 to 68 days. Female dogs reduce vulvar edema, may present translucent secretion in the vulvar region. It is at this stage that many bacteria can develop in the utero of female dogs resulting in pyometra. And when female dogs reproduce in estrus, diestrus becomes the fetal developmental stage of pregnancy.

Anestrus

Anestrus is the longest phase, lasting up to 4 months in some animals. In this phase, hormonal quiescence occurs in female dogs. Normally at this stage, female dogs do not accept the mount, much less the male’s copulation, and thus can be quite aggressive. The vulva returns to its normal size which makes copulation even more difficult.

When is the best time for a female dog to become pregnant?

Female dogs are monoestrous, typically non-seasonal, polytocous, spontaneous ovulators animals, meaning they only come into heat once or twice a year. The best time to inseminate or reproduce a female dog is at the time of estrus, or heat. At this stage the female dogs will have already ovulated, the eggs will already be matured, just waiting for the spermatozoa for fertilization to take place.

The best way to know when the dog is ovulating is through vaginal cytology tests and hormone measurements made by a veterinarian. Through these tests it is possible to determine whether the animal is ovulating or not, thus performing the reproduction at the exact moment for the dogs, having a greater guarantee of pregnancy.

Pregnancy care for females dogs

Breeding dogs should always be accompanied by a veterinarian. Only healthy dogs should be bred, so blood tests and tests for sexually transmitted diseases in dogs should be done.

Healthy female dogs must be vaccinated before mating and a deworming protocol must be carried out to avoid contamination of puppies intrauterine or after birth.

Some animals should receive vitamin supplements before and in the first days of pregnancy to avoid malformation problems in dogs. Female dogs must be at the ideal weight for the species, it is not desirable for obese or very thin females to breed. The diet of the pregnant dog can also change, so that the animal does not lose so much weight at the end of pregnancy.

Some female dogs can become very aggressive with males when the correct time for breeding dogs is not respected. Many times, animals can end up injured. 

Also, it is not advised to leave the male and female together during the entire time of estrus. Because dogs can spend hours trying to copulate, thus stressing each other. In addition to having the possibility of getting hurt from trying so hard to copulate.

Conclusion 

Female dogs can get pregnant even if they are mated before ovulation. The big problem is that many times the female dogs will not accept the male mount due to physiological conditions of the proestrus period of the estrous cycle. If mating takes place, there is a great possibility that the animal will become pregnant because the sperm can remain viable for a few days in the female’s reproductive tract. It is important that a veterinarian monitors the entire reproductive process of the dogs, avoiding health problems for the pregnant and the puppies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Can a dog get pregnant while bleeding?

Is it possible to manipulate a female dog’s estrus with drugs, as in cows?

Yes, it is possible, but it is not so used because many female dogs also do not respond to hormonal protocols, so few animals go into heat. Therefore, it is recommended to let the animal come into heat naturally and the tutor will be accompanied until the exact moment of reproduction.

How long does pregnancy last in female dogs?

On average, the duration of pregnancy in female dogs is 63 days, ranging from 58 to 68 days from the day of mating. Veterinarians can dose hormones that will give a more accurate date for parturition. In addition, there are imaging tests that can indicate approximate parturition dates in female dogs.

Can female dogs have more than one heat per year?

Yes, some dog’s breeds can come into heat every 4 months. However, care should be taken as constant repetitions of heat can be a sign of endocrine diseases, so a veterinarian should be consulted to avoid health problems in dogs.

Reference

de Souza Teixeira, E. (2001). Princípios básicos para a criação de cães. NBL Editora.

England, G. C., Allen, W. E., & Blythe, S. A. (1989). Variability of the time of calculated LH release in 218 canine pregnancies. The Veterinary Record, 125(25), 624-625.

Leitão, I. P. A. (2018). Manual básico para criação de um canil comercial: da legislação ao registro e manejo dos cães.

Picture from http://commons.wikimedia.org

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