When your little Yorkie goes into heat, it can be tough on both you and the dog. Between five and 14 months of age, the female will who is not spayed will show signs of slight bleeding.
Here is some advice that can be followed. Yorkie owners will want to know more about this cycle and how long it will last.
Below is some useful information.
You may be wondering just what the heat cycle is. It is typical that the Yorkie will have a slight amount of discharge that is from pink to red.
The heat cycle is similar to what human females experience with menstruation; it is the reproductive cycle of the dog.
Estrogen levels increase and decrease rapidly. It is at this time that eggs are released from the ovaries, and she can get pregnant.
It is suggested that your dog be spayed as soon as possible so she will not breed. In some cases, a Yorkie can be spayed by the vet even before the first heat cycle.
If your female Yorkie has not experienced going into heat by the time she is 15 months, she should be taken to the vet for an examination.
According to the Yorkie Information Center, at this time,
“Hormone levels will be checked and tests will be run to check for any uterine infections and other various illness that could be interfering with the body’s natural rhythms.”
How Often and How Long?
She will enter the heat cycle every 5 to 8 months. So twice a year is a valid expectation. It usually lasts from 2 to 4 weeks.
Please note that a female can have a successful mating experience on the first day; however, most fertile days will be from 10 to 14 days into each cycle.
Signs That a Yorkie is in Heat
Here are some signs that will help you determine whether your furry friend is in heat:
- Discharge – Dark red to whitish pink is the color, which will normally change over the course of the cycle.
- Swelling of the vulva – You should know what the normal size is. That way you will be aware when she is going into heat, as it will swell and become darker.
- Nesting behavior – She might gather her toys together and put them in an area, playing the role of “mother”.
- Mood changes – Not all dogs experience this. it can be slight; she may wish to retreat.
- Appetite changes – She may eat more or even eat less due to discomfort, as her uterus is contracting.
What to Do
Unless you want to breed dogs, she should not be allowed to go outside by herself, even for a short moment. You can take her out on a small leash.
Other dogs can smell the pheromones that have been released in her urine. Males can pick up the scent up to 3 miles away.
You may notice more dogs hanging around your property; it is not a good time to take her for a walk in the park, since a large dog can try to mount her, and she could be injured in the process.
If she needs to go to the vet while she is in heat, put her in a crate for her safety.
To keep bedding, floors and other areas clean while the discharge is happening, it is suggested that you put doggie diapers on her while she is in the more active stages of heat.
To make her look more appealing and cute, you can put a colorful canine panty over the diaper.
If any discharge sticks to her coat (she will be self-cleaning during the cycle as well) you can remove it with baby wipes.
If she prefers to be in a quiet area during this time, let her alone. She may not want to be playful during the heat cycle.
Hormonal changes, cramping, and discomfort may make her mood change, so you should respect that need to withdraw.
Spaying Your Yorkie
It is highly recommended that you spay your Yorkie. It will make her safe from other dogs as well as give you greater peace of mind.
The Humane Society recommends spaying your dog.
Two reasons for spaying or neutering include:
- Control of the dog population
- Decrease or eliminate the chances of a dog developing certain diseases
According to the Yorkie Information Center,
“It is very strongly recommended to have your dog spayed. In today’s day and age, veterinarians are spaying dogs even before their first heat cycle and it is safe to do so if she is in good health.
Spaying will severely lessen her odds of falling victim to mammary gland cancer and will eliminate the possibility of ovarian cancer.
Going through just one cycle increases the odds of cancer by 16 percent.”
Unless you are a breeder, you should plan on having your Yorkie spayed. It will make her safer from other dogs, increase her comfort and ensure against an unwanted pregnancy.
Read more about what The Humane Society says here.
You now know what steps to take when your little Yorkie is in heat; it is up to you to decide to have her spayed and increase her quality of life as well as provide a chance to live longer.
“On the whole, animals who have been sterilized at an early age tend to live longer, healthier lives, potentially increasing their lifespans by an average of one to three years for dogs, and three to five years for cats.” – Humane Society International