The Female Yorkie and Heat
When you have a female Yorkie, you may have many questions about heat. If you have a male, you should be aware of what behavior your dog may suddenly show when a female in the heat cycle is even remotely close by. His behavior may seem puzzling to you; since he may be sensing something that is out of your line of sight.
Owners wonder what the typical age is for this to begin...Others want to know how long each cycle will last for. For those who are waiting for their pup to enter heat for the 1st time, there are understandably be many questions about what to expect and the signs and symptoms to look for.
Having a dog in heat brings up
many issues; not only how to care for your dog when she is in heat, but also the subjects of ovarian cancer, how to fend off male dogs that can sense her at this time from miles away and how to care for her during this time.
Also discussed will be how the Yorkie heat cycle works in conjunction with conceiving and becoming pregnant. If you are wishing to avoid having newborn pups
or you are attempting to breed your Yorkie, understanding the heat cycle is vital.
You may be surprised to know that this applies to all females dogs of any age; a 14 month old puppy and a 14 year old adult female Yorkie will both have heat cycle issues and will be able to become pregnant.
How Does This Apply if I Have a Male?
An un-neutered male Yorkie has a
very strong, inbred urge to find and pursue a female dog that is in heat. A female will usually not allow a male to mount her unless she is in heat; therefore once a female is in this stage the male will follow her to the ends of the Earth!
The male dog is capable of walking for
2-3 miles to chase the scent of a female dog. This can be avoided if your have your male Yorkie neutered. Until that time, beware of the strong urge your dog may have that is usually stronger than any training he has had to stay put at home! If your male dog seems anxious, restless, keeps trying to look out the windows, rushes ahead or seems to walk out of control while you are walking him or he leaps and bounds at a fence...these are signs that he is having the urge to run. Extra care should be taken to make sure that your dog cannot run away. Even one second of having an open door is all he will need to take off in pursuit.
What Happens During the Cycle?
Heat is somewhat equivalent to the human female menstruation; however it
does differ in many ways.
At What Age Does This Begin?
This will vary, but it will mostly likely begin when she is still a young puppy. It can happen as young as when she is 5 months old....Or it may begin as late as 14 months. If you have an un-spayed female who has not had a heat by the age of 15 months,she should be taken for a checkup.
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.
Do Dogs Enter Menopause?
Many owners are surprised to find out that the answer is No. It is very rare. Seniors will keep entering heat...and that means that they can become impregnated; which is obviously very dangerous in the senior years as it can put a lot of stress on the body. Those who are bred are often retired by between the ages of 5 and 8 years old, depending on how many litters she has carried, if she had any complications and how healthy she is.
Now, with this said, each dog is an individual and some will have a gradual hormonal slowdown.... Those who do, may stop entering as young as 10 years old.
It is strongly recommended to have your Yorkie spayed as soon as possible if you know that you will not be breeding her. Spaying is best done as soon as possible. Veterinarians often spay even before the 1st heat cycle.
How Long Does Each Cycle Last For?
This can last from 2 to 4 weeks. Each cycle may be different from the one before it. For example, your Yorkie's first heat may last 2 weeks and her next one may last 4. She may stay on a dependable schedule for years and then it may begin to vary.
At What Time During Heat Can my Yorkie Become Pregnant?
A dog can have a successful mating on the very first day, however, the most fertile days will be 10-14 days into the cycle.
If you are not planning on having Yorkie puppies or mixed breed pups, it is vitally important to keep her in the home as much as possible and when outside, have her on a short leash. Pheromones will be released, mixed into the urine each time she goes to the bathroom. Therefore, male dogs from literally miles around (up to 3 miles) may sense her presence. You may notice that male dogs are roaming around your property.
Never allow her to go outside alone, even for a moment. She should be supervised at all times when outdoors. A larger male dog may injure her and it only takes a few minutes for a dog to mount her and tie. This is not a good time to go for walks at the park or in any areas that there may be males present. If you need to take her to the vet during this time, crating is recommended.
What Should I Expect in Regard to Discharge?
Smaller dogs do not bleed as much as larger breed dogs; however the amount varies from dog to dog. In any event, there will be some blood that discharges from her vagina and her vulva will become swollen.
You may not notice any blood as it may just be trace amounts. It can vary from red to a light pink. Toward the end of the cycle it can appear to be more of a light tan.
She may have a tendency to self clean by licking, however if you notice that any discharge has dried and become stuck to the coat, you can remove it with baby wipes.
Some owners choose to place a doggie diaper on their Yorkie when she in in heat, if she tends to have a lot of discharge. This is becoming a popular trend and they can be found in many style and colors. If you do opt to try this and she shows discomfort, it will be best to leave things alone. Small blankets can be put down in areas that she normally rests to absorb any discharge....Be sure to wash any blankets or coverings in hot water with a hypo-allergenic detergent so that they can be used again the next time.
How Often Does This Cycle Occur?
Your Yorkie will enter heat approximately every 6 to 8 months; therefore you should expect this phase about twice per year.
Some go through this without any noticeable changes at all. With others there may be a few things that you do notice...She may seem a bit moody. Some Yorkies will not seem as playful, she may want to rest more often and/or lie down in a quiet spot away from noise and activity. It is not yet known if a dog shows these signs due to hormonal imbalances that cause a change in mood, discomfort from cramping or a combination of the both.
Should I Have my Yorkie Spayed?
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.
If you are not planning on breeding her, spaying will help you have peace of mind that she will be safe from male dogs and there will be no unwanted pregnancies. In addition, since a Yorkie is able to have puppies even as an elderly dog, it is very important to have her spayed. A Yorkie older than 8 should not have to endure having pups!
Female Yorkie Issues
- How to Help Your Yorkie During Heat
- How to Stop Heat
- False Pregnancy
- Health Issues only Pregnant Yorkies Have
- What you Must Do After a Litter is Born
- Registering Puppies
- Explanation of Registries
- Information only Professional Breeders Know
- 24 Behavioral Issues
- 36 Health Issues
- Questions? Direct, Personal Advice with the Yorkie Experts... Click Here to Learn More