There are many signs that indicate a female dog is in heat, one of them being the blood-tinged vaginal discharge.
This often happens during the proestrus phase and the first few days of the estrus phase (although in most breeds the bleeding is limited to the first phase of the heat cycle).
On average, a female dog in heat will experience vaginal bleeding for 7 to 10 days, and if the bleeding lasts more than two weeks then something could be wrong.
There are a few reasons that explain why a dog in heat can bleed for too long, potentially up to a month. In such cases, it’s advisable to seek veterinary help for your pet.
Reasons for a dog in heat bleeding too long
As mentioned above, the blood-tinged vaginal discharge should last for a maximum of 14 days, with the average being between 7 to 10 days. So, what can make a female dog in heat bleeding for an extended period?
1. Estrus cycle irregularities
A young female dog in heat entering puberty is more likely to experience irregularities in their estrus cycles compared to their mature counterparts. The irregularities can lead to prolonged bleeding during and even after the proestrus and estrus phases of the heat cycle.
Young bitches also have never experienced ovulation or gone through the progesterone-dominated diestrus phase, and this will be an entirely new experience for them.
2. Hormonal unresponsiveness
A female dog can also have follicles that do not respond efficiently to hormonal signals that induce ovulations. In such a scenario, the dog will display the proestrus and estrus symptoms but ovulation will not occur.
As a result, the third and fourth phases (diestrus and anestrus) of the heat cycle will occur but instead, the dog will experience prolonged vaginal bleeding.
Some female dogs also develop extremely large and cystic follicles. Such follicles often fail to respond to natural hormonal signals as well the induced hormones.
As a result, they will not experience ovulation and the bleeding will just continue. Hormonal issues can also make the usual behaviors of a female dog in heat to be subtle and hardly noticeable.
3. Urinary tract infections
Your dog could be going through her heat in a normal way but at the same time suffering from a urinary tract infection, such as a bladder infection.
Since the urinary tract and the reproductive tract share the same exit, you might mistake the bleeding for a prolonged vaginal discharge.
4. Reproductive tract infections
Another reason your female dog in heat is bleeding too long could be the presence of vaginal infections such as vaginitis and pyometra.
Brucellosis acquired during breeding along with infections such as transmissible venereal tumor acquired at breeding can also cause vaginal bleeding.
5. Bleeding disorders
A female dog suffering from bleeding disorders such as hemophilia, von Willebrand’s disease, and low platelet counts can also suffer from prolonged vaginal discharge.
It’s important to take your dog for regular checkups so that such diseases can be diagnosed and proper treatments administered.
6. Exposure to rat poisons
A dog that’s exposed to rat poison, be it male or female, can suffer from bleeding. For female dogs, the bleeding can occur anywhere including the reproductive tract.
7. Foreign bodies
Foreign bodies and growing masses in the reproductive tract can also lead to bleeding. Your dog can also experience vaginal bleeding as a result of traumatic lacerations.
FAQs about dogs in heat bleeding too much
Let’s now have a look at a few frequently asked questions on female dogs bleeding more than usual.
How long do dogs in heat bleed?
A dog in heat experiences vaginal bleeding for about 7 to 10 days, the maximum is 14 days. In case the dog is bleeding too long, the bleeding could be a result of bleeding disorders, hormonal unresponsiveness, heat cycle irregularities, urinary tract infection, reproductive tract infections, and exposure to rat poisons.
Can a dog in heat bleed to death?
It’s unlikely for a dog in heat to bleed to death. However, serious health complications coupled with vulnerabilities such as bleeding disorders can take a toll on their health and body. Consult a veterinarian if you notice the bleeding is prolonged or excessive.
Can you stop a dog in heat from bleeding?
You cannot stop a female dog in heat from bleeding because it’s a normal biological occurrence. However, if your dog is in heat and bleeding for too long, it could be caused by something different, such as an infection or health complications. You should always seek veterinary help in such cases.
Why is a dog in heat bleeding too long?
The reasons for a female dog in heat bleeding for too long include hormonal issues, irregularities in the estrus cycle, urinary tract infections, reproductive tract infections, bleeding disorders, exposure to rat poisons, and the presence of foreign bodies in her reproductive tract.