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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18797
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Why is my female dogs breasts swelling

Customer Question

She started her period, and after menstrating, her breasts began swelling like she may be pregnant
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.
Hi Miztaken,

Let me explain the heat cycle first. Female Dogs go into heat at any time between 6-12 months usually. The average heat cycle for a dog is approximately 3 weeks but for some dogs it is longer and for others it is shorter. Some as short as 10 days and some as long as 4 weeks or more. Usually your dog will go into heat every 6-7 months though again each dog is different and can go back into heat as early as 4 months or not for 12 months. Most however are average.

During the first part of a dogs heat period you will notice swelling of the vulva, possibly an increase in urination and bleeding. If there are male dogs around you will notice them hanging around her. This stage generally last about 7 days and she will not allow males to mate with her during this period The second part of the heat cycle is when she will accept a male and breed. Usually bleeding has stopped or become straw colored at this point. This can last from 4 to 21 days though the average is 7 days. Many dogs frequently have enlarged breasts during this and the last stage of heat. Then during the last stage of heat she will be less willing to breed as she is going out of heat. This stage can again last from 4 to 21 days as well but averages 7 days.

Each dog is different so some evaluation by the owner is necessary. The whole heat period should be approximately 21 days but as stated can be longer or shorter depending on the dog.

Here is an excellent website with pictures to illustrate a female in different stages of heat.

Of course, breast development is also a sign of pregnancy, but it does take about 30 days after mating to determine if a female is pregnant and even then a Vet has to perform a blood test or feel for puppies to determine pregnancy.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

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