Why Do Female Dogs Vulva Swell When In Heat?

By Kyoko •  Updated: 07/15/22 •  3 min read
The contents of the OurFitPets.com website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase this item or service, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.

Why Do Female Dogs Vulva Swell When In Heat?

Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. No waiting for appointments or office hours. No high fees. No need to worry about your furry family member.

Female dogs in heat go through various symptoms and behaviors that can be quite concerning for pet parents. For instance, why does a female dog’s vulva swell when she’s in heat?

Have you noticed your female dog’s vulva swelling when she’s in heat? Are you worried about this symptom? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog has symptoms like this.

We’ve put together some information about what causes a female dog’s vulva to swell and what you can do to help your dog. Let’s get started!

What is Heat?

Female dogs go through heat, which is another term for a dog’s estrus cycle. During heat, a mature, unspayed female dog comes into heat about once every six months. Some dog breeds are mature at six months of age, while others may not have their first heat until they’re about two years old. The heat cycle lasts about three weeks.

The heat cycle is comprised of four stages:

Stage 1: pro-estrus takes place during the first seven to ten days. During this time, the female dog may experience bleeding or spotting. Her vulva also becomes more swollen due to the hormonal changes she’s experiencing at this time.

Stage 2: estrus begins about ten to thirteen days later. During this stage, the dog’s discharge may become pink and watery, and her vulva will continue to swell. She may also have the urge to get out of the house or yard to mate. If she does find a male to mate with, chances are your fur baby will become pregnant at this time.

Stage 3: if a female dog doesn’t become pregnant during her cycle, she will enter into the third stage, which is called dioestrus. During this state, the dog comes out of heat and will not be receptive to mating. This stage can last about two to three months and leads to the fourth stage of estrus.

Stage 4: anoestrus, is when the dog’s heat cycle ends and she is out of heat for four to five months. During this time, her vulva should return to its normal size and appearance.

Is There Anything to Worry About?

If your dog’s estrus cycle is normal and she’s healthy, there’s nothing to worry about. At the end of her cycle, her vulva should return to its normal size and appearance.

However, if you notice any changes in the appearance of your dog’s vulva and she’s showing other symptoms such as constant licking and discharge, it’s time to call the vet.

In most cases, there’s nothing to worry about if your dog’s vulva goes back to normal and she’s not exhibiting any other symptoms or signs of illness!

(Visited 166 times, 1 visits today)
Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. No waiting for appointments or office hours. No high fees. No need to worry about your furry family member.

Kyoko

Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!