If you own a female English Bulldog, it’s essential to understand her heat cycle, even if you don’t plan to breed her. Throughout her life, an unspayed Bulldog will experience various physical and behavioral changes. Being prepared for these changes during her heat cycle makes the journey easier for both of you. In this article, I will provide quick pointers on how often Bulldogs go into heat, how to recognize the signs, and how long the heat will last. Let’s delve deeper into each aspect of the heat cycle.
How often do English Bulldogs go into heat?
Typically, an English Bulldog will experience her first heat (also known as a season) at around six to eight months of age. After this, she will go into heat twice a year, typically every six months. Initially, her cycle may be sporadic, but after the first year or two, it should settle into a regular pattern. While most Bulldogs go into heat every six months, there may be occasional signs of heat between these cycles, although she will usually be infertile during these additional seasons. The fertility of a Bulldog starts to decline at around six years of age, and reproduction typically ceases altogether by the age of ten. Nevertheless, even if spayed, a female Bulldog will continue to exhibit signs of going into heat throughout her life.
How do you know when your English Bulldog is in heat?
There are several signs that indicate your English Bulldog is in heat:
- Swollen vulva.
- Bleeding from the vulva.
- Increased mounting behavior.
- Licking her genital region.
- Obvious nervous or agitated behavior.
- Increased urination.
The English Bulldog heat cycle length in detail
The reproductive cycle of dogs consists of four stages, each with its own physical and behavioral changes. Let’s discuss each stage in more detail:
1. The Proestrus stage
Proestrus is the initial stage of the reproductive cycle, lasting approximately nine days, but it can range up to twenty-seven days. During this stage, estrogen levels rise, and the eggs start to develop. Male dogs may express interest, although the female Bulldog won’t reciprocate. She may seem more anxious and keep her tail close to her body. Physical signs include a swollen vulva and a blood-tinged discharge. Diapers are often recommended for Bulldogs to avoid any messes.
2. The Estrus stage
The Estrus stage, also called the fertile window, lasts between four to twenty-four days, with an average of nine days for most dogs. Now, the female Bulldog becomes receptive to male dogs and may lift her tail to indicate availability. She emits pheromones that attract male dogs. It’s crucial to keep your Bulldog away from other dogs if you don’t intend to breed her to prevent any unwanted mating.
3. The Diestrus stage
The Diestrus stage lasts for about two months, during which the female Bulldog loses interest in male attention. Her vulva returns to normal, and there’s no discharge. Some Bulldogs may exhibit behaviors resembling pregnancy, such as restlessness, nesting, and increased attachment to toys. If you suspect pregnancy, consult your vet.
4. The Anestrus stage
The Anestrus stage is the final stage of the reproductive cycle, lasting approximately four months. There are no physical or behavioral changes during this period. The body prepares for the next heat season.
Can a spayed dog still go into heat?
Generally, no. Spaying involves removing the reproductive organs, including the ovaries and uterus. This eliminates the possibility of reproducing and usually stops the heat cycle. However, in rare cases, if a spayed dog exhibits signs of going into heat, it may indicate ovarian remnant syndrome. This occurs when some ovarian tissue is left behind during spaying, resulting in the remaining tissue producing estrogen and triggering heat cycles. Although it can be bothersome, it can be resolved through surgery.
Breeding English Bulldogs
Breeding English Bulldogs is challenging, time-consuming, and expensive. Due to the breed’s susceptibility to health issues, owners must be present throughout the pregnancy and delivery, ensuring the well-being of both mother and puppies. Most Bulldogs require a C-section for delivery, primarily due to their large heads and narrow pelvis. The cost of breeding, including veterinary visits and the C-section, can range from £1,000 to £6,000.
Why it’s essential to use C-section with English Bulldogs
Opting for a C-section instead of natural birth is crucial for English Bulldogs. Their breed characteristics, such as large heads and narrow pelvises, make natural delivery risky. The risks involved include difficulty passing puppies through the birth canal, overheating, stress, and the potential for puppy health complications, such as Anasarca (Bulldog Water Puppies). C-sections reduce stress for the mother and ensure safer delivery for both the mom and puppies.
How to prepare for your Bulldog being in heat
To prepare for your English Bulldog being in heat, follow these steps:
- Track her heat cycles: Mark the beginning of her cycle on your calendar and set a reminder for the next cycle, which usually occurs in six months.
- Buy dog diapers: Use specialized dog diapers to prevent blood spots and mess. Alternatively, you can use human baby diapers with a hole for the tail.
- Think about security: Bulldogs may try to escape or show aggression during their heat cycle. Ensure their environment is secure and avoid potentially risky situations.
In conclusion, understanding your English Bulldog’s heat cycle is crucial for their well-being and your convenience. By being prepared and implementing the necessary measures, you can navigate this aspect of your Bulldog’s life with ease.