How much blood is actually normal for a dog in heat?
If you have a female dog and she’s not spayed, chances are that you’ve asked yourself this question.
I know that I’ve certainly wondered about that since my Rottweiler Amalia is a heavy bleeder when she’s in heat.
Not only is it pretty inconvenient for you as an owner and your dog (many change their behavior during the heat), but there’s also an amount of blood that you probably think exceeds all reasonable limits.
I’ve researched quite a bit when it comes to blood loss during a female dog’s heat to find out how to deal with my dog’s heavy bleeding.
I’ve ultimately found a simple fix, more on that below.
While I couldn’t pin down any scientific studies in the wild on how much blood, down to the last drop, is within reason, there are ways with which you can compare your pooch with the average, healthy female dog.
How Much Blood Is Normal For a Dog in Heat
How much blood is normal in heat depends completely on your dog’s cycle but most dogs are somewhere between only dripping lightly when getting up and covering the whole floor with patches of bloody spots over the course of a day for over a week.
Usually, there’s nothing to be concerned about if your female dog seems to be a bleeder.
However, if you still wanna know if your dog is bleeding too much, there are some ways to tell.
Beware that since you have no way of knowing how much exactly accumulates here and there, it’s not an exact science and how long it goes on is also essential.
These are the signs that your dog’s bleeding in heat may not be normal:
- Prolonged bleeding for over 2 weeks
- Sudden, huge increase in blood loss
- Streaks of blood across furniture, floors, even visible outside
- Irregularities between heat cycles
- Lethargic or nervous behavior
- Vomiting due to licking too much blood
Dogs generally do not bleed heavily when in heat so if you are concerned, ask your vet and explain the situation in detail.
My dog is more the type for blood spots all over the floor but it’s just that, spots, not huge patches.
It’s totally normal for your dog to lose blood in heat when she’s getting up, especially if she was on the floor for more than a couple of minutes.
Blood on her bed (or better yet, a blanket washable at high temperatures) after a good night’s sleep is also nothing to worry about.
We’ll explore more what dog owners with heavy bleeders (as my Rottie probably is) should look out for.
My Female Dog Is Bleeding Heavy
If your female dog is bleeding heavily, you should check if the bleeding stops with the end of the heat cycle and if it’s prolonged or the bleeding is extreme, consult a vet due to the risk of ovarian cysts and pyometra.
Ovarian cysts and pyometra are pretty serious medical conditions and require quick action.
Heavy blood flow during your dog’s heat is not usual, but it’s definitely possible.
You should be concerned if the previous heat cycles were nearly bloodless and now it looks like a massacre happened in your home.
A quick chat with your vet should clear things up.
But one question, in particular, bugged me in the past.
Why is my dog bleeding heavily during her heat?
There’s no known specific reason why your dog is bleeding heavily compared to other dogs and it differs from individual to individual.
I’d love to tell you it’s about breed, age, diet, or whatnot but there’s no known number one determinant in whether or not your female dog bleeds heavily or not.
If you want to do some damage control, doggy diapers are probably the best way to go.
Also, a complete blood test might be money well spent to find out if your dog’s bleeding is actually related to something more serious.
A little side note: Spayed dogs don’t experience heat, so no bleeding at all should occur if that applies to your canine.
Can A Dog Bleed Longer Than 10 Days?
Yes, dogs can bleed longer than 10 days, each individual is different. Call your vet if the bloody discharge is not slowing down after 14 days.
I’ve tracked a couple of my dog’s heat cycles and would recommend you do the same.
Her bleeding usually lasts from 8-13 days starting with a progressively heavier flow and ending with lighter pink or watery discharge.
In the beginning and end stages of a female dog’s heat, they’re usually just dripping blood, but if your dog bleeds heavily for longer than 10 days, that may ring the alarm bells.
Do Dogs Bleed For 3 Weeks?
A dog in heat bleeding for 3 weeks or more is rare and after 2 weeks are over, you should consult a veterinarian to rule out medical issues.
Heat cycles are only around 14-21 days in total and dogs are not bleeding from start to end.
So your female dog may be bleeding too long if you’ve crossed that threshold.
Sometimes, what we think is still the dog’s blood is just some discharge and that may very well stretch up to two weeks if you count the time when the very light red blood starts already.
How Do You Know When A Dog Heat Is Over?
A dog’s heat is over as soon as all discharge ceases, the swelling goes back, and usually, your dog’s behavior will change slightly too (i.e. not seeking out male dogs, less panting, mammary glands not swollen).
Male dogs will be less antsy around your female but your dog is not safe yet.
Since the high time for pregnancy is over, you should still take precautions such as leashing your dog and supervising her with unneutered males (if you let them interact at all) for a solid buffer after the heat seems to have ended.
Did you know: Mounting without a tie can actually still result in a pregnancy.
My Dog Is In Heat And Keeps Licking Herself
It’s perfectly fine for your dog in heat to lick herself and it actually keeps her clean.
As mentioned above, it only becomes a problem if your dog is feeling sick or if she’s even vomiting due to the intake of too much blood.
Dogs usually clean themselves after lying down, getting up, peeing, sometimes a meal, or just a general grooming session.
If your dog neurotically goes back to the same spot again and again, it can actually make their rear end red and itchy.
Consulting a vet should be the first step to rule out medical conditions or something wrong physically (fungus, fleas, dry skin, etc.)
If your dog is bleeding a lot during her heat, try to introduce a doggy diaper as this will automatically prevent her from licking herself apart from the time between diaper changes.Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.