First of all, a small warning: if you're squeamish about dog heat cycles or any cycles (except for bicycles maybe) at all, I suggest you skip reading this post. It is however important, if your pet is a female dog, to know about these things.
I'm still learning myself.
Heat? When? Now?
Soon after I found out Aschiuta was a female dog, I started looking up information about heat cycles and spaying. That is how I found out that the first cycle usually happens when the dog is about 6 months old.
You see, when we first found her, we asked the vet how old she was and they answered "oh, about 3 months". Then came a lot of health issues and after they were all finally gone, we went to get her vaccinated.
I asked the vet again when the best time for spaying would be and he answered some time would have to pass after the shots. When I also asked for more information about the first heat cycle, he said the same thing I'd seen in the internet: "6 months". The interesting thing is that she was, to our knowledge, 6 months old. But the doctor decided to check again and, after he looked at her teeth, decided "this dog still has her baby teeth; she can't be older than 3-4 months". Wow, what a difference...
The vet we went to in Brasov during our first trip there also confirmed Aschiuta's "new age". Also, her teeth started changing.
Are we there yet?
Keeping in mind the "6 months old" rule, when Aschiuta reached that age, I started looking up heat symptoms on the internet again and also trying to determine whether she was in heat again. Since Aschiuta is a really friendly dog and because of the packs of strays around the parking lot, we didn't want to take any chances.
And there's also the story of Don Juan, also known as Dog Juan. He is the dog I mentioned in On the streets, the one that lives in front of the block next to ours. Well, his name comes from trying to get too friendly with Aschiuta, and that on a first date too... After we chased him off, he was so upset, he wouldn't notice Aschiuta for a while, but he didn't stay like that for long. Now they sniff and play nice when they meet.
Another funny thing Aschiuta does (which made me wonder if she might be getting in heat) is trying to hump our legs or the blanket. It's almost like a massage, but a pretty disturbing one. I still wonder why she does it.
|Yes, there is someone hiding in shame under there... Bad Aschiuta!|
Another fact that confused me was that maybe she was in heat, but we couldn't see any changes. The vet also said the first cycle might be like that. What if it had already passed? Were the dogs on the streets really that uninterested in her?
Yesterday, I managed to push a glass off the table and it shattered into a lot of shards on the floor. Scorp quickly kept Aschiuta from the glass bits, while I was cleaning them up. After a couple of hours, we see a bit of blood on the floor and on Aschiuta's hind leg. Thinking she got cut, I bring the vacuum cleaner for the second round of shard cleaning.
Another two red drops ended up on my sweater on the couch, but we thought it was from the paw. Needless to say, no more other blood that evening.
This morning though, I found a lot of red stains on the sheets, where Aschiuta had been sleeping. After a closer inspection, I realised that there had been no glass cut. Aschiuta was in heat.
After a quick bed and couch stain-proofing, I finally decided to make a little diaper for Aschiuta out of an unused pair of underwear and a pad tailored to her size... A hole in the back for a tail and poor Aschiuta has never been more humiliated. She first tried to bite it off, but has now resigned to napping with it on. We'll see how things go from here...
I'm wonder if she's also getting hormonal-induced mood changes. Maybe doggie PMS?