Akshay Kumar’s movie Padman triggered a debate and discussion on menstruation. Let’s now talk about menstruation in pets, calls estrus, as this topic has also been long shrouded in much unnecessary awkwardness.
Cats and dogs alike go through an estrus cycle, in a manner that is much different from humans. What is normal for humans and dogs, might be an aberration for cats. Cats go through estrus that does not involve bleeding. Pet parents should not ignore if it bleeds. It is most likely a sign of possible miscarriage, and must be rushed to a vet.
Heat cycle in dogs
Heat cycle in dogs is also much different from that of humans, though bleeding in involved. It occurs twice a year, and in four phases. Female dogs need much care during all the phases, but the toughest are the first two.
In the first two phases of proestrus and estrus, they might bleed and have to be confined to an area which can be cleaned easily. Both these phases last for around two to three weeks. Most pet owners who might not want to ‘punish’ them, allow them to get on the furniture with a thick towel. The third phase are called diestrus which lasts for a month-and-a-half is also a false pregnancy phase. The fourth phase is called anestrus which is typically the resting phase before another heat cycle kicks off.
The call of love
Bleeding isn’t the worst part of the complicated canine heat cycle. Some dogs experience hormonal changes like mood swings and irritability, while others become extra loving and attempt to attract male attention. A lot of their acts that include standing and sitting in mating positions or going close to making unnecessary noises. Female dogs pass out very strong pheromones in urine while in heat, which attracts male dogs from the street or the next. In some cases, male dogs located miles away can sense when a female dog is in heat. All the attention results in scores of male dogs chasing your female pet, or come pawing, so it’s advisable to keep your treasured pet indoors.
Beware of a cat in Heat
Cats are known to turn aggressive, restless and loud during heat. All a Queen cat (unspayed cat) wants is to mate during these periods. When its wishes are not fulfilled, you might have to put up with its pesky hostile behaviour. Get ready to listen to loud mating calls or invest in a good noiseless headset. Also get ready to clean up a lot more as cats tend to spray urine when in heat!!
Should we spay them?
Vets recommend that female pets adopted in homes to be spayed. It can save them from pain and aggression experienced during the heat cycle, it can also reduce the risk of cancers be it uterine cancer, breast cancer or ovarian cancers which are becoming common.
Pads for dogs?
A few smart dog owners have also hit upon the idea of dog panties or diapers. Enterprising pet parents prepare home-made diapers at home, however many options for pet diapers designed for female dogs in heat, exist in the market. It allows parents to ensure that their pet moves around the house as usual.
We are a bunch of hardcore news junkies who also happen to be pet parents. Our world revolves around our kids and that’s how we know!