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Discussion Starter #21
Okay it’s really her first heat now! Diaper is on!! I was wondering how often I should bathe her? Is twice a day like human women do excessive? Please let me know what’s an appropriate amount. Thank you
 

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Congratulations, Willow!

We didn't bathe Peggy until the end of her heat. We just gave her ample no-diaper time to keep herself clean.

I've read there's risk of introducing bacteria to the uterus when the cervix is open, which could cause life-threatening pyometra. There's no clear consensus on this, but I'd personally steer clear of baths full of water until she's no longer fertile. Maybe just a gentle wipe with a clean, moistened cloth if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Thank you Peggys mom! When I said bath I meant shower. I’ve never submerged her in water. I don’t know if I’m imagining it but she seems like a different dog. She’s super aloof normally. She always sits across the room, and never wants affection of any kind. The only thing that usually gets her attention is food. She keeps looking at me and sitting by me. I love it! I hope this sticks!
 

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Well, the false alarm a month ago meant you were fully prepared, which is very useful! I don't bath mine during heat - perhaps a gentle wipe with a clean damp cloth if she is not managing to keep herself clean, but otherwise let her get on with it. You may find she needs to pee more often than usual - Sophy certainly does. And yes, the cuddling is a definite bonus!
 
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Discussion Starter #26
She’s soooooo cuddly. She’s been laying around almost the entire day. I don’t even know who this dog is. I hope she stays like this. Her flow is a little heavy for her to keep up with so I’m going to have to spray her down soon if this keeps up. Should I be giving her extra food or something? I feel like she’s earned something special. Any thoughts?
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I wouldn't unless you intend to continue feeding her special stuff forever! Just snuggle her, keep tabs on the date, and tell her how good she is being. Sophy always has a couple of days of feeling slightly nauseous in the mornings three weeks after her peak fertility date (typically around day 9), and routinely has a pseudopregnancy to some extent, and it is useful to be able track back and check the dates. I would wipe rather than spray, to avoid any risk of water in the vagina.
 
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Discussion Starter #28
Okay fjm I’m so confused now. They think they are pregnant? What are signs of that? I hope I’m doing ok for her.
 

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A dog's hormonal cycle is not like ours - the body responds as if it is pregnant whether or not she has mated. In some (possibly the majority) of female dogs this can mean they show many of the signs of pregnancy, up to and including lactation, and may even build a nest and gather toys or other objects together to mother them around the time they would have given birth, about 9 weeks after the fertile days. It is something to be aware of rather than to worry about - it is most unlikely to need veterinary treatment and the best thing is to just keep everything as normal as possible.
 

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Peggy had days she wanted to eat a ton and days when she hardly ate at all. I tend to let her lead when it comes to serving sizes and frequency, but that's because she's shown she can self-regulate. If she wants more, she gets more.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Hi again. Willows a week into it. She’s been sleeping all day long. She finds pillows and drapes her body on them. I’ve never had her want to sleep. As a puppy she never napped. I feel awful. I can tell she’s in pain and doesn’t feel good. Getting her to eat is a challenge but I know she will eat when she’s hungry. Her nose has been running. Anyone know what’s going on with that? I hope this doesn’t last too much longer. I want her to feel better. How long have your dogs heat lasted?
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Poor Willow. :( I've never heard of a runny nose being linked to a heat cycle. Are you using any new cleaning products, on or around her? Or could she be having a reaction to absorbent materials in her diaper? Or maybe it's just really hot where you are or pollen is high?

Peggy never seemed to be in pain, although her appetite was even less consistent than usual.

I'm going to go check the notes I kept to see if there's anything in there that might be helpful to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
It would make the most sense that it’s pollen. I live in California and everything is blooming like crazy right now. She’s like my little baby now. She’s literally my second child. I love her.
 

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Aw. She is such a beautiful girl. I'm happy she has such a loving human in her life. :)

Here's the timeline of Peggy's first heat:

02/11 - Heat started that morning with drips of red blood. Generally just very chill and cuddly, but also extremely protective of house. Started hysterically barking at delivery people who dared to step on porch (a behaviour which has not gone away...but neither has the cuddling).

02/19 - Vulva swelled.

02/21 - Cried in crate in the morning for the first time ever. Luckily this was a one-time thing. It's possible she just really had to pee, as frequent urination is common during heat.

02/22 - Vomited in car, which she'd never done before. That evening, the blood changed to clear discharge.

02/25 - May have started leaking urine at night. Tail wet and smelly each morning for the next week or so.

02/26 - Watery discharge turned straw-coloured.

03/01 - Irritated and biting at back end.

03/02 - Almost no discharge.

03/08 - Vulva still swollen but no more sign of heat-related discharge. Very restless. Considered heat to be OVER.

03/27 - Thick stringy discharge while urinating. Vet had us rush her in for an exam, in case of pyometra, but no other symptoms. Never found out what caused that.
 

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If she is very lethargic and has unusual symptoms I would check with your vet. Just because she is in season does not mean she can't catch a bug. Pain is not a normal part of a heat cycle - I have never read anything to indicate dogs suffer from menstrual cramps. Or could it be the heat affecting her.

Are you sure she is not picking up on your stress? If you are anxious, and babying her or worrying about her eating, she may well become stressed herself. I would try the effect of some silliness and cheerfulness - get on the floor and play bow to her, play a favourite bouncy game, put her favourite meal in a bowl and leave her to it. And if none of that cheers her up talk to your vet, if only for reassurance to reduce your own anxiety.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Thanks for the timeline Peggy mom! That’s really going to be helpful. I hope we are on a similar schedule to that. I really miss going for walks. :(
Fjm you were right about my energy. She’s not lethargic but she’s not herself. Before she was in heat she would never just sit and chill unless I forced her too. She would be constantly sniffing around the entire house and yard like a hundred times a day. She’s always exploring and looking for things to put in her mouth. Now she is just laying around unless she hears someone go by then she runs out and barks or if she sees a bird she will run and bark at it.

I took your advice and tried playing with her and she wanted to play! She is just not a crazy maniac puppy. She is much gentler.
She’s not acting like she’s in pain it was just my assumption because of her abnormal behavior. It’s like I have a different dog.

i just wanted to add that she figured out how to keep herself clean! I’ve been keeping the diaper off besides at night.
Thanks you guys for being supportive during this new time for us.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
So my daughter let Willow out to go potty and didn’t take her diaper off!! She pooped and peed her diaper!!!! No wash cloth was going to get her clean. I had to give her a shower. I tried not to get it in her. Ugh this can not be over soon enough!!?
 

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I forgot to take Peggy's diaper off once. :) Luckily it was just a pee, but I felt so bad.

You'll get into the groove soon, and this'll be over before you (and Willow!) know it. Deep breaths.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Oh my goodness, already? I guess it has been six months. Willow has been okay. She’s been pretty tired. I couldn’t staying home anymore and left her with my parents yesterday so I could go to the beach. I wish I recorded the phone call of them yelling about if she peed her diaper.
Yesterday was the first day she wasn’t all clingy and cuddly. I was thinking maybe she was mad at me for leaving her home while I went to the beach.
Her flow is super low which is nice. Do you plan on having Peggy spayed? It’s so confusing because there’s so many opinions. Willows vet wants her spayed after her first heat because it brings down her chance of breast cancer by 50%. It’s so hard to know what to do because there’s pros and cons to everything.
I hope you and Peggy will do okay the next few weeks!
 
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