If you have an unspayed Bernese Mountain dog girl it’s good to learn heat cycle symptoms.
The most common symptoms of the heat cycle in Bernese Mountain dogs are swollen vulva, bloody discharge, excessive urination, but also some behavioral changes. Bernie may become nervous, moody, and clingy. Appetite changes are also common.
Bernese Mountain Dog Heat Cycle Symptoms
Fortunately, the heat cycle has some very visible signs so you don’t need much effort to spot them.
Every Bernie dog goes through 3 main stages – Proestrus, Estrus, and Diestrus.
Proestrus is the initial phase of the heat cycle. Swollen vulva and bloody discharge are the most prominent symptoms. Excessive licking of the genital area but also excessive urination are also something that happens often during this period.
Your Bernie is not in the mood to hang out with boys, even though her body started to attract them. She may show signs of aggressive behavior toward males.
In this phase, your dog may become a bit skittish, nervous, or develop clingy behavior. She may have a reduced appetite and a lack of energy.
The Estrus phase is the most dangerous period, especially if you don’t want to breed your dog. This is the time when your Bernie girl becomes receptive to males, her bloody discharge almost disappears ( becomes pale in color and very thin). Once it becomes watery it means that your Bernie is in her most fertile phase.
In this period you may notice ”flagging” behavior, your Bernie girl moves her tail to a side, making herself available to boys.
Note that the Estrus phase is a loud period. Your dog might be howling or crying. You shouldn’t worry about this, she is not in pain or anything. This whole noise serves to call the males from the vicinity and inform them that there is one female ready to breed.
During this phase, your Bernie may become more needy, seeking more of your attention. She may insist on playing with one particular toy, hiding it all the time. This behavior is completely normal and it will go away in 7-10 days, no worries.
Diestrus is the third phase of the heat cycle. Things slowly get back to normal. Your Bernie’s vulva is not swollen anymore, there is no discharge, and she returns to her usual self.
Silent Heat And Absent Heat In Bernese Mountain Dog
Silent heat can happen to your Bernie. It’s not that common though but there are some autoimmune diseases that can interfere with the heat cycle. During silent heat, your dog ovulates, but typical signs are missing, and cannot be observed by humans. But be aware that silent heat is still heat and your Bernie may breed. If you notice that male dogs are super interested in your Bernie girl and that even she is receptive and submissive then she might be in silent heat.
Don’t mix Silent heat with Absent heat. Absent heat means that your dog doesn’t come into heat at all when it should. Different reproductive diseases can be the cause of Absent heat. This kind of heat abnormality is more characteristic for young females that still have irregular cycles but also for senior Bernies that used to have regular heat cycles which suddenly changed.
Your Bernie may skip the heat cycle due to some medicine, especially if they are hormonal therapy. Poor diet may also trigger missed heat in dogs.