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Is my dog in heat?

Species: Dog
Breed: border collie
Age: 2-5 years
my dog was really sick and she wouldnt eat. then after a few days she got better and started eating but shes gone all crazy. for about 5 days she was barking, whining and panting all the time and now she keeps digging,barking,whining and she wont do what she is told. she used to be really good she only barked when someone walked past and she never really dig. I have actually been walking her more so she isn't as bored and giving her lots of attention but shes still acting like this and its been about 2 weeks. Is it because she is in season or she is intimidated by something? and could you tell me when she goes in season?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question. Sorry to hear that Ruby is acting strangely.

These behaviors could be because she is in heat. Here are some signs that a dog is in heat:

  • Swollen vulva: The vulva is underneath the anus. It is usually quite obvious if it is swollen.

  • Discharge from the vulva: At first the discharge is straw colored and liquid, but after a few days it changes to blood.



Dogs in heat will often have strange behaviors. They can be anxious or sometimes more aggressive than usual. There really isn't much you can do to stop this behavior other than wait until she is out of heat which will take about 3 weeks. I would highly advise having her spayed soon. The reason for this is that there are a number of health conditions that she can get if she is not spayed such as an infection in the uterus called pyometra or cancers in the reproductive tract.

It is also possible that she has some pain or discomfort somewhere. Some dogs will act really strange or anxious when their anal glands are full. These glands sit on either side of the anus and can fill up with debris. It is best to have your vet empty them.

Back pain can be another possibility.

It sounds like a good idea to have your vet take a look at her and do a good physical exam.

Hope all is well!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.