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Maltipoo Heat


If you have a female Maltipoo and she is not spayed, this will mean having to understand all about the Maltipoo heat cycle (sometimes referred to as a dog going into season).

There are many myths about heat, spaying and all that is involved. Those who are thinking about bringing a female Maltipoo into their family or those who currently have a female Maltipoo, should know what to expect.

Heat is the term that is used to describe the time during a female dog's cycle reproduction cycle of menstruation. 

This cycle will be very different than a human female cycle and an owner should be informed about all of the aspects. Let’s take a look at what this all means…
female Maltipoo
Shanti, 5 months old
Photo courtesy of Alessandra
When Heat Begins for the Maltipoo

The average age that a Maltipoo has her first heat is 6 months old. However, this does vary. Some female dogs enter as early as 4 months and some enter as late as 15 months. If your Maltipoo is older than 15 months and you have not noticed that she has entered into heat yet, she must be brought to a reputable and experienced veterinarian as soon as possible. It is not an “emergency” in which you need to rush out of the house and bring her to an animal hospital on the day she turns 15 months old, however she most certainly will need a full and complete checkup to see why she has not entered this stage.
Signs of Heat

When a young female goes into season for the first couple of times, symptoms may be slight and the first few heats may be a bit erratic before her body falls into a rhythm.  

The typical signs of the heat cycle include:

• Her vulva will become swollen. You will usually be able to physically see this, it may also a turn a darker color than usual.

• A small amount of blood and other fluids will be discharged. When discharge begins, some mucus can also be mixed in, causing the substance to be a pinkish color as opposed to bright red. The amount of bleeding may be a lot less than one may expect; smaller breed dogs may have negligible amounts. However, if your Maltipoo is laying down in 1 area for a while, a stain may occur on the surface of what she is laying on, therefore, you will want to use methods of keeping your home clean during her heat (more on this ahead).

• A Maltipoo may shed a lot as the cycle is winding down. This is known as “blowing her coat”. Changing hormones can trigger quite a bit of hair to shed in a short amount of time. Do not worry, if this does happen, it will grow back in a couple of months.

•  Each time she urinates, a small amount of blood is deposited as well. This sends out a strong signal to any un-neutered males dogs within a 3 mile radius. You may notice that males are interested in her; stray male dogs may hang around your yard, and if a male does approach her, she may flag her tail (move it to one side) if she is receptive to mating.

• Possible behavioral changes.  Some females will have a change in behavior, either becoming a tad clingy or having the opposite mood swing of wanting to retreat during this time. Additionally, a female may have an urge to mate, which would make her prone to trying to run if there is an opportunity. For this reason, care must be taken to keep her securely on leash. Since all un-fixed males will be turning their attention on her, you'll want to limit her exposure in public places where there may be dogs such as parks and pet stores. Another possible sign is nesting behavior. She may want to be alone and arrange blankets and other soft items around her.
• Possible apposite changes - Some females may have a slight decrease or increase in appetite. This is not usually enough to cause any weight changes and feeding her a bit extra is just fine.
 Will My Dog be in Pain?

Studies suggest, from a dog’s behavior, that a female dog is aware of her cycle and may indeed feel some abdominal cramping or discomfort. This may cause her to 'nest' and retreat to a quiet area .Adding any extra comforts will be appreciated! If you normally give her good, strong cardio exercise time, allow her to take a rest from that. Walking her for exercise is alright, IF she wants to walk…However, it is VERY important to keep her safe from those male dogs that we spoke of (more on safety ahead).
How Long Heat Lasts

The active stage of heat when discharge occurs lasts from 2 to 4 weeks.  She will cycle every 5 to 7 months, so the average is twice per year.  Until you have your Maltipoo spayed, she may continue to have this for the rest of her life…Dogs do not usually have the canine equivalent of “menopause”, therefore a Maltipoo can enter heat even as a senior dog. 
girl Maltipoo
Elsa, 8 months old
Photo courtesy of Kari

All experienced veterinarians, breeders and clinical researchers are in agreement on this issue…Spaying your female Maltipoo will give her a better chance for a long and healthy life. Many veterinarians recommend having a female spayed even before she enters her first heat and studies show that the earlier this procedure is done, the more beneficial it is for the dog.

Spaying will eliminate the chances of developing ovarian cancer and it will greatly reduce the chances of developing mammary cancer. Once spayed, you will not need to worry about keeping male dogs away from her during the heat cycle. You will also spare her any discomfort she may feel during those times…And it will keep both her and your home clean.
Keeping Your Maltipoo and Your Home Clean

While it is true that smaller breed dogs do not bleed as much as larger breeds, you may wish to protect your home and keep your female Maltipoo clean by having her wear a doggie diaper. This is highly acceptable and is quickly growing very popular.  Even if there is negligible discharge, over the course of two or three weeks, this will accumulate on her bedding, the carpeting, furniture and any other surfaces that she rests, sits or sleeps on.  Do be sure to remove the diaper when she needs to go to the bathroom, as soiling in it will make quite a mess on the coat. 

If she balks at the idea of the diaper or otherwise does not tolerate it, it is suggested to line her bed and other favorite resting spots with small baby-sized blankets that can absorb the discharge and be washed in hot water afterward. 
Keeping Your Dog Safe

If you have not yet had your Maltipoo spayed and she is in heat, the number 1 important safety rule is to keep her inside during this time…And when she must go outside, you must keep an eye on her while having her on a very short leash. It is suggested to never underestimate the power of stray, un-neutered male dogs. These dogs will be able to smell your dog's cycle from as many as 3 miles away. 
When your Maltipoo urinates, blood will be mixed into this fluid and will leave the odor in your yard; even a trace amount that you don’t even see, will be enough to trigger a male dog's instinct. The strong urge that they feel will compel them to look for the dog that left that scent; it's like a calling card. 

Don't be surprised if you have a stray dog lurking around your home. When it is time to take her outside to the bathroom, you should open your door slowly and scan the area before bringing her outside. Then, as she is doing her business, keep your eye out.

If you see a dog approaching, bring her inside immediately.
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