Chihuahua Heat Cycle
Female chihuahuas’ sexual reproductive organs do not fully develop until they are approximately 6 months old. However, periods may begin as early as 3 months and as late as eighteen months. These cycles occur every six to nine months (also known as “periods” which for humans occur every 28-35 days). Peteducation.com explains that the four stages of the female heat cycle consists of (1) Proestrus (2) Estrus (3) Diestrus and (4) Anestrus.
During the stage of Proestrus, females typically do not engage in sexual intercourse. Her vagina becomes swollen (often her nipples become swollen as well). This stage lasts approximately four to eleven days. There is bloody discharge from the female’s vagina which often attracts males, but she will typically not respond sexually to the male.
During Estrus the female bleeds only slightly from the vagina and this stage only occurs for five to nine days. This is when conception CAN occur so if you are trying to help your Chi conceive, this is a critical time for you to find a male for her to engage with. During Estrus the female will be very receptive to male attention and will engage in sexual intercourse. If all goes well, the zygote will begin to mature.
Diestrus is a stage between when a female is no longer desires to engage sexually with males until the time of her pregnancy. If your chi was not able to conceive, she will still go through Diestrus (unfortunately). This stage lasts approximately 80 days.
Anestrus is the time period between heat cycles where your chi will have no physical signs of sexual reproduction capabilities (no bleeding, discharge, or nipple enlargement). This stage varies depending on how long other stages last.
A chihuahua’s pregnancy will last approximately 63 days. It is important to not only be sensitive during your chi’s pregnancy, but to take her monthly to her vet in order to make sure that her pregnancy is going well. With such small dogs, there are often complications. You also want to talk to your vet about c-sections as well as future possible emergency check-ups. You will be able to tell approximately 4-5 weeks after the intercourse with the male chihuahua that your chi has conceived if she has a clear mucous vaginal discharge as well as nipple swelling. You should also visit your vet for an ultrasound in order to insure normal heartbeats of your chi and her pups. A blood test is also available at your vet’s office. Make sure that your chihuahua continues to exercise what should normally would if she were not pregnant and be sure to feed her premium adult dog food and a supplement for pregnant dogs (be careful not to over supplement). During the last few weeks of her pregnancy she will begin lactating in order to prepare for the feeding of her pups. She will eat quite a bit more food than she normally does (3-5 times more than usual) so be aware of diet changes. Make sure that you set-up a comfortable (and private) place for her where she knows that she can give birth. Otherwise she may find a private place of her own such as behind the couch or in your closet! Good luck and let me know any questions you have!