Mating the English Bulldogs at the Right Time in the Female’s Reproductive Cycle
Know your bulldog
Heat cycles can vary in duration and length between cycles. In general, you can expect your bitch to go into heat around once every six months and for the season to last roughly three weeks. However, you still need to know the ideal time to mate the bulldogs while she is in heat.
Recognize when she goes into heat
The initial portion of the bitch’s heat cycle is called proestrus. During this period, her vulva will appear swollen, and you will notice bloody vaginal discharge. However, she will not allow the stud to mate with her during this period so don’t try. Treat this simply as a signal to be ready to breed in the coming weeks.
- On average, this part of the heat cycle will last around nine days.
Test for ovulation
If you would prefer to identify when the female english bulldog ovulates more specifically, you can see your vet for a couple of different test options. These options include:
- Slide cytology – This is a painless procedure where the vet harvests a sample of cells form the bitch’s vulva, smears them onto a microscope slide, and examines them under the microscope. The sample is obtained simply by rolling a cotton bud over the mucous membrane of the vulva. A certain cell type will be more prevalent just prior to ovulation.
- Blood testing – The most common test looks at blood levels of the hormone progestogen. Testing starts about five days into the heat and once the blood levels reach 2.5 ng/ml, the bitch should be mated three days later (by which time the levels should be around 5 ng /ml when ovulation occurs). If necessary, repeat tests are run every two to three days to pick up this rise in hormone levels.
Mate the English bulldogs after the female finishes the proestrus portion of her cycle
The next part of the female’s heat cycle is called estrus. This is the ideal time to mate the dogs. The female dog will now return the attention of the stud and will often stand to be mated. If you rub the base of her tail she may hold the tail to one side and present her backside to you as if ready to be mated.
- Ovulation usually occurs within forty-eight hours of the bitch starting estrus. This ideal mating time can last anywhere from five to nine days.
Inseminate artificially if necessary
Due to their short legs and stout bodies, many English bulldogs have trouble mating naturally. If you’ve noticed that the stud has clear problems mounting the female, then ask your veterinarian about artificial insemination. The technique for artificial insemination requires the depositing of semen (taken directly from the dog) into the bitch’s vagina, past the cervix, and into the uterus by syringe.
- The correct temperature of the semen is vital, and there is no guarantee. Methods include fresh semen, cooled extended and frozen semen.
Diagnose the pregnancy
The average length of pregnancy is 65-67 days but can vary by as much as a week either way.You have different options for properly diagnosing the pregnancy starting several weeks after the hopeful conception. These options include:
- Ultrasound – Ultrasound exams can detect pregnancy from around day twenty-three. This involves clipping a little fur from the bitch’s belly and lubricating the area with water soluble gel. The vet places the probe against the belly and can often pick up the jellybean-like fluid swelling in the uterus that is the early pregnancy.
- Palpation – It is usually possible for a veterinarian to feel distinct lumps in the uterus representing individual embryos between days 28-35 of the pregnancy. Before and after that, it can be hard to identify a pregnant uterus easily.
- Blood testing – The levels of progesterone in a pregnant bitch will continue to rise instead of subsiding. Starting after twenty-eight days, a veterinarian can predict the difference Progesterone levels can be used to confirm pregnancy at or after day 28 after mating. If between pregnancy and residual levels of progesterone from the heat cycle.
- Radiography – If other options have proven inconclusive for any reason, then your vet can use an x-ray machine to verify pregnancy starting around day forty-five of the pregnancy.