When to Worry About Black Spot On Dogs’ Skin

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Introduction

There are many causes as to why there may be black spots on dogs’ skin. Although some of them are actually normal and no cause for concern, others are more serious and will need to be diagnosed and treated by your vet.

So how do you know when your dog needs treatment, check out this article to collect useful information to ensure your beloved pet's health is in good condition.

Rule of thumb is that if you are unsure of the cause; notice an increase of these black spots or even hair loss, that it is best to take your pooch to the doggy doctor. 

When to Worry About Black Spots on Dogs' Skin And Visit The Vet

If there are black spots on your dog’s skin and he/she has any of the following symptoms, please take him/her to the vet:

  • Your dog’s skin is irritated.
  • There is bleeding.
  • A lump extending beyond the surface of the skin.
  • Your dog is losing hair.
  • The bumps are filled with fluid.
  • Your dog’s skin is thick, scaly or crusty.

Common Causes of Black Spots on Dogs' Skin

The following is a short list of the most common reasons as to why there may be black spots on your dog’s skin. We will also look at the possible treatment options.

Fleas

If your dog is scratching a lot and there are little black spots on his/her skin that looks like specks of dirt, it is very likely that it’s caused by a flea infestation. Flea dirt is most prevalent on the tummy and around the tail. 

There are several ways in which you can get rid of fleas on your dog. These range from all natural remedies like an oatmeal bath to medicated shampoos, sprays and topical treatments. It will be necessary to treat your dog’s bedding, your furniture, your home and garden to get rid of these pests once and for all.

You can also purchase a flea collar or make one yourself as a preventative measure.

Check out our related article on treatments for dog fleas: The Best Flea Collar For Dogs

Ticks

Ticks are bloodsucking parasites that attach themselves to your dog. Although ticks come in many different colors, the dark gray or brown ones may appear black when engorged. A feeding tick will appear as a small pebble on your pooch as you will not see the legs or pinchers. Ticks usually latch onto your dog where there is not much hair.

You will need to remove the tick carefully from your dog. If you are using a pair of tweezers to remove the tick, do not twist or pull too hard as the head may become dislodged from the body and remain in your dog’s skin.

To prevent ticks, many broad-based treatments for fleas such as sprays and even collars will also deter ticks.

Allergies

Some allergies may cause black spots on your dog’s skin. This is often accompanied with a thickening of the skin like an elephant and is referred to as lichenification.

Your vet shall need to run some tests to determine what is causing the allergic reaction before prescribing treatment.

Yeast Infection

Yeat infection is another cause of black spots on dogs’ skin that looks like dirt and may be most prevalent around your dog’s private parts, belly and leg joints. This is when there is an abundance of the Malassezia Pachydermatis fungus which is naturally found on dogs in areas such as the groin, anus, ears, muzzle, and between the toes.

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Black spots caused by yeast infection are often found around your dog's private parts, belly and leg joints.

Bacterial infections, allergies or certain medications can cause this fungus to overproduce. Your dog will have a crusty or scaled skin, lose hair, smell bad, have a decreased appetite and be scratching a lot too.

Although there are shampoos, ointments and earcleaners that can be used to combat yeast infection, it is best to visit the doggy doctor who will be able to rule out any other underlying issues.

Hemorrhages

This usually occurs when your dog is bruised and there is bleeding below the skin. The discoloration of the skin should disappear over time but if it is still there in a few weeks, you will need to visit your vet as he/she may have vasculitis.

Hypothyroidism

Black spots on your dog’s skin can be caused by an underactive thyroid. The first symptom of this is hair loss on the tail, the back legs, and chest. Your dog’s coat will be less shiny and his/her skin may be flaky as well.

This is usually followed by black spots and then lethargy, weight gain, muscle loss, and infections in the ears and around the toes. Your vet will prescribe supplements and/or medications that will need to be administered to your dog on a daily basis.

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Look for signs like hair lost, flaky skin and less shiny coat when you see black spot on your dog as they indicate that your dog has Hypothyroidism.

Cushing' Syndrome

Also known as hyperadrenocorticism, this disease causes excessive hormonal production via the adrenal glands. Nine out of ten times this is due to a tumor in the pituitary gland which will need to be treated with medications, surgically removed or both.

Certain medicines that your dogs may be taking that include steroids could also be the root cause and you will need to discontinue the use of that product.

Other symptoms of Cushing’s Disease besides the black spots on dogs’ skins include lethargy, a distended belly, and a lackluster coat. Some dog breeds are prone to Alopecia X which has the same symptoms as Cushing’s.

When Black Spots On Your Dog's SKin are Normal

  • Dark spots or patches can be caused by friction and will appear under the legs or armpits.
  • The pigmentation of certain dogs may darken naturally as they age resulting in black spots.
  • Exposure to the sun will cause dark spots. Dogs with light coats may exhibit hyper-pigmentation which will cause black spots due to a melanin increase on the dog’s skin and nails much like freckles on humans.
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Black spots on dogs may just be due to the pigmentation as they age

Conclusion

Have you noticed black spots on your dog’s skin? We hope that this short summary of the main causes for this was able to help you and your pooch. If you have any questions or advice in this regards, please feel free to comment below. Remember that if you are in doubt, it is always best to visit the vet for a full diagnosis.

Sources

  1. http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/ss/slideshow-skin-problems-in-dogs
  2. http://www.askavetquestion.com/answer_np.php?id=2410-black-spots-on-belly-and-chest
  3. http://www.dogscatspets.org/dogs/dog-skin/black-spots-dogs-skin-itching-hair-loss-crusty-skin-causes-treatment/
  4. https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/allergic-verse-yeast-infection/
  5. https://herepup.com/black-spot-on-dog-skin/
  6. https://www.petfinder.com/dogs/dog-health/petside-dog-skin-patches/
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XohijS8B7uM
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