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Why does my dog have black spots on his skin?

asked 2017-03-20 14:17:16 -0500

What does it mean if my dog has dark skin patches or spots on his skin? It it an allergy or just a temporary development??

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answered 2017-03-20 16:22:54 -0500

It could be as simple as hyperpigmentation (especially if your pup is white like mine) or allergies. That being said, always consult a vet if your pup experiences:

  • Hair loss
    Severe itching/scratching
    Bleeding
    Crusty Fluid-filled bumps
    Lumps that extend beyond the surface of the skin
    Thickened and crusty/scaly skin
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answered 2017-03-20 15:38:52 -0500

Sometimes it's normal skin pigmentation. Other times, it could be inflammation from severe allergies (w/skin in that area is thick, itchy, and almost like elephant skin). If it seems to cause discomfort for your dog, have your vet check it out

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answered 2017-03-20 15:36:24 -0500

Whether appearing on the abdomen, tail, or the back of your dog, black spots on the fur and skin of your pooch are usually an indication of hyper-pigmentation. Hyper-pigmentation results from an increase in natural pigments referred to as melanin. Some dog breeds e.g. Maltese have higher tendency to show signs of hyper-pigmentation than others because of their characteristic white coats.  Hyper-pigmentation commonly affects the skin and fur but it can as well occur on the nails of your canine.

The black spots are in most cases harmless and not a cause for concern especially if they are not accompanied by signs of irritation and only affect the fur with no significant changes to the underlying skin. You should however be concerned and seek the help of a vet if the skin seems irritated or other symptoms appear including: Hair loss Severe itching/scratching Bleeding Crusty Fluid-filled bumps Lumps that extend beyond the surface of the skin Thickened and crusty/scaly skin What Causes The Black Spots? Exposure to the sun is the most common cause of black spots in dogs skin and fur. Ageing is also known to cause dark spots in canines (age spots). Friction can also cause dark patches in areas such as armpits and under the legs. Other than these rather normal causes, various skin conditions such as Acanthosis nigrans may as well be the underlying cause for black patches on the skin. We will discuss these in more details in subsequent sections. Skin Conditions that Cause Black Spots on Dogs Skin The following are some of the skin disorders and conditions that may be to blame for dark patches on your furry friend’s skin and fur: Cushing’s disease Otherwise known as hyperadrenocorticism or Cushing’s syndrome, Cushing’s disease is a condition whereby the adrenal glands go into overdrive in producing certain hormones. It is commonly caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland (which accounts for 85-90 percent of all cases), tumor in the adrenal gland, or overuse of certain medications, especially steroids. In addition to increased appetite, thirst (hence water consumption) and increased urination, Cushing’s syndrome also causes lethargy in the dogs and unhealthy-looking fur. It also typically causes distended abdomen (pot-bellied appearance) and dark spots on the skin among other symptoms. The appropriate treatment for Cushing’s disease varies depending on the underlying cause, that is, whether it is attributed to pituitary gland, adrenal gland or use of certain medications. Your vet will determine whether to use medications such as trilostane, mitotane, and selegiline hydrochloride, or to perform surgery to the affected gland. Discontinuation of the offending steroid may also be necessary.

Hypothyroidism can also cause black spots in dogs skin. This is a metabolic disorder in which the thyroid glands become underactive and thus doesn’t secrete adequate amounts of thyroid hormone. As a result, your pooch’s metabolism proceeds at slower than normal pace.

Although hypothyroidism affects all dog breeds, some breeds have higher propensity to ... (more)

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