Some people worry when they see black spots developing on their dog’s nipples. The black spots, in most cases, have a natural explanation and are not cause for concern. Let’s look at the different things the black spots might be and what to do about them if your dog needs help solving it.
Why does my dog have black dots on her nipples?
Dogs have black dots on their nipples for a few different reasons. One reason is that the dog may have dirt or other debris on its paws and then licks its nipple, leaving behind a speck of dirt. Another possibility is that the dog has canine acne, which can be treated by bathing it more often.
The most common cause of black dots on dogs’ nipples is that a nursing dog licks their nipples clean after nursing puppies (licking milk from them). This habit will continue as long as the dog continues to nurse her pups; she will lick her nipple until it’s clean, but this leaves behind specks of dried milk or saliva around her nipple area that can collect dirt throughout the day.
Your dog may also have black spots on its nipples if its nipples are inverted. When this is the case, the recessed areas will accumulate extra body oils, sweat, dead skin, and other things. The accumulations of these things will appear dark brown or black. Because the areas are tiny and sunken during a bath, the bathwater does not necessarily dislodge the gunk in these recessed areas.
Why does my dog have blackheads surrounding their nipples?
Blackheads form on a dog’s skin for many of the same reasons they appear on human skin. Oil, dirt, bacteria, sweat, dead skin, and ingrown hair can stick in the skin’s pores, forming a dark brown or black sludge in the pore.
They usually disappear on their own or can disappear with more bathing. You should never try to pop these on a dog’s sensitive skin the way you might human skin. You should also never attempt to use any human blackhead skin-clearing strips or cleaning solutions on a dog as it can damage their skin and cause allergic reactions.
Can fleas cause black dots?
Yes. Fleas can cause black dots. Fleas leave behind tiny black spots that look like round pebbles of black dirt or miniature coffee grounds as their waste. If the black spots on the dog’s nipples are caused by flea waste, it will come right off with rubbing or a wet cloth.
If these are fleas, you’ll also notice the black specks grouped in bunches in other areas of the dog’s body, primarily where they might be itching more than average. Fleas like to congregate where dogs can’t quite reach, so be sure to check the scruff of the neck and under the collar down near the skin.
What to do about my dog’s black dots around her nipples?
If your dog has black dots around her nipples, keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t start swelling or turn red. If it doesn’t wash off and the nipple is not inverted, it should resolve in a few weeks. If the spot is much larger than a tiny spec and this is a new thing for your dog, make sure it’s not an unusual growth of dead skin. It could also be the breed or your dog turning older and just some of its skin turning darker due to age.
When should I see the vet about my dog’s black dots on her nipples?
If your dog is a female dog and she is nursing, you want to watch her nipples for signs of tears, cracks, and bleeding. Suppose the black dots become swollen, infected looking, or begin specifically leaking anything other than what looks like regular milk. In that case, you’ll want to contact the vet right away and explain your findings. These signs could indicate an infection.
If the black dots start exploding in number or spreading onto other skin, you also want to see the vet right away. It could indicate different things happening in the blood or with other chemicals in your dog’s body.
If your dog becomes listless, has a significant personality change, or stops eating and drinking with the appearance of black dots that have not disappeared on their own, then call the vet.
Typically, the black dots provide nothing to worry about, especially if your pup is acting like themselves. If the black dots are new and bother your dog or your dog is experiencing other symptoms as listed above, then touch bases with the vet.
What to do if my dog is licking or constantly biting at the black dots on their nipples?
If your dog is constantly paying negative attention to the black spots on their nipples, heed this behavior and assume something is wrong. Investigate to make sure it is not a tick or another biting bug like a no-see-um.
Ticks start as babies, the size of a pinhead or smaller at times, so don’t dismiss this. However, you must use a magnifying glass to get a better look before you begin an attempt at removal. Many vets get calls each year claiming their dogs have ticks that won’t come off their nipples, when, in fact, it turns out to be many of the things discussed in this article.
Please don’t try pulling your dog’s nipples off by mistake in an attempt to solve this issue! If you don’t feel confident investigating on your own, please make an appointment with your veterinarian.