Some dogs love nothing more than to roll over and bare their bellies to enjoy a good old belly rub. But have you ever noticed flat, little, black spots on your pooch’s skin, close to their privates?
These black spots that appear near your pooch’s privates can be a sign of a yeast infection, flea dirt, hyperpigmentation, or melanoma.
Let’s take a look at why these spots appear, if they are cause for concern, and how you can treat them.
Why Does My Male Dog Have Black Spots Near His Privates?
When a male dog sits or lies down, the prepuce touches the ground and can easily come into contact with irritants, allergens, and fleas or other insects that bite. This can cause various conditions like a yeast infection or flea dirt that resemble black spots or pieces of dirt.
In more detail, here are a few reasons why male dogs develop black spots near their privates:
Reason 1: Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation (acanthosis nigricans) is a darkening of the skin. It appears as a light-brownish black area that has a rough texture. This is usually present around your male pooch’s legs and private parts.
Hyperpigmentation can be a primary or secondary condition. Secondary hyperpigmentation is quite common and occurs in any breed of dog, but it’s most commonly present in dogs that are prone to allergies, skin infections, obesity, and hormonal abnormalities (like shar-peis and bulldogs).
Primary hyperpigmentation is a cosmetic condition in some dogs and does not require treatment. Dachshunds are very likely to experience hyperpigmentation and may need to be taken to the vet if the condition becomes troublesome.
Reason 2: Yeast Infection
Male dogs develop yeast infections (also known as Malassezia dermatitis) because of allergic reactions to substances in their environment, fleas, and certain food. Some breeds of dogs are more susceptible to yeast infections (like the American cocker spaniel and Maltese).
Yeast is a spore-producing fungus that occurs naturally on your dog’s skin. Excessive yeast growth can make your dog uncomfortable.
Here are a few symptoms of yeast infection in your male pooch:
- Sores that appear on the skin
- A musty odor
- Flaky skin
- Gray-black spots that appear on the skin (appear similar to freckles)
- Hair loss in the affected area
Reason 3: Flea Dirt
If your pooch has fleas, you will find collections of pepper-like flakes of dried blood and droppings around the privates and hind legs of your pooch. Fleas can be seen crawling across your dog’s skin, resulting in excessive scratching and further irritation of their skin.
Reason 4: Melanomas
Melanomas in dogs are raised, pigmented masses (dark spots) that appear on your dog’s skin. They mostly occur in areas where the hair is the thinnest on your pooch (their privates, belly, face, and ears) because of the increased exposure to the sun.
Melanomas may bleed as they increase in size, and they spread relatively fast. Cutaneous (skin) melanomas are often benign and aren’t cause for concern. The malignant forms of melanoma are more commonly found near the anal regions in male dogs.
Why Does My Female Dog Have Black Spots Near Her Privates?
The outer area of a female dog’s labia is covered with a small amount of hair. When your female pooch sits down, her vulva (which has extra skin folds) touches the ground and comes into contact with various irritants, allergens, and insects that bite. These irritants get caught in the hair and folds of skin, causing various conditions like hyperpigmentation, melanomas, and hypoplastic vulva, which appear as black spots near her privates.
Here are a few reasons why female dogs develop black spots near their privates:
Reason 1: Melanomas
Malignant forms of melanoma tend to occur in areas such as the vulva and anal regions. These raised, rough, and darkened spots can spread quickly and should be monitored.
Like with a male dog, cutaneous melanomas aren’t something you should be worried about.
Reason 2: Hypoplastic Vulva
The vulva has extra skin folds that can collect urine, dirt, and bodily fluids. This is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria as there is very little exposure to sunlight. Plus, the skin folds create a warm environment for bacteria to thrive.
The debris and infection appear as small red and black spots on and around your female dog’s privates. This can cause urinary and vaginal infections if the bacteria spreads.
Reason 3: Heat Cycle
When your pooch is on her heat cycle (1 to 3 times a year), a bloody discharge is present. This discharge, as well as other fluids like saliva, eventually dries, and can cause discoloration and spots around the private area.
Reason 4: Flea Dirt
Like with a male dog, your female doggo can also have fleas. Look for the telltale flea poop and tiny dried drops of blood to know for sure the black spots on your dog’s private areas are because of a flea infestation.
Reason 5: Hyperpigmentation
Similar to a male dog, your female doggo can also develop hyperpigmentation. This condition presents as a darkening of the skin and has a light-brownish black area that has a rough texture.
Make sure to distinguish if your female pooch has primary or secondary hyperpigmentation. If the condition becomes troublesome, you’ll need to take your pooch to the vet.
What to Do About My Dog Having Black Spots Around Their Privates?
What you do when your dog has black spots around its privates depends on the cause of the spots and the symptoms. If you are unsure about whether the cause is serious or not, rather take your dog to the vet to get checked out (and so you can have peace of mind). No matter the cause, it will take time for your pooch’s skin to return to its normal color.
Primary hyperpigmentation will not require treatment as it is often cosmetic.
Causes such as secondary hyperpigmentation, yeast infections, flea dirt, and melanoma will need the underlying condition to be treated first before the skin will return to normal:
- Fleas can be removed with medicated shampoo and topical ointment.
- Yeast infections will need antifungal medications, which can be administered orally or topically.
- Melanomas require surgical removal.
When to See a Vet About a Dog Having Black Spots Around Their Privates
When it comes to the well-being of your furry friend, it’s always best to see the vet as soon as possible so they can determine the exact cause of any black spots found near your dog’s privates.
Black spots found on the skin around your dog’s privates can be worrying. If you notice any spots developing and your pooch seems distressed or uncomfortable, you should consult your vet and begin treatment early.
Most black spots around your dog’s privates are usually due to hyperpigmentation, flea dirt, and yeast infection. However, it can be a more serious underlying condition such as malignant melanoma.