Just like in people, there are many causes of pigmentation in the skin, many of which are nothing to worry about, but some can reflect a serious underlying disease. Should you worry about black patches on your dog’s skin? Many dogs will have naturally pigmented skin under their hair in certain areas and so if this has always been the case then it is likely nothing to worry about. New areas of pigmentations are best examined by a veterinarian and investigated in case something of concern is found.
Darker patches can be referred to as hyperpigmentation which is when your pet’s skin becomes darker in certain areas. Lichenification – the thickening of skin is also prevalent in dogs. These patches can appear anywhere on the body of a canine such as the back, tail, legs and so on. Whilst the skin changes themselves pose no risk, it is best to investigate the underlying cause of the irritation, which has often resulted in itching and scratching and therefore a reduction in your dog’s happiness and quality of life.
Common triggers include infestations with fleas or other parasites, food or environmental allergies, bacterial or fungal infections or, very commonly, a combination of these factors. Medicated shampoos can be of great help.
Incessant scratching, rubbing or licking can also cause hyper pigmentation. These may be due to underlying skin conditions as stated above. You may try these solutions to stop the itch. However, if it still continues, it is best to get it checked out.
New and growing areas of pigmentation are best examined by a veterinarian and most of the time your mind can be put at ease quickly. In some situations, the skin changes, as part of a bigger clinical picture, may suggest another disease such as an imbalance in your dogs naturally occurring hormones. If this is the case, further investigations and treatments can be discussed. Lastly, just as in people, some skin colour changes can represent a more sinister process, and in these scenarios taking a sample of the skin in the form of a skin biopsy is the best approach.
Yes! While age spots aren’t easy to spot, age stops may start appearing at places with little fur, typically on the belly, ears and nose. These spots form because of the accumulation of excess melanin in the skin over the years.
Due to their lack of hair covering their skin, hairless dogs such as the American Hairless Dog and the Chinese Crested Dog are more susceptible to dark spots on their bodies.
There may be several reasons why your dog’s skin is turning black but the best way to be sure is to pay a visit to your vet (check out perrovets)!