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Why is my Dog’s Skin Turning Black (on Belly, Legs, Groin)

Dog skin turning to black can be worrying and as a pet parent you will have to seek help from a veterinarian. Various examination will be carried out on your pet for a proper diagnosis to be performed.

Sometimes black spots on dog skin and dark patches are normal to happen in friction areas such as under legs, belly and armpits. Pigmentation in aging dogs sometimes can lead to darkening of some areas of the skin.

Two major contagious conditions of hyper-pigmentation that can result to a canine’s skin turning to black include the following:-

  1. Primary hyper-pigmentation
  2. Secondary hyper-pigmentation

Primary Hyper-pigmentation

This is a condition that makes affected skin to appear brown and eventually turns to black. It makes the affected place rough and very thick. It affects areas that are hairless such as groin and leg area. This condition is common in breeds i.e. dachshunds, it also affects puppies that are about one year of age.

After a certain period of time the affected area will turn to red to indicate presence of this infection. If not well taken care of as realized it will lead to excessive hair loose around area that has been infected.

Darkening process will also proceed to various areas on its body though there will be no itchiness experienced. This condition is irreversible and therefore your pet can be offered a treatment known as symptomatic. This will help in soothing its infected area and providing relief to infected area to avoid excessive scratching.

Secondary hyper-pigmentation

It is a condition that is triggered as a result of inflammation of the skin. Skin that is inflamed will have characteristics such as bad odor, hair lose, skin thickness and pain is experienced with continuous scratching.

Secondary hyperpigmentation comes about when a dog has been affected with parasites, skin infections, contact dermatitis, hormonal abnormalities and obesity.

Consult your vet for treatment to be carried out if you are in a position to note causes that are leading to your dog skin turning black suddenly. Below are various causes that leads to dog’s skin turning to black?

Why your Dog’s Skin is Darkening

Main reasons for dogs skin changing color to black include the following:

1.      Allergic Reaction

Just like human beings, dogs too are affected with allergies such as pollen and grains. When its body reacts to this reactants allergic rashes will eventually develop. It will keep on scratching an area that is infected due to continuous scratching the place turns to red and scabs develops.

Take it to your vet for identification of the exact allergen that might be causing this type of skin reaction. It will be helpful because allergen will be gotten rid of with immediate effect to prevent spread of skin darkening on its skin. Foods such as hypoallergenic food will be provided after a test of allergies has been carried out.

Allergic reaction makes a dog to feel more uncomfortable due to irritation of the infected area. It keeps on scratching and leaking affected area just to ease the irritation leading to dog skin turning black at that spot. If this condition is not taken care of scabs that are formed will break into blotches due to a continuous leakage that is performed with your pet while trying to cool the place.

2.      Licking

Most dogs perform their activities on a daily basis using their tongues. But some of them take things to far by leaking their paws and bellies constantly. This action is not safe at all because it leads to irritation of its skin and therefore the hair will fall off leading to a red and darken skin.

It can cause dog skin turning black due to sore development from continuous licking which is known as lick granular.

Areas that have been affected will feel very painful to your pet. In other cases, continuous licking sometimes indicates presence of an allergic reaction and any kind of a developing skin condition.

Even if darkening of its skin is caused due to licking, consult your vet to be sure that it is not suffering from any kind of skin infection. Your vet will also tell on what can discourage continuous liking.

3.      Skin infection

Some infection on the skin can lead to sudden dog skin turning black. This is a condition that is contagious in that it spread from one pet to another. It symptoms leads to scratching, reddening and eventually darkening affected area.

If this condition worsen you will notice that affected area will get out a discharge that consist of bad odor. A skin that is crusty will also be formed on the infected area.

Your vet will carry on diagnosis to determine which skin infection your pet is suffering from. If its yeast infection anti fungus medicine that will aid in killing away fungus bacteria are recommended.

Even after treatment has been carried hyperpigmentation mark will remain on the area that has been infected.

4.      Bruising

Accidents such as cut, bruise or scrape affects a dog’s skin condition. This happens since cells that are surrounding infected areas get affected and therefore they cannot function properly even after healing is complete.

Cells that have experienced certain form of damage, will have a structural alteration changes in its body thus causing excessive production of melanin. A dark skin will be formed on parts that have already been injured.


Dog skin turning black and loosing hair is common among old dogs. A young puppy will always have a nice look. When it comes to both its hair and coat it looks shinny and very smooth. Its skin color will remain with a good texture for long period of time but when it starts to grow older its skin can turn to color black.

This might also be due to  too much exposure to sunlight during its hurting time.in other cases weather environment might not be conducive to its skin hence leading to its skin darkening.

Quoted from pethealthnetwork, “I’m sure you’ve known dogs that go gray as they get older – especially on their faces. According to the Veterinary Internal Medicine textbook, such age-associated graying is a result of decreasing numbers of melanocytes and occurs most frequently in German ShepherdsLabradorsGolden Retrievers and Irish Setters.”

5.      Hypothyroidism

This is a kind of condition if not treated on time it causes a harm to your pup. It results when a dog’s thyroxin is unable to produce thyroxine hormone. In this situation the lesser thyroids produced are unable to meet its body functions and this causes a lower metabolism.

It’s dangerous to the skin and this affects its coat too. Some parts of affected animal body will turn to black. If this condition is not taken care off immediately it can cause the whole of its body turn to dark.

Your furry friend will develop patches that makes it look quite different from its normal occurrence. Symptoms such as flaky skin, loose of hair i.e. on its legs, tail and its trunk. Make a trip to your vet to prevent occurrence of black patches that develop after the area has been infected.

Why is a Dog’s Skin Turning Black and Loosing Hair

When a dog’s skin turns to black and at the same time it is losing hair, this is caused by a condition known as alopecia. It causes loose of hair completely or partially, it can further affect its endocrine, lymphatic and immune system of a pet.

Alopecia affects all types of breeds and at any age, it can affect outer hair before it affects the undercoat. However, breeds that are affected mostly are husky, Pomeranian, Elkhound, chow and Alaskan malamute.

This condition is extremely noticeable, hair loose can be seen through bald circles and places that have been affected will look dark and crusty.

Since hair falls in a symmetrical process, it affects the entire body of your pet therefore its paws and head are parts that will have remains of hair.

This condition does not cause any form of itchiness to a pet’s body, it is known to interfere with the aesthetic being of the dog.

Reason for Dog Skin Turning Black Itching

If you are a dog owner and you notice that your furry friend seems uncomfortable seek medical consultation. If its skin is turning to black and itchy at the same time this can be a related condition of atopic dermatitis.

Hair loose in dogs can also be caused when it’s being affected with fleas. When it keeps on scratching itself to ease itself from itchiness excessive hair is lost and parts that are affected turn to black.

Pets have different characteristics some of them are very allergic to different kinds of reactions. When irritants come into contact with its body irritation and itchiness will be experienced and continuous scratching of the place will lead to loose of hair. If an action is not taken care of immediately infected area will turn into dark color.

Recovery from Dogs Skin Turning Black

Dealing with skin discoloration in dogs becomes quite challenging. This fact comes about since various causes’ leads to its skin turning to black and therefore you cannot base on one condition during treatment process.

Even after the vet has already carried out his treatment, infected area will heal after certain period though hair will not grow back into its normal way as it was before being affected. Part that are dark will clear up on its own after a certain duration of time, its skin color will not grow back into its natural being.

Dog’s skin turning to black do not affects overall health. It’s quite disgusting to see it loose hair in excess and having a hyper pigmented skin. If you notice its body turning to black speak to your veteran on how treatment can be carried out.

Diagnosis will be carried out to identify the exact cause of its skin turning to black. Since there are various factors that leads this infection treatment cannot be carried out before identification is done.

In case you are provided with any prescriptions ensure that you follow them properly to relieve your furry from any source of discomfort. Perform the following activities to ensure that its skin recovers and is not affected again with such kind of conditions.

Using lukewarm water that contains oatmeal and tree oil bathe it with shampoo. Leave shampoo for quite sometimes this helps in getting rid of any irritants that might be present on its body. Rinse its body completely with clean water though water should not be cold.

Ensure that your dog is feed quality food, certain types of foods cause’s allergies. Therefore, when you are buying different types of food keep away from foods that contains this kind of ingredients in them such as corn and wheat.

During grooming process, you can use a comp to make its hair look clean and organized. This type of grooming is helpful in that you can be able to identify any kind of flea that is present on its coat.

Dog’s feet should be rinsed properly when they come from outside. Its feet might be carrying allergies that might cause irritation.

You can also use flea control product on its body. This prevents more problems such as its skin from being irritated leading to excessive loose of hair.

Provide it with fish oil you can either place it on the food, omega 3fatty acids is essential for healthy skin.

Dogs skin turning black and smells bad

If you have kept dogs for a while it will always be rare for its skin to have an awful smell. Its skin will always be healthy and no itchiness will be observed.

However, there comes a time when you see it scratch more often and its skin seems sticky. This is not normal at all it indicates that an infection which is unknown is developing.

A most suspected infection is fungus called malassezia, it’s a commonly known infection that causes itchiness, itchy and a skin that is sticky when touched.

If you suspect such kind of symptoms you can seek help from your veteran. He /she will be able to identify the fungus by use of microscope since they are tiny organisms that cannot be observed with necked eyes.

This organism is very dangerous to pets skin since they cause skin infections such as yeast infection. This infection causes a lot of irritation to its skin and the parts that are affected develop into scabs which turns to black.

Take the dog to your vet for drug prescriptions such as anti-fungal tablets if the infection has become more serious without notice.

Diagnosis of Black Skin Disease in Dogs

What happens is that a diagnosis process is carried out by performing different types of tests to your pet. In most cases symptoms might look quite similar but after tests are done one can be able to tell the exact cause of black skin.

Just like in human beings a physical examination will be carried out such as blood test will be carried, urinal to indicate the type of disease.

In conclusion if you suspect that it is affected with a skin infection a method known as scraping will be carried, to indicate any form of fungal infection if present.

How is a Black Dog’s Skin Treated?

This infection affects a pet’s fur and its skin, it does not cause any medical problems to it that’s why it’s said to be purely cosmetic. Most things that will seem to affect is climate change such as exposure to excessive sunlight will cause sunburn and in cold weather it will feel colder since its coat has been damaged and therefore cold gets directly into its skin.

Treatment of black skin in dogs is carried out depending on main cause of infection. Precaution are taken just to ensure that same hair loss on your dog do not reoccur and for a dog skin to re grow back into normal.

After taking it to the vet for physical examination, you might consider spraying its coat with a treatment solution that will help in killing fungus bacteria that might be present on its coat.

Oral melatonin therapy can also be carried out. This kind of treatment is whereby you feed it with supplements which will aid in quick regrowth of fur. This type of medication is said to cause drowns to your dog. It is always recommended to consult your veteran on which type of medication suits its body.

A pet that has been affected with black skin infection should undergo a therapy known as methyl testosterone. This will enable to detect if hormones are functioning properly.it is advisable to avoid this kind of therapy more often since its unhealthy to your dog’s health being.

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