From blue balls to red balls – the dog’s testicles are a sensitive body part. But what happens if the dog’s balls start peeling? What causes this situation, and what does it mean? More importantly, is the peeling painful?
My dog’s balls are peeling – why and now what? If your dog’s balls are peeling, it is best advised to call your vet and schedule an appointment. This is because the peeling can be triggered by various issues – from external parasites through allergies to hormonal imbalances. The sooner you start addressing the problem, the sooner the dog’s balls will stop peeling and heal.
In this article, we will talk about why dogs experience skin peeling on their testicles. We will also give tips and instructions on what to do and tackle some other common health issues associated with the dog’s balls.
IS IT NORMAL FOR DOG’S BALLS TO PEEL?
No, it is not normal for the dog’s balls to peel. Anyway, the peeling is not an immediate sign of a serious disease. Namely, sometimes the peeling might be due to excessive skin dryness, and other times it can be a sign of skin healing and regeneration.
However, other times, the peeling is indicative of an underlying health issue. In such cases, it is important to identify the problem and craft a proper treatment strategy. Plus, peeling is not the only issue affecting the dog’s balls – there are other potential pathologies. Here are some possible and common ball-related situations.
Scenario number 1: My dog’s balls are peeling
Same as in humans, skin peeling is not an unusual thing in dogs. However, because of the ball’s delicate nature, owners seem more concerned when the peeling affects the scrotal area.
Basically, any skin issue can result in peeling. The peeling can be a sign of ongoing skin dryness and irritation, but also, it can be a sign of recovering – the skin is getting renewed, and the old layer is flaking.
Let’s take a closer look at the conditions resulting in peeling, which can eventually affect the balls too:
· Skin parasites – external skin parasites are a probable culprit when dealing with skin peeling. Such an issue is likely to be seen in dogs infected with scabies and demodectic mange. In such cases, there will be skin peeling and additional skin issues in various body places, but they may look more severely on the dog’s balls. Luckily, they can be easily solved by eliminating the external parasite causing the problem. Local treatments might be indicated in more severe cases.
· Allergies – dogs are prone to various forms of allergies, including food, contact, and environmental allergies. Unlike people, dogs do not get a runny nose and eyes – they develop and itchy skin. The skin itchiness can be generalized or localized depending on the allergy type. The groins and scrotal area are sensitive and very likely to be extra itchy during an allergic reaction. Allergy management is a lengthy process, and until put under control, it is best to relieve the dog’s itchiness with supportive baths and local creams.
· Hormonal imbalances – many hormonal conditions manifest with skin sores and issues. The two most common problems are hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease) and hypothyroidism. In addition to the skin issues, both conditions trigger an array of signs and symptoms. Hormonal issues are hard to manage and require complex approaches.
Scenario number 2: My dog’s balls are black and peeling
Darkening of the skin is a normal reaction following prolonged irritation. Since the dog’s balls are under constant pressure and irritation when the dog lays on the ground, it is not uncommon for the scrotal skin to get damaged and irritated.
If on top of being black, the balls are peeling, it can indicate that the condition is resolving and the skin of the scrotum is starting to heal. However, once again, considering the level of constant irritation in some dogs once the balls become darker or even black, they may remain that way permanently.
Scenario number 3: My dog’s balls are red
If your dog’s balls are red without any additional local changes, the most likely scenario is that they have sustained some form of irritation, usually – a chemical one.
For example, if you cleaned the floor with a special cleaning solution and your dog decided to lay down, the chemical residuals may have caused irritation. Since the other parts of the dog’s body are covered with fur, the irritation is most intense and visible on the scrotum.
The dog’s balls can become red in the winter after spending some time outside in the cold and then returning inside where the temperatures are much higher. This is because as soon as the ambient temperature decreases, the blood flow decreases as well.
On the opposite, when in warm, the blood flow restores, which results in a sudden blood rush and consequently reddening of the skin. The same occurs in other places of the body (ears, toes), but they are covered with fur, and you cannot see the color changes.
Scenario number 4: My dog’s balls are red and swollen
Other common issues affecting the dog’s balls are reddening and swelling. Here are some serious conditions that can trigger this scenario:
· Testicular infection – also known as orchitis is an infection of the balls. It can affect one or both testicles at the same time. In addition to causing redness and swelling of the scrotum, a testicular infection is extremely painful. In fact, because of the pain, some dogs may be incapable of sitting. As with all infections, a long course of antibiotics is likely to solve the problem. However, in more severe cases or in dogs with recurrent testicular infections, the vet may recommend neutering as a permanent solution.
· Testicular torsion – this is another extremely painful condition. As the name suggests, testicular torsion occurs when the ball rotates and gets twisted around its own canals and connective tissue structures. Same as the infection, it can affect one or both testicles. The twisting causes blood flow impairment, and if left untreated, it can lead to permanent damage. A dog with testicular torsion is considered an emergency and requires immediate veterinary attention and a corrective surgical procedure.
· Scrotal hernia – sometimes the scrotal redness and swelling are not directly caused by problems with the balls. Namely, both signs can be triggered by scrotal hernias. In dogs with scrotal hernias, abdominal organs squeeze through the small inguinal canal (the canal the testicles use to descend after birth) and find their place in the scrotal sac. Scrotal hernia can only be fixed surgically. Scrotal hernias usually occur on one side, but if the inguinal canal is larger on one side, chances are it will be larger on the other side as well.
Scenario number 5: My dog’s balls have sores
Sores are a whole different story. While peeling, color changes and swelling are scary, seeing sores on your dog’s balls is terrifying. Here are some possible culprits for developing scrotal sores:
· Immune-mediated diseases
· Hormonal imbalances
· Neoplastic conditions.
This group of health issues is very complex, and if your dog develops skin sores on the scrotum, you will probably be referred to a veterinary specialist for an accurate diagnosis. Scrotal skin sores are always indicative of a serious underlying issue and must not be taken lightly.
WHAT CAN I PUT ON MY DOG’S BALLS?
Generally speaking, you can put many things and use various soothing approaches to calm the dog’s scrotal skin issues. For example, you can use an oatmeal bath to soothe the skin and manage irritations caused by allergens.
To alleviate pain and inflammation, you can put cold compresses or an old-fashioned bag of frozen peas. In case of sores or intense inflammation, you can use antibiotic creams and ointments. Finally, you can use coconut oil or even CBD oil to moisturize the skin and decrease unnecessary skin dryness and peeling.
However, these are all symptomatic or, in other terms, short-term approaches. In the long run, your dog needs a proper diagnosis. Therefore, before deciding to put anything on your dog’s balls, it is critical to talk to your trusted veterinarian. More often than not, the vet will recommend an in-person visit.
While waiting for the appointment, you can use various things to decrease your dog’s discomfort, but once again, the things you do must be instructed and approved by the vet. As in any other case, deciding to self-treat your dog can make things worse.
SUMMING UP: PEELING BALLS IN DOGS
If your dog’s balls are peeling, the first thing you need to do is examine your dog to check for additional skin issues and whether the peeling is limited solely to the balls or spreads to other parts of the body. It is also helpful to pay attention to your dog’s overall behavior and the potential presence of other signs and symptoms.
The next thing to do is call the vet and schedule an appointment. The underlying reasons for ball peeling in dogs vary greatly in terms of severity and management options. Close collaboration with the vet and sticking to the provided instructions are critical for managing your dog’s situation and stopping the scrotal skin peeling.