Spotted skin is common in all dog breeds, although some dogs are more likely to have pink or black as the main colour. If your pet has always had a spotted belly, it is nothing to worry about as long as its skin and coat look healthy. If a dog suddenly starts developing dark spots, however, it could signal health problems. Take your dog to the veterinarian if the animal starts losing fur or if its skin becomes thicker, bumpy, crusty or irritated.
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Exposure to sunlight in the warmer months can cause darker pigmentation in dogs -- similar to how humans tan. For this reason, a dog's skin and nose may develop dark patches in the summer that lighten when weather gets cooler. These types of pigmentation changes are normal, but owners should treat exposed skin with dog sunscreen to prevent sun damage and eventual cancer.
Owners may notice spots on older dogs with lower-energy levels and underactive thyroid glands -- a condition called hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism may also cause fur loss and skin thickening. If your older dog seems less energetic and develops spots, a vet can give him a blood test to confirm whether the animal has this condition, and may prescribe hormone medication as treatment.
Dark blotches may suddenly appear on your pet's belly due to an allergy or because of her biting and scratching an itchy spot. Your dog may be allergic to flea or tick bites, a poisonous plant, bedding materials or something in her diet. A veterinarian can give your dog an allergy test and prescribe medications and ointments to stop itching or blotches.
Round, dark blotches with crusting around the edges may be a sign of a bacterial infection. If you notice these symptoms, your veterinarian can prescribe an antibiotic to stop the infection.
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