It can be rather alarming to discover that there are scabs on your dog’s nipples. After making this discovery, one naturally wants to know what may be the cause for the dog’s nipple scabs, and how the dog with such nipple scabs can be helped. This article has the answers.
Dog scabs on nipples may be due to an infection, such as mastitis or yeast. They could also be due to injuries, such as those that dogs with allergies get (because of incessant scratching). The scabs could also be due to being bitten by lactating puppies or due to inflammation caused by a phantom pregnancy.
In most cases, the scabs create the impression of dried blood around dogs nipples. So those are specifically black scabs on dogs nipples (with dried blood appearance).
But there are also cases in which what you see is some sort of yellow crust on dogs nipples. The latter would naturally get you wondering, why has my dog got crusty nipples.
What you find may either be a scab on a normal dog nipple, or a scab on dog inverted nipple.
Notably, the scabbed nipples on dogs don’t only occur in females. There are times when you find scabs on dog nipples in males. And that naturally gets you wondering, why does my dog have scabs on his nipples, yet he is male?
Thus this phenomenon (of finding scabs on dog’s nipples) is not restricted to female dogs only.
But whether you are observing it in a male or female dog, the common underlying question is always on why does my dog have scabby nipples? Or exactly why are there scabs on my dog’s nipples?
First though, we need to have deeper insight into how these scabs really look like.
What Do Scabs On Dogs Nipples Look Like?
If a dog has scabs on nipples, those will tend to look like small patches of dried blood.
In terms of color, they are usually black. So you simply find that the dog has black scab on nipple, which looks like dried blood.
Another feature that is common in these scabs is crustiness. So what you typically encounter are specifically crusty dog scabs on nipples.
But while black is the most common color, due to other factors, you may find the scabs acquiring yellow or brown hues too.
If the color is specifically brown (and before you know that there is an underlying scab), you will keep on wondering, why is there brown stuff around my dogs nipples?
When dealing with these scabs, it is important to understand that they tend to occur alongside infections. Thus in understanding the appearance of scabs, you also need to have insight on what do infected dog nipples look like?
Sometimes, the appearance of the scabs may be preceded by swelling. So, for instance, you find the dogs nipples swollen not pregnant. Then in due course, the swelling gives way to the incidence of scabs.
The nipples with scabs may have an oily appearance. So in this case, what you find are specifically greasy scabs on dogs around nipples.
How Common Is It To Find Scabs On Dogs’ Nipples?
Upon discovering any sort of scabs on my dogs nipples, one of my biggest concerns would be to find out whether it is a common or rare problem.
So, indeed, how common is it to find a scab on dog’s nipple? The answer is that this problem (in which you find a scab on dogs nipple) is quite common.
It is quite common to find someone lamenting ‘my dog has scabs on her nipples’. Or, at other times, you find someone complaining that ‘my dogs nipples are swollen and scabbed’.
Indeed, most people who have female dogs end up finding some scabs on their nipples at some point.
Scabs on male dog nipples are rarer though. But they nonetheless occur once in a while. The relative rarity of male dog scabs on nipples may be attributable to the simple fact that male dogs don’t lactate puppies.
Even in humans, rarely will you hear a man lamenting and asking, why is there scabs on my nipples? It is women, who lactate babies, that end up more commonly with this problem…
Similarly in dogs, nipple scab problems are quite common – especially among female dogs.
What may vary is the language used to describe the scabs. So, for instance, you may find someone saying ‘my dog has crusts forming around her nipples’‘. But closer examination reveals that the said ‘crusts’ are actually scabs.
What Causes Dog Scabs On Nipples?
In some cases, dog nipple scabs are due to infections, such as mastitis and yeast. Mastitis in dogs may occur due to blockage of milk ducts in the teats, and subsequent entry of bacteria.
The said mastitis can be a very serious condition, if it is not urgently and properly treated. Thus if my dog has a scab on her nipples, I would first want to rule out the possibility of mastitis being the cause.
As for yeast, which we cited as another possible cause of these scabs, it is caused by fungal infection.
Another common cause of dog nipple scabs is injury: like that which a dog may end up with due to incessant scratching – usually after an allergic reaction.
So the dog firstly has an allergic reaction to something. This causes it to keep on scratching its nipples against rough surfaces. And the incessant scratching causes a small wound: with the end result being a scab on dog nipple.
Notably, these allergies can affect both male and female dogs. And due to the resultant itching, you find small wounds – followed by dried blood around male dogs nipples (in other words, scabs).
Sometimes, due to wider-spread allergic reactions, you may find mysterious scabs on dogs stomach and nipples.
The injuries that cause the formation of dog nipple scabs can also be due to the dog being bitten by her puppies as they lactate.
A dog with a phantom pregnancy may experience inflammation of her breasts. This too can lead to formation of scabs in due course.
There are also rarer cases in which the scabs are actually outward manifestations of underlying tumors. These, in the worst case scenario, may be malignant tumors, as in the case of mammary gland cancer.
What Would Cause Scabs On Female Dogs Nipples?
So far, we have been looking at the general reasons for dogs having scabs on their nipples. Let us now turn our focus specifically to female dogs: to see what would cause female dogs to have scabs on their nipples.
It turns out that infections such as mastitis and yeast are possible causes for female dog nipple scabs.
There are also cases in which the cause for the female dog nipple scabs is direct physical injury. This may be due to incessant scratching (caused by allergic reaction itchiness), or due to being bitten by lactating puppies.
Female dogs with phantom pregnancies may experience breast inflammation, which results in scabs.
The scabs on female dog nipples may also be a sign of an underlying tumor: which may be benign or malignant.
What Would Cause Scabs On Male Dogs Nipples?
The most common cause of scabs on male dog nipples is scratching. So you find a male dog having an allergic reaction. This causes it to keep on scratching its nipples against rough surfaces.
In due course, such scratching causes small wounds, which then scab up.
Of course, male dog nipples can also get yeast infections. Those too can lead to formation of scabs.
And if the male dogs have inverted nipples, those may get infected due to the accumulation of heat and moisture. This too can ultimately lead to small wounds and the formation of scabs.
What Would Cause Scabs On A Puppy’s Nipples?
One of the most common causes of scabs on puppy nipples is yeast infection.
Thus if my 10 week old puppy has two red scabby nipples, this is one of the first possible causes I would consider.
Another possible cause for these scabs is an allergic reaction. So we find that the puppy has developed an allergic reaction to something. This causes it to feel itchy.
It then keeps on scratching its teats against rough surfaces, leading to small scabby wounds on nipples.
Will A Scab On Dog Nipples Resolve On Its Own?
Whether or not the scabs on dog nipples resolve on their own depend on the underlying causes.
For instance, if the scabs are due to the teat inflammation caused by a phantom pregnancy, they may resolve on their own. That would happen once the phantom pregnancy dissipates.
If the scabs are due to a yeast infection, they may also eventually go away. That is because such fungal infestations usually come and go.
And if the scabs are due to physical injuries on a dog that got bitten by its puppies as they were lactating, those too may resolve on their own.
However, there are cases in which it is inadvisable to expect the nipple scabs to resolve on their own. If, for instance, they are due to underlying mastitis, they require urgent and effective treatment.
All in all, it is best not to count on the problem ‘resolving itself’. Wherever you find scabs, there is vulnerability to infection. So the use of antibiotics and proper hygiene can help prevent such an eventuality.
My Dog Has Scabs On Nipples – What To Do?
The right course of action to take, if your dog has scabs on nipples, depends on the underlying causes.
If the scabs seem to be due to infections such as mastitis, the best thing to do is take the dog to a vet urgently.
The vet will then undertake proper diagnosis, and put the dog on the right antibiotics to resolve the problem.
You may need to stop allowing the dog to lactate its puppies for the duration before the mastitis heals.
If the scabs seem to be due to yeast infection, there are antifungal treatments that a vet can prescribe.
But there are cases in which the scabs on dog nipples seem to be due to simple irritation, perhaps caused by allergic reactions. The question then becomes, what can I put on my dog’s irritated nipples to minimize scabbing?
And this is where allergy meds prescribed by a vet may come in handy.
There are also those who may consider alternative treatments, such as applying coconut oil on dog nipples, though in some cases, these may actually worsen the problem.
If the scabbing is due to an allergic reaction, then you identify the culpable allergen and minimize the dog’s exposure to it, that may help greatly.
In all cases though, you need to understand that the presence of scabs indicates some proneness to infection. This is why having your vet prescribe proper antibiotics to prevent such infection can be so helpful.
In the meantime, you need to ensure that you keep the dog’s nipples clean. That can further lower the chances of infection.
Final Verdict – Dog Scabs On Nipples
Scabs on dog nipples can be due to infections such as mastitis or yeast.
The scabs may also be due to allergic reactions (which make the dog’s to feel itchy, with the resultant scratching leading to formation of wounds which then scab up).
There are cases in which the scabs may be due to the wounds that a female dog gets when its puppies bite its teats as they suckle.
And then there are cases in which the scabs may be due to inflammation of teats that dogs with phantom pregnancies often experience.
The dog nipple scabs can also be a sign of an underlying tumor: either benign or malignant.
How to help a dog with nipple scabs depends on the underlying cause. If, for instance, it is due to mastitis or yeast infections, the solution is usually antibiotic and antifungal treatments respectively.
In case it is due to allergic reactions, there are medications that can help minimize the itchiness. Once the dog is no longer itchy, it will stop scratching. Therefore the scabby wounds will stop forming.
If the problem is due to an underlying tumor, that will require further advanced investigation. That is to find out what type of tumor it is and how best it can be handled.
Should the problem be due to a phantom pregnancy, you may just have to wait it out. Once the underlying phantom pregnancy resolves, the dog’s teats inflammation tends to also stop.
In all cases though, you need to know that the presence of scabs indicates some vulnerability to infection. Thus you need to ensure that the dog nipples with scabs are kept clean at all times, to avoid such infection.
Welcome to Learn About Pet. My name is Rajkumar Ravichandran and I love all pets, travel, and amazing food. I write about my passion and personal experience caring for multiple pets in this blog! ❤️
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