Spotting a pink spot on a dog’s lip can be alarming for pet owners but it is not something to be afraid of. If you have noticed one or more pink spots on your dog’s lips, that does not indicate disease. It might be a loss of pigmentation, but if the discoloration is spreading on other parts or the spot gets inflamed then you should consult a vet doctor right away.
REASONS FOR DOG’S PINK LIPS
Many dogs may experience Hypopigmentation (lighter skin) or hyperpigmentation (darker skin). Both conditions are normal and can be seen as changes around the dog’s lips or nose area. Like humans, dogs can also get a summer tan and lighter-toned skin in winters. The same is the reason for pink discoloration around the mouth area and this discoloration can be temporary.
There are several reasons behind this pink coloration around dog’s lips and some of them are as follows:
The most common cause of pink spots is Porphyrin. This porphyrin is a substance produced by the dog’s tears and saliva. Porphyrin is visible on lighter skin or coat. If your dog is experiencing excessive salivation, it causes lips depigmentation. This whole process can be reversible if you solve the problem of excessive salivation. Excessive salivation is commonly caused by dental problems, inflamed gums, allergies, or mouth cysts. All these health issues are related to the production of Porphyrin that brings about pink discoloration around the nose and mouth area.
Dogs are active animals. They love playing and while doing that they might hurt their face or nose while scratching somewhere. This can cause wounds around their nose area and the skin can get discolored. It is very crucial to take care of the wound as it might get infected. If the wound is healed properly, the original color of the skin might come back.
Another common problem that can cause pink pigmentation around the mouth and nose are dermatitis or any other kind of allergies. The main difference between simple pigmentation and allergic pigmentation is that allergic pigmentation will be inflamed, crusty, or swollen while the simple pink spots do not have these features. Allergies and spots caused by these allergies are usually because of any change in the dog’s diet or maybe the detergent you are using to clean the dog’s items.
It is not obvious that everything that dogs explore with their mouth is beneficial for them. Dogs inspect everything with their nose and mouth and this habit can be problematic for them as the dog might pick any strange thing while on a walk outside the house and develop an infection in various parts of their body. These infections could lead to serious health conditions, like discoloration of the skin or other problems that can be deadly. It is preferable to visit a vet because if these infections are left untreated, they can cause severe swelling or pain.
Though these pink spots are not dangerous, owners should not leave them undiagnosed as these spots can sometimes be a sign of a bigger problem. These spots can be cancerous and can be fatal. In the case of cancer, discoloration around the mouth and nose spread to other parts of the body also.
This is a form of dermatitis that causes inflammation. This condition affects the lip margins. At the start lips become swollen and then crust appears. When the affected area comes in contact with other areas of the mouth, this disease spreads in those areas as well, causing ‘lip fold intertrigo’. This infectious disease is treated by gentle clipping and cleaning lip margins.
OTHER SKIN PIGMENTATION DISORDERS
Other than discoloration of lips, your dog might experience other skin discoloration disorders that are not harmful but won’t look aesthetically good on your dog.
Some of the most common depigmentation disorders are as follows:
Dogs or puppies who have a weak immune system, have this skin infection. In this infection, bacteria spread over the skin of the dog and causes rashes, acne bumps, and pus-filled blisters. Though this condition is not fatal or deadly but can make your pet uncomfortable and even cause depression. In such a condition, consult the vet as soon as possible.
Vitiligo occurs only in adult dogs and pink discoloration appears on different areas of the body. Pink pigmentation does not mean that it is due to vitiligo only, but medical examination is crucial. Vitiligo is not treatable but it does not affect the health of your dog.
If you have observed that its lower lip is changing its color and getting black, your dog is suffering from a condition called Lentigo and this condition is signalized by the emergence of black blotches on different parts or areas of the body. This disease is not painful for the dog and does not require any treatment.
Other than Vitiligo, hormonal imbalance in dogs often leads to losing pigment in certain parts of the body particularly lips which leads to the formation of pink spots. While there could be an underlying reason for it (for example an auto-immune disorder), often these depigmentation spots are harmless. It is better to get your dog checked to rule out some serious conditions.
BREEDS OF DOGS VULNERABLE TO LIP PIGMENTATION
Not all dogs have pigmentation issues or other skin conditions because of their strong immune system. However, there are free breeds that have a naturally weak immune system. Dogs that are more exposed to any kind of skin disease or pink spot are
- German shepherds
- Chow chows
- Doberman Pinschers
- Giant Schnauzers
- Labrador Retrievers
- Siberian Huskies
What Should You Do When You Notice a Pink Spot On Dog’s Lip?
When you catch sight of pink spots or pigmentation around the lip area, you should take your dog to a vet doctor and let him examine its mouth completely and carefully.
While examining the mouth, a vet doctor should look out for the following signs:
- Is discoloration on just the dog’s lips or extended?
- Is there any swelling on the lips?
- Are these blotches raised?
- Are these spots inflamed?
- Are these spots well-blended with other areas of the mouth?
If all the above-mentioned signs are not visible and only pink spots are present on the dog’s lips, then there is nothing to worry about at all. Lose of color on lips is a common issue that can be due to seasonal changes or aging.
The owner should keep a close look at the health of his/her dog. If your dog is feeling any discomfort, pain, or any difficulty in eating because of this pink depigmentation, then a medical examination is compulsory.
Treating Pink Spot on Dog’s Lip
The most common reasons for a pink spot on a dog’s lip are depigmentation and vitiligo. The sad part is there is no cure for it. The harmless spots will not affect the health of the dog and they can continue with their normal life activities. So, as a dog owner, it is better to just stop worrying about them.
A pink spot on a dog’s lip is pretty common, especially among aging dogs. However, if you have any suspicions, then scheduling a visit to the vet would be the right thing to do.