Why Does My Dog Have Blood Blisters on His Belly?
Have you ever had the experience of bathing your pet and then noticing a strange black blister on its abdomen? That black spot is called a blood blister. It can seem alarming because the black spot can look like cancerous. That begs the question: is this blood blister on your dog’s belly something to be worried about? We will find out today.
What is This Blood Blister on My Pet’s Belly?
Medically, that blood blister on its belly is called a hematoma. It’s a solid swelling of clotted blood. Think of it like a pustule but it’s filled with blood instead of pus. Naturally, it doesn’t just show up on the midsection. It can also occur on your pet’s ears, which is common, as well as other parts of the dog’s body.
When it is on the skin, it’s easy to spot because it swells and is discolored. It’s possible that the blood blister on the belly may be itchy, and will be evident when your dog scratches excessively. Or, it could be painful when your dog exhibits an aversion to touch.
What Causes Blood Blisters on Dogs?
Usually, hematomas in dogs are caused by injury or blunt trauma. When found on the ears, it’s likely that your dog may have damaged his ear by shaking his head too much or scratching too much. It’s the same case when there’s a blood blister on the belly – it may have been caused by too much scratching or nibbling.
A blood vessel may have popped because of trauma but without any piercing on the skin, the blood has nowhere to escape to. Instead, it forms a pocket on the skin. These blisters can also be caused by allergies or other skin conditions.
Is a Vet Visit Necessary for Blood Blisters?
It all depends on the signs that your dog gives off. In some cases, the blood blister on the belly may be harmless. If your dog isn’t showing signs of pain or discomfort (whimpering, whelping etc.), keep monitoring the blood blister as it will usually go away by itself in a couple of days.
However, if the opposite is true (e.g. your dog is restless or there is a change in its behavior), you have to visit your vet as soon as possible and have the blood blisters checked out. Your vet will be the one to best suggest how to treat the blister.
How Do You Treat a Dog Blister?
If the blood blister on your dog’s belly doesn’t clear out in a few days, go to your vet immediately. Your vet may drain the blister depending on how big it is and where it is located. Draining may not be a permanent solution as it’s possible for the pocket to fill up with blood again. If the blister is severe, draining may be needed, plus a temporary drain may be attached so the blood blister doesn’t fill up again. In cases where the blood blister isn’t on the belly or is far from the skin, surgery may be needed.
The underlying causes should be addressed as well. For example, if your dog has parasites or a skin condition, your vet may prescribe medication to stop the excessive scratching and prevent the trauma from happening again.
Your dog’s ears could be bandaged or the vet could have your pet wear a dog cone to prevent it from messing with the affected area. Do your best to follow your vet’s advice when you get home. Make sure that you bathe your pet regularly – clean its skin as well as its ears.