Why Are My Dogs Balls Black: Ultimate Guide To Canine Health

Dog owners have an obligation to look after their dogs’ health. A part of the healthy body is the testicles or balls of the dog. You might have noticed a change in your dog’s balls and wondered “why are my dogs balls black?”

A common reason that causes the dog’s balls to become black or hyperpigmented is old age. With time, melanin accumulates in the skin and causes it to turn black. But there are some reasons more notorious than old age.

What Are Dogs Balls Supposed To Look Like?

The first time the dog owner can examine the testicles of their male dog is after 2-6 months of age. This is the period when they drop in the dogs scrotum. If it doesn’t drop during this time, the dog might have an undescended testicle. This retained testicle can be very problematic for the dog.

Because dogs can have different skin colors and patterns of their coat, the color of the balls will also differ. The most common color of dog testicles is gray. This color can also be more pink or brown depending on the color of the dog’s skin. Some dogs have heavily colored fur that makes the testicles look a certain color. This means that black dogs might normally have black balls. But their black can become even darker and present a problem.

Why Are My Dogs Testicles Black?

There are a few reasons that will cause the dog’s testicles to become black. Some are simple like old age and genetics, and others are scarier like disease and trauma.

Genetics And Old Age

Don’t be scared if you see your dogs testicles black. Some dogs are simply born with a black color on their scrotal sack. This is not due to some disease but it’s due to genetics. There are dog breeds with naturally black color who also have black balls. These include breeds like Dobermans, Rottweilers, and Great Danes.

Even if they are not born with black balls, dogs can develop this color while they age. Old age is the most common reason for dog balls to turn black. With age, the skin of the dog produces more melanin. This melanin first accumulates in dark spots and slowly takes over the whole dogs skin. If this coloring is not accompanied by any other symptom, it’s probably natural.

This will be more common in longer-living dogs. For example, Blue Heelers like up to 16 years old long, so they have a higher chance of developing this.


If you’ve noticed your dog’s balls turning black quickly, it might be a result of some kind of injury. When the scrotum gets injured, blood accumulates in the skin due to destroyed capillaries, and results in bruising.

It might be shocking to see the quick discoloration without witnessing the injury. Because of this, you need to quickly examine the skin for any cuts or scrapes. The dog balls will be very tender and sensitive, so you should be gentle. 

A rare complication here is when the blood flow to the area gets cut out completely. In this situation, the discoloration will continue. This is an emergency and you should get your dog to the vet quickly.

Skin Problems

When dogs balls are black, it might be due to a problem with the skin itself. One reason for developing problems with the skin is dehydration. “If your dog loses more water and electrolytes than they are taking in, they will begin to dehydrate and their health will deteriorate.”, says Memphis Veterinary Specialists & Emergency. Dogs that have a lack of moisture in their skin will have the skin on their balls darken and start to peel. You might also notice it licks them often to moisten them, but this will only increase the problem. Spreading some hydrating vaseline or coconut oil will help.

Another reason for black and peeling balls is skin infections. This might also be combined with redness, pain, bad odor, and scaliness. One common reason for black balls is bathing in muddy waters. This is easily solvable with a wet wipe. Sometimes only a hair follicle will get infected causing a change of pigmentation.

Other Health Issues

One serious problem that will cause the ball to change color is testicular tumors. Testicular cancer is a serious condition that causes hyperpigmentation. It can be differentiated as a Sertoli cell tumor, interstitial (Leydig) cell tumor, and seminoma

Besides that, it can also cause swelling and asymmetry in the balls, as well as problems with urination. Regarding other symptoms you may notice in your dog with testicular cancer, the BluePearl Pet Hospital explains:

Other signs include nipple elongation, mammary enlargement, penile atrophy, preputial swelling and sagging, testicular atrophy of the unaffected (noncancerous testicle), prostatic atrophy or enlargement, and anemia (pale gums). Behavioral changes may include squatting to urinate (versus hiking a limb), reduced sex drive and attraction of other male dogs.

Another reason for losing the normal dog testicle color is inflammation of the testicles called orchitis or epididymitis. This inflammation will be accompanied by a lot of pain. Some serious systemic infections like brucellosis and leptospirosis can also be an underlying cause of black balls. The best way to find the reason for black balls is to contact a vet.

Why Are My Dogs Balls Black After Neuter?

To neuter a dog means to surgically remove its balls. But the remaining scrotal sac of the neutered dog can still turn black. If your dog has black balls after neutering, it is usually a result of bruising due to the surgery which damaged the capillaries. You can expect the hyperpigmentation to go away in a few days. But it may be something more serious.

Sometimes, a foreign body may get stuck during the surgical procedure. This will cause pain and discomfort to the dog and will need additional surgery to be removed. Make sure your dog wears a cone after neutering. This will prevent complications like infections that happen because it decided to lick its wound.

Neutering is important if you want to prevent your dog from mating and showing any unwanted signs of mating. That is why it’s recommended even though some complications may cause the dog scrotum after neuter turning black.

What Symptoms To Watch Out For?

There are many simple reasons why dogs testicles are black, but there are also some serious ones. These can be noticed by observing a few other symptoms accompanying the hyperpigmentation.

Behavioral Changes

If the dog feels any subjective symptoms, you won’t be able to notice them. That is why you need to monitor its behavior for any alarming changes.

Dogs get sensitive and aggressive when they feel pain. They might also start walking weirdly, barking excessively, or making other unusual sounds.

Licking Compulsively

If your dog has black balls and it keeps licking them excessively, it might be a sign of something more serious. 

Pain coming from an injury or infection may be a cause of this behavior. Allergic reactions and dry skin may also cause itchiness and a need for the dog to lick the scrotal area.


If the hyperpigmentation is accompanied by a swelling of the balls, it could be a sign of epididymitis and orchitis. Swollen testicles also occur after trauma.

A hydrocele is a small sac of fluid in the scrotum that has an egg-like appearance. It will cause an obvious swelling on the balls. A swollen scrotum should be treated by a vet.


Besides black testicles, the dog’s balls can also turn red. It can appear as general redness or more pink spots across the skin of the scrotum.

Red balls can be a sign of inflammation or infection. Getting injured in the balls might cause testicular torsion, resulting in redness and darkening of the balls.


If your dog’s balls are black and peeling it might be a sign of some skin infection. Pain and a smelly discharge could also accompany these symptoms.

But the peeling of the balls may also be due to a lack of moisture. This could be common during the winter when the weather is drier.


Sometimes besides becoming black, the dog’s balls may also become itchy. One cause for this is canine sebaceous adenitis, a bacterial infection of the skin. It is more common in dogs with hairless testicles. The Canine Health Information Center explains its symptoms as such:

Visible symptoms include excessive dandruff or scaling, hair loss, lesions, a musty odor, and even secondary skin infections. On the other hand, dogs affected with SA can be subclinical and show no outward signs of the disease.

Fleas, ticks, mites, and lice are parasites that live on the skin and can also cause intense itchiness.

Difficulty Urinating

Once you notice that your dog has black balls, try to notice if the dog leaves odorless wet spots around the house. This could be a sign that the dog has problems with urination.

Sometimes, the dog might not be able to urinate at all due to some blockage. It could be a sign of some infection as well.

Black Spots

Sometimes the dog’s balls don’t get fully black but only have black spots. Black spots on dog testicles may be a sign of old age. In time, the whole scrotum will be covered in black.

Black spots may also occur after long exposure to the sun. If these spots have any weird thickness or texture, get the dog to a vet.

What To Do If Your Dogs Balls Are Black?

If you notice that your furry friend has signs of hyperpigmentation on its balls, there are a few things you can do.

Close Inspection

Before doing anything, take a good look at the changes present on the dog’s balls. Look for any accompanying signs besides hyperpigmentation.

Is there any redness or swelling that could indicate an infection? Are the balls peeling or has the skin changed in any other way? Have you seen your dog present excessive licking of its balls and other behavioral changes? All these signs will point to the exact reason for the hyperpigmentation.

Buy A Soothing Balm

With the dog testicles turning black, there may also be dry skin and irritation present. These will cause frustration and an uncomfortable feeling to the dog. But you can buy some soothing products to relieve the symptoms.

There are special soothing balms for dogs that can help with irritation. You can also use coconut oil or hydrating vaseline for the same purpose. Apply them on the irritated skin according to the label instructions.

Give A Nice Bath

Another way to help with irritation is to give the dog a bath. Usually, dogs need baths at least once a month to keep them clean. Anything more than that will cause more irritation and damage the skin and coat. 

Make sure you use a soothing shampoo made especially for dogs. Don’t use hot water because it will irritate the skin even more. After the bath, dry the dog completely and then use a soothing balm.

Contact The Vet

If you notice any black spot on dog’s balls, and some other worrying changes accompanying this, you should ask a vet for help. The vet will do a thorough exam on the dog and see if there are any serious issues that need treating. 

For irritated skin, the vet will prescribe a corticosteroid cream that relieves inflammation. If the changes appeared after neutering, the vet that did the operation will give you the best advice on how to proceed.

French Bulldogs walking in the forest

Why Are My Dogs Balls Black? – A Summary

Male dogs get their testicles dropped at around the age of 2-6 months. A dog testicle that doesn’t drop is problematic. The most common color of their balls is grey, but they can also have other colors. Knowing what color are dogs balls supposed to be is important in order to notice changes early. Dog owners may get scared if they notice that their dog’s balls have a black color.

Old age is the most common reason why dogs’ balls turn black. With aging, they start getting black spots that grow and take over the whole skin. Some dogs are also naturally black and the skin on their balls will also take on this color.

More serious reasons for black balls include trauma, skin issues, and other medical conditions. If the dog shows any other signs like behavioral changes, difficulty urinating, or swelling, you should contact the vet for advice.


Why are my dog’s balls solid?

Your dog’s balls will become solid and painful because of orchitis or epididymitis. If they are not painful, but small, the reason may be testicular atrophy. Some cancers will also cause the balls to become solid.

What do vets do with dog balls?

If your dog’s balls are black because of some disease they might get removed. After that, the vet will dispose of the organic material in special biohazard bags that will further be disposed of.

Why do dogs bite their balls?

Dogs may bite their private parts if they feel itchy or uncomfortable around the area. Allergies and infections can also cause this. They may also do this to relieve stress and anxiety.

More dog health resources

Here are a few other resources talking about dog health.

You can find a lot more information on how to keep your dog healthy on our site Dogisa!

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