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My dog looks like she has a bruise on her...

Resolved • Response time -73 hours -32 minutes

5 May 2010

My dog looks like she has a bruise on her belly. She just got over kennel cough 3 weeks and her belly looks black and my vet isn't open till Monday.

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5 May 2010

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Dog Veterinarian's response
2 May 2010
Dr. Shannan
Dr. Shannan
Associate Veterinarian

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

The bruising you are seeing on your dog's belly may be a sign of a clotting disorder. The causes of clotting disorders can be something the dog is born with (although you probably would have seen signs earlier in her life if this was the case), or it can be secondary to something your dog was exposed to. The most common cause of this type of bleeding in a dog is if they have had access to rat poison. This type of poison makes it so that the blood can't clot, and the result is bleeding into the skin causing ecchymosis (or large bruises) - these are usually not painful. If you are seeing bleeding in the skin, then it may also be going on internally (i.e. bleeding into the lungs, abdomen, or central nervous system). If this is the case, the condition can rapidly become life threatening. Signs of extensive bleeding include coughing, pale gums, lethargy, vomiting/diarrhea (with or without blood), cold extremities.The good thing about this type of poisoning is that it is often treatable if it is caught early.

Another possible cause of the bruising is trauma, although if this were the case, I would expect that the dog would be sore if you touched the affected area (although this is not always the case - some dogs are very reluctant to let you know how painful they are). Bruising on the abdomen from trauma could be the result of a kick or a fall.

Given the possibility of bleeding elsewhere in her body that you may not be aware of, I would recommend that you have Butter seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. If you wait until Monday, it could be too late to help her, or the disease may be much more serious. If there is an emergency clinic in your area, I would suggest that you take her there for an exam. If what you are seeing is truly bruising, the vet will probably want to take some blood to test for clotting problems. If not, it will be worth the peace of mind to know that she is going to be ok.

2 May 2010
Customer reply
2 May 2010

She has had this about a week now it she runs and walks like nothing is wrong with her she eat very well her gums are a nice color she just got over kennel cough 2-3 weeks ago.

2 May 2010
Dog Veterinarian's response
2 May 2010
Dr. Shannan
Dr. Shannan
Associate Veterinarian

It may be that what looks like bruising is actually just pigmentation in the skin. If your dog has light colored skin, and scarce hair on the abdomen, then sometimes the skin will start to turn a darker color (even appear blackish) during the spring/summer (basically like a tan to protect them from the sun - especially if the dog likes to lie out in the sun). It's hard to say if this is what it is without seeing it - but it would all be the same color (bruises often have areas which are lighter and darker), and would only appear on the areas where there is little or no hair.

If it is bruising and it has been there for a week, it should be changing - either getting better or worse- just like a bruise on you or I would. If it has been present for a week and the dog is otherwise fine, then you are probably ok waiting until Monday to see your veterinarian (although go right away if the other signs I described develop). There aren't too many things that would cause this kind of bruising other than some sort of clotting disorder if there is no history of trauma. Infection under the skin or along the mammary chain would be a possibility as well, but this would often be very painful. Your vet should be able to give you a better idea of what is wrong after performing a full physical exam, and possibly some blood testing. I would definitely recommend that you have her examined early next week to confirm what is causing the signs you are seeing. I hope this helps.

2 May 2010
Customer reply
5 May 2010

Thank you!

5 May 2010
Dog Veterinarian's response
5 May 2010
Dr. Shannan
Dr. Shannan
Associate Veterinarian

You are most welcome. I hope that Butter is ok and it's nothing serious.

5 May 2010
Customer reply
5 May 2010

Butter is ok. I took her to the vet today. The vet said it was skin color like you said. Thank you.

5 May 2010
Dog Veterinarian's response
5 May 2010
Dr. Shannan
Dr. Shannan
Glad to hear that!
Dr. Shannan
Dr. Shannan
Associate Veterinarian
Avg. question only $30
Full time small animal practice since 2005. Completed small animal medicine/surgery internship
5 May 2010
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