Being a proactive and responsible dog owner, you indeed don’t take any risks regarding your dog’s health. Along with cuddling your furry buddy, you should check their body regularly for anything unusual. So you check their ears, fur, and eyes almost regularly.
But what about their balls? Most dog owners forget to check this body part of their dogs. But you shouldn’t do this.
The “balls” are the scrotal sac that carries the testes. They are a significant body part that must be added to your buddy’s normal grooming process. This is because it will speak a lot about their health.
One alarming condition you can observe is that your dog’s balls have turned red. Why is it so? What does it indicate?
In this article, you will find all the essential details and facts related to a dog’s scrotum, problems you can face, and why testicles turn red.
Things to Know About Your Dog’s Scrotum
Male dog owners can experience this health problem with their dogs. Checking and asking questions about this ‘unmentionable’ part can be uncomfortable for you. But it’s recommended.
Veterinarians can advise you on all health issues for dogs and unusual conditions. Scrotum problems can indicate severe health conditions in dogs. Any dog, neutered or spayed, can suffer from reproductive organs. The degree and type of complications vary.
For example, female dogs can suffer from several ovarian problems and bleed in heat. On the contrary, male dogs can turn up with a lot of scrotum problems.
So what is the scrotum? It’s a pouch of skin located beneath the dog’s tail that bears the male reproductive gland, the testicles. The scrotum doesn’t contain any fat and is hairless and thin. It regulates the testicles’ temperature. Hence, you will notice their scrotum contracting during a cold. It keeps the testicles near the stomach to get warm.
Well, this sensitive pouch of skin can have certain injuries or irritations. And one such condition is a red scrotum. So why is your dog’s scrotum red?
It can be due to inflammation or rashes. Mild inflammation, rashes, or cuts can be treated by using an antibiotic ointment or aloe vera. In addition, you can also apply vetricyn or hypochlorous acid.
However, if the scrotum has swollen or discolored unusually or you notice other symptoms like fever, take your dog to the vet immediately.
How Does a Healthy Scrotum Look?
The testicles of most dogs are usually gray in color. However, the color can vary from brown to pink based on the dog’s skin color.
Like other body parts, the scrotum’s skin color will also depend on its pigmentation. For instance, the balls of furry dogs can appear in a different hues. Moreover, dogs with black skin typically have black-toned balls.
Well, you won’t find balls in male dogs during their early puppy stage. Their balls will drop after two to six months of age.
Reasons Why Your Dogs’ Balls Are Red
Like already mentioned above, a dog’s scrotum can turn red due to rashes or inflammation. Mild conditions can be treated at home just like you treat skin on other body parts.
However, the balls can be red due to some more serious reasons that require quick attention. Below are the most common causes of a red scrotum in your dog.
Keep scrolling to check them out!
1. Testicular Torsion
When both or one testicle gets twisted on the connective tissue, the condition is known as testicular torsion. It causes inflammation that hinders the blood flow within the tissue.
A single bundle of tissue carries blood to and from the scrotum and testicles. In certain conditions, the testicles can twist or rotate because of some external pressure. Eventually, it obstructs the blood flow within the connective tissue and the balls.
Testicular torsion is a severe condition in dogs that causes too much pain. The balls become swollen and red. This painful health condition needs immediate treatment. Otherwise, it can be life-threatening. The twisted testicles can cause permanent damage if left untreated for too long.
Orchitis means acute inflammation of the balls. And this relatively common condition typically results from a fungus, bacterial, or viral infection. However, the real cause of this condition is still hard to detect. The source can be any from hematogenous, urologic to direct inoculation.
Symptoms of orchitis include pain in the balls, swollen testicles, scrotal edema, and the scrotal skin’s excoriation.
All dog breeds that aren’t neutered are vulnerable to this health issue, especially around four years of age. Apart from infectious organisms, orchitis can occur due to some traumas or excessive dog masturbation.
Another potential cause of red balls in dogs is tumors. If a dog’s scrotum has tumors, it’s likely to get swollen and red.
The most common testicular tumors that dogs are prone to are:
- Interstitial Cell Tumors
- Sertoli Cell Tumors.
Other rare tumors that a dog’s scrotum is prone to include:
A dog becomes sick when they have more than one kind of tumor at a time.
Well, the good news is that most tumors are gentle and easy to treat. For instance, the seminoma tumor affects the sperm-producing cells and doesn’t spread rapidly.
But you can’t ignore the dangerous ones either, like the Sertoli cell tumors. They are rapid spreaders and lead to swelling and, often, pain. Sertoli cell tumors can cause excessive hormone production, be it testosterone or estrogen.
It’s better to visit your vet regularly to discover any unusual growth in the scrotum and treat it on time.
Did your dog get hurt in the underbelly while running or playing? It can lead to inflammation that makes the balls appear swollen and red.
Acute scrotum inflammation is known as orchitis. However, some internal issues, like some sort of inflammation in the prostate or a UTI, can even cause redness.
Check your dog’s scrotum to see if there are any wounds on it. If so, apply an antibiotic ointment. Your buddy is likely to get cured within three to four days. However, if you don’t see any improvement, consult your vet.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) aren’t exclusive to humans. Your dog can even suffer from it, and unfortunately, it’s pretty challenging to treat. The only difference is that dogs can pick up the dangerous Brucella Canis bacteria that causes STDs just by smelling another infected dog’s urine.
Male dogs exhibit this disease through an expanded testicle or swollen scrotum. Moreover, while this disease causes skin rashes on the affected area, the dog’s scrotum will be red. Brucellosis requires immediate treatment as it can lead to infertility. And this disease is highly contagious, so you need to report it to federal authorities.
But don’t worry; you are safe!
Why A Dog’s Balls Become Red and Dry?
Cold weather is the common cause behind skin dryness. However, the skin can get dry due to some skin irritations.
If you notice that your dog’s scrotum skin is dry, use coconut oil, Vaseline, or aloe vera on it. These products are non-toxic to dogs. So you won’t have to panic if your buddy licks it. Well, with proper moisturizing, the flaking or peeling of the dry skin is likely to vanish within a few days.
On the other hand, skin irritation in dogs can also occur due to an allergic reaction. The most common symptom is skin rashes. Keep an eye on your dog after they have skin rashes on the scrotum to look for any other symptoms. If you notice no other serious signs, give your canine a bath using a hypoallergenic shampoo to mitigate the itchiness.
Did your Dog’s Balls Became Red After Neutering?
If yes, then it’s likely due to the rough manipulation while neutering the scrotum. It may have caused skin irritation. The neutering process involves just a small incision, but it’s often enough to irritate the delicate scrotum skin, turning the balls red.
Keep a close eye on your dog over the next couple of days after neutering. You need to determine whether the incision caused an infection in the area or not.
The Best Ways to Treat Dogs with Red Balls
Now you already know the possible reasons for red balls. Fascinatingly, each cause will need different treatments.
So take a look at the reasons once more and their respective treatments.
Is your dog looking at their balls too often? If it’s because of anxiety, you have to know the real cause.
Often, your canine buddy can struggle with situations that you can’t change.
For example, there might be a new baby in the house, and your dog is having difficulty accepting the new member. Or your buddy is reacting badly due to the sudden loss of a loved one.
You can’t really do anything in these situations other than give your dog time to get used to it.
However, some situations that are causing anxiety in your dog can be managed, perhaps by putting in a lot of effort. For instance, you are shouting every time, and that’s causing stress for your dog. So avoid doing so when it’s not necessary to shout.
Another psychological reason for red balls in dogs is boredom. If that’s the reason, it’s again in your hands to change. And it’s easy.
Give more time to playing or walking with your dog. Make sure that they are getting sufficient physical and mental exercise. This will help a dog relax peacefully or have more sleep, eventually stopping repetitive behaviors like licking the balls.
It would be extremely unfortunate for your dog to suffer from testicular torsion, as it rarely occurs in dogs. The major symptoms of this disease include swollen testicles and difficulty walking.
Your only option is to take your dog to the vet immediately. This condition can only be treated with surgery.
Brucellosis is too hard to treat. If your dog is suffering from this condition, you are likely to spend most of the time at the veterinary surgery.
What causes a dog’s balls to be red?
Dogs’ balls can be red due to mild skin infections, inflammation, or irritation. However, red balls can also indicate something severe like brucellosis or testicular torsion in the worst cases.
Can a dog’s balls get red from licking?
A dog’s balls can be red after they lick the testicles if there’s something wrong. If the balls look red and raw, you must take them to the vet.
How can you treat a rash on your dog’s balls?
Firstly, stop your dog from biting or licking the affected area. Then, try to clean the area. You can give your dog a medicated bath with a shampoo based on benzoyl peroxide for two to three weeks, at least twice a week.
Having dogs as pets is undoubtedly fun. But simultaneously, you may have to deal with various unpleasant behaviors or sights. And one such unusual condition you can face with your dog is red balls. So your normal grooming routine must include checking the balls, along with other body parts.
The scrotum can become red due to some mild inflammation or irritation. So a red scrotum won’t always indicate any potential health condition. However, consult your vet immediately if you notice the balls to be unusually red or swollen.
Elena Gherman is a highly skilled and knowledgeable animal care expert. At the start of her career, she gained practical expertise with multiple animals. In addition to that, she works as a DVM veterinary editor for Joy Pet Products, which focuses on offering reliable information on pet health and wellbeing. She meticulously reviews each piece of writing before it is published to make sure pet owners get the most precise and updated information possible.