If you’re asking, why does my Westie have black specks, it’s essential to know the common causes and whether they’re worrisome. Most often, black marks, dots, and specks are a sign of non-severe ailments or aging in Westies.
If you’re concerned about the overall health of your pet, it is highly recommended that you visit your veterinarian for a precise diagnosis.
Why Does My Westie Have Black Specks?
Below are the most common issues that may arise from black specks on your Westie, as well as their treatments, and if you should worry or not.
Did you know that similar to humans, dogs can have food allergies, as well? Depending on the type of food you feed your dog, they could be having an adverse reaction to the ingredients. This process may involve the development of black spots on your dog’s skin; however, they typically appear with a few other symptoms, as well.
Many Westies can be allergic to beef, dairy, and wheat, which may require you to purchase special food that doesn’t upset their stomachs. Westies are also one of the most common dog breeds to experience allergies.
Food Allergy Symptoms
Along with black spots, the most common symptoms a dog may experience with a food allergy include:
- Dry and Itchy Skin
It’s quite likely that one of the first things you’ll notice when your pet is allergic to their food is consistent itching. Your Westie will constantly be licking or gnawing at their skin; you may even see that they are starting to lose some hair in the areas where they itch the most.
If your pet has a high frequency of bald patches or is continually licking, they are likely allergic to something. You may also want to consider the type of shampoo you use on your pet when it’s time for them to be groomed.
Westies are renowned for their sensitive skin as well as their food allergies, which means that they may need special shampoo. Your best bet is to visit the veterinarian and have them run an allergy panel to determine what the cause of itching is.
Unfortunately, when your dog eats something its body doesn’t agree with, the first thing it will do is try to get the food out of its system. Similar to when humans suffer from food poisoning, vomiting is a sure-fire way to determine that your dog doesn’t like their food.
However, it will be a consistent issue, rather than a one-off event. If your dog is regularly vomiting after eating their food, it’s likely because they are allergic to something in the blend.
On the other hand, if your dog only vomits once in a while, it could be because it is eating too fast. The faster your dog eats, the harder it will be for it to digest the food healthily.
Vomiting can also be a symptom of plenty of other ailments, so if it becomes a consistent issue, book an appointment with the vet.
Similar to vomiting, diarrhea is incredibly common with dogs who have a food allergy. You may also experience this side effect if you have recently changed your dog’s food. It’s best to give your Westie up to a week to adjust to its new diet.
If diarrhea persists, see if there are any correlating ingredients from the old brand to the new one.
Determining what food is best for your Westie can be quite a lengthy venture. However, once you can find the perfect diet that settles their stomach and prevents vomiting and diarrhea, they’ll be healthier than ever.
How to Treat Food Allergies
The best thing you can do for your Westie’s food allergies is to make sure they have access to food that doesn’t have the allergen in it.
There are plenty of manufacturers who have created gluten-free and meat-free dog foods designed specifically for pets with allergies.
Another reason as to why your dog may have black spots is aging. This symptom is something humans experience, too, though we call them age spots. Over time, you may notice the black marks will get darker as it’s hyperpigmentation on the skin.
The older your dog is, the more frequent and prevalent the spots will become. However, you must inspect them regularly to ensure that they aren’t anything more serious.
Age spots will not appear scaly, nor will they have an odor. Your Westie also won’t lose hair around the places; they’ll appear on the skin.
There is an excessive number of symptoms your Westie is prone to experience as it gets older. The most common include:
- Drastic Weight Change
If there isn’t a history of an illness, it’s likely that your pet is going to experience significant weight changes as they get older. As a pet parent, you’ll want to make sure their weight corresponds with the amount of food and activity they receive.
For example, senior dogs who eat a lot but do not exercise should be getting larger, rather than thinner.
It’s also common for Westies to lose weight as they get older, especially if they don’t have access to food designed for senior dogs. Kibble that is hard for them to chew won’t be as appealing as wet food that can easily be ingested.
- Body Stiffness
As your Westie’s bones change in their older age, they are prone to experience stiffness and discomfort. Their activity and energy levels may also drastically decline, especially in a dog that is known for its high-energy.
You can typically find dog foods with joint support for senior Westies who need a little bit of extra help.
- Behavioral Changes
You might notice that the older they get, the less or more tolerant your Westie will become. This change will be particularly noticeable around children or if you introduce another dog into the household.
You may find your Westie’s energy may decline, or they might become more playful with a new friend.
How to Treat Aging
Unfortunately, aging is a natural process, and there isn’t much you can do to stop it. The main thing to remember is you will want to make sure you are feeding your Westie healthy and supportive foods, even if you have to rely on the best senior vitamins.
Older Westies will need food mixes that focus on joint health, muscle health, and digestive health the most.
Out of the three most common causes for black spots on your Westie, yeast infections are the most serious. However, they won’t require immediate hospitalization and can easily be treated from the comfort of your own home.
Yeast infections occur due to an overproduction of Malassezia pachydermatis growing on the skin of your dog. If you have begun to notice there are black spots on their skin, they should be flat and will likely appear around their groin. At times, they may smell foul and may continue to get darker.
Yeast Infection Symptoms
Along with several black spots on your Westie’s skin, they may also experience the following symptoms of a yeast infection:
Yeast infections can be quite uncomfortable for anyone and can produce an ample amount of itching. Without treatment, the itchiness will only get worse, which can lead to hair loss, skin infections, and more.
- Foul-Smelling Skin
As the infection on your Westie is occurring from yeast, their skin is going to have a foul yeast-like smell to it. You may even find the individual black spots smell worse than their skin in general.
Often, this issue is quickly treated with the medicated products your veterinarian will prescribe.
Another skin issue your Westie may experience is excessive oiliness. Unfortunately, Westies are prone to skin conditions as they are quite sensitive, and excessive sebum production is standard. You’ll begin to notice their coat will have an unhealthy and greasy shine to it.
How to Treat Yeast Infections
Fortunately, even though they are quite uncomfortable, treating yeast infections is quite simple, with the help of your vet.
After conducting their examinations and confirming the presence of a disease, they will give you oral prescriptions and medicated shampoos. However, treatment may vary from pet to pet and depending on the severity of the condition.
The most common treatment for Westies with a yeast infection is a medicated shampoo. All you will have to do is wash their coat with the shampoo up to two times per week for several weeks. This process will kill the yeast infection and help the black spots to disappear quickly.
The three central answers to why does my Westie have black specks are yeast infection, aging, or a food allergy. Once you can determine what the cause is, thanks to the corresponding symptoms, you can provide the best method of treatment. It’s always best to be informed on how to give your Westie the best life possible.