A few months ago, I made a concerning observation: my dog’s balls are red and dry. Thankfully, a quick Internet search revealed that I was not the only pet owner asking such questions. The Internet is full of similar concerns and queries from pet owners, like:
- Why does my dog keep licking his balls and it’s red?
- My dog’s balls are dark red and peeling!
- My dog’s balls are red and swollen!
- Why is my dog’s scrotum red after neutering?
Being a proactive dog owner, I decided to take no risks regarding my dog’s health and I took him to a reputed veterinarian. Thankfully, my vet told me exactly why my dog’s testicles were swollen and red. He also gave us a treatment plan that worked wonders for my dog.
In this article, I will share all the essential details of my dog’s recent ordeal. If your dog is experiencing a similar issue, you will find all the guidance you need to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.
Do you want to know more about why your dog’s balls might be red and irritated and what to do about it? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
Here's what we'll cover:
- Why are My Dogs Balls So Red?
- Reasons Why Your Dog’s Balls Are Red and Irritated
- How to Treat Dogs Red Balls?
- Final Take
Why are My Dogs Balls So Red?
Let’s clarify some facts about balls in male dogs:
- The term “balls” refers to the scrotal sac that carries the testicles, i.e., the male sexual glands.
- Testicles produce sperm, testosterone, and various other secretions which aid in reproduction.
- Although testicles start developing while the puppy is still inside his mother’s uterus, they are not clearly visible until he is at least 8 weeks old.
- A dog’s balls will descend fully once he is 6 to 16 weeks old.
- Balls are a significant part of your dog’s body and they speak a lot about his health. They must be treated as an essential part of your dog’s routine grooming process.
Here is a chart detailing the evolution of balls in male dogs.
|Puppyhood (1 to 2 months)
|Small and underdeveloped (1-2cm)
|The testicles are not yet fully developed. They are small and not visible outside of the puppy’s scrotum.
|Light Gray, Pink, or Brown
|Puberty (2 to 12 months)
|Major increase in size and weight (2-3cm)
|As the dog reaches puberty, puppy reaches puberty, his balls will become slightly larger and more visible outside of the scrotum region.
|Medium Gray, Pink, or Brown
|Adulthood (12 to 24 months)
|Major increase in size and weight Now the testicles are fully developed (3-4cm)
|In adulthood, the testicles will reach their max size and weight. They will have a consistent size and shape.
|Dark Gray, Pink, or Brown
|Old Age (10+ years old)
|A slight reduction in the size and weight of the testicles
|In old age, dogs’ testicles start shrinking; This is a normal part of the aging process.
|Dark Gray, Pink, or Brown
The testicles of most dogs are gray or pink in color. Of course, the color will vary, depending on the dog’s skin color. For example, dogs with pitch-black skin have black-colored balls. But, the general idea is that the color of a dog’s testicles only becomes darker with age. So, if your dog has red balls it is a cause for concern.
Reasons Why Your Dog’s Balls Are Red and Irritated
There are several potential reasons why a dog’s balls turn red and dry. Here are six of the most common reasons why this happens:
#1. Scrotum Rash
If your dog’s balls are red and irritated every summer, then he probably has a scrotum rash. The scrotum is a pouch of skin situated underneath the dog’s tail. It is thin, hairless, and carries no fat, only the testicles. This ultra-sensitive pouch of skin is prone to inflammation or rashes.
Mild inflammation and seasonal rashes can be treated at home by applying aloe vera or antibiotic ointments to the balls. However, if the scrotum is badly swollen, do not take any risks and go to the vet. Swollen testicles indicate a whole host of diseases, including:
- Trauma caused by a penetrating injury to the testicles/scrotum
- Infection caused by bacteria or viruses
- Scrotal hernia
All of these diseases and conditions are very serious. It is best to get an official diagnosis from your vet.
#2. Testicular Torsion
Testicular torsion is a condition where one or both the testicles of a dog gets sprained on the connective tissue because of some external pressure. It prevents the flow of blood to and from the testicles and scrotum and causes a lot of inflammatory pain for the dog.
Since blood flow is hindered inside the tissues, the scrotum and testicles swell up. Testicular torsion is an extremely painful health condition for male dogs and needs immediate treatment.
The term “orchitis” is used to refer to fungal, bacterial, or viral infections in dogs that cause inflammation in the balls. The exact cause of orchitis is hard to detect. Dogs can get it from infections, wounds, and other medical conditions that expose them to fungi, bacteria, or viruses.
All non-neutered and unvaccinated dog breeds are at risk of getting orchitis. If your dog is not neutered and you suspect he has orchitis, watch out for symptoms like swollen testicles, sharp pain in the balls, and the scrotal skin turning dark in color.
Male adult dogs are highly prone to testicular tumors like Sertoli cell tumors, seminomas, fibroma, lipoma, teratoma, chondroma, and interstitial cell tumors. If your dog has any of these tumors, his balls are likely to get swollen and red. Visit your vet ASAP to have this unusual growth in your dog’s scrotum region examined!
Brucella Canis is a type of bacteria that causes a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) called Brucellosis in dogs. Red and swollen balls are the #1 symptom of this condition. Brucellosis is contagious. Dogs with this disease must be placed in isolation and given immediate treatment.
I remember my dog’s scrotum turned red after neutering. That was because while neutering his scrotum, my vet had caused inflammation in my dog’s balls. The scrotum area is very sensitive and these types of post-neutering injuries are quite common.
Physical injuries and skin dryness caused by cold weather can also cause scrotum inflammation. But the inflammation and redness caused by these two factors are nothing compared to the damning effects of the conditions discussed above. Thankfully, all the conditions mentioned above are treatable.
Just like us, our furry companions can be prone to allergies, which can be a common cause of red balls in dogs. Whether it’s a reaction to food, pollen, or even a new shampoo, allergies can lead to dry skin and irritation in dogs. If you suspect allergies are the culprit, consider switching to hypoallergenic products and keep an eye on any changes in your dog’s environment that might be triggering the irritation.
Oh, those pesky parasites! They can cause a myriad of health problems, including red and irritated balls. Fleas, ticks, and mites can all be a nuisance, causing your dog’s testicles to become itchy and inflamed. Regular vet visits and preventative treatments can be your best bet to keep these unwelcome guests at bay.
#9. Yeast Infections
A yeast infection is not just a human problem; it can also result in a dog’s balls red and irritated. This type of infection usually occurs in warm and moist areas, making the scrotum a prime target. If you notice a foul smell accompanying the redness, it might be time to take your dog to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Dermatitis can be a literal pain in the butt (or balls, in this case). This skin irritation can be due to a variety of reasons, including environmental allergens or even a reaction to certain fabrics. Keeping the area clean and dry can help, but if the irritation persists, a vet visit is in order.
#11. Bacterial Infections
Bacterial infections can be a severe health problem if left untreated. Symptoms of this disease include swollen testicles and red scrotum in dogs. It’s essential to examine your dog regularly and seek veterinary help if you suspect a bacterial infection.
#12. Poor Hygiene
Let’s face it, dogs aren’t the best at keeping themselves clean, especially in those hard-to-reach areas. Poor hygiene can be a common cause of red and irritated balls. Regular grooming sessions using pet-safe products can help prevent skin infections and keep your dog feeling fresh and happy.
#13. Hormonal Imbalances
Hormonal imbalances can cause a range of issues, including skin problems. If your dog’s skin is dry and irritated around the reproductive organs, it might be worth discussing potential health issues related to hormonal imbalances with your vet.
#14. Autoimmune Disorders
Autoimmune disorders are a more serious cause of red balls in dogs. These conditions can cause the body to attack its tissues, leading to various symptoms, including skin irritation. If you suspect an autoimmune disorder, it’s crucial to consult with a vet to manage your dog’s condition effectively.
#15. Chemical Irritants
Last but certainly not least, chemical irritants found in cleaning products or even in some types of dog shampoos can cause redness and irritation. If you’ve noticed your dog’s balls red and irritated after a bath, try switching to a hypoallergenic shampoo to see if it alleviates the problem.
How to Treat Dogs Red Balls?
Ask a veterinarian to perform thorough physical examinations of your dog. Treatment will vary, based on the diagnosis. Vets typically recommend applying antibiotic creams and other anti-inflammatory products to the red and swollen balls. But, if your dog is diagnosed with a specific disease like orchitis or cell tumor, he will receive specialized treatment.
Home Remedies for Contact Dermatitis or Allergies
Sometimes, the reason behind your dog’s balls turning red is contact dermatitis or allergies. This can happen due to a variety of reasons including exposure to irritants like cleaning products or plants. One home remedy you might consider is cleaning the area gently with a solution containing hypochlorous acid, such as Vetericyn. It’s gentle and can help reduce irritation. Remember to always try to clean the area gently to avoid exacerbating the issue.
Home Remedies for Friction
Friction is a usual suspect when you notice that your dog’s balls are red and dry. This could be due to excessive licking or dog masturbation, a behavior not uncommon in dogs as pets. To alleviate discomfort, consider applying a pet-safe moisturizer to reduce friction and promote healing. Keep an eye on your dog to ensure they aren’t engaging in behaviors that could increase friction in the area.
Home Remedies for Poor Hygiene
Let’s face it, sometimes our furry friends are not the best at maintaining their personal hygiene. Poor hygiene can lead to a host of problems including scrotal edema and excoriation. Regular baths with a gentle, hypoallergenic shampoo can be a game-changer. And hey, it might just make cuddle time a bit more pleasant too!
Home Remedies for Parasites
Parasites can be a nightmare, causing acute inflammation and discomfort in your dog’s reproductive gland area. One way to tackle this is by ensuring your dog is on a regular parasite prevention regimen. If you suspect parasites are the culprits, consult with your vet immediately for appropriate treatment.
When to Seek Veterinary Help
While home remedies can be a great first line of defense, there are times when professional help is needed. If your dog exhibits severe symptoms like fever, or if the scrotum doesn’t show signs of improvement within a few days, it’s time to take action. Conditions such as twisted on the connective tissue, which affects the blood flow within the connective tissue, require urgent veterinary attention. Remember, when in doubt, reach out to a vet to ensure your dog receives the best care possible.
Prompt treatment of wounds and strong anti-infection measures are the best weapons dog owners have against all the painful conditions that cause their dogs’ balls to become red and dry. Use this guide to ensure your dog’s balls are in great shape at every stage of their life!
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