Little Known Effect of Stress on Dogs

Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian and cannot give medical advice. If your pet is in need of care, please see a veterinarian.

I have a super sweet mixed breed that we rescued several years ago and I absolutely adore her. When the skin on her tummy started to change colors I started to freak out. Who wouldn't right? It's not like she's sunbathing on the porch all day while I'm at work. At least I don't think she is. . . .

It's Karma!

Cutie Patootie right? So, we were fostering five puppies for Heritage Humane Society, and I started to notice that the skin on Karma's tummy was looking a little darker than usual. I wasn't overly concerned at the time and thought maybe the fresh cut grass was bothering her.

Three weeks later her tummy was almost black and she had little pimples scattered about. Now I was getting worried. Is this normal, is there something wrong, should I take her to the vet?

Two weeks later, three of the five puppies we were fostering had gone to their forever homes. Yay! Karma seemed less stressed and even started playing with the puppies. Up to that point, all she would do is growl at them when they too close. In the puppies' defense, Karma looked a lot like their mom and they wanted to be near her. So this was a major improvement!

"her tummy was almost black and she had little pimples scattered about"

I started googling my little heart out trying to figure out what was going on. Everything I came across was either a skin disease, fleas or cancer. Karma has never had fleas and after experiencing canine cancer with two previous dogs I didn't think it was that either. She wasn't overly itchy, or tired or any of the above. I still had no answers and had made plans to call the vet once the puppies were gone.

Skip ahead two more weeks and we are puppy free. That is awesome but the best part is Karma's skin is starting to return to its normal color.

Moral of the story is "Stress is Bad, mkay". Anyone who has dealt with severe stress knows that it takes a physical toll on your body. That is what Karma had been experiencing and being unawares, as I was, I did nothing to alleviate her stress. Of course I feel like a bad dog mom right now but I did learn something important from all of this. It reminded me that pets have feelings too and they often pick up on your feelings and react in kind. Karma was picking up on my stress from the puppies, adding on to the stress she was under from the puppies constantly trying to nurse on her, and it made the poor thing so stressed out her skin turned black. Now that her stress levels (and mine) have decreased, I'm happy to report that her skin is slowly returning to normal.

Take care of your pets, like they take care of you.

#dog #skin #health #vet #pimple #dark #sixten

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