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Ever since her puppies were sold a couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend's sister's australian shepherd's mammary glands have been shrinking up. That's to be expected. However, they used to be light pink, but since they started shrinking up, they started to develop small dark gray blotches on them. Now, her mammary glands are probably half the size they used to be, and there are huge, jet black blotches covering the majority of them. Is this normal? The owner, my boyfriend's sister, says that it's probably normal, since she's a blue merle, and that her skin is supposed to be blotchy. It worries me though, because I didn't think their skin would be pink and jet black, I thought it was more like pink and gray. And those blotches weren't always there.. her skin in that area used to be all light pink.

What do you think? Is this normal, or is there really something to worry about?
 

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Sounds perfectly normal ... I agree, these darkened patches you're seeing now are most likely the skin color patterns. Some Beagles have those bluish/grey spots on their tummies which seem to dissapear when the mammaries are swollen with milk, then retun once they get their shape back :) Also, besides the coloration of the skin, you could be seeing some residual bruising that is healing up. The babies sometimes are very forceful on the mammaries and cause deep bruising with their teeth and the pressure of the suckling. The momma's body is taxed while nursing, so sometimes bruising from the pups takes longer to heal than usual ... I see that frequently in the tolerant mommas ... their mammaries take a beating from the pups and are red, inflamed, bruised for weeks!
 
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