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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23777
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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my dog has a dry, cracked nose constantly, no matter what we

Resolved Question:

my dog has a dry, cracked nose constantly, no matter what we put on it. what causes this?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 years ago.
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This is called nasal hyperkeratosis. It's an idiopathic (unknown cause) condition that is characterized by the excessive formation of nasal keratin. It's common in older dogs. Accumulated keratin usually is more prominent on the dorsum (top) of the nose. Secondary erosions, ulcers and fissures ("cracked") are seen. For mild, asymptomatic cases, benign neglect and observation without treatment may be appropriate. For moderate to severe cases, the affected area should be hydrated with a warm water soak or compressed for 5-10 minutes (easier said than done). Then a softening agent is applied every 24 hours until excessive keratin has been removed (~7-10 days). Treatment should be continued on an as-needed basis for control. Softening agents include petroleum jelly, A&D Ointment, Ichthammol ointment and salicylic acid/sodium/lactate/urea gel. For fissured lesions, combination antibiotic/glucocorticoid ointment may be applied to lesions every 8-12 hours until healed. The prognosis is good. Although it is incurable, this is a cosmetic disease that usually can be managed symptomatically. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
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