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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24443
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog is 4 and she has had a pink nose since she was one.

Customer Question

My dog is 4 and she has had a pink nose since she was one. Before it was black, and recently in the last 2 days I noticed pink around her eyes especially around one eye and a little dark red mark the size of a small pimple next to her whiskers. Please advise
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the photos! There are likely to be two unrelated skin disorders. The area around her right eye has lost hair and there's evidence of inflammation involving the medial canthus and lids. This might occur secondary to an allergic conjunctivitis, infectious conjunctivitis (less common), adult onset demodicosis (mange mite), and autoimmune skin disease such as the pemphigus complex (uncommon).

The change in her nose is simply called nasal depigmentation (Dudley nose, snow nose) and is considered idiopathic (unknown cause). Affected dogs are born with a pigmented nose which later in life lightens. Only the nose is affected and the normal cobble texture of the nose is preserved (autoimmune skin diseases destroy the normal architecture). It's common in dogs with the highest incidence in golden retrievers, yellow Labrador retrievers, Siberian huskies, and Alaskan malamutes.

I regret that the photo attempting to show the "little dark red mark" is too out of focus for me to evaluate properly. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She also has hyperkeratosis on all her paw pads
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Juvenile hyperkeratosis is genetically predetermined and familial. It results in severe digital hyperkeratosis by 5-6 months of age. There's also an idiopathic nasodigital hyperkeratosis that can arise at any time. Here's my synopsis of how you can address either form:

The intensity of therapy depends on the severity of the lesions. For mild, asymptomatic cases, affected areas should be hydrated with a warm water soak. A softening agent, then, should be applied every 24 hours until excessive keratin has been removed (~7-10 days). Treatment should be continued on an as-needed basis for control. Effective softening agents include the following: petroleum jelly, A&D ointment, ichthammol ointment, salicylic acid/sodium lactate/urea gel, and tretinoin gel. (The last three are available from her vet.) For fissured lesions, combination antibiotic/glucocorticoid ointment (Panalog, e.g.) may be applied to lesions every 8-12 hours until healed. The prognosis is good. Although it's incurable, this is a cosmetic disease that usually can be managed symptomatically. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.