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Vet help
Vet help, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
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Experience:  9 years experience as small animal vet, 19 years experience in the animal care field
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Why does my dog have a really crusty nose

Customer Question

I want to know what can i do about my dog's crusty nose. My local vet told me to put some moisturizer on it when it dry, but when I put on and rub it in , it soaks in and is crusty and dry again. I have peeled the top layer off and it looks nice for a few days, then i crusts up again. The local vet told me look out for, and if it gets worse, and starts going up the bridge of the nose it could be Lupus.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Vet help replied 8 years ago.
This may be a condition called idiopathic (fancy way of saying that the cause is unknown) nasal hyperkeratosis. It's a fairly common condition in older dogs and results in dryness, cracking, and thickening of the skin of the nose. The whole nose may be affected but it is often most severe on the top of the nose. Some dogs will also have similar signs on their feet, where the pads develop a frayed appearance.
Topical therapies include petroleum jelly, Retin-A or a product called Kerasolv. It's usually best to apply a warm wet compress to the nose prior to application of the topical products. Similar to application of lotion to an infant after a bath, the skin tends to hold the moisture better if it is wet before the lotion is applied. Oral therapy with Vitamin A can be beneficial in cases such as this. Ask your vet for a dose appropriate for your dog.
Monitor the nose for any signs of ulceration or depigmentation (a black nose becoming pink, for instance), as these can be signs of more serious autoimmune diseases, like Lupus, which your vet mentioned.
Other possible causes for a crusty nose include: Sun exposure- usually only animals with light colored or pink noses are affected. Minimizing time spent in the sun and application of sun block can help in this case.
Allergic reaction to plastic food and water bowels- switching to stainless steel leads to resolution of the porblem.
Hope the information was helpful.

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