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Mia Carter
Mia Carter, Animal Expert
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 822
Experience:  Specializing in the training and care of ill pets and special needs animals! Mom of 22 pets!
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The skin on my dogs nose is dry and hard and cracking,

Resolved Question:

The skin on my dogs nose is dry and hard and cracking, sometimes bleeding. She has a couple of points which look raw. Can you suggest anything. She isn''t very friendly therefore I am not happy to take her to the local vet unless absolutely necessary.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Mia Carter replied 8 years ago.
Hello there!

I understand your dilemma completely. One of my own dogs is deathly afraid of the vet - he ends up a shivering, peeing, growling mess, so I understand your feeling.

There's a few measures you can try at home before you venture in to the vet's office.
Basically, your girl's nose is chapped. Licking her nose transfers saliva and the saliva is drying. That causes the skin to become dry, rough, chapped and cracked. Sometimes, you can end up with infections too, because the dog is transferring bacteria when she licks her nose, and she's using her nose to investigate as well.

Another contributing factor may be her dog food. There's a correlation between dry chapped noses and dry dog food and it seems to occur more frequently with low-quality foods. So if you can keep her on a high-quality dog food, that's ideal. Hills Science Diet, Wellness, Nutro, and Royal Canin are some of my favorites. And if she prefers the taste of dry food, you can add some hot water to the kibble, wait about ten minutes for the kibble to soften and absorb the water.

We'll want to start cleaning her nose twice daily, particularly when it's cracked and bleeding. You can use betadine - it's a disinfectant found in the first aid aisle of the drug store. Dab it on her nose with a cotton ball and let it air dry. Then, apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment - this will promote healing. And finally, put on a good coat of vaseline.

Applying warm wet compresses can also help, once or twice a day. You can get a microwavable heat pack at the drug store and wrap it with a wet washcloth. Hold this on her snout for 15 minutes or as long as she'll allow. And after the 15 minutes, gently use the washcloth to rub her nose in a circular motion. This will help remove some of the dead skin that's formed the crusty layer that's prone to cracking.

One product that I've tried and liked is called Nose Balm by the Well Adjusted Dog Company. You can use it in place of vaseline after the twice-daily cleanings. This balm is fast working and it can be used regularly too to help prevent problems from arising again.

I wish you luck with your GSD! I hope her nose is feeling better soon! Just let me know if you have any additional questions!

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-Mia Carter
Pet Expert

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