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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19152
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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What causes recent onset of pink discoloration ...

Resolved Question:

What causes recent onset of pink discoloration on a dogs nose? Bentley is a 15 year old male flat-coated retriever.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for the question.

This is something which we see from time to time and it is common your breed and in the older age group. The current thinking as to the cause is :

1. An autoimmune disease where the body attacks the cells which produce melanin the dark skin pigment.

2. The aging process has reduced the number of cells which produce skin pigment.

Both of the above are trivial situations and all that happens is that the dog's nose turns pink. The only precaution you need to take is to use sun block when you take the dog out as the new pink nose is prone to sun burn or even skin cancer.

But : Occasionally a more severe autoimmune disease develops where you get skin ulcers on the nose as well as loss of pigment, this form is usually treated with steroids.

Here is a link to an excellent web page which explains the situation in depth : http://www.professorshouse.com/pets/dogs/why-is-dogs-nose-turning-pink.aspxhttp://www.professorshouse.com/pets/dogs/why-is-dogs-nose-turning-pink.aspx

I have it in my bookmarks as I have printed it out for my clients at my clinic in the past.

If I can advise you further do not hesitate to get back in touch.

Scott Nimmo BVMS
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