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Roger L. Welton, DVM
Roger L. Welton, DVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1449
Experience:  Licensed Veterinarian, Practice Owner, and Book Author
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I have a 70 pound Lab/hound Mix

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I have a 70 pound Lab/hound (Rodesian Ridgeback) mix. I have noticed that his muzzel/mouth (upper lip) area below his nose is pink colored, and he is lickin the area alot. He seems a bit lethargic at times, but will still chase his toy and play fetch. We live in Freeport Grand Bahama, and he likes to chase/catch Lizzards. What do you think might be wrong? I should add that the area of his muzzle that is pink, used to be a darker color (almost black) like his nose.


The lesion you are describing is possibly consistent with a focal form of lupus called discoid lupus. This typically starts as loss of pigmentation and irritation of the skin of the nose and muzzle. Although most cases do not eventually progress into the severe form where there is outright ulceration of the skin and nose, eventually the skin of the nose and muzzle may develop a scaly look and feel, even cracked appearance.

The treatment of choice for this condition is sold over the counter here int he US, an ointment called Protopic. The active ingredient is a medication called tocralmus 0.1%, so if Protopic the brand is not readily available in the Bahamas, perhaps you can find a pharmacy to compound it for you.

You can also get it by mail order. Here is an example of an online pet medication store that sells it:

For now, while you are researching the best method to obtain Protopic, I would purchase vitamin E gelcaps, poke a hole in them, and apply vitamin E oil to the affected region twice daily. He may lick some of and that is okay, but immediately following application, try to distract him with a walk or a treat so the oil has some time to absorb. Vitamin E is not as effective Protopic, but it can provide relief and slow progression of disease while you get your hands on Protopic or compounded tacrolimus.

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