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Dr.  Vamvakias
Dr. Vamvakias, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
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Experience:  Small Animal & Emergency Medicine
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dogs: nose..My Vet says he has an alergy to the sun that is the cause.

Customer Question

My dogs nose is dry and craked. My Vet says he has an alergy to the sun that is the cause. It started when he wore all the black off of it digging as a pup. We have tried a number of salves and ointments but he just licks them off. What can we do beside keep him out of the sun?
Our Vet says that because of the sun burn his immune system kicked in at an accelatered rate and his body was rejecting or alergic to his natural antibodies and so it doesn't allow it to heal. He perscribed Tetracycline and Niacinamide and told us to keep him out of the sun for the rest of his life. He is a big, hairy animal and we can't keep him out of the sun. We did try and it helped but the dog was miserable being in a small dark kenel all day long. The nose is in to poor of shape for a tattoo. There has to be something we can put on it that will protect it from the sun.
Thank you for your help. He is a 5 year old Wolf/Husky mix.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. Vamvakias replied 11 years ago.
 Does he have any other lesions like around the eyes, lips or anus/prepuce?
Has your vet run any tests/bloodwork?

Dr.V


Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
http://www.dog-training.com/allcoatdressing.htm
has a product called De Nose Nos which is something used in a two step process to blacken the nose which might offer some protection
I do not know how often you would have to use it.
I've seen it used at dog shows to cover up pink noses and as it goes on top of the nose skin it may offer some UV protection too.
There is also an item called shade cloth which cuts the direct sunlight down a great deal. It is used outdoors over kennel runs. You can buy it as premade custom kennel covers or you may be able to find it on the roll at garden centers in places like Home Depot or at a greenhouse supply center. If you search at www.froogle.com you can find both products from a variety of vendors.
The shade cloth varies in UV blocking from 60-80% and will make the area it shades cooler too.

Another thought entirely about the nose problem. If you happen to use plastic bowls to feed the dog from you might want to change to stainless bowls - some dogs have an allergic dermatitis from the bacteria that can thrive on the plastic bowl surface and changing to stainless solves that.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Vamvakias's Post: He has no other lesions on his body, and no blood work was done by our Vet. The Doctor did say that this is common in light skin dogs. We live at an altitude of 4500 feet and apollo is white. Hope this helped. Customer
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: Nancy:
Thank you for your response to my dogs nose problem.
He is kept in an open yard so the shade cloth is not an option. I will try the De Nose Nos but will dying his nose black give any UV protection from the sun?
If it works I will gladly pay the fee.
Thank you Customer
Expert:  Dr. Vamvakias replied 11 years ago.

 I think that several options are available...but considering the breed...I just gave this information to another client...maybe you should think about this as a question for your vet...as well as other things I listed. 


Zinc responsive dermatosis of Siberian Huskies and Alaskan malamutes have a primary syndrome.  Alaskan malamutes/Huskys can have a genetic defect affecting the absorption of zinc from the intestines.  Thus, the condition can occur even while the dog is on a well-balanced commercial food.


Zinc-responsive dermatosis may be precipitated by stress, estrus, and GI disorders.  Diets high in calcium and phytate (plant derived protein) may aslo precipitate the disorder by binding zinc in the GI tract.


Lesions usually develop in dogs in young adulthood. They can include alopecia (hairloss), erythema (reddening of the skin), scaling and crusting involving the face, nose,head, scrotum and legs. Lesions often can encircle the mouth, chin, eyes, ears, prepuce, and vulva, but any lesions found in these breeds should be considered a rule out. Thick crusts may be found on the elbows and other pressure points of the body. The footpads may be hyperkeratotic. Haircoat is generally dull and dry.


If lesions are present and diagnosis and treatment recommended.


 


Also..the immune system "thing" doesn't diagnose anything. There are immune mediated diseases, like lupus, that start with lesions on the bridge of the nose and no amount of sun protection will change an immune mediated process.


You can try sun issues, but I would be considering other things.  If your vet is reluctant to do anything else, you may want to visit a different vet for a second opinion OR ask for a referral to a vet dermatologist. Lastly...a thyroid check may be indicated as well.


As far as $$ you may want to start with the least expensive treatment of sunblock first...


Dr.Vamvakia

 

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