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alhdvm, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  I have 11+ years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I work on all species of animals.
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Our 13 month old Westies black nose has turned pink over the

Resolved Question:

Our 13 month old Westie's black nose has turned pink over the last few weeks. Is this a matter for concern?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  alhdvm replied 7 years ago.

Is the entire nose turning pink or just one certain area?

Is the area ulcerated or crusting?

Does he act like it bothers him at all? Is he rubbing it?

Is he otherwise acting normal?

Dr. Hinson
Customer: replied 7 years ago.



The centre is pink and the edges are still black (not jet black)

He licks it often but it is not crusting. He seems healthy and normal.



Expert:  alhdvm replied 7 years ago.
There are several problems that can occur with nasal pigmentation in dogs and some are more common than others. Some frequent Nasal Pigmentation problems include:

1. Dudley Nose

You may notice that the pigmentation in your dog’s nose has changed spontaneously for no apparent reason. If so, there is no need to be alarmed as this condition is likely to be Dudley nose and it is not known to be the cause of any disease or anything serious.

The nasal planum will look normal with the only difference being that the color is slightly lighter than what it is supposed to be. Basically, it happens when a young dog can start off with a black nose, but as they get slightly older, the nose changes to brown and sometimes pink or white. No one knows what causes dogs to suffer from this condition or what really triggers it. It is just something that happens spontaneously and it does not cause the dog any problems at all.

2. Vitiligo

Vitiglio is a condition that is more common in certain breeds of dogs and it is a depigmentation of the skin in patches of white hair or pale skin. The problem with Vitiglio is that it can actually affect the nasal planum, too. Also, the thing is, there are no treatments that have been made available to help treat this condition. So really, the best thing that you can do is to apply some sun block to the nose when they are exposed to the sun. It can occur in certain breeds such as Poodles, Pointers, Irish Setters, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Samoyeds and Afghan Hounds.

3. Snow Nose

A term called snow nose is applied to dogs that lose the pigmentation of their nose during the winter months, but it darkens again in the spring and summer months. Something that has not been proven to work but may help is vitamin E and it is completely safe to try the dog on it. The condition itself is thought to be caused by the lack of sunlight, which is why the color returns in the spring and summer months. One thing to keep in mind is that complete depigmentation does not occur in this condition. So, if your dog does suffer from complete depigmentation, it is not snow nose and you should consult your local veterinarian to get a true diagnosis.

4. Lupus Erythematosus

This medical condition can cause pigmentation problems and there are two main types of the condition that can affect dogs. As with Vitiglio, Lupus Erythematosus can affect certain breeds and with this condition it is usually German Shepherds, Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs and also crossbreeds. As well as the dog losing pigment on its nose, you may also notice inflammation and scaling on its face as well as lesions on the ears. If you do notice any of the symptoms, it is likely to be Lupus Erythematosus and not just a simple pigmentation condition that causes no problems whatsoever.

Pigmentation problems are common in certain breeds of dog and, usually, they do not cause many problems. Since your dog has no crusting or other issues I would guess he has Dudley Nose or maybe vitiligo. Neither is serious.

Your veterinarian will be able to advise you of the best treatment for the problem. Remember that it is not usually a problem, but any change in your dog’s health is always worth checking out so I would recommend taking him in for an examination soon.

I hope this helps. Best of luck to you!

Dr. Hinson
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
OK - thanks for thatSmile