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Dr. Cliff
Dr. Cliff, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 65
Experience:  DVM from AVMA-accredited college of veterinary medicine, graduated in 2000.
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why is my dogs nose EXTREMELY dry and flaky

Customer Question

why is my dogs nose EXTREMELY dry and flaky
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Cliff replied 8 years ago.
Dear Broncobilly,

An extremely dry nose can be due to a few things.
1) a bacterial infection (mucocutaneous pyoderma/folliculitis/furunculosis). Often a course of antibiotics, such as cephalexin, can do the trick. 4-8 weeks of treatment is often necessary.
2) an autoimmune disease: this is when the dog's own immune system "attacks" its own tissues. In this case, it would be the skin on the nose. Pemphigus (foliaceus and erythematosus) and discoid lupus erythematosus are examples of auto-immune disease that can cause these lesions.
3) a mite infection (Demodex): skin scrapings may help rule this out
4) ringworm: this is a fungal infection.
5) in northern breeds, such as the Siberian Husky, a deficiency in zinc can lead to flaky skin on the nose.
Be patient in this case. Often a few tests will have to be performed (including a skin biopsy) before a final diagnosis is achieved. It is not unreasonable to try a course of antibiotics (for at least 1 month) first, and take it from there.
Please go see your vet and things should get better!
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