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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 14908
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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My 15 yr old dog has a dry crusty nose with tissue built up

Customer Question

my 15 yr old dog has a dry crusty nose with tissue built up at the tip, arthritis, falling up stairs, noisy breathing
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry to hear about Little Bit's problems. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.
The dry crust on the nose is often seen in older dogs. It can sometimes be softened and removed with Vaseline, aloe, etc. It is not a serious or life threatening condition, but is unattractive, and can cause noisy breathing if the nostrils are being compressed by the crust.
Noisy breathing can also be caused by heart and lung disease, chronic bronchitis, fluid in the chest. Is there any coughing at all? If she is breathing with her mouth closed, this is probably not serious. If she is having any real trouble breathing, she will pant or open her mouth to get enough air.
Arthritis is common in dogs this old. There are supplements that may help: fish oil, glucosamine, anti oxidant vitamins. There are many good anti inflammatory and pain drugs for dogs now but are prescription medications that you would have to get from your veterinarian. You can try aspirin, if she is eating: one low dose aspirin per 15 to 20 pounds of body weight, once to twice daily. If she is not eating, or if she vomits, do not give aspirin.
Often older dogs become very clingy, never want their owner out of their sight. This is probably a form of brain aging, or senility, so there may not be much you can do about that. There have been some studies that show anti oxidant vitamins may help with some signs of senility/brain aging/ cognitive dysfunction.
If she is still eating, her quality of life is still good. If she is not eating well, that is a sign she may be suffering.
Please let me know what other questions you have.