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DrRalston, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2207
Experience:  Over twelve years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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the tip of my dogsnose is crusty & dry and he has a patch

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the tip of my dog'snose is crusty & dry and he has a patch of pink skin before the nose
Hello, I'm Dr Ralston. Thanks for your question.

It sounds like your dog might have nasal hyperkeratosis.

It tends to look kind of like this:

It is not known why this happens in dogs but it is characterized by an excessive amount of keratin that builds up on the end of the nose. Think of it like a callus on a person for example.

This tends to happen more commonly in older dogs. The tissue will usually build up on the tip, or dorsal portion of the nose as you have suggested. Sometimes, it might even crack or bleed.

For many dogs, treatment might not be necessary if it is mild. Or, a moist compress should be applied for about 5-10 minutes. This softens the excess keratin. Then another agent is applied to the area. Vaseline has been used as you suggested but there are many other agents which have also been used which might work better for your pet: petroleum jelly, A&D Ointment, Ichthammol ointment and salicylic acid/sodium/lactate/urea gel.

I have had good luck with a product called kerasolve. Here is a link to kerasolv Please click here for link to buy or see what the product looks like

It is important to note that you will not cure this problem. This is something that has to be nursed and maintained over time and treated as the event occurs.

For cracks and bleeding, a topical agent that contains antibiotic such as neosporine may be used.

Treatment should be done for at least 7-10 days until the signs respond, and repeated whenever flare ups occur.

If the lesions cover the entire nose, or the front of the nose, and there is pink damaged raw tissue, it is important to have the nose checked by a Veterinarian to rule out problems like lupus and pemphigus. They might look something more like this :

Notice the depigmented pink areas where black pigment has been lost. Crusty scabby areas and the pink depigmentation are hallmarks of this disease.

IF your pet looks more like that - you will need to have it checked by a Vet and a biopsy might be necessary. These medications can be controlled with a combination of drugs only available from your Vet.
DrRalston and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Many thanks for your helpful reply. The condition of my dog's nose isn't as crusty as your photo and looks more like caked on dried mud! He hasn't got any open bleeding areas thankfully but does have areas around the nostrils of depigmentation.

You are very welcome Louise. I just happen to be online right now and saw your reply.

You can have some slight depigmentation with any type of damage to the nose. A cut for example will turn pink before scaring. Some dogs will even have dudley nose, a condition that makes the nose pink splotchy, and may change with the seasons.

BUT, with hyperkeratosis, I guess the key is that it is right on top of the nose mostly. It's that junction between the skin and where the black part of the nose begins, and then continues forward a little bit, but usually doesn't drop off and form on the front "face" of the nose.

With pemphigus and lupus it is often affecting the entire nose, but especially the frontal portion of the nose like in those last two photos.

With hyperkeratosis, it looks like a bunch of mud caked on, like you were mentioning. Like a lot of dead skin all piled up on top. With the autoimmune disease like pemphigus or lupus it starts looking more like a really bad sunburn that is peeling.

Maybe this one is a little more representative for you?

This dog doesn't have it bad at all yet. But you can see that thin tannish brown line across the nose. That's nasal hyperkeratosis, just barely barely started.

I had one client that used and recommended this product to me. I can tell you that for her pet it worked VERY well, but can't guarantee it. And I don't work for the company or anything. So, unfortuantely, no kick backs. But, here's the link :
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi, It sounds like hyperkeratosis definately and I have noticed that his nose is blacker in the summer and lighter brown in the winter but this is the first time it has become crusty.


Thanks for the links, the nose butter sounds very positive

I've had clients use the kerasolv as well, not just for the nose but for calluses on the elbows of large dogs. I've gotten mixed reviews on it.

But, sure, try out that nose butter. Let me know how it works if you would. It might help somebody else down the road. It did work for at least one dog that I know of though.

Best wishes!