Any weird bumps or lumps on your dog’s body can send you into a tizzy. You might end up worrying about whether the bump is cancerous or non-cancerous. Does it warranty an emergency trip to the vet? Or can you afford the wait and watch routine?
A hard bump on bridge of dog’s nose could be a result of several health conditions. For example, it could be an infection, canine acne, dental issues, injury, or tumors, both benign and malignant.
Let us look at different causes why dogs develop bumps on their noses and the treatment options available.
Hard Bump on Bridge of Dog’s Nose? Causes, Pictures & Treatment
The nose bridge may seem like an unusual place for a bump. But, it would be best to get the bump checked by the vet to catch the underlying issue early on.
1. Nasal Dermatoses
This is a broad term used to describe various skin issues affecting a dog’s nose bridge and nose planum. The causes can range from bacterial infections to auto-immune disorders.
Depending on the cause, you might see symptoms on the muzzle and/or the hairless part of the nose. Some common conditions your dog can develop are pyoderma, demodicosis, dermatophytosis, and auto-immune diseases like lupus.
If the dog has a skin condition, it is likely to show the below symptoms:
- Hard bump on the nose
- Loss of pigment in the nose
- Excess pigmentation of the nose
- Skin flaking
- Nose bleeds
- Oozing lesions
- Bad odor
The symptoms of these conditions can often overlap. Thus, it would be best if you do not try to diagnose the condition on your own, simply based on physical appearance. The vet will take skin and hair samples and study them under the microscope to find the exact cause behind the bumps.
Here are the common causes of nasal dermatoses in dogs.
- Bacterial Infection: Staphylococcus is a common bacteria type responsible for pyoderma in your furry friend. Most of these infections are superficial. They majorly affect the skin and hair follicles around the nasal area.
- Fungal: These infections can affect all dogs but are often found in young dogs and those with a weak immune system. Microsporum canis is a fungus that primarily leads to dermatophytosis or ringworm in dogs.
- Parasite: Demodex mite is a parasite found on mammals’ skin. They are responsible for causing skin disorders known as demodicosis.
- Auto-immune diseases: There are a few auto-immune disorders like lupus erythematosus and pemphigus foliaceus that can show similar symptoms around the nasal area as infections. The vet will take a skin biopsy for diagnosis.
The treatment depends on the type of nasal dermatoses. The vet will first rule out infections and mites. Then, test the dog for auto-immune disorders.
As pyoderma cases are usually superficial, the vet will prescribe an antibiotic or anti-fungal topical. You may have to apply the topical for three to four weeks. The vet will perform a skin culture and sensitivity test if the condition is chronic. The prescribed antibiotics will have to be used for eight to twelve weeks.
Similarly, in the case of dermatophytosis, the vet will suggest a topical treatment for four to six weeks. The vet might also prescribe oral medications for severe cases. It would be best if you gave medicines under the strict supervision of the vet as they can cause congenital disabilities in pregnant dogs.
Again for Demodex mites, topical medication is the treatment available. ‘Off-label’ medications can be used to get rid of the mites, such as those belonging to the isoxazoline class. Off-label means that the medicine is used for a purpose it was not approved for.
In the case of auto-immune diseases, immunosuppression is one of the standard treatment routes taken. The drugs and therapies will depend on the specific type of disease.
Read More: Ultimate Guide To Dog Health
2. Canine Acne
In the case of canine acne, you will notice multiple bumps on the skin, around the lips, and the muzzle area. These bumps will be red. In severe cases, these bumps could be bleeding. You will also notice some facial swelling.
A dog with canine acne can show additional symptoms like:
- Skin lesions (with or without pus)
- Pain around the nasal area
- Excessive rubbing against floor or furniture to relieve itching
The condition is typically diagnosed by its characteristic appearance around the lips and the muzzle. The vet may also perform a skin biopsy, bacterial culture, and sensitivity. If the nasal area has scabs and bleeding bumps, it could lead to infection. Thus, a skin culture would help determine the treatment.
Experts have not been able to find the root cause of canine acne. The consensus, though, is that the genetic makeup of some dog breeds makes them more prone to acne. For example, breeds like Great Danes, Mastiffs, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinschers carry a genetic predisposition to acne.
Other dog breeds can also get acne. But the probability of that happening is on the lower end.
Trauma is another factor that can trigger acne in dogs. If the hair follicles near the chin and nasal area rupture, it can lead to inflammation. If left untreated, the inflamed skin can get infected.
Benzoyl peroxide topical is one of the common treatments available for canine acne. In mild cases, the topical is enough to treat the condition. However, if your dog’s condition is chronic, the vet may recommend applying the product for a few weeks to avoid recurrence.
If the inflammation is severe, steroids can help bring it down. The vet may prescribe steroids in the form of topical or oral medication.
If the skin is infected, the vet will give an antibiotic to help with the healing.
3. Nose Tumors
Abnormal production of cells in the nasal airway leads to nasal tumors in dogs. These tumors are rare. They account for around 1% of dog tumors. The tumor can be benign or cancerous. Unfortunately, over half of these tumors are cancerous. Nasal adenocarcinoma is the most common condition found in dogs.
Some of the symptoms of nose tumors in dogs are:
- Nasal discharge (can be pus or blood)
- Facial deformity (this is when you may see bumps on the nose bridge)
- Difficulty breathing
- Weight loss
- Bad breath
As the tumor grows, you may see rare neurological symptoms like:
- Walking in circles
- Behavioral changes
Whether non-cancerous or cancerous, you cannot trace back the condition to a single cause with tumors. Instead, many factors together may be responsible for nose tumors in dogs.
Some dog breeds may be prone to developing nose tumors. For example, dogs with long noses are more likely to develop tumors. Other causes include exposure to cigarette smoke or pollution from industrial factories. If you live in an urban area, continuous exposure to car fumes and other pollutants is also a risk factor.
The vet will diagnose a tumor with physical exams, blood tests, and chemistry panel tests. X-rays and CT scans can help identify the size and location of the tumor. If the dog has nasal discharge, it will be collected and looked at under a microscope. A biopsy might also be taken to confirm the diagnosis.
Depending on the type, size and location, the vet may surgically remove the tumor. Radiation or chemotherapy may be suggested and/or with surgery. The vet may also prescribe pain medications, NSAIDs, or antibiotics to manage clinical signs.
4. Dental Issues
A tooth infection or tooth fracture can lead to a hard bump on bridge of dog’s nose. The carnassial tooth is the pointy cheek tooth you can find in dogs. It helps them separate flesh from bone. It is the upper fourth premolar in dogs.
The carnassial and the teeth behind it do not have much space between them. This lack of space can lead to the accumulation of tartar. If not cleaned, this tartar formation can lead to bacterial infections. In addition, gum and jaw bone recession can lead to exposed roots.
The carnassials tooth can also break or fracture if the dog bites onto an object harder than its own tooth. Dogs may not pay particular attention to their teeth. They may not care if they break a tooth while eating and might bite harder.
The fractured tooth can expose the canal of the tooth. If left untreated, the tooth can rot, leading to infections and abscesses.
Tartar formation is the leading cause of dental infections in dogs. Therefore, you need to regularly clean your dog’s teeth, especially in crowded spaces.
Avoid giving food or treats that are difficult to bite into.
Depending on the degree of the infection, the tooth may be extracted, or root canal therapy can be performed.
If the tooth has good periodontal support, a root canal is a less invasive therapy. First, the infected part of the tooth is removed. Then the area is sterilized. Then, the hole that is left behind is filled with inert material. This prevents the bacteria from entering the tooth.
If the vet cannot save the tooth, then extraction is the way forward. If your vet does not perform dental services, you will have to see a certified veterinary dentist.
An allergy, in simple terms, is your dog’s reaction to an allergen. This allergen could be anything from a food protein, insect bite, or a plant in your backyard.
A type of allergic reaction that you should be wary about is anaphylaxis. This is an immediate reaction after the dog is exposed to the allergen. In rare cases, this reaction can be life-threatening.
For example, your pet could be allergic to a bee sting. In typical cases, the insect bit will lead to a localized reaction. This is when you might see not bumps but swelling around the muzzle.
Other symptoms include:
- Excessive drooling
Other allergens can lead to symptoms like:
- Runny nose
- Constant licking
- Runny eyes
Flea saliva is one of the common allergens responsible for allergies in dogs. Then there are common food allergens like chicken, soy, and dairy. Environmental allergens include pollen, mold spores, and mildew, among others. These allergens primarily affect areas such as the base of the tail, paws, and ears.
It is an environmental and acute allergic reaction that leads to swelling of the muzzle. Experts believe that anaphylaxis can be hereditary.
Treatment depends on the type of allergen. Your vet will need information about any changes in your pet’s diet or routine, when you noticed the symptoms, and what the pet was doing right before.
Antihistamines are the typical therapy used to block allergic reactions. In addition, a hypoallergenic shampoo might be recommended if the dog’s skin is inflamed and itchy.
In the case of an anaphylactic reaction, immediate action is required from your end. Firstly the vet will remove the foreign substance causing the reaction. For example, in the case of a bee sting, its stinger needs to be removed. Next, intravenous fluids may be administered to stabilize the dog’s condition.
The vet may also administer antihistamines and corticosteroids. The localized reaction can be controlled using these treatment methods. A systematic anaphylactic reaction is rare, but you should consult the vet immediately to reduce the chances of a minor reaction turning major.
6. Other Injuries
Dogs are always on the move. They might bump into furniture or walls. If not careful, they can take a stumble down the stairs.
Dogs push and use their paws and mouths while playing. This may seem harmless, but your dog could get injured in the process. Injuries can happen if the pet has gotten into an accident. Or if it fights with another dog.
As you know, a dog relies on its nose to explore and learn about its surroundings. When outside, the dog can go overboard, sniffing and chasing scents. Such aggressive use of the nose increases the risk of it being injured.
All these falls, stumbles, and sniffs can lead to bumps on the nose.
Holding an ice pack over the muzzle can help stop bleeding and bring down swelling. Then, depending on how the dog sustained the injury, the vet may prescribe a topical or oral medication.
Have you noticed a hard bump on bridge of dog’s nose? The bump could result from bacterial or fungal infection, Demodex mite, canine acne, dental issues, allergies, or injury.
Auto-immune diseases like lupus erythematosus can lead to bumps around the nasal area.
The bump could also indicate the growth of nasal tumors in your dogs. These tumors can be harmless or cancerous. So, it is best to get the dog checked by the vet.
The treatment for the bump on the nose depends on the cause. Topicals, antibiotics, and oral medications are the usual treatment methods used. In case of dental issues, a root canal or tooth extraction may be necessary. And for tumors, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are available treatments.
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.