White Spot On Dog’s Nose: Should I be Worried?

A dog’s nose is perhaps one of the cutest things that adds a new dimension to his facial expressions. The shape and color of the nose differ from one breed to the other. When it comes to color, most of them would have a black nose that turns brown or pink with age.

However, if you suddenly notice a white spot at the center of your dog’s nose, that would surely cause you to panic. Before you stress out on the white spot, it is important to know that it isn’t always harmful. In most cases, it may be because your dog is aging or he has had a pimple. If the spot gets bigger and in case you notice other associated symptoms, then you will need to consult a vet.

What is the Reason Behind White Spots on Your Dog’s Nose?

What is the Reason Behind White Spots on Your Dog’s Nose

There are umpteen reasons for the development of white spots on your dog’s nose. The spots may vary in size from small to big and in texture from soft to hard. Though mostly the spots start developing when the dog has crossed its middle age and is on the verge of entering the senior stage. However, you can even find white spots on their face and nose during puppyhood. At the same time, most of the time, white spots aren’t a cause for concern. However, at times it can get serious too. So, it is always safe to monitor the white spot you see on your dog’s nose. Read on to learn the different reasons behind the development of white spots on your dog’s nose.

1. Pimple or Whiteheads

Pimples in dogs! Yes, you read that right. Like us, our four-legged friends can also have pimples, mostly on their face, nose, chest, stomach, or genital areas. Sometimes the pimples look like red bumps, while they can even appear as white spots when on the face or nose. The dog’s nose has pores, and when they get clogged because of dirt or debris accumulation, the outcome may be those small white spots.

2. Snow Nose

Snow Nose

The name sounds interesting. Doesn’t it? Well, this has a relation with the weather. Dogs living in cold weather mostly get snowy noses where the color of their noses changes from black or brown to white or pink. They would either acquire white spots or stripes running down the center of their nose.

The breeds more prone to this condition are the Bernese Mountain dog, Labrador Retriever, Siberian Husky, and Golden Retriever. Having said this, a snowy nose isn’t just a condition dogs develop in cold weather. Canines thriving in warm weather can also have snow noses. This condition isn’t painful and won’t come in the way of your dog’s daily living. It isn’t permanent and, in most cases, goes away once the weather gets warm. However, as dogs age, snow nose could become a permanent phenomenon; if you notice other symptoms besides the snow nose, consult a vet.

3. Kennel Nose

Dogs spending most of their time in crates or kennels may develop the kennel nose. Most canines perceive the world around them through their nose. So when kept in the kennel for a long time, they explore their surroundings by rubbing their noses against the kennel or crate. When soft skin is rubbed against something hard, it results in bruises. That’s what happens to the dog’s nose upon constant chafing. The outcome is a raw white mark or bump on the nose.

4. Nasal Hyperkeratosis

It isn’t scary as it sounds. To explain it simply, when dogs produce more keratin than they should, the result is a hard, crusty build-up around the nose. The layer mostly remains unnoticed. However, in severe cases, the growth could be around an inch long. In the case of nasal hyperkeratosis, chances are there that your canine would have white bumps on his nose as well. The reasons behind the condition are unknown. Yet nasal inflammation, bronchitis, and the development of foreign bodies in the nose are the probable reasons. In the Golden Retriever, nasal hyperkeratosis is caused due to genetic mutation. Moreover, brachycephalic or flat-faced breeds like the Frechies and Pugs are more prone to this condition.

5. Canine Vitiligo

Canine vitiligo is a rare condition where the skin loses its natural pigmentation. This is common in dogs and cats. There is focal and generalized vitiligo. In focal vitiligo, the affected area is the dog’s nose, marked with a white spot. However, for generalized vitiligo, irregular white/pale patches or spots could be seen in other parts of the body as well. The exact reason for vitiligo remains unknown. It was first spotted in black labs during the 1950s. Many people perceived it as a condition related to sunlight. However, at present, experts have mentioned it to be an autoimmune disease. Stress is even considered an important factor responsible for this condition. Breeds more prone to vitiligo are the German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Belgian Tervuren, Doberman Pinscher, and Rottweiler.

6. Pemphigus Foliaceus (PF)

Pemphigus Foliaceus

This is also an autoimmune condition that mostly affects older dogs. The dog may develop yellow bumps or scabs on its head, face, and ears. When the scab is seen on the nose, it could initially appear brown or black but later change to yellowish or white. A skin biopsy helps diagnose this condition. The probable reasons may include prolonged exposure to UV rays, viral infections, or genetic reasons. Researchers have shown that the Chow Chow and Akita are more prone to this rare condition.

7. Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE)

This is another autoimmune disease affecting the dog’s eyes, skin, lips, and nose. If the dog’s nose has been affected by DLE, you could see a swelling or a lesion, combined with a color change, transitioning from brown or black to white. Genetic and environmental factors are sighted as the common reasons responsible for DLE.

8. Dog Eczema

Dog Eczema

Also called atopic dermatitis, this is a skin condition caused by allergic reactions. Several symptoms of eczema include dry skin, hair loss, redness, and flakiness. When it affects the nose there could be whitish bumps on the area.

9. Uveodermatological Syndrome

In this condition, the dogs would show most symptoms of vitiligo (as mentioned above). They would have white spots on their skin, fur, and nose, alongside inflamed and red eyes. It requires immediate medical attention lest the dog could suffer from blindness.

How to Treat and Manage White Spots in a Dog’s Nose?

How to Treat and Manage White Spots in a Dog’s Nose?

In most cases, the white spot could be due to pimples, blackheads, or conditions like snow noose or kennel nose. In such cases, there isn’t too much to worry about. However, if you see a white spot on your dog’s nose for quite some time, a vet’s intervention is needed.

1. For Pimples

Though pimples aren’t something you should worry about. However, ensure you bathe your dog at least two times a week using a gentle vet-approved shampoo. An oatmeal-based shampoo will help if your dog has dry skin. Make sure you use a damp cloth while cleaning the skin folds.

Also, maintain hygiene regarding your dog’s water bowl. When the dog dips its mouth to feed or drink their nose, chin, and even ears touch the bowl. Plastic bowls are known to retain a lot of oil and dirt. The outcome could therefore be blackheads and pimples. Stainless or ceramic bowls are a better option. Never attempt to pop the pimple, as that could aggravate the condition resulting in inflammation and increased outbreak. If the pimple persists for a long then get in touch with your vet who would suggest ointments.

2. For Snow Nose

For Snow Nose

There isn’t any treatment for snow nose since it is an outcome of a cosmetic change. In most cases, the color comes back on its own if it doesn’t, then there is not much that you can do.

3. For Kennel Nose

You would have to wash the raw skin gently and keep it clean to prevent it from getting infected. However, to avoid it in the future, it is important to make changes or alterations in the dog’s dwelling. If you have to keep it inside a crate or kennel, make sure its living space is big so that it can easily move around. Keeping a dog inside a crate or kennel for prolonged periods isn’t good for its mental health as that could trigger stress and anxiety. It would be better if you made alternate arrangements.

4. For Nasal Hyperkeratosis

For Nasal Hyperkeratosis

If you notice a hard crusty formation around your dog’s nose, don’t indulge in any home treatment. Take him to the vet right away, who would diagnose the issue, and then prescribe a treatment strategy that is right for your dog. Most vets recommend moisturizers or balms to treat cracked and crusty skin. In severe cases, steroids or antibiotics treat the increased keratin build-up.

5. For Canine Vitiligo

Vitiligo doesn’t have any treatment. However, it is a painless condition, and the patches will be there. But it wouldn’t affect your dog’s living in any way.

6. For Pemphigus Foliaceus (PF)

For Pemphigus Foliaceus

A skin biopsy is needed to diagnose a PF. Vets mostly prescribe steroids to treat this condition. Most dogs respond to such treatment plans and can be taken off medicines in a few months.

7. For Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE)

Gels and topical creams prescribed by the vet would help lessen swelling. They may even prescribe immune suppressants or steroids in case of severities. Your vet would even advise making your dog stay indoors, as exposure to sunlight may worsen the condition. Hence if your dog has DLE, it could take a toll on his daily living since he would have to stay inside the house most of the time.

8. For Uveodermatological Syndrome

For Uveodermatological Syndrome

This condition affects the dog’s eye more than the skin and can even result in blindness. So a systemic corticosteroid treatment method is suggested by the vet, and special care is even taken to save the eyes.

FAQ’s

Can a white spot on the dog’s nose indicate cancer?

True, a white spot on your dog’s nose which looks like a bump or lump, may scare you to the core. Tumors or cancer are the first things that come to your mind. However, nasal tumors and cancers are extremely rare in dogs, making for only 1-2% of the cancers dogs suffer from. However, don’t take the spot lightly. If you see it getting bigger, and if it is accompanied by pus, mucus, and bloody discharges, talk to the vet at once.

Can you put Neosporin on your dog’s nose?

Yes, neosporin is considered safe for dogs. However, before you apply it to your dog’s nose, it is better to consult a vet who will fix the dosage and duration. He would even decide if the scars around the nose caused due to the bump need to be treated by Neosporin. However, before applying Neosporin, clean the area first, and always choose when your dog is about to sleep. In this way, you are giving more time for the wound to heal since your pooch won’t be licking on the drops then.

Conclusion

To conclude, it may be said that every white spot on your dog’s nose isn’t a cause for worry. However, keeping a close vigil on the white spot and acting thus immediately when you sense something wrong would prevent the condition from worsening. The earlier you identify the reason behind the white spot, the faster your dog will get treated. Once you take your dog to the vet, if he senses anything wrong, he would advise tests like blood work, biopsy, and allergy testing to diagnose the issue.

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