Why is Dog Nose Turning Pink? – PerroPet | Pet Magazine

Find out more about nasal pigmentation in dogs!

Why is Dog Nose Turning Pink?

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My first experience with dog nasal pigmentation was with our family dog many years ago. Nasal Pigmentation problems or loss of pigment on dog nose is usually harmless. However, it can indicate an underlying problem that requires medical attention. Here are a few reasons why your dog’s nose may be turning pink.

Weather

A dog’s nose that occasionally turn from black to pink is referred to as a Snow Nose. This condition applies to dogs that lose the pigmentation of their nose during winter months, but it darkens again in the spring and summer months. Experts think this condition is due to the breakdown of tyrosinase – a temperature-sensitive enzyme responsible for producing melanin (melanin gives color to our hair, eyes, and skin).

Breeds most prone to weather-related de-pigmentation include the Bernese Mountain Dog, a golden retriever, labrador retriever, husky and shepherd. One thing to keep in mind is that complete depigmentation does not occur in this condition. So, if your dog suffers from complete depigmentation, it is not snow nose and you should consult your local veterinarian to get a true diagnosis.

Dudley Nose

Another reason for this condition is what is known as Dudley Nose, which is a situation in which there is a spontaneous de-pigmentation in a dog nose without any apparent reason. If this is the case, there is no need to be alarmed. This is because the melanin-producing enzyme tyrosinase is not only temperature-sensitive.  But, it also gets weaker with age. That’s why we often see a dog’s nose lose pigment and become pink as he or she gets older.

Vitiglio

This is a condition in certain breeds of dogs and it is a depigmentation of the skin in patches of white hair or pale skin. The problem with Vitiglio is that it can actually affect the nasal planum, too. And there are no treatments that have been made available to help treat this condition. So, the best thing that you can do is to apply some sun block to the nose when the dog is exposed to the sun. The condition is common with breeds like Poodles, Setters, Doberman Pinschers, Pointers, Irish, Samoyeds, Afghan hound and German Shepherds.

Allergies

Dogs are like humans, they can have allergic reactions to things they come in contact with. If this occurs, your dog’s nose and surrounding area will appear lighter and may seem inflamed or sore. Sometimes dogs can be allergic to a certain type of plastic. You can take care of this by feeding your dog from a stainless steel bowl instead. And, do some investigative work to find out what your dog is allergic to.

Infection

Bacterial infection can manifest on the dog nose if you notice symptoms such as a lighter colour along with an inflamed, crusty, and other unhealthy appearance, contact a veterinarian to rule out any serious health conditions or possible treatment if a problem is discovered.

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One or more of the above reasons may be responsible for why your dog nose is turning pink, and if with the de-pigmentation, your dog still seems healthy and sound. There is probably no reason to worry. However, if you think your dog may be sick with an infection or allergic to something in the environment, you can contact your veterinarian for a proper check-up.

Updated: July 26, 2017.

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