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Why is My Dog’s Nose Dry?
DOGS NOSE DRY
Dogs nose dry? A persistent dry nose can indicate a number of health problems. Here’s how to know when you should seek veterinary advice.
In the majority of instances, if your dog’s nose seems a bit dry, it’s not a cause for concern. The wetness of a dog’s nose is a complex situation, constantly changing in response to the dog’s hydration and exercise status and the environmental temperature.
Dogs noses can drier when first waking from a sleep. Some breeds, like Pugs and Shih Tzus, can’t lick their noses very effectively, which means they are always a little on the dry side.
So when should you be concerned about a dry nose?
If the appearance of your dog’s nose changes, if your dog seems at all uncomfortable or if there is a discharge
These are all signs that something might be going on and it’s time to see the vet.
A DRY NOSE IS RELATIVELY BENIGN
Two of the least worrisome conditions that can cause a dry nose are hyperkeratosis and blocked tear ducts.
Hyperkeratosis is a pretty common condition in aging dogs. Keratin is a protein found in hair, skin, and nails. Dogs noses contain lots of it. With age, the dog’s normal cell turnover slows and keratin builds up. This results in those crusty and craggy noses you sometimes see on older dogs.
While benign, hyperkeratosis can be uncomfortable, so keeping the nose as moisturized as possible as recommended.
In some cases, if the build-up gets excessive, your veterinarian may be able to trim back some of the hardened tissue, which will allow your moisturizing agents to work better.
BLOCKED TEAR DUCTS
If your dog’s nose is dry and there eyes are watering excessively, they may have blocked tear (nasolacrimal) ducts. This can happen on one side or both. Sometimes mucous can block the inside of an otherwise healthy tear duct.
Swelling from surrounding inflammation or infection can occlude a tear duct from the outside. Your veterinarian can confirm tear-duct obstruction by putting a fluorescent stain in the eyes and looking to see if any fluorescence appears at the nostrils. If not, the duct is occluded.
This condition can be treated by flushing the tear ducts under general anaesthesia.
Often, because this condition is not harmful and general anaesthesia is not without risk, this option may not be pursued. However, if your dog has to be anesthetized for something else (such as a dental procedure), it could then be considered.
Sometimes you can dislodge a mucous plug with repeated, gentle, circular massage under the inside corner of your dog’s eyes.
THE BOTTOM LINE ON A DOG WITH A DRY NOSE
If your dog develops a dry nose, it’s okay to try things like increasing the humidity in your home and applying a topical moisturizer. But if that dry nose persists, or gets worse, see your veterinarian. Sometimes a dry nose is more than just a dry nose.