From black to pink, what’s wrong with my dog’s nose?
The black button nose is a dog trademark, a trademark of pure cuteness. However, the instance of shifting from black to pink is more common than you think.
This color shift is a result of pigment loss, but the cause of the pigment loss is the alarming aspect. With a wide range of causes, from genetics to weather, the effects may also be temporary or permanent. Isolating the cause is crucial to identifying the proper treatment.
Let’s address the phenomenon through its causes, treatment, duration, common breeds, and the role of scientific genes.
Pink Nose: What are the Causes?
“We have very limited information on it; there has been little research done, and most of the information we have is anecdotal,” stated by Dr. Sandra Koch of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota.
The first rule is to acknowledge that all dogs are their own unique self.
In terms of genetics, your dog may have acquired their pink nose, also known as liver, from their parents. Some breeds are known to carry the recessive liver gene; therefore, increasing the chances of a natural pink nose.
Aside from plausible mutation, the certain color implicates the lack of melanin distribution or overexposure to sun. This can also be induced by age.
Innately, the term “lack of,” possesses a negative connotation that signifies alarm. Although, similarly with humans, melanin protects the nose from sunburn and skin cancer. With the loss of pigmentation, it is referred to as the Dudley nose.
A new theory is the cause of feeding from a plastic bowl. The supporting evidence behind it is minimal, however, it’s easy to test. Simply switch to metal or ceramic and observe for changes.
If in addition to a pink nose, your dog’s nose appears inflamed, crusty or sore, it may be a bacterial infection, allergies or an injury. Consult a veterinarian if these symptoms appear.
Tying to sun exposure, the cause may be seasonal and it may be a case of snow nose.
What is Snow Nose?
More often than not, the correlation between coat color and nose color is overlooked.
Common in white or lighter-colored dogs, snow nose occurs during the winter months and has been linked to sunlight.
Although supporting evidence is insufficient, some have linked the Tyrosinase enzyme, responsible for melanin production, to cause snow nose through temperature sensitivity.
For you dog lovers, it’s important to note the “temperature sensitivity,” snow nose can occur all-year round globally.
Is Pink Nose Permanent?
Some cases are temporary, and some are permanent.
In the case of a snow nose, your dog’s nose will shift back to their natural, darker color during the spring. However, the same does not apply for the Dudley.
The visible effects of the Dudley are permanent as the changes are occurring beyond the surface, and in turn, internally within genetic material.
If the cause still lies in ambiguity, there are several techniques for treatment and prevention.
Treatment and Prevention
Proper diagnosis is the key to proper treatment.
Similar to humans, the goal is to protect your dog’s nose from possible sunburns. Look no further, Handy Hound SnoutScreen should be applied prior to sun exposure, just like sunscreen!
Apart from protection, moisturize the nose regularly with Snout Magic to treat chapped and crusty noses. The two products are specifically meant for your furry friends, so if they choose to give it a lick (which they will), you have nothing to worry about!
There’s a fine line between treatment and prevention.
The safest course of action is to carry out the care routine. If your dog has a temporary case, the routine will serve as a treatment, and if it’s uncertain or permanent, it will serve as prevention, treatment or maintenance.
Doing absolutely nothing is the enemy!
Know the Common Breeds
According to Paw Leaks, the susceptible breeds carrying the recessive liver gene are:
- Field Spaniel
- English Springer
- Cocker Spaniel
- Siberian Husky
- Australian Shepherd
- Bull Terriers, Boxers, and Heelers
- Nova Scotia
On the other hand, the Dudley are most common with:
- White German Shepherd
- Doberman Pinscher
- Golden Retriever
- Irish Setter
Lastly, the common breeds that experience snow nose are:
- Siberian Husky
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Labrador Retriever
- Golden Retriever
- German Shepherd
Wrapping Up the Pink Nose
If your dog’s nose begins to fade in color, take a breath and carry out the appropriate course of action.
With your trusted observation, attempt to eliminate some of the listed causes. Deducing that it is not a matter of emergency, treat and prevent with the recommended products.
And like any caring dog lover, consult your veterinarian if symptoms persist or worsen.