Does Your Dog Have A Dry Crusty, Cracked Nose? It Could Be Hyperkerato – Relievet

Does Your Dog Have A Dry Crusty, Cracked Nose? It Could Be Hyperkeratosis

Christopher Kjolseth - April 9th 2020


Is your dog's nose dry, cracked, or crusty? It could be a skin condition called dog nose hyperkeratosis.

We will explain how to identify this condition, the common causes, and explore the best natural treatment options.

What is dog nose Hyperkeratosis?

The skin on the surface of your dog's nose contains a protein called Keratin; sometimes, Keratin can grow too quickly, causing your pup's nose to become dry and crusty.

If left untreated, it can affect your dog's sense of smell, and cause severe discomfort.

In the more severe cases, sores and a sizeable crusty growth will appear on your dog's nose.

So, now that you know what it is, how do you spot it?

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How to identify Nasal Hyperkeratosis in dogs

All dogs can suffer from nasal Hyperkeratosis at some point in their lives. When trying to identify it, look out for cracked or dry, rough skin.

Severe cases may turn into a horny cracked growth; this growth will be hard to the touch and can stick out as much as half an inch from your dog's nose.

If you think you have identified Hyperkeratosis on your dog's nose, you will want to know the underlying cause, as sometimes it can be a symptom of a more serious health condition.

What causes it?

There are several possible causes for dog nose hyperkeratosis, and in some cases, if you address the problem, you can stop the disease from returning.  

  • Genetic: Sometimes dog nose hyperkeratosis is genetic; this is often the case with golden and Labrador retrievers, Irish terriers, Bedlington Terriers, and Dogues de Bordeaux. If you notice the symptoms when your dog is young, it is often a telltale sign that the disease was inherited.

    If it is genetic, then there is nothing you can do to stop it from developing, and the best course of action is to make your dog as comfortable as possible.  
  • Canine distemper is a relative of the measles, and it can have devastating consequences, including death. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease; the best way to avoid it is to vaccinate your dog at a young age. 
  • Zinc Deficiency: Zinc is an essential mineral, and it is vital to many of your dog's bodily processes, including the production of structural proteins, like Keratin.

    Sometimes your dog can become deficient in zinc due to poor quality dry dog foods, among other things. The good news is that it can be treated by simply supplementing your dog's diet with zinc.  
  • Pemphigus Foliaceus can occur in both dogs and cats; it is a condition where the animal's immune system attacks its self, particularly in the upper layers of the skin, which can appear as blisters that are easily damaged.

    Your vet can conduct a biopsy to diagnose this condition, and they will treat it with immune suppressants.  
  • Leishmaniasis is a type of parasite that is carried by sandflies. The good news is that if this parasite causes your dog's nasal Hyperkeratosis, then treating it will fix both problems.  

Often, there is nothing you can do to stop your dog from getting this condition, but there are some effective treatments for it.

How can it be treated? 

Sometimes, moisturizing the dry skin can be an effective treatment for dog nose hyperkeratosis, and we prefer to use a natural moisturizer, like our shea-butter based CBD topical for dogs. Keep in mind, once this condition develops, it doesn't tend to go away, meaning you will have to treat it for life.   

In the more severe cases, your vet can show you how to trim the excess dry skin off. Trimming the dry skin off of your dog's nose might sound scary, but if done carefully, it doesn't hurt them at all.

One trick is to soften the dry skin with a warm damp towel before trimming.

We recommend that you consult your veterinarian before attempting to do this yourself. They can show you how to do this the first time safely, and then you can take it from there if you feel comfortable.

Once you have removed the excess dry skin, moisturize at least once a week to ensure your dog's nose stays hydrated.

Severe cases where ulcers have developed may require a prescription for antibiotics or steroids.  

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Natural treatment for dog nose hyperkeratosis

In some cases, natural treatments for dog nose hyperkeratosis will work well, as long as they are used regularly and accompanied by regular trimming of the excess dry skin.

We make our soothing topical CBD balm for dogs with a base of shea butter and coconut oil. Then we add in Niaouli, frankincense, myrrh, and lavender essential oils, along with vitamin E. All of these ingredients have proven to be very beneficial for dry and damaged skin. Whether it's on your dog's nose, home remedies for dry dog paws, or even a natural option for hot spots.

CBD, when applied topically, interacts with nearby cannabinoid receptors present in your dog's skin. It works with your dog's endocannabinoid system to encourage bodily functions to return to a healthy state.

We pack all of these natural ingredients into a mess-free and easy to use twist up tube, which is sized just right to make it easy to apply to both large and small dog noses.


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  • Evelyn OliveroSep 04, 2020

    I think my dog has that condition call hyperkinesis on her little cute nose , it’s crack and dry at the tip of the nose ., so I’ve been cleaning it and condition it with vaseline it seems to help , do you have any advice for me or other ideas

  • Helen GoolsbyiiAug 28, 2020

    I worry about my.dogs esp. since.Idgie.has.deve. issues.

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