What to Know About a Dog Nose
Article written by Nancy Settecasi
Unlike other parts of the body, the dog nose does not
need any cleaning or taking care of. A dog's nose is usually cool and
moist, but a warm, dry nose is not necessarily a reason for concern. A
warm, dry dog nose can be a problem only if there are other characteristics
associated with it, such as cracked skin, scabs or open sores with changes
in the color of the nose. Dogs can also be prone to sunburn on their noses
which can lead to skin cancer. A dog owner should pay attention to any
physical changes in their dog's nose. For instance:
- Any type of discharge from your dog’s nose can
indicate a health problem. There are many illnesses that are associated
with nasal discharge, such as sinus infections, kennel cough, distemper,
etc. Dogs do not get colds, therefore, this can also be a sign of a
respiratory infection. Do not ignore this. This may require a trip
to the vet.
- If your dog is experiencing breathing problems and/or sneezing
a lot, this may be a sign of a tumor or other type of mass which should
be removed in order to avoid any later complications, such as cancer.
These symptoms can also indicate a foreign object in the nostril. Do not
attempt to remove it yourself as the nasal passages are very delicate
and can be perforated easily. Have your vet take care of it. Keep in mind
that an occasional sneeze may just be a sign of an irritation in the nose
or excitement from playing.
- Sometimes a dog's nose will change color. This can be caused
by having your dog eat or drink from a plastic dish. There is a reaction
with a substance in the plastic which causes color change. Stainless steel
bowls for food and water are highly recommended. Other causes of color
change are vitaligo (loss of skin pigment) and cold weather. Color usually
goes back to normal in warmer climate. This is usually no reason for concern.