Why is my Dog’s Nose Cracked?

My dogs nose has cracked. But no wound. The weather is cold. Mada Sri Lanka Hmmm . . . you're not giving me too much...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Jan 23rd 2010


My dogs nose has cracked. But no wound. The weather is cold.

Mada
Sri Lanka

Hmmm . . . you’re not giving me too much to work with. I have a hunch that cold weather in Sri Lanka would still qualify as quite balmy in many parts of the world (indeed, when I look at the forecast for Colombo I see that highs will be around 90 Fahrenheit, and lows around 70 over the next few days).

Is your dog’s nose cracked in the area where the smooth, hairless skin at the front of the nose merges with the regular, hairy skin that covers the rest of the body (the so-called mucocutaneous junction)? If so, then an over-active immune system most likely is the cause of the problem.

Immune system problems with complicated names such as discoid lupus erythematosis and pemphigus foleaceous often cause crusting or cracking of the mucocutaneous junction. Ultraviolet radiation (sunlight), which is plentiful in the tropics, can exacerbate the problem. Changes in weather patterns also may contribute.

Diagnosing the problem often requires a biopsy of the affected area. However, if your dog is not in pain you can try keeping him in the shade during peak sun hours. Liquid vitamin E can be applied to the area. Non-toxic sunscreen, if available, also can be applied to the area.

However, remember that seeing a vet is the best option. Your vet may be able to offer a more accurate diagnosis and more effective treatment options.

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