I noticed a small white dot on my dog’s noce once. I thought it was cute at first. However, after a month, I noticed the spot was growing in size.
Now, I’m concerned. Is it just a spot or just pigmentation loss?
Well, most dog owners will face a circumstance like this at some point in their lives.
Therefore, you must read this article. We’ve discussed the reasons why dogs have white specks on their nose and how to avoid this happening again.
8 Reasons for a white spot on a dog’s nose:
Let’s investigate why your dog’s nose has white dots. In this article, we went over everything in great depth.
1. Canine Vitiligo
When you find out that your dog has white dots on his nose, the most common and suspected disease that comes to anyone’s mind will be canine vitiligo.
Although, it should not come under a disease category because it is more of a skin disorder. The skin fails to produce melanin (a type of pigment that helps create color. It is responsible for giving eyes, hair, and skin the color).
You will notice that white patches form on your dog’s face, especially around the eyes and nose. However, it can occur anywhere in his whole body, but it is most likely to appear on the face.
This skin disorder is mostly seen in
- Siberian Huskies
- Belgian Tervuren
- Golden Retrievers
- Yellow Labradors
- German Shepherds
- Doberman Pinscher
- Old English Sheepdogs
- German Shorthaired Pointer breeds.
canine vitiligo is an auto-immune problem. It is not painful. However, it is vital to detect the cause as it affects the dog’s immune system. So, it can cause other health problems.
Therefore, take your pet to the vet. He may conduct a blood test and biopsy.
At what age does canine vitiligo start in dogs?
Canine vitiligo can occur at any age. But, in the majority of the cases, it is likely to occur before age 30 and after age 12.
2. Snow nose
So, if you notice that your cute little dog’s nose is turning pink or brown from a dark color nose, that means he is dealing with the condition called hypopigmentation or snow nose. This is likely to occur during winters.
For instance, if you have a dark black-colored nose dog and his nose starts turning into a light brown, you may think he is going to have whites spots soon, right?
Well, that’s true, but there is nothing to be concerned about as it is only a seasonal change.
Once winter is over and tropical summers are back, your dog nose will come back to its original color.
Snow nose is pretty standard if you have Siberian Huskies, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, or Bernese Mountain dogs. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot find this in any other dog breed.
3. Nasal hyperkeratosis
If you notice your dog’s nose is dry and has excess amounts of hard tissues on the nose, then it is a medical condition of Nasal hyperkeratosis.
In this condition, the surface area of the dog nose will have extra keratin. You will find that the nose will be thick, crusty, and dry. Well, this is all due to keratin.
Any dog breed, regardless of age, can be affected by this illness.
If you notice this in a puppy, then it can be part of his growth period, and if you see this in a middle-aged dog, it might be because of aging.
There isn’t anything to be concerned about in general. But, still, you must take care of it because flaky, dry skin is prone to infection.
As a result, it’s always a good idea to seek guidance from your veterinarian.
4. Pimples or whiteheads
Pimples are part of our human lives. Similarly, dogs also have pimples or zits.
It occurs due to the growth of clogs, skin oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells in the hair follicle. The external debris can clog the pore, which will cause pain on the hair follicle’s surface.
The acne can end up in some infection and cause pain and soreness. Therefore, it is important that you take care of this. You can look for the symptoms like
- Red bumps
- Redness nearby the dog’s muzzle.
To control the symptoms, you must keep your dog clean. Keep off debris from his fur and face.
If your dog still gets acne despite frequent grooming. It can be because of a dirty water bowl or contaminated food as their nose area gets involved the most when they eat food or consume water.
Thus, always use a ceramic or steel water bowl. Plastic water bowls are not neat; they can hold germs and dirt for a long time, leading to breakouts.
Moreover, make sure not to pop up the dog’s pimple even though it may tempt you the most. Because, it can lead to infection, and then you have to take him to the vet.
Hence, prevention is better than cure!
Wait a minute, where are you going? There are still some severe health issues linked to white spots that have yet to be discovered. So go ahead and scroll down now.
5. Kennel nose
Do you keep your dog in a kennel for an extended period? If yes, the white mark on his nose signifies a kennel nose.
Kennel’s nose develops when you keep the dog in the crate for more than usual such that he gets too bored and starts nudging his nose on the ground or on the bars to get out of it. This action of his creates some marks on his nose area.
If your dog has separation anxiety, is in pain, and something is itching on his nose, he is prone to have a kennel nose.
To get rid of it, make sure to provide crate training for a limited period of time. And get him a comfortable, spacious crate where he can stand, sleep and move quickly.
It is vital because if he feels trapped inside the kennel, the chances of hitting the crate with his nose are likely to occur more.
Thus, he will have regular kennel nose marks. And, sometimes, he may hurt himself so hard that it may bleed.
6. Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE)
The next reason your dog has a white spot on his nose is because of Discoid lupus erythematosus. It is also an auto-immune ailment.
The skin area of the nose becomes flaky and scabby, and the skin stops pigmentation.
Under this condition the dog’s own immune system is activated to destroy the body. The dog’s body’s immune system removes the skin layer.
Some of the common symptoms are
- Depigmented areas
- Develop erosions
- The skin around the nose will become smooth.
So, are you thinking about what causes this disease? Well, it is still yet to be known. But, as per belief, it is a genetic disorder.
You must talk to your vet if you detect your dog is suffering from DLE. If the dog does not get a cure on time, it can spread and decolor his lips and eyes.
The vet may give some ointments and suggest you keep your dog away from long-time sun exposure.
7. Pemphigus Foliaceus (PF)
PF is also an auto-immune disease, and it is prevalent in middle age and senior dogs.
It generates more superficial skin lesions. The reason for this disease is still not sure, but in some cases, it is found that some drug reaction causes it.
It can become chronic if the dog tends to have constant allergic reactions.
If you have an Akita and chow-chow breed, they are more prone to this ailment. However, you can see this in any dog breed.
Immune suppression is required to treat this illness. Your pet might also have to take corticosteroids and other immunosuppressive medicines.
8. Cancerous growth
Well, this is very rare. But still, there is a possibility that a white spot on the nose develops because of nasal cancer.
This emphasizes the significance of being concerned about the white spot on your dog’s nose.
Because if it turns out to be nasal cancer, the odds of being cured are little to none. It is critical, therefore, for the safe side, make sure to consult with your veterinarian.
Phew, you have completed all possible reasons for white spots on your dog’s nose.
Do you wish to know how to treat all of these problems? Then scroll down now!
How to treat a white spot on a dog’s nose?
First of all, you have to detect what causes white spots. And, it is always better to look for expert advice, especially when it comes to health care.
Generally, white specks on your dogs can recover if it develops due to kennel nose or snow nose.
But, if it evolves because of a severe ailment, then you must get your dog’s complete physical examination.
This may include biopsy, blood test, some allergy testing, and scraping of the infected area to check skin under the microscope.
According to the test, the vet will recommend to your dog some creams, drugs, inflammatory products, a list of foods to take, and what to avoid.
He may even recommend a change in his routine too.
When should I worry about a white spot on my dog’s nose?
Although, there is nothing to worry about if you see white specks on your dog’s nose. Most of the time, the nose area gets backs to its original color.
However, you must know the reason behind the white spots because if it occurs due to an auto-immune problem, you must get him treated with the best vet in your town.
The white specks become a significant part of concern if it starts spreading all over his body. And secondly, if your dog’s skin is burning, itching, or causing any other issue.
As mentioned earlier, it can also be a case of nasal cancer. Therefore, you must not ignore this and seek vet advice.
Can I put Neosporin on my dog’s nose?
If you want to put Neosporin on your dog’s nose, you can apply it in small quantities. Generally, it is safe to use but make sure to speak to the vet beforehand.
Can I put vaseline on your dog’s nose?
It won’t be an issue if you use a minimal amount of vaseline. However, if the amount is huge and dogs lick it, it can lead to stomach aches, vomiting, and issues like diarrhea.
How can I treat my dog’s sore nose?
The best solution is getting professional help and getting the medicines and lotions they prescribe. Meanwhile, you can take care of his nose if you keep it dry and clean.
What does it look like when a dog gets pimples?
Pimples are an inflammatory disorder. It can occur on the dog’s lips and nearby the muzzle area.
If the dog has mild acne, he will have red bumps on the skin. However, if the acne condition is severe, you may see blood, swelling, wounds, and scabby skin.
The white specks on the dog’s nose can be due to medical conditions like vitiligo, kennel nose, snow nose, pimples, whiteheads, nasal hyperkeratosis, and pemphigus foliaceus.
Although it is infrequent, there is only a 2% chance that the white spots on the dog’s nose can be because of cancer.
That’s why you must get your dog physically examined. Speak to the vet and get to know the proper treatment.
If you know any other reason dogs get white spots on their nose, do let us know in the comment section below.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.