What the dog’s nose can tell us firstvet

"My dog has a warm, dry nose, does that mean my dog is sick?" This is a question many dog owners ask their veterinarian. The simple answer is that this is not a sign of illness and can be perfectly normal.

The main reason why the dog's nose is usually wet: Because the mucous secretion is supposed to help intensify the sense of smell.

Dogs use their olfactory (scent) receptors on their nose to gather important information about their environment and about food. A human has an estimated 6 million olfactory receptors on the nose, whereas dogs have over 300 million. The section of the brain that analyzes smells is 40x the size of ours! Another reason why the dog's nose is moist is because dogs can only sweat through their noses and paws, which is the only way to cool them down.

A normal, healthy dog's nose can vary between moist and dry throughout the day. Usually the simple reasons are that a lot of time has been spent near a heat source, z.B. a stove, a fan, or lying in the sun.

Despite everything, a dog's nose can also cause problems at times. For example, the nose of dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors and are exposed to the elements without protection can be damaged by sun, wind, frost or snow. Similar to people with chapped, cracked lips. Dogs are also more likely to lick their dry nose, which can make the problems worse.

Symptoms of illness associated with the nose

– nasal discharge – persistent sneezing – difficulty breathing – scaly, crusty, swollen or blistered skin – eye discharge

If your dog has a constantly runny nose or the mucus is discolored, this can be an early sign of an upper respiratory infection. Dogs with symptoms such as persistent sneezing or eye discharge, should be presented to a veterinarian.

Causes of health problems associated with a dry nose

– respiratory infections – sun exposure or sunburn (sun dermatitis) – cracked, chapped skin from wind or cold – idiopathic nasodigital hyperkeratosis: an accumulation of keratin, the fibrous protein found in hair, nails, on the nose and on the pads of the feet of older dogs – hereditary nasal parakeratosis (HNPK) of the Labrador retriever: this is where a thick, hard crust forms on the dog's nose and usually occurs in young dogs around 6-12 months of age – reactions to medications – nasal folliculitis: a deep infection with acute onset, often associated with trauma or insect bites – autoimmune diseases such as pemphigus

What you can do to help your dog?

– Make sure your dog doesn't spend too much time in the sun and that he has a warm, draft-free place to sleep. – Make sure your house is not too warm for your dog. Make sure there are cool places where he can sleep well. Ideally keep the house at a constant temperature. Check your dog's nose after every walk: remove any dirt. Check it for minor injuries or insect bites. – Watch out for the risk of sunburn, especially in dogs with very light coats, just like those with thin fur or pink skin on the ears and nose. We recommend avoiding prolonged sun exposure altogether. If in doubt, use a sunscreen specifically for animals on all areas exposed to the sun and apply it according to the package instructions.

Treatment of a dry nose

Attention; Treatment may not be necessary. Diagnosis and treatment options depend on the results of a clinical examination by your veterinarian and the samples taken. If the skin is very cracked, your vet might prescribe moisturizers to protect the affected area of skin. Autoimmune diseases are very rare, so other diseases should be excluded first.

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