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Is My Dog’s Nose Changing Color?

May 15, 2016
Many dog owners report that their canine companion’s nose changes color over time. Your dog’s snout may go from brown to black, or from black to pink. The question is, what causes this phenomenon? Learn more here from your Savannah, GA veterinarian at Westside Animal Hospital.

Benign Pigmentation Conditions

Most dogs who have a nose-color change are experiencing a benign pigmentation condition, which causes no harm but makes the nose pigmentation change. Seasonal hypopigmentation is one possibility, and is particularly common this time of year; it involves a color change in relation to the seasons. Dudley nose, a condition that occurs for unknown reasons but doesn’t cause ill health at all, can also be to blame. Consult your vet for more information on these conditions.


Another common possibility, especially during the warmer months, is sun bleaching. This is a result of prolonged sun exposure, which bleaches out the pigmentation in your dog’s nose. To prevent this, apply a canine-formulated sunscreen. Ask your vet for a recommendation, and pick one up at your local pet supply store or retail outlet.


Oftentimes, allergies are to blame for pigmentation loss in the nose; food allergies are the most common offender. Visit your veterinarian’s office to determine if your dog is allergic to an ingredient in his food. Medications, modifications to the diet, a change in dish material, or a combination of factors may be needed to prevent further pigmentation loss and correct the problem.


It’s possible for infections of all types—bacterial, parasitic, or fungal—to cause a loss of pigmentation in the nose or around other areas on the body. Most of the time, you’ll notice other symptoms associated with the pigmentation loss, like lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea, fever, and others. Let your veterinarian know as soon as you witness any such symptoms in your canine companion.

Autoimmune Disorders

One of the least likely—but most frightening—possibilities for pigmentation loss is an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorders result in the body mistakenly attacking its own cells; the cells that cause proper pigmentation may be attacked, leading to subsequent color loss. The best way to know for sure what is causing your dog’s nose-color change is to visit your veterinarian as soon as you notice any loss or change of pigmentation. To set up an appointment for your dog, call Westside Animal Hospital in Savannah, GA today.

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