Caissie Canine Instruction: What is “Snow Nose?”
We begin this week’s “RUFF TAILS” featuring a beautiful 8-month-old German Shepherd named Paulie.
My mom says I am one determined pup, and there has been some challenges. I am 65 lbs. and still growing. I am very loving, give lots of kisses and mom says I am a wonderful addition to the family.
My mom says I have a lot of extra energy and have a playful spurt every evening. As you can see now, I need to rest up for tomorrow. Hee. Hee.
Welcome to Doggie Dialogue:
Snow nose is known in the breeder circles as Dudley Nose. This refers to a dog/dogs with a pink nose or a dog who may have been born with pink spots on their nose.
Dudley nose is often called snow nose or winter nose, but the medical term is idiopathic nasal hypopigmentation. This condition is when a dog’s nose can lose pigment, going from black, to brown, to pink, typically in the winter season.
There is no definitive answer why some dogs lose their pigmentation on their nose. The pigmentation can vary from slight, with just a few pink spots, or only on the front portion of their nose, however it can also be the whole nose. This is completely cosmetic.
The answers to these questions remain a mystery. Some theories about “snow nose” and why mostly seen in the winter months, as researchers believe it is because of the shorter days, and reduced sunlight. Another explanation is the breakdown of tyrosinase, the enzyme that produces melanin. Tyrosinase is sensitive to cold temperatures and breaks down with age.
Some dogs with snow nose, this can be temporary, and they can have their pigment return to brown/black throughout the summer months, when warmer weather and more sunlight returns.
Snow nose is not harmful to your dog. If you find your dog’s nose is dry, scaly or cracked there are salves that are available for dry noses.
Snow nose is more prominent in light coloured dogs; however Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, Malamutes, and Labrador Retrievers are breeds that can lose pigmentation on their noses throughout the winter months.
As your dog ages, or if the pigmentation gets more pronounced, you will need to limit your dog’s sun exposure and apply a dog-friendly sunscreen to their nose.