Does Your Dog Have Snow Nose?

October 4th 2018

By Dirk Dekens, DVM

What is Dudley Nose? Is it the same as snow nose?

There is some confusion in the use of this term. Dudley Nose, in breeder circles, refers to a dog or cat with a pink nose and it can include dogs and cats that are born with a pink nose, or their nose has pink spots.

Dudley Nose, is also sometimes used interchangeably with the terms winter nose and snow nose, or in medical terms, idiopathic nasal hypopigmentation.   

Dudley, winter or snow nose is a condition where a dog’s nose changes colour or loses pigment, usually from black or brown to pink and typically in the winter.
In this blog, we are discussing snow or winter nose, the condition where a dog’s nose changes colour, or loses pigment. This often happens in the winter and you may be wondering why.
 

What causes snow nose?

There is no definitive answer to why some dogs lose pigmentation in their nose. There is also variation in how it appears. Some dogs get a pink spot, or spots, others will just have the front portion of their nose turn pink, while some have their whole nose turn pink.

Theories about the cause of snow nose, include that it is brought on by the shorter days and reduced sunlight in the winter, including in warmer climates. So it doesn't have to be cold for a dog to get snow nose.

As the days become longer and warmer the pigment can return to your dog’s nose and then go through the same cycle the following winter.

There are also some breeds that more commonly lose pigmentation in their nose. Snow nose is more prominent in white or light coloured dogs and particularly for golden retriever, Labrador retrievers, Boston terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Samoyeds, Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds and Malamutes.
 

My dog’s nose changed colour or gets pink spots – should I be worried? 

If you notice your dog’s nose turning pink, or getting pink spots, there is nothing to be worried about. Snow nose is not harmful to your dog.

However, if their nose is dry, cracked or scaly, you should take note. There are salves available to help with dry nose. A dry nose can also be indicative of other ailments and you may want to consult your vet in this case.

A pink nose also has less resistance to the sun, so if you are in a sunny climate, like Calgary where sunshine in the winter is a regular thing, you can protect your dog’s nose with sunscreen.
 

Is there a treatment for snow nose? 

There is no treatment for snow nose, but you can use the precautions mentioned above.
 

Can cats get snow nose or winter nose? 

Snow or winter nose is a condition in dogs. The term Dudley Nose is used for cats with a pink nose.
 
If you have any questions about your dog or cat’s nose, our veterinarians would be more than happy to take a look and help you get the answers you are looking for. You can call our clinic at 403-615-8016 or visit our website at montgomeryvillagevet.ca

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