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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2005
    Fruita, CO

    Default Dog losing pigment on nose and lips

    My 4 year-old Akita started with a pink spot on her black nose and over the winter it's grown larger inside her nostrils and now I see it's spreading to the front of her lips. When she goes outside her nose turns from a shade of pink to bright red depending on how much time she spends outside. It seems to get worse when she is outside in the snow. The vet gave me some cream to apply which does seem to help but doesn't last long since she licks it off.

    Has anyone had expericence with this? What causes it and what's the outcome? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2006


    Could just be "snow nose" - quite common loss of pigment in dark-nosed dogs, not harmful.

    Or if you use plastic bowls for food or water, there is a chemical in the plastic that affects some dogs and causes pigment loss.

    In either case, if your dog spends any time in the sun you might want/need to use a doggie sunsreen. My JRT doesn't have "snow nose" but she does have a pink area of skin just above her nose and it does get sunburned easily so I have to be careful to either keep her out of the sun or use a dog approved (because they lick whatever you put on) sunscreen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2008
    West Palm Beach, FL


    Akitas can get vitiligo, which is loss of pigmentation. This can be a benign condition (and is genetic) which necessitates the use of sunscreen in the sun and may spread over time.

    However, I'd also monitor your dog's eyes closely, as vitiligo can be a sign of VKH syndrome which Akitas are prone to. Usually ophthalmic signs come first (uveitis), but the depigmentation can be a warning of early onset.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
    Center of the Universe


    It could be discoid lupus. If so, it's important to avoid sun exposure. Might want to visit the vet for a real diagnosis.

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