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Sharpie as a cure for "collie nose"????????

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  • Sharpie as a cure for "collie nose"????????

    We have a collie we got from a rescue group, and he has diskoid lupus or "collie nose" (basically hair loss on the nose). His is a mild case, but still looks a bit sad. We've elected not to treat other than with vitamin E so that we can save the big medicinal guns for later in life in he needs them (he's just two).

    While at a horse trial with him this weekend a woman approached us, she said she was a collie lover/20 year owner of the breed, and noted his affliction and told us that her vet had her color in the exposed skin with black sharpie to help keep it protected from sun damage and that about 70% of the time, it would let it heal up completely.

    I'm intrigued, because certainly sun exposure is a problem/factor in his condition, but coloring in exposed pink skin with sharpie as a treatment seems, well, crazy, LOL.

    Anyone had any expereince with this? was this lady bonkers, or on to something?
    Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
    Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
    Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com

  • #2
    You'll need to talk to your vet about the Sharpie, but she IS onto something, because one of the standard treatments - especially if it can be accomplished BEFORE the dog begins to develop actual lesions in the de-pigmented areas - is tattooing with black ink. Quite a lot of vets do this to protect the skin; if they're successful, treated dogs may never develop the blisters and cracking.

    When I was very small, a neighbour with a Collie used some kind of black boot polish on his dog's nose, at (he said, according to my mother) his vet's suggestion! I would think that tattooing would be preferable, as most dogs would probably lick a topical substance off their noses (or off their friends' noses, if you happen to have more than one dog), and I have no idea whether boot polish or Sharpie ink would be safe for a dog to ingest. Again, your vet could probably advise you about that.
    Good luck with your Collie - I have a rescue Collie too, and he is most definitely the Best. Dog. Ever. Even the farm cats agree!
    Home page: www.jessicajahiel.com
    Horse-Sense newsletter: www.horse-sense.org


    • #3
      One of the horse magazines had an article on a paint horse getting an "eyeliner" tattoo. The tattooist had experience with animals and humans. The "eyeliner" in black was to protect his eyes or eyelids from burns in the sun (sorry I cant remember what the disease or condition they were treating.)
      So it's been used in the animal world.
      Of course you I don't think you can show any animal treated that way in a breed show, I'm sure.


      • #4
        There is a commercial product available from Cherrybrook and other places, that is a two step process to blacken noses. First step is clear, allowed to dry, second step is applied and blackens the nose. You apply it with Q tips or cotten balls. Some exhibitors use this although it is indeed against AKC regulations. It is said to last for several days, (depending on how much the dog licks its nose). Some exhibitors then apply a dab of Vaseline to make it shiny. I have a friend who used to show Labs which sometimes got lighter noses in the wintertime and she told me about this.


        • #5
          wait..........i think i am confused.........are you talking about the bridge of the collie nose?.....or strictly the typically black,wet,cold, rubbery part of the nose?

          because my colie has a white blaze beginning behind the black part of her nose, and the hair is very thin or missing there......i thought it ws from sticking her nose thru the fences........'so, does this part need darkening as well?....or will regular sunscreen work?


          • #6
            well, you know, it seems like such a safe, easy thing to do, why not try it? it could definitely help- the disease is autoimmune in origin, but anything you do to reduce irritation/inflammation of the affected area, such as protecting it from the sun, may indeed help.

            I must admit to having used a black permanent marker to color in the white blemish (white hair grown in after a minor injury) on one of my dog's noses- the white area just seemed to spoil the look of the dog. So I colored it in black regularly. It was a permanent dye so once it dried it didn't come off when he licked his nose, so it wasn't being ingested or anything potentially unsafe.

            I'd suggest you also feed the dog a hefty daily dose of fish oil along with the vit. E to help reduce inflammation.


            • #7
              Sharpies smell very strongly. And with dogs sense of smell being so much greater than ours I'd think using a Sharpie would be really annoying to the dog & I don't recommend it.

              I know there are commercial products so if I had to use one I would. Also thought that you only need to cover-up in the heat of the summer sun, even in Cali.


              • #8
                Agree that the Sharpies may not be the best thing. They do not seem to mind the commercial two step thing, though you have to hold their muzzle closed while it dries so they don't lick it.


                • #9
                  Wait. Are we talking about discoid lupus? Is it the same in other animals as in humans? If so, steroids on the affected area, very limited sun (sunscreen doesn't cut it, exposure at all can cause flare ups). I wouldn't put anything else on the affected area. It's so damned sensitive. At least for me. I can't imagine putting something like a sharpie on it. Ouch!

                  I have had lesions for the last few years and what gets me is sun and stress. Not necessarily in that order. Also, lights in my office. I turned off the fluorescents during the day and started getting far less lesions.

                  They hurt. THey may just look scabby and dry but by God, they hurt.
                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                  • #10
                    My dog had this condition and I ended up trying a homeopathic remedy that actually worked very well. I was very skeptical, but it wasn't terribly expensive so I thought giving it a try couldn't hurt and I was very pleasantly surprised and impressed with the improvement in her condition. Obviously, YMMV, but it might be worth a try. You can get a "kit" from here: http://www.naturalcanine.com/LSKH.html, but I think I was also able to find the components (sulphur and aurum metallicum) at my local health food stores.


                    • #11
                      If you decide to go with a darkening method -- like Pasde I've heard of the tattooing for years for any dog/animal with light skin around the nose or lacking nose pigment. Might see what your own vet thinks. Lots of other good suggestions here -- but why not just get a tattoo, which is essentially permanent, rather than something that has to be re-applied?

                      Also, yeah, as Anne FS said, Sharpies do stink, so you'd have to wonder about the effects on the dog, even if it's just annoyance. If there are active or healing lesions, I'd want to check with my vet on any type of application, because broken skin is likely to allow whatever substance it is to be absorbed more easily by the body.
                      If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great