Nasodigital Hyperkeratosis. With apologies to Richard and Robert Sherman who wrote the songs in Mary Poppins; I must say, the look of it is something quite atrocious! It looks like scabby blisters. Analyzing the individual parts of the word, “naso” means nasal or nose, “digital” refers to fingers and toes (or in the case of dogs, their paws), “hyper” is Greek for over, and “keratos” means keratin which is the tough, fibrous protein that is the structure for the outer layer of skin. So in a dog, nasodigital hyperkeratosis is essentially the hardening of the skin on the nose and/or paws. Dudley’s paw pads are fine, but his nose is starting to look sort of gross.
Zoe had it on her nose, too. When it first started on Zoe, I thought it was dirt, a logical conclusion since Zoe loved to dig and root around. It was only when I took a warm washcloth and tried to wipe it off and Zoe yelped did I realize it was something like a scab. I emailed Dudley’s doctor and she suggested using an over the counter ointment called Kerasal a couple of times a day. Humans use it as a foot cream and its primary ingredients are Salicylic acid 5% and Urea 10%. Once again I will be sharing a product with my dog. We have shared Benadryl and once Zoe, Dudley and I all had our own identical individual bottles of Prednisolone Acetate eye drops. So now all I have to do is put some on Dudley’s nose and distract him for a few minutes so he doesn’t immediately lick it off. Distraction consists of putting my hand in his mouth and letting him slobber all over it for a few minutes. It is a little easier than getting these pictures.
Vitamin A deficiency has been cited as a cause of hyperkeratosis, but Dudley’s diet consists of a herring and sweet potato blend and carrots are his snack of choice. Both sweet potatoes and carrots are chock full of vitamin A, so I don’t know how that would apply to Dudley’s case. While the hyperkeratosis doesn’t have a cure, I hope the Kerasal will keep it from getting any worse and make it look better. It doesn’t seem to bother Dudley, but since he can’t talk I don’t know for sure and I hope it does make his nose feel better. My feet feel better after only a couple of uses.
We still want to hear what inspired the names of your pets! Everyone who posts in the comment section of the blog will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card to Amazon or Target (winner’s choice).
“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”
~ Ann Landers