Dear Daisy Dog: Poppy, our yellow Labrador, had a black nose when she was young. Over the past several months, her nose has lost its color and looks beige. Other than that, she’s normal. Does this indicate a serious medical problem?
Daisy Responds: Probably not. Depigmentation of the nose leather, called the planum nasale, often occurs in light-colored breeds. Your observation that she’s otherwise normal is important.
Her planum nasale should retain its usual cobblestone texture and be free of crusts. Other areas of her body, including her eyelids, lips and footpads, should look normal.
The condition is often called snow nose or winter nose when the nose leather gets lighter during the winter but darkens again during the summer. This condition is common in retrievers and Arctic breeds, like huskies.
The term Dudley nose is often applied to dogs born with depigmented nose leathers.
These kinds of depigmentation are cosmetic and do not indicate an underlying medical condition. However, Poppy should stay inside at midday to protect her nose from sun-induced damage.
f you have any concern, please see your veterinarian who can examine Poppy’s nose and tell you for sure.