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Anyone hear about 'winter nose' or 'snow nose'?

December 15th, 2008, 07:02 PM
We noticed just a few days ago that Jermy's nose at the tip became lighter, kind of a faded color (generally he has a black nose). I googled it and it seems like 'winter nose' and nothing to worry about. Did anyone hear about this? I am just curious if anyone else's dogs have that during the winter months.


December 15th, 2008, 07:14 PM
We don't have problems with it but I have met some folks in our "local" (that would be park folks, not a bar :laughing:) who have and they tell me the only thing to keep an eye to is skin texture.

December 15th, 2008, 11:50 PM
Snow nose is common in dogs with white as a main coat colour - Sibes, Mals, Samoyeds, White Shepherds, but can occur in any breed.

I've had Sibes that have gotten a slight snow nose over the winter and a Dalmation x Black Lab that had discolouration on his nose from scraping it on a fence. In both cases a pinch or two of kelp on the food for a week or so had reversed the colour back to black. (American White Shepherd Association)
Unfortunately most of the ready reference material I have states only that it is technically called "hypopigmentation" (or snow nose) and that it results from loss of sunlight. Once winter is over pigment darkens again but, as I stated earlier, apparently it doesn't always return as dark as it was initially. Another reason for this condition is a deficiency of B vitamins, PABA in particular. The condition of a pink stripe down a dog's nose, such as you sometimes see in Malamutes, is not snow nose because they were born this way. A White Shepherd born with a pink nose will probably always have a pink nose no matter how much you supplement. In this case, the pink nose is genetic so obviously in selecting breeding stock, you need to keep this in mind and select for black pigmentation.

Some of us have tried products like Kelp are advertised to help this condition. Sometimes there does seem to be a slight reversal and other times there is no change.
Snow nose causes the nose to fade to brown in winter; normal color returns as summer approaches. Snow nose occurs mainly in white-coated breeds; the color change can become permanent in older dogs. It is not associated with disease.

December 15th, 2008, 11:56 PM
Kelp ~ that's interesting Growler. Any idea about what it is in kelp that causes the colouration? Funny that dulce doesn't cause any colouration in humans (like excess carotene causes oranging of palms in Caucasions).

December 16th, 2008, 12:22 AM
our little guy bailey gets it every winter, his nose is normally brown not black and in the winter little spots on it lose the color and your right growler kelp works.

mummummum that's a good question about the dulce, must ask super newf when she wakes up and see if she knows. Grace is good at that kinda east coast info.

December 16th, 2008, 12:22 AM
I've been searching for that answer & all I come up with is "an enzyme" :shrug: but doesn't specify what. There are a large number of active ingredients in kelp (

The breeder of my :rip: Sibes was the one to give the info to me on using kelp.
Kelp is a nutrient rich type of seaweed, used for treating a variety of skin ailments and for managing dogs with marginal or small thyroid dysfunctions. Do not give to pregnant or lactating bitches, puppies or dogs receiving iodine supplements or hormone-type therapies. Discontinue using if your dog develops either constipation or diarrhoea.

Be warned, kelp commonly changes the colour of a dog's pooh to a vibey green!

December 16th, 2008, 12:58 AM
Hmmmmm... a mystery. Wonder if it's the massive iodine. Worthy of further study ~ thanks Growler! You know me ~ I love a good medical mystery! And Aslan ~ it would be great if you could get to your "super~Newf source for further info....

December 16th, 2008, 01:04 AM
:laughing: i think we'll have to wait for morning for the answer she's not to giving of information if you wake her up. Not to mention her accent is stronger and i'd have no idea what she was saying.:D

December 16th, 2008, 01:06 AM
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllll..... okay. If you insist. :D

December 16th, 2008, 04:15 AM
A lab's nose will turn pink during the winter and black in the summer ...or the other way around, I can't remember. I'm not sure if it's every lab but it is common in labs. I remember noticing it on my brother's yellow lab and then I was looking it up because my dog's nose had changed colour too. I don't remember the article but it said that lab's noses turn pink to black depending on the season. My dog's nose is back to black and hasn't changed since. Who knows?

December 16th, 2008, 06:52 AM
Off to the store for some Kelp... Thanks!

December 16th, 2008, 09:06 AM
My guys don't get snow nose, but they get mud nose in the spring. :laughing: