Winter Fun with Dogs

It’s not just a typical winter when ‘polar vortex’ is the most popular weather phrase of the year. Even as we publish this post, the nation is on the brink of another bitter cold snap. While the thought of trekking around outside in frigid temps might instill a sense of dread for most people, your pup will likely be even more eager to explore the wintery landscape. In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah offers several useful tips to ensure that ‘outdoor fun time’ remains safe throughout the harsh winter season. A bit of precaution and planning makes all the difference, so break out the hot cocoa and watch the latest webisode now.

Comments (3) -

  • Susan Sentilles

    1/23/2014 4:15:24 AM |

    My Golden Retriever's nose has turned pink.  Is it true this happens in cold weather?  I live in the Deep South.  Will it turn black again?

  • Sarah wooten

    1/24/2014 5:24:46 AM |

    Hi Susan - thanks for your question.

    There are three conditions that come to mind.

    Nasal depigmentation, also called Dudley nose, is a syndrome of unknown cause that may be a form of vitiligo. A nose that is solid black at birth gradually fades to a chocolate brown, or in the case of complete depigmentation, to pinkish white. Some dogs experience a remission in which the nose spontaneously becomes darker. Depigmentation primarily affects the skin of the nose where hair is absent.

    Snow noseisa separate but common condition in which dark pigment on the nose fades during the winter months and darkens again in spring and summer. Complete depigmentation does not occur. Snow nose is seen in Siberian Huskies, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and other breeds.

    A third condition, plastic dish nasal dermatitis, is a localized form of depigmentation that affects the nose and lips. It is caused by eating out of plastic and rubber dishes that contain the chemical p-benzylhydroquinone. This chemical is absorbed through the skin and inhibits the synthesis of melanin, the substance that produces dark pigment in the skin. The involved skin may also become irritated and inflamed. The problem can be corrected by switching to glass, ceramic, or stainless steel bowls for all the dog’s food and water.

    Lack of pigment on the nose is primarily a cosmetic problem. Sunscreen, as described for nasal solar dermatitis, helps prevent ultraviolet injury to dogs who lack pigment.

    As always, your local veterinarian is the best resource for all health questions.

  • Rebecca Forrest

    1/30/2014 2:15:26 AM |

    Thanks for the upbeat and informative video agin this month, Dr Sarah. I am especially glad that you talked about the dangers of leaving animals in the car. Good advice all around, and I was glad to share it with my friends!

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