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Old 08-22-2011, 10:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Preventing nose color loss?

The other day someone told me I should give my cream spoo omega 3’s, vitamin E and use water without chlorine (filtered). The theory was chlorine in tap water would cause my light colored dogs black nose to lose its color and turn pink over time. I almost rolled my eyes because it sounded so crazy, but then I started wondering.

My last spoo was white and had a black nose that started turning pink at about 2 years old, by 11 her nose was almost totally pink. I don’t really care if my pups nose loses its color, it is just a nose, but a black nose does look good.

I know most spoos that are white, light colored or brown tend to lose their dark noses as they age. Black spoos tend to keep the black. It seems to me if it is going to lose its color there is nothing to do about it. My whippet’s nose is black, he is almost 6 and has drunk all kinds of water, but he is a whippet and they don't lose their nose color the way light poodles do.

Has anyone ever heard of chlorine in tap water causing a dog’s nose to lose its color? Omega 3 and vitamin E? I didn't want to ask if they fed it or rubbed it on the nose. LOL

Any thoughts on this issue? Is it preventable or purely genetic?

Last edited by outwest; 08-22-2011 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outwest View Post
The other day someone told me I should give my cream spoo omega 3’s, vitamin E and use water without chlorine (filtered). The theory was chlorine in tap water would cause my light colored dogs black nose to lose its color and turn pink over time. I almost rolled my eyes because it sounded so crazy, but then I started wondering.

My last spoo was white and had a black nose that started turning pink at about 2 years old, by 11 her nose was almost totally pink. I don’t really care if my pups nose loses its color, it is just a nose, but a black nose does look good.

I know most spoos that are white, light colored or brown tend to lose their dark noses as they age. Black spoos tend to keep the black. It seems to me if it is going to lose its color there is nothing to do about it. My whippet’s nose is black, he is almost 6 and has drunk all kinds of water, but he is a whippet and they don't lose their nose color the way light poodles do.

Has anyone ever heard of chlorine in tap water causing a dog’s nose to lose its color? Omega 3 and vitamin E? I didn't want to ask if they fed it or rubbed it on the nose. LOL

Any thoughts on this issue? Is it preventable or purely genetic?
Well, being the investigative type that I am, the first place I looked for information on a topic like this was snopes.com: Urban Legends Reference Pages.


The Urban Legends Reference Web Site.



Although it didn't give me any "hits" on "chlorine water dog pink nose"
it did give me this....




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Old 08-23-2011, 01:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Now, for something else that I found. This is a cut & paste so it talks about other breeds but it may explain what MIGHT have happened to your dog's nose.

By the way, your question isn't a stupid one. There are many sources that indicate severe tear staining on white poodles eyes can be caused by high iron content in your water supply. This would apply mostly to people on wells in rural areas but also to some smaller towns with old water tanks for storage and the tanks are rusting.

TD

----------------------------------

Pigmentation in a dog’s nose is determined by genetic factors, just the same as hair color. Depending on the breed, the dog’s nose may be black, pink, liver colored, or self colored (same color as coat). But, what does it mean if your dog’s nose changes color? If your dog’s nose is turning pink, specifically turning from black to pink, there could be many causes for the loss of pigmentation. Sometimes the change indicates a medical condition, and other times, a dog nose turning pink is a completely natural part of aging.

The most common cause of a fading nose is called “snow nose” or “winter nose,” because the dog’s nose will fade to pink or white during the winter months, and return to black once summer arrives. Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Bernese Mountain dogs, and Siberian Huskies have this seasonal variation in the color of the nasal planum. Some dogs within these breeds, and even dogs of other breeds, have noses that change from black to brown or pink as the animal ages. The cause is thought to be a breakdown of a certain enzyme called tyrosinase, which is responsible for producing pigment. Apparently, the enzyme becomes less efficient as the dog ages, causing the nose to fade from black to brown or pink. Tyrosinase is also temperature sensitive; it works more effectively in warmer weather, which explains the fading of the nose during winter months. While a dog with a completely pink nose (also known as a Dudley nose), can be disqualified from the show ring (depends on breed), dogs with originally black noses that fade to pink are still allowed to be shown.

Physical ailments and medical conditions may also cause a dog’s nose to fade from black to pink. Sometimes, the dog will lose pigment due to an illness or trauma, and then recover the pigment once healed. If your dog’s nose is scraped or suffers abrasion, it will usually turn pink as it heals, then to black once the scabs are gone. Contact dermatitis can also cause loss of pigmentation in the nose. Certain dogs are sensitive to plastics in food dishes, and the continual irritation will cause the nose to turn pink; the lips will also become inflamed. Switching to stainless steel food and water bowls will eliminate the possibility that your dog is suffering from contact dermatitis.

Vitiligo is an immune disease in dogs that will cause a pink nose, but dogs with vitiligo will commonly have white patches or hairs throughout the rest of their bodies. In animals with vitiligo, antibodies are formed against pigment-containing cells that are responsible for nose color. The antibodies destroy these cells, resulting in loss of color. A veterinarian can do a biopsy to confirm this diagnosis. Certain breeds are at greater risk for this disease, such as Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Dachsunds. While the dog’s health is not adversely affected by this disease, nutritional supplements may help to restore the dog’s pigment.

If you have a dog with a pink nose, make sure that you protect him in the summer by applying sunscreen to avoid painful sunburn. While a black or brown nose is safe, a pink nose will burn and may blister if the sun damage is severe. Pink noses are accordingly more at risk for the development of cancer. In some cases, an owner can choose to have his dog’s nose tattooed with black ink to protect it from the sun. This practice is more common in dogs such as the Collie who will get nasty ulcerations from sun exposure.
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, that was an informative snippet, but it didn't say one thing about how to prevent it, did it. Maybe I should do a little investigation, too. If it has to do with tyrosinase, maybe you can sprinkle the food with the enzyme. LOL

I will continue to investigate. I like the black nose.

found this:
There is no proven way to prevent snow nose, although some breeders swear that giving pets vitamin E and kelp will help restore the color.

That doesn't prevent it though.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I really think all the theories on keeping dogs noses dark are just bullpoopie. I have friends who have a 7 year old white standard. She's been fed through plastic food and water bowls her whole life, fed iams and milkbones, and drinks tap water. Although her nose isn't solid black, it's still VERY dark. That standard happens to be the aunt of Vienna, who's pigment is still totally black at 3 years old, drinks tap water, and eats and drinks out of plastic bowls.

I really think it's genetic and has hardly anything to do with the environment.

Here's when she was 6.


And Vienna
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I drink tap water and so do my dogs. Hell if I am going to start filtering their water when I don't drink filtered water myself.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outwest View Post
Well, that was an informative snippet, but it didn't say one thing about how to prevent it, did it. Maybe I should do a little investigation, too. If it has to do with tyrosinase, maybe you can sprinkle the food with the enzyme. LOL

I will continue to investigate. I like the black nose.

found this:
There is no proven way to prevent snow nose, although some breeders swear that giving pets vitamin E and kelp will help restore the color.

That doesn't prevent it though.
Well, there were a couple of things that I put together based on the info in the cut & paste, and some things you said in your original post. (And above as well.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by outwest View Post
My last spoo was white and had a black nose that started turning pink at about 2 years old, by 11 her nose was almost totally pink. I don’t really care if my pups nose loses its color, it is just a nose, but a black nose does look good.....

Any thoughts on this issue? Is it preventable or purely genetic?
So, reading your description of the problem, and the post with different possibilities of causes:
  1. I ruled out snow nose as you didn't indicate the black came back after the winter.
  2. Tyrosinase is associated with the winter nose so I ruled it out with number one.
  3. The time span you gave - started at around 2 and by 11 was pink, had me rule out most physical ailments and medical conditions as the color change would probably be faster.
  4. You also indicated a constant change to pink which ruled out trauma.
  5. Vtiligo is possible and "white patches" on a white dog might go unnoticed but I still think you would see something more than just the color change of the nose.
  6. That left me with horrid visuals of you putting that white zinc oxide stuff on the dogs nose in summer. It MIGHT work but I have a feeling the dogs tongue can lick it off.
  7. Tattoo the nose black? Ewwwwwwwwwwwww!
  8. This pretty much left it down to "and other times, a dog nose turning pink is a completely natural part of aging." (ie: Genetic)
And, if it is "genetic" and a natural part of aging, there isn't much you can do about it.

Sorry it wasn't more helpful.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My feeling is:
It is entirely genetic and there is nothing to do about it. I thought it was an odd thing for someone to tell a person with a light colored dog and a black nose. "You know, your dog might lose that black nose, you should try omega 3s, vitamin e and water without chlorine."

I wouldn't think we would have this snow nose here since it is sunny year around with rarely an overcast day. If she loses the color, so what? Lots of light spoos lose their nose color. I wanted to see what you guys thought. Personally, I think it is genetic.

fluffy spoos- beautiful BLACK noses! Thanks for sharing your pics.
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm sure Vienna's will lighten with age, I'm prepared for it. Though since her nose is still this dark at 3, I'm thinking it'll be a slow process. Now if your dogs nose is fading by say 6 months, then I say you've got bad pigment.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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7 months, still black. LOL
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