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Hyperkeratosis is a condition that affects the dog’s skin. It mainly affects the paws and nose areas. Hyperkeratosis is characterized by excess skin that forms on these parts of the dog, and after a while, the surface appears to be cracked.
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What Causes Hyperkeratosis in Dogs?
This condition occurs as a result of increased or abnormal growth of the fibrous protein in dogs. The fibrous protein forms the outer part of the skin in dogs, and therefore, if the protein increasingly grows, it causes the skin to thicken.
Note that this condition only affects the parts that do not grow hair, and that is the reason why it only occurs around the nose and the paws of the dog. The hyperkeratosis that affects the nose is referred to as the nasal hyperkeratosis while the feet hyperkeratosis is seen to as pad paw hyperkeratosis.
What Triggers Hyperkeratosis?
Zinc Responsive Dermatosis – This is a condition that occurs when the dog is unable to absorb zinc in the body. One of the symptoms of this disease is hyperkeratosis.
Canine Distemper – This is a skin issue that arises if the dog does not receive vaccination as required or at the right time. The dog may develop various health and skin issues with hyperkeratosis being one of them. Note that the problem can be cured by administering the required vaccine.
Effects of Hyperkeratosis in Dogs
If this condition stays for long without any treatment, it may cause various adverse effects on the animal. For example, the piling of the skin on the paws forms a hard crusty shell on the paws which causes pain when the dog is walking.
The same case goes for the nasal area. As we all know, dogs use their nose as the sensory organ which means that the excess skin around the nose blocks the nasals thus hindering the dog from using the noses correctly.
Can Hyperkeratosis be Treated?
There is no permanent cure for hyperkeratosis in dogs. But with the right procedures and products, you can manage it and ensure the safety of your dog.
The first thing you need to do is visit a vet so he can run some tests on the dog. The vet determines the right measures and skin products he will prescribe to the dog. Keep in mind that hyperkeratosis can affect any breed or age of a dog. Some may require special care or products if the problem has severely damaged the skin or if they have sensitive skin.
Methods of Managing Hyperkeratosis
1. Ensure to trim the shell
The extra skin on the paws continues to grow as time goes. You need to prevent it from increasing to the extent that the dog will not be able to walk. It is advisable that you have it trimmed.
Take the dog to a vet to ensure that the trimming process is done well without hurting the dog.
2. Use the right creams
The creams are recommended for the nose parts. The creams help to keep the extra skin moisturized and loose such that the dog will still be able to use the nose.
3. Use paw protective gear
When taking your dog out for a walk, make sure to put some boots or socks on their paws. This will prevent them from getting hurt by the rough ground.
4. Keep the dog groomed
Make sure to regularly clean up the dog, and trim the nails since it may be hard and painful when you do it once the nails have grown much longer.
If you feel that their condition is becoming to worsen, we highly recommend that you go see the vet. For peace of mind, you should always consult the vet when you first spot that your dog is suffering from Hyperkeratosis.
Ian is an avid outdoorsman and dog lover. He lives in Central Florida with his wife Heather, and their 2 dogs – Panda (Purebread Rough Collie X English Golden Retriever) & Kuma (Blue Merl Purebread Rough Collie)