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The nose is treated by gently washing the affected area and applying an antibiotic salve as recommended by a veterinarian to provide moisture and help avoid infections.
According to Carlo Vitale, DVM, zinc-responsive dermatosis occurs when a dog's intestines are unable to metabolize zinc efficiently.
The Animal Dermatology Clinic of Vancouver, BC also lists nasodigital hyperkeratosis as a cause of "crusty nose." The cause of this condition is not yet known, but it leads to an overproduction of keratin on the top of the nose, and it can also affect the foot pads, much like the lasting effects of distemper.
A vet will only diagnose idiopathic nasodigital hyperkeratosis once conditions that produce similar symptoms are ruled out.
At this time, there is no cure for distemper and its resulting hard pad disease, so it's extremely important to make sure all puppies receive their initial vaccinations and that they receive boosters throughout their lives as recommended by their veterinarians.
If your dog's nose looks unusual and appears hardened or crusty, contact your vet for an appointment right away.
Your vet will do his or her best to reach an accurate diagnosis and recommend treatment, including how to care for the skin itself to keep your dog more comfortable and prevent a secondary infection.
It's difficult to measure zinc serum levels, so diagnosis is often backed up by looking at the physical symptoms as well.
The treatment for zinc-responsive dermatosis sometimes includes making dietary changes.