1.17.13 Why Is Sofie’s Nose Turning Pink?

17 Jan

When I got home from my trip, the family was very concerned about Sofie’s nose.  They had all noticed that her black nose had slowly been turning pink.  They worried that she was doing something to herself, like scraping off her skin (ouch!).  Or that she was sick.  I assured them it was nothing to worry about, but then I started to worry.  Why does a dog’s nose turn from black to pink?  Did she have a vitamin deficiency? Was there something wrong?  I know that with age most of my animals had started to lose pigment in their noses, but she was only 2 years old.  So, being the ‘research-everything’ person that I am, I of course ‘Googled’ the situation, and found some very interesting facts.

Black NoseApril

Black Nose

1. Some dogs loose pigment in their noses in the winter.  (Which is what I think might be going on here.)  They call this ‘snow nose’ or ‘winter nose.’ Who knew?  Though it seems to be something that is more common to dogs like Labrador Retrieve, Golden, Bernese or Husky (Sofie being none of those that we know – well maybe Golden?), the seasonal variation is no cause for alarm and goes back to black in the warmer months.  I guess we will have to see.  

2.  Age of course is another reason.  There is an enzyme called Tyrosinase which produces pigment.  As a dog ages the nasal plenum (that is a cool word, don’t you think?) might change from black to brown or pink, as less of the enzyme is produced.  Interestingly enough, Tyrosinase is also sensitive to temperature. This may be why the fading of the ‘plenum’ in warmer months happens too.  

Pink NoseJanuary

Pink Nose

3. Dermatitis, especially from plastic bowls, has been found to temporarily cause this.  Or a real trauma, like an abrasion.   If allergies are the cause, the dogs gums will possibly be red or inflamed too.

4. There is an immune disease that can cause a pink nose, called Vitiligo.  (That is the disease that Michael Jackson said he had that turned his skin from black to white. I wonder if Sofie can sing?) But if a dog has this, there would be white patches usually throughout its body and white hairs.  This seems to be found in Doberman, German Shepard, Rottweiler, and Dachshund mostly.  It appears to be a rare problem, but I was happy to know that it can be managed by nutritional supplements (if you’re worry about the color of your dog’s nose).  I guess show dogs can be disqualified if their pigment is not exactly right – so this might help in those cases.

Any changes in our little furry charges is always a cause of concern, but luckily Sofie has to go to the vet soon for her Booster shots, so I will have Dr. Kate take a look. Otherwise I would just wait until spring to see if her nose turns back to black.  If it stays pink I guess I will have to invest in some Doggie sunscreen (Is there such a thing?).  

What color is your dog’s nose?

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤


Posted by on January 17, 2013 in Dogs


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

27 responses to “1.17.13 Why Is Sofie’s Nose Turning Pink?

  1. jmgoyder

    January 17, 2013 at 02:09

    That’s interesting!

    • dogdaz

      January 17, 2013 at 07:16

      The animals are constantly teaching me new and interesting things. 🙂

  2. angelswhisper2011

    January 17, 2013 at 03:46

    Great information! I know it can also happen by changing hormones 🙂

    • dogdaz

      January 17, 2013 at 07:17

      Hormones. I didn’t read that one. She is spayed, but I still think there may be some rushing through her.

  3. Genevieve Petrillo

    January 17, 2013 at 06:25

    Cupcake’s nose is black, but I have definitely seen dogs with pink noses. Who knew there were so many fascinating causes! I love this post. Let us know what the vet says.

    • dogdaz

      January 17, 2013 at 07:17

      I have seen Cupcake with a Red clown nose too, haven’t I? Hehehhehe

  4. rumpydog

    January 17, 2013 at 07:39

    Wow I didn’t know that! I know orange cats have pigment changes that cause freckled noses and gums, but didn’t realize dogs could have pigment issues.

    • dogdaz

      January 17, 2013 at 07:59

      Now you know.

  5. Sandy

    January 17, 2013 at 09:12

    We had a rottweiler with this problem. In addition to her nose turning pink. She also got pink blotches around her eyes. She was diagnosed with skin lupos.

    • dogdaz

      January 17, 2013 at 09:35

      Oh my. I have systemic lupus so I am very familiar. 🙂

  6. catfromhell

    January 17, 2013 at 10:31

    Oh wow! I never knew that!
    Nellie’s mom

    • dogdaz

      January 17, 2013 at 10:52

      Sure thing Nellie’s Mom

  7. Vicki Flaherty

    January 17, 2013 at 11:33

    I had no idea! Thanks for sharing your research.

    • dogdaz

      January 17, 2013 at 14:55

      Thank you for reading.

  8. bumpyroadtobubba

    January 17, 2013 at 21:58

    Beary’s is still black but Bella’s is definitely lighter than it used to be. Interestingly enough, I’ve just had a close up look at a photo and her nose looks a little darker. It’s summer here, so maybe it is just that her nose lightens in winter? I always just presumed it was age-related. Thanks (again) for the food for thought 🙂

    • dogdaz

      January 18, 2013 at 07:21

      The NOSE knows, or so it goes. 🙂

  9. nutsfortreasure

    January 17, 2013 at 22:11

    I shall inspect JT thoroughly in the AM she is sleeping all curled up at the moment though I may have a photo or 2 lol

    • dogdaz

      January 18, 2013 at 07:21

      Hiding the nose, is she? BOL

      • nutsfortreasure

        January 18, 2013 at 08:42


  10. themisadventuresofmisaki

    January 18, 2013 at 13:25

    Didn’t know that at all, though have since lots of wintry pics of sibes and mallies with pink noses and now I know why!

    • dogdaz

      January 18, 2013 at 13:57

      Very interesting, but your nose is black, right?

      • themisadventuresofmisaki

        January 18, 2013 at 14:02

        Yes, mine’s still black. But who knows what will happen now we have snow:-)

  11. Bassas Blog

    January 19, 2013 at 03:14

    I never knew that some dogs can lose pigment in their noses in the winter.

    • dogdaz

      January 19, 2013 at 11:27

      Neither did I until Sofie turned pink

%d bloggers like this: