Understanding Hyperkeratosis in Dogs

As a dog owner, your furry friend's health and happiness is paramount. While dogs are generally healthy and hardy animals, they may sometimes develop hyperkeratosis, a condition characterized by an excessive build-up of keratin proteins on the nose and paw pads. Hyperkeratosis can be uncomfortable and painful for the dog, and it's therefore important to identify and treat the condition promptly. This post delves into the causes, symptoms, and treatments of hyperkeratosis in dogs to help you understand how to identify and manage the condition.

Causes of Hyperkeratosis in Dogs

There are several reasons why dogs can develop hyperkeratosis. Genetics, poor nutrition, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and exposure to harsh environmental conditions are some of the causes of the condition. Certain breeds are also more susceptible to developing hyperkeratosis than others, including Greyhounds, Golden Retrievers, Bull Terriers, Beagles, and Labrador Retrievers. Prolonged exposure to surfaces such as concrete or asphalt can also cause the condition in some dogs. Your veterinarian should first “rule-out” conditions such as discoid lupus, distemper, or zinc deficiency. 

Symptoms of Hyperkeratosis in Dogs

Hyperkeratosis has several symptoms that can help you identify the condition in your dog. One of the main symptoms is the thickening and hardening of the paw pads and nose at the nasal planum. The affected area may turn grey, brown, or black in color and feel rough and dry to the touch. Some dogs may also develop cracks, fissures, and ulcers, which can cause considerable discomfort and pain. As the condition progresses, it may cause your dog to limp, experience difficulty walking, and exhibit signs of pain. 

Treatment of Hyperkeratosis in Dogs

The treatment of hyperkeratosis depends on the underlying cause of the condition. In most cases, treating the underlying cause can resolve the hyperkeratosis. For instance, if poor nutrition (i.e. zinc deficiency) is the culprit, improving your dog's diet and supplementing it with vitamins and minerals can improve skin and hair health. Other treatments include the application of topical agents that soften and moisturize the affected area. Oral medications such as retinoids, which regulate keratin production, may also be prescribed by a veterinarian.  Many products pledge to soften and soothe cracked, calloused skin, however, only Solva-Ker™ Gel from VetriMax Veterinary Products both softens and removes excessive keratin building.  For this reason, Solva-Ker Gel has become the veterinarian’s #1 choice for idiopathic hyperkeratosis. 

Prevention of Hyperkeratosis in Dogs

Preventing hyperkeratosis in dogs involves providing them with a healthy and balanced diet, protecting them from harsh environmental conditions as much as possible, and keeping their paws and nose clean and moisturized. Regular visits to the vet and grooming sessions are also crucial in the early detection and treatment of hyperkeratosis.

How Vetrimax Can Help

Hyperkeratosis can cause discomfort and pain in your furry friend, and it's essential to take steps to identify and manage the condition to promote their health and well-being. With proper treatment and prevention measures, you can help your dog lead a happy and healthy life free of hyperkeratosis. Don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has hyperkeratosis or any other health condition. Vetrimax carries effective treatments for hyperkeratosis and many other skin conditions!

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