hyperkeratosis is a condition
that manifests as excessive
accumulation of keratin on the
dorsum of the nasal planum and/
or footpads. Brachycephalic breeds
and cocker spaniels may be
sign is thickened,
dry and hard keratin accumulating in
the sites mentioned. In the nose the
cause may be a failure of keratin to
wear away during frequent contact with
food bowls and hard surfaces due to
abnormal facial conformation.
In the footpads the keratin tends
to accumulate on the edges of the
pads, particularly in dogs with gait
abnormalities due to lack of contact
with hard surfaces. Fissuring and
ulceration is possible in untreated
cases. Corns may develop and press
on interdigital areas causing pain and
- Canine distemper. Rare but could
become more common due to decline
in uptake of vaccination. History of
severe systemic illness prior to onset of
- Zinc responsive dermatosis. Rare
currently, suspect with dry generic
Rare. Severely ill dog with liver or pancreatic disease diagnosed
by abnormal liver or pancreatic
blood parameters and ultrasound
- Hereditary nasal parakeratosis. Seen
in young Labrador Retrievers and their
• Pemphigusfoliaceus. Usually lesions
are more extensive and involve other
sites – bridge of nose and pinnae, for
- Systemic lupus erythematosus. Rare.
Multisystem disorder. Dog will be ill.
to southern European country in
- In older dogs with no other lesions
and otherwise well the diagnosis can
be made on clinical grounds alone.
Histopathological examination will
con rm the diagnosis although this is not often needed.
- Rule out
diseases listed in
- Excess keratin may be trimmed
prior to treatment.
- Rehydrate the skin with warm
water soaks and then apply petroleum
jelly once daily for 10 days. In digital
hyperkeratosis cases, bandaging of
the feet is advised for a few hours to
avoid mess in the home. Removal of
the bandages is followed by additional
warm water soaks and cleaning.
- Further removal of excess keratin
may be undertaken at this stage so
that normal anatomical features are
restored, although care should be taken
not to overdo the procedure as this
may provoke fissuring due to thinning
of the pads.
- Where fissuring and ulceration has
occurred, the above treatment can be
preceded by once daily application of a
- Weekly application of petroleum
jelly and trimming as required aims to
prevent excessive build-up of keratin
once control has been achieved.
The owner should be informed that
idiopathic nasodigital dermatitis is a
condition that can be controlled, but
life-long treatment is required.