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Hyperkeratosis in dogs consists of a dermatological disorder characterized by the increased thickness and cracking of the skin, with a greatly increased production of keratin. In dogs we can find familial hyperkeratosis of the pads or nasodigital hyperkeratosis. It is an important clinical sign that can be seen idiopathically or due to different diseases, so its cause should be investigated to find a solution as soon as possible..
Keep reading this AnimalWised article to learn more about the hyperkeratosis in dogs, its causes and treatments.You may also be interested in: Ichthyosis in dogs - Symptoms and treatment Index
- Types of canine hyperkeratosis
- Causes of hyperkeratosis in dogs
- Symptoms of hyperkeratosis in dogs
- Diagnosis of hyperkeratosis in dogs
- How to cure hyperkeratosis in dogs? - Treatment
Types of canine hyperkeratosis
Canine hyperkeratosis is a skin disorder in which a keratin overproduction in the stratum corneum of the skin, resulting in an accumulation of the same causing a thickened, dry, hard and cracked appearance of the foot pads or the nose of our dog.
In the dog we find two types of hyperkeratosis:
- Familial hyperkeratosis of the pads: the lesion is limited to the area of the pads and appears in puppies. The most predisposed dog breeds are the Dogue de Bordeaux, the Irish terrier or the Kerry Blue Terrier.
- Nasodigital hyperkeratosis: Hyperkeratosis can be located both on the pads and on the nose and can be idiopathic without any explainable origin, more frequent in older dogs, or secondary to other disorders and diseases. The most predisposed breeds are the cocker spaniel, the basset hound, the boston terrier and the beagle.
Causes of hyperkeratosis in dogs
Hyperkeratosis in dogs can occur at any age and with or without an apparent cause. Among the causes that can explain that our dog has developed this secondary dermatological lesion we find:
- Infectious diseases: canine distemper and canine leishmaniasis.
- Congenital diseases: ichthyosis.
- Autoimmune diseases: systemic lupus erythematosus and pemphigus foliaceus.
- Skin disease by sensitivity to zinc.
- Lymphoma cutaneous.
- Hepatocutaneous syndrome.
- Superficial migratory necrolytic erythema.
- Contact dermatitis.
- Nasal parakeratosis labrador retriever.
Symptoms of hyperkeratosis in dogs
Pad hyperkeratosis in dogs produces a thickening of the pads, becoming very hard and cracked. Fissures can occur which when they become chronic can cause severe lameness and secondary infections.
In the case of nasodigital hyperkeratosis in dogs, we see the following symptoms:
- Nasal hyperkeratosis appears as a thickening and accumulation of dry and fissured tissue in the nasal plane.
- The hyperkeratosis of the pads generally affects the most cranial edge of the pads, appearing dry, hard and cracked.
For all this, canine hyperkeratosis can cause:
- Increase in size of the nasal plane and / or muzzle.
- Depigmentation muzzle.
- Hardening of the skin.
- Cracked and cracks on the skin.
- Secondary infections.
Diagnosis of hyperkeratosis in dogs
The diagnosis of canine hyperkeratosis is based on clinical findings. You should do a differential diagnosis of all its possible causes in case it is a secondary hyperkeratosis and not hereditary or idiopathic. These diseases, as we have indicated, are:
- Canine distemper.
- Zinc sensitive dermatitis.
- Superficial necrolytic dermatitis.
- Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
- Contact dermatitis.
- Hepatocutaneous syndrome.
If the dog is a Labrador between 6 and 12 months of age, the presence of the labrador retriever nasal parakeratosis.
Once any of these diseases have been found, we already know what has been the cause that has caused our dog to develop this injury and we must proceed to the specific treatment of the pathology in question. In the event that no justifiable cause is found for the appearance of this skin disorder, we could assess whether it is an idiopathic nasodigital hyperkeratosis, confirming with a biopsy of the lesion, especially if it is an older dog. If it is a month-old puppy and especially if it is of the predisposed breeds, it could be a familial hyperkeratosis of the pads.
How to cure hyperkeratosis in dogs? - Treatment
Treatment, if the hyperkeratosis is secondary, should be specific according to the process that causes it, together with the symptomatic one for the skin lesion. Hyperkeratosis in dogs must be treated with certain substances topically, directly on the lesion to soften and lubricate the skin, as well as to promote the repair of the skin barrier. These treatments include:
- Keratolytic agents to soften or dissolve keratin, topically, directly in the lesion.
- Lotions with moisturizing agents: propylene glycol, glycerin, urea, acid or sodium lactate and oats.
- Emollients: fatty acids, essential oils or waxes.
- In some cases, corticosteroids or the antibiotics me antifungal if there are secondary infections by bacteria or fungi.
There are no home remedies for hyperkeratosis in dogs, so the use of the aforementioned substances is an obligation if we want to improve the condition of our dog, in addition to finding the cause that causes the skin disorder.
Prognosis of canine hyperkeratosis
In general, dogs improve hyperkeratosis lesions in days, being able to eliminate them completely if the disease that causes it is cured or controlled. However, in cases of idiopathic or hereditary hyperkeratosis, treatment can be prolonged throughout the life of the animal or repeated in case of recurrences..
This article is merely informative, at AnimalWised.com we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.