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Collie nose’ nothing to sniff at

By Floyd Miller



Q: We are wondering if there are any permanent treatments to prevent the horrible sores that our 8-year-old collie gets on his nose every summer. As the days get longer and our collie spends more time outside with our kids at softball games and other outside activities, his nose becomes reddened and then scabs appear. During the winter months when he is inside most of the time, he does not have scabs on his nose. {{more}} We have tried putting sun block creams on him and have used many salves and ointments to treat the sores. Other than this problem, our dog seems to be very healthy and full of energy.A: Unfortunately, many collies have problems with sores on their noses throughout the summer months when there is increased sunlight. This condition is commonly called “collie nose” or “nasal solar dermatitis”. Collie nose occurs because most collies do not have skin pigment on the exposed portions of their noses and because these dogs tend to be hypersensitive to the intense sunlight during the summer months.Of course, the simplest way to prevent collie nose is to limit the amount of sunlight your dog is exposed to by keeping him inside during the day. Some veterinarians recommend the routine application of medications containing steroids and antibiotics to the top of the nose during the summer months.One method of permanently preventing collie nose is to have the top of the nose tattooed with black ink. To do this procedure the dog must be anesthetized. It is often necessary to repeat the tattooing process several times at 30- to 60-day intervals to make the noise dark enough to prevent problems.Left untreated, collie nose can become very irritating to the dog and can eventually develop into skin cancer. Your veterinarian can give you additional advice regarding the care of your collie. Hopefully a solution can be devised that will allow your dog to continue his active lifestyle, including going to the kids’ softball games.

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