Everything about Yorkshire Terriers – Love your Yorkie
Everything about Yorkshire Terriers – Love your Yorkie

Dog Noses: Color Changes, Runny Nose, Health Concerns, and Treatments

Yorkie

Have you ever thought about why there is a brown nose Yorkie and a black nose one? Or perhaps found yourself thinking, why does a dog’s nose turn brown? Because if so, you’re either a Yorkie owner and know how complicated their noses are or an inspiring owner and are trying to find answers.

Whichever category you fall into, this article is going to give you all the information you need. We’re talking about the basics of Yorkie noses and why they are the way they are. But we’re also going over their various health concerns and how you can deal with them. And it’s crucial that you know all of it because this toy-sized dog breed is sensitive and requires a caring owner equipped with the tool of knowledge.

Let’s start with what a dog nose should feel like.

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Dog Noses: Color Changes, Runny Nose, Health Concerns, and Treatments

Wet or Dry, Cold or Warm: Your Dog’s Nose

You can determine if a dog (or a Yorkie) nose is healthy or not by its perceived moisture and temperature. These physical conditions depend on the internal well-being of a dog. And while most Yorkie owners believe that cold and wet are ideal, the truth is a bit more complicated than that.

Wet or Dry

For most dogs, it doesn’t really matter if their nose is wet or dry. Both can and should be seen as normal because a Yorkie nose can quickly switch from one to the other.

The problem arises when this shift is drastic and immediate. For instance, an extremely wet nose might hint at incoming flu. On the other hand, if it’s overly dry, it may lead to cracking.

But as long as your pet’s nose is moving between slightly wet and dry, they’ll be fine. These fluctuations are entirely normal and caused by specific external stimuli.

A common cause of dry noses is a lot of exposure to the sun and other heat sources (sitting in direct sunlight, below a window, neat a radiator, etc.) These stimuli tend to remove moisture from your dog’s body through sweat, which extends to their nose. While this part of the body doesn’t perspire, it does lose water.

Another prominent cause is excessively licking the nose. You may have noticed this happen with your own lips; applying saliva might temporarily bring benefit, but in the long term, you’ll have to invest in chapstick or vaseline. Dog saliva has similar properties. And when a Yorkie nose is excessively licked, the saliva’s chemical properties lead it to become dry.

The second last factor we’re examining is extreme winters. When there isn’t a lot of moisture in the air, a Yorkie nose becomes dry and chapped.

At times a Yorkie nose is also dry while it sleeps. This is because these dogs lick their noses when awake, and this causes moisture. However, since dogs can’t do so while unconscious and dreaming, their noises tend to get dry.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: How to take care of your Yorkie’s Nose

Cold or Warm

Dry noses automatically feel warmer to the touch compared to wet ones, which feel colder. So you should be careful of this when trying to examine a Yorkie nose. Also, similar to how a nose fluctuates between the two moisture levels, it changes temperature too. Big jumps are bad, but it isn’t a big deal if it’s just a small change.

There are two situations that can temporarily make a Yorkie nose warm. The first is exposure to the sun. While their nose leather does offer some degree of protection against the ball of fire, it often doesn’t extend for longer than thirty minutes. At this point, the sun begins affecting your pet and its temperature.

The second factor is dehydration. As soon as your Yorkie loses one to five percent of their body fluids, their nose will become warm, and they might develop a headache.

In the case that your Yorkie’s nose becomes warm very often and without explanation, there are a few steps you can take. Firstly, you can protect them from exposure to the sun. Keep them indoors and move their resting place away from windows, doors, etc.

Secondly, it’s a good idea to make sure your dog is drinking enough water. Try using a canine fountain to encourage them to drink more and stay healthy.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: 15 Most Common Yorkie Health Issues – Everything You Need to Know About Your Yorkie’s Health

Dry, Cracked, and/or Peeling Noses

A Yorkie nose is made up of skin much like any other part of the body. However, it doesn’t have the typical five layers of skin. Instead, it only has three, and this makes it very sensitive.

The surface of a Yorkie nose is called the Stratum Corneum. It has grooves and is super thin. The former gives the nose texture, whereas the latter contributes to a series of problems like cracking and peeling.

Any nose condition, especially the ones mentioned above, can be excruciating for toy-sized dogs like the Yorkshire Terrier. So it’s imperative that you deal with them as soon as possible.

And since most of them are caused by chronic dryness, the easiest way to protect your Yorkie from harm is by dealing with it. But before you can do that, you need to understand each factor that plays into threatening your Yorkie’s health, the different ways dryness can show itself, and the

Sun exposure

When your Yorkie is excessively exposed to the sun, its sensitive nose can become a victim of dangerous solar rays. Consequently, they may end up facing sun damage, sunburn, or even heatstroke.

Dry air

Dry air is a common phenomenon in the winter months. There is very little moisture in the air, especially in heated houses. And this causes dry skin issues all over a Yorkie’s body, but since their nose is particularly vulnerable, it is attacked first. Therefore, you’re often likely to notice it there before anywhere else too.

The instinctive response of dog owners across the globe to this issue is using humidifiers. And while that might help, it is essential that you deal with the cracking and peeling head-on; this is the only way to bring the Yorkie nose back to its original state. We’ll talk about treatments later on.

Dehydration

A dehydrated Yorkie is tough to identify because the only noticeable symptom is dryness. Irritation, lethargy, and an inability to focus are also signs, but they often aren’t picked up by owners.

An easy way to know if your pet is dehydrated is by measuring their water intake. Typically, a dog should be drinking 1 ounce of water for each pound of body weight. Depending on their exercise and health, the amount of water necessary increases.

Hit the minimum. Any lower and your Yorkie is in a dire state. More isn’t as big of an issue.

Chapping

Chapped noses are easily identified. They’re common in the winters when the weather is dry, cold, and harsh.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: Yorkie Allergies – Everything You Need to Know, Causes and Treatment

At-Home Treatment of Cracking and Peeling

Now that you what cracking and peeling are and all the different players involved when it comes to these conditions in your dog’s nose, it’s time to get into treatments. And the best ones on the market are nose balms and butter. Using a quality product will soothe any Yorkie nose and counteract dryness immediately.

But there are simply so many options on the market, how do you choose the right one? Pick a product that doesn’t have too many chemicals. Production companies tend to add in a ton of preservatives and toxins to make their goods more marketable. But that isn’t what you want. You want an organic nose balm/butter.

Yorkies, similar to any other dog breed, lick their noses quite a bit. Consequently, any substance on it goes into their tummy. Picking an organic toxin-free product ensures they don’t get a stomachache.

Another great tip is choosing a scent-free balm. Yorkie noses are sensitive and will pick up on the smell immediately. You don’t want to run the risk of them resisting application because the scent is too strong or just something they don’t like. It’s better to be on the safe side.

The last tip we’ll offer is in terms of the application process. You’ll get the best results if you apply the balm on a Yorkie nose right before the dog goes to sleep at night. Additionally, re-apply every four to five hours during the day. Doing so after a meal instead of before will make sure that your dog doesn’t remove it before it works its magic.

Most cases of cracking and peeling can be dealt with at home; however, there are a few situations in which it is better to consult a vet, such as if there is bleeding. If the cracks have gone deep enough for veins to be exposed, it means that all three layers of the skin have been breached, and infection is possible. You aren’t equipped with the tools necessary to deal with it.

More such cases are puss oozing from the cracks or a heavy fever since both are signs of infection.

Lastly, you should visit a vet if your remedies for surface-level cracks aren’t working. Give your home treatments a week, and then consult a specialist.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: What Should Yorkie Owners Know About DCM?

Nose Crusting and Sores

Small nose crusts are a great sign. They mean the area in question is scabbing, and your dog’s nose is healing. Scabs are red or brown and are an organism’s way of protecting sensitive skin against germs and infection.

Peeling them off will only slow down the healing process and is advised against. If you’re giving your pet a shower and the water loosens a scab, that’s fine. However, intentionally removing one is not. Doing so will cause pain, expose the damaged skin, and risk exacerbating the problem.

There are a few medical conditions that affect a Yorkie nose and cause serious sores.

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus

Valentine day with your Yorkie

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus is a skin disease that affects a dog’s nose, eyelids, ears, and lips. Sometimes you’ll even see sores on their genitals and discoloration on the nose.

If your Yorkie is infected, know that there are effective treatments. For instance, you can give your dog immunosuppressive medicines and corticosteroids. Since sunlight plays into worsening the condition, just applying sunscreen can also make them feel better.

Pemphigus Foliaceous

This autoimmune disease affects a dog’s nose, and its symptoms include boils and crusty skin lesions. Over time these sores grow and eventually rupture, turning into irritable scabs.

In the worst case, the disease spreads up to a Yorkie’s ears and makes them extremely uncomfortable. And while this is a rare situation, sometimes it spreads to their paws as well.

Treatment for serious cases includes Prednisone, whereas you can deal with minor ones with hydrocortisone. At times, removing medication does lead to the disease coming back. If this happens to you, consult a vet or specialist.

Distemper

Distemper is a rare contagious viral disease limited to unvaccinated Yorkie puppies. Some common symptoms include crusting and hardening of the nose, but if your dog is infected, you will also notice vomiting, eye or nose discharge, coughing, sneezing, and diarrhea.

The disease is incurable and affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous systems. Even so, there are various supportive and symptomatic treatments to ease a dog’s suffering to the largest extent possible.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: Controlling the Weight of Your Yorkie

At-home treatment for crusty nose issues

Yorkie laying down

Minor cases of crusting can typically be attributed to slight dryness caused by external stimuli like changing weather, minor dehydration, or chapping. While they do cause discomfort to your dog, they aren’t severe and can be dealt with at home. As discussed before, in reference to cracking and peeling, you need to buy a soothing nose balm or butter if you want to opt for home treatments. Choose any quality product, preferably one with organic ingredients, and your dog should feel better in seven days. If your Yorkie isn’t feeling better in a week, visit a vet.

Additionally, if your Yorkie’s symptoms become worse or new ones develop, take them to a specialist immediately. These include, but are not limited to, vomiting, fever, lethargy, weakness, or change in appetite.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: Cost-Effective Ways to Take Care of Your Yorkie

Runny Noses

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Almost all Yorkie noses release clear and thin discharge. However, owners don’t notice since the dogs wipe it away immediately.

Sometimes if there is excessive discharge, it may point to a health concern. For instance, if there is a noticeable and constant stream or if it’s colored (brown, green, grey, yellow, etc.), visiting a vet would be a good idea.

Being a Yorkie owner or an aspiring Yorkie owner, you should be familiar with the possible causes of such runny noses. We’ll go over all of them, so you’re equipped with everything necessary to be good at the job.

Allergies

We’re starting with the most common reason for a Yorkie’s runny nose: allergies. Even though they’re a basic health concern, they surprise most Yorkie owners. And we don’t blame them.

An allergy can develop at any age and sometimes; sometimes, a dog can even live through most of its life without dealing with one.

There are three classifications:

  • seasonal (grass, weeds, pollen, etc.)
  • food (flavoring, preservatives, whole foods, etc.)
  • contact (carpets, materials like wool, detergent, etc.)

Yorkie dog sleeping

While each is prevalent in Yorkies, and Teacup Yorkies, they actualize in different ways, and seasonal allergies are most likely to cause a runny nose.

Treatment is always two-pronged. The first step is medication; minor cases get over-the-counter prescriptions like Benadryl, whereas severe cases receive antihistamines. The specific remedy depends on the intensity of the allergy and the vet.

The second step is removing the allergin from the Yorkie’s environment. Use high-efficiency particulate air filters in air conditioners, ventilation, and vacuums. Clean your household items like bed sheets and sofa covers with hypoallergenic detergent. Regularly bathe your Yorkie’s coat to remove pollen and other germs.

Blockage

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The second cause of a runny nose is blockages. And this is most common among curious Yorkies who tend to swallow or snort inappropriate objects amid explorations. This can look like everything from seeds or beads to an eraser.

As soon as these objects make their way into your Yorkie’s nose, they cause intense discomfort. So if you can see it and believe you’ll be able to remove it, grab a tweezer and go for it. However, if you can’t see it or are unsure of your ability to safely take it out, leave it to the specialists and go to your nearest veterinarian.

In most cases, the vet will take it out without using sedatives. But if the object has traveled high up the nasal canal or the dog is in too much discomfort to sit still, they may not have any other option.

There are a couple of telltale signs that your Yorkie has snorted something they shouldn’t have. And unless you’re always with your puppy, keep an eye out for them. Inconsistent or odd breathing patterns, bleeding, and discharge from one side of the nose are the most common and noticeable ones. If you notice any of them, the runny nose has been caused by a blockage.

Tooth infection

A Yorkie nose also releases discharge if there is a tooth infection since most of their upper teeth are very close to the nasal canal. Symptoms include a reduced appetite, anxiety, and discomfort. Each case is different, so treatment varies; your vet may prescribe antibiotics, suggest tooth removal, or recommend both.

Less common causes

Alongside the three common causes listed above, there are a few rarer reasons why your Yorkie has a runny nose. A fungal disease, pneumonia, distemper, and nasal growth are also possible explanations.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: Coping with Bladder Stones in Yorkies

Bloody nose

Female Yorkie

Seeing your tiny dog with a bloody nose can be quite distressing. However, you need to remember that staying calm and collected in such situations is a big part of your role as a Yorkie owner. If your worry is apparent, it will transfer to your dog, which will not help anyone. They’ll get stressed, increase their heart rate, and the bleeding will just become worse.

With that said, let’s get into why your dog’s nose is bleeding. The most common cause of a bloody nose is trauma. And while you can’t know for sure if this is an accurate prognosis, it is entirely possible that your eager little Yorkie hit something or fell. Even the most minor collision can lead to a nosebleed.

In such situations, you need to do three things:

  1. Take a breath and collect yourself.
  2. Find an ice pack and apply it against the bleeding nose. Hold your pet in a warm embrace; they’ll stay still, and it will keep them calm.
  3. Wait for fifteen minutes, and if the blood doesn’t stop, go to a vet.

If you didn’t see your pet get injured, there might be trauma on other parts of the body. For example, if they fell, they may have hurt their back or one or more of their legs. Therefore, pay attention to your Yorkie’s movement. Limping or sitting in an unusual position may be a sign that you need to take your Yorkie to a vet.

Other less common reasons

cute Yorkie puppy

Other than trauma, there is a very long list of random events that can cause nose bleeding. Venomous animal bites (snake bites, etc.), cancer, or fever can lead to a nosebleed.

And it isn’t possible to diagnose exactly what has gone wrong.

Whatever the cause, it is imperative that your Yorkie gets medical attention as soon as possible. Excluding events where home treatment works, always rush to a vet because nosebleeds aren’t ever normal. They are always a sign that something has gone wrong.

And in the worst case, they can be a sign of a long-term health concern.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: Yorkies in Heat: Signs, Cycles, Length & Symptoms

The Color of a Yorkshire Terrier’s Nose

Yorkie Cost

According to the American Kennel Club, a pure breed Yorkshire Terrier should have a black nose. However, a lot of Yorkies have brown noses or black noses with brown spots.

Meeting the criteria set by the AKC means that your dog can compete in dog shows. But if that isn’t your ambition for your dog, then the color of their nose doesn’t matter.

Some breeders only work with dogs of specific characteristics. And meeting breed standard guidelines is really important to them. So if your Yorkie doesn’t have a black nose, you may not be able to breed them.

Nose Color Changes

Yorkie

Yorkies have some of the most interesting genetics. Part of their appeal is in how they change as they grow older. If you raise a Yorkie puppy, you’ll find that its coat fades from a darker to a lighter tone over time. And this isn’t restricted to their hair. A Yorkshire Terrier’s nose also changes colors over time.

Most of these dogs have black noses, but the rare few will have brown or mixed-toned noses. This isn’t a color that appears in a puppy.

However, if the genetic inclination is there, the puppy’s nose will fade from black to brown over the first three years of its life.

How does this happen? Your dog’s nose changing color won’t happen magically or overnight. Often the process starts with brown spots appearing on the nose. So if you notice something like this, don’t be alarmed. These dots will eventually grow, becoming larger spots that begin to cover more of the dog’s nose. Since the process is gradual, you’ll see the change take place.

Many Yorkie parents who aren’t aware of this potential change can freak out when they see their puppy’s nose spots. But, there’s no reason to be alarmed. It’s perfectly natural. And if you’re thinking about getting a Yorkie, you should definitely ask the breeder if either of the parents had a brown nose.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: Your Dog Shaking, Trembling, Shivering, Panting – Why? Everything You Need to Know

Reasons for Staining

Yorkie on glasses

Plastic staining

Dog owners who use colored plastic bowls to feed their pets either food or water often notice staining over time. That is because the dye used in these products leaks and can damage your Yorkie’s sensitive nose. First, the chemicals dry out the skin till the top layer peels off. Then, when the newer, fresher skin is exposed, the dye results in discoloration or a stain.

But this isn’t the only reason you shouldn’t use plastic bowls. Such containers are manufactured using p-benzyl hydroquinone, which enters the food and water. Once it enters the bloodstream, it leaches into the skin, causing issues like pigmentation and swelling on the most sensitive portions of a Yorkie’s body, namely the nose and lips. Stainless steel bowls are a safe alternative with no risks of bacterial growth or harmful chemicals.

Seasonal fading

But not all fading is due to chemicals. Seasonal fading is just a result of sun exposure and is common in some dog breeds. The skin pigmentation happens when dogs don’t get enough Vitamin D. The Yorkshire Terrier is not overly sensitive to this concern, but it can experience seasonal fading where the nose lightens and becomes pink. Yorkie owners often call this “winter nose.”

Pink spots

Teacup-Yorkie-Pup

The pink spot on the dog nose appears in the center of a Yorkie’s nose when the top skin dries and peels off. If this happens to your dog, you should use a nose butter or vet-recommended balm to protect this sensitive skin while it heals.

Nasal Depigmentation

Nasal Depigmentation is another problem Yorkies may face, though it isn’t common. This is a form of vitiligo where there is a dramatic change in nose color. You might notice your dog’s nose changing from black to pink, brown, or white. There is no treatment plan since it is a cosmetic concern and not a health issue.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: Yorkie and Dog Diarrhea – Why Your Dog and Puppy Has Diarrhea and What to Do

Protecting Your Yorkie’s Nose

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Keeping your Yorkie’s nose in good health is vital if you want them to live a good life. And there are quite a few things you can do to ensure this.

Nose balm

Keeping a good stock of nose balm is essential to protecting your dog from the sun, dryness, and a lot of other health concerns we outlined above.

Add humidity

Dry air causes a bunch of problems for Yorkies. It makes their nose and skin dry and their eyes water. Additionally, it leads to itching all over the body.

Preventing an illness is always better than reacting once it gets your dog. And the best prevention against the health concerns caused by dry air is maintaining a healthy amount of humidity around your Yorkie. But how can you do this, especially in the winter months when the weather makes it impossible?

Set up a humidifier in the areas your dog sleeps or rests in. Additionally, you can purchase small potted plants and place them all around the house. Lastly, you can put containers filled with water on radiators to increase vapor content in the air around the house.

Hydration

What does a Yorkie Look Like

Irrespective of a dog’s size or breed, they are active animals and require a certain amount of water to stay healthy. However, they don’t always remember that, and you need to ensure that they are getting the necessary hydration.

Wash their drinking bowl regularly because Yorkies don’t drink stale water. Also, take water with you whenever going out for exercise or walks. every day

Supervise them

From snorting grass to getting bitten by red ants, numerous things can go wrong if a dog is allowed to go out without supervision. While they do need to sniff around and explore, be careful about where your Yorkie does so.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: The Yorkie Collapsed Trachea, Yorkie Reverse Sneeze, and Other Respiratory Problems in Yorkies

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