Note for Pet Owners:

This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Topics on this Page:

Loss of black pigment from the nose resulting in a light brown colouration  is a common finding in dogs, and it causes owner concerns for cosmetic reasons, but it is of little clinical significance. It is also called "Dudley nose"

It needs to be differentiated from other causes of depigmentation of the nose including Canine Uveodermatologic Syndrome and immune-mediated disorders such as Discoid Lupus Erythematosus

e precise cause of this loss of pigment and colour change is not known but it is possibly a form of vitiligo. Presumably the condition is intimately linked to pineal gland and/or melanocyte activity.

Breed Occurrence
Nasal depigmentation has been reported to occur in the following breeds :

  • Afghan hounds
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepherd Dogs (White)
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Irish Setters
  • Labrador Retrievers (Yellow)
  • Pointers
  • Poodles
  • Samoyeds
  • Siberian Huskies


The disorder shows as a light brown to pink discolouration of the otherwise black nasal planum. In some breeds (eg Bernese Mountain Dogs, Siberian Huskies and Golden and Labrador Retrievers it may be seasonal - being worse in  the winter. In other breeds it is not seasonal. In some individuals the amount of pigment present may change from time to time, in others it remains depigmented. 

There are no significant complications, but the condition may be associated with more generalised loss of pigment from haircoat (vitiligo)

The diagnosis is based upon the clinical appearance and lack of other signs typical of other diseases. 

There is no treatment reported to be successful for this condition.

Good as there are no other clinical signs.


Updated October 2013