Nasal parakeratosis

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Appearance of nasal hyperkeratosis in a Labrador Retriever[1]

Hereditary nasal parakeratosis is an autosomal-recessive genetic disease of Labrador Retrievers characterized by thickening and depigmentation of the nasal planum[2].

Affected dogs show scales and crusts on the nose pad, which often develop from 6 - 12 months of age[3]. Occasionally they also develop painful fissures on the nose.

Diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms and histological evidence of marked diffuse parakeratotic hyperkeratosis, multiple intracorneal serum lakes and superficial interstitial-to-interface lymphoplasmacytic dermatitis.

A differential diagnosis would include distemper, trauma (constant rubbing against hard surfaces), lupus erythematosus, Malassezia spp and Aspergillus spp dermatitis, localized ringworm, idiopathic seborrhoea, necrolytic migratory erythema, zinc-responsive dermatosis, thallotoxicosis and congenital follicular parakeratosis (mainly Siberian Husky and Rottweiler)[4].

Treatment is usually conservative, with topical applications of propylene glycol in water or white petrolatum often effective at minimizing severity of lesions.


  1. University of Bern
  2. Peters J et al (2003) Hereditary nasal parakeratosis in Labrador retrievers: 11 new cases and a retrospective study on the presence of accumulations of serum ('serum lakes') in the epidermis of parakeratotic dermatoses and inflamed nasal plana of dogs. Vet Dermatol 14(4):197-203
  3. Pagé N et al (2003) Hereditary nasal parakeratosis in Labrador Retrievers. Vet Dermatol 14(2):103-110
  4. Senter DA et al (2002) Intracorneal vacuoles in skin diseases with parakeratotic hyperkeratosis in the dog: a retrospective light-microscopy study of 111 cases (1973-2000). Vet Dermatol 13(1):43-47