Dog Hyperkeratosis: Causes, Signs and Treatments

Have you ever noticed the abnormal hair growth on your dog’s feet? Is your dog dealing with a hard paw pad or a crusty nose?  Most probably, he/she is experiencing Hyperkeratosis.

Being a pet owner is not a child’s play. It is a fact that dogs make our lives better, but at the same time, one has to face many challenges. You might feel depressed about knowing that your beloved friend is having a skin condition known as Hyperkeratosis.

Hyperkeratosis can be a worrying situation for you as it leads to many health problems. Taking your pooch to the vet might be a pain reliever for them.

What is Hyperkeratosis in Dogs?

Keratin is a protein that makes up the outer coating of the skin. It is naturally produced by the dog’s body. Keratin is fibrous and hard. Your canine’s paws or nose hardens or thickens due to the production of excess keratin. This skin problem is known as Dog Hyperkeratosis.

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⚠️Caution: This disease is excruciating for the animal. If not cared properly, your dog might give up walking.

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Too much keratin creates a crusty shell on your friend’s paws and nose. Dogs with nasal Hyperkeratosis can’t use their nose in their usual manner, while footpad Hyperkeratosis makes the feet highly sensitive.

In some cases, these body parts dry to the extent that it cracks the skin beneath. It further leads to infectious diseases. Sadly, there is no remedy for this condition, but a few precautionary measures can save your pal from severe illness.

What Causes Hyperkeratosis in Dogs?

Canine Hyperkeratosis is brought about by genes. This fact implies that most dogs are likely to encounter this condition. Particularly, Bedlington Terriers, Iris Terriers, Dogues de Bordeaux, Golden Retrievers, and Labradors develop Hyperkeratosis in the first six months of their life. 

Lifestyle factors, specific diseases, and genetics are the leading causes of canine Hyperkeratosis. Let’s discover a few more reasons.

Leishmaniasis – Every 9 out of 10 dogs face Leishmaniasis. Parasites such as sand flies are the primary carriers of this disease. This ailment can trigger Hyperkeratosis if no precautions are taken. Certain medications can easily control Leishmaniasis.

Canine Distemper – Canine distemper can attack your companion at any stage of life. Unvaccinated pups and non-immunized dogs fall prey to these diseases. It is a deadly virus with no proper treatment. Studies reveal that Canine Distemper also thickens the footpads, creating problems for both owners and the dogs. You can avoid it by early vaccination of your pup.

Pemphigus Foliaceus – Pemphigus Foliaceus is an autoimmune disease in dogs usually noticed in middle-aged and old dogs. The skin disease is often diagnosed with a biopsy and can make its way for Hyperkeratosis. Immunosuppressive drugs can help to get rid of this ailment.

Zinc Responsive Dermatosis – Zinc boosts the immune system and plays a pivotal role in the production of hormones, enzymes, and proteins. Many dog breeds are susceptible to zinc insufficiencies. Inadequate absorption of this mineral can cause Hyperkeratosis. Zinc supplements can address this problem.

Symptoms of Dog Hyperkeratosis

In the beginning, the sign of canine Hyperkeratosis is not clear. But, the condition grows, and finally, owners observe the following symptoms:

•    Hairy Paw Pads

The abundance of keratin makes your pooch’s footpads look hairy. The hair seems sharp and irritating, causing problems in walking.

•    Dried Out Nose

The nasal cavity looks entirely dried out. You may observe cracked skin around the snout.

•    Fainting Nose Color

The lack of pigmentation around nose accompanied by thick and hard cracks flag that your friend is developing Hyperkeratosis.

•    Deep Scratches or Fissures

Carefully lift the paws one by one. If you see thick or cracked skin with fissures or scratches below the feet, it indicates the skin condition.

Types Of Hyperkeratosis In Dogs


No matter what the type is, any Hyperkeratosis is unbearable for your furry companion. There are two most common types of Hyperkeratosis:  nasal and footpad Hyperkeratosis.

Dog Nasal Hyperkeratosis

Nasal Hyperkeratosis affects your pup’s muzzles and nose area. Dogs have an unbelievable smelling ability. Many guard dogs are used for security purposes and in criminal investigations due to their supernatural sense of smell. To make this happen, the snout should be wet.

Nasal Hyperkeratosis stops your dog from completely using snout. A crusty, hard, and dry nose makes it impossible to use it in the same way.

Dog Footpad Hyperkeratosis

Footpad hyperkeratosis severely affects your dog’s feet. Just like other animals, dogs also walk on their paws. They continue this practice throughout the day. But how can they walk with sore and painful paws?

Footpad hyperkeratosis is more harmful to dogs as it attacks the most useful part of the body. Dogs love to play and walk on unclean surfaces, but cracked and dry paws are most likely to catch infections. Some dogs limp while others find it challenging to stand on their feet. That’s painful!

Natural Treatments for Dog Hyperkeratosis

Honestly, there is no such thing as a “Cure for hyperkeratosis,” and this fact has led many dog owners down. But wait! We have got all covered. A few soothing products in the market can quickly heal and moisturize the hard parts of their bodies.

Natural Treatment for Nasal Hyperkeratosis

Snout Soother prevents the formation of Hyperkeratosis around the nose. You can apply this healer to dried, cracked, or needle-like muzzles and wait to see the results; Snout Soother works effectively while moisturizing the nose.

You can relate to an example of human lips. Applying a chapstick on dried lips gives us instant relief. Similarly, you will observe how relaxed your dog feels after its application. To treat, soothe, or prevent a dry and crusty dog nose, use Snout Soother with regularity.

Natural Treatment for Footpad Hyperkeratosis

Paw Soother is an incredible blend of butter and herbal-based plant oils to protect from paw pads Hyperkeratosis. It is a 100% all-natural balm that immediately heals up the sore and entered footpads.

Natural ingredients like Vitamin E, coconut oil, and other extracts help regulate cell regulation and moisturize the outer skin. Many dog owners trust it. Try it once, and you will be amazed to see the healing power of this soother!

Call Your Vet

The best and easiest way to deal with this condition is by making an appointment with a vet. Hyperkeratosis develops from other diseases, and a doctor can help you diagnose the root cause. In this way, you can rescue an uncomfortable friend.

Bottom Line

If your dog is having Hyperkeratosis, it doesn’t mean you lose all hopes of its recovery. It is time to take action and make life easier for them. Visiting a vet and using the right products can do wonders for your dog. Even if they have caught up Hyperkeratosis, they can still lead a great life!

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