What causes hyperkeratosis in dogs?

  • Cara,
  • March 15, 2022,
  • 4487

The most common causes for hyperkeratosis in dogs includes genetics, age, autoimmune illnesses, infectious diseases and a protein deficiency. At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, we know when this pesky skin condition arises, your dog is bound to be uncomfortable and sensitive.

What causes hyperkeratosis dog paw?

Hyperkeratosis occurs due to a protein inside your dog called keratin. Your dog's body can make too much keratin on the skin's outer layers, resulting in coarse hair-like paw pads. If you don't treat hyperkeratosis promptly, the skin could crack, causing infections and extreme discomfort for your dog.

What is hyperkeratosis in dogs?

Hyperkeratosis occurs when your dog excessively produces keratin. Keratin is the primary protein that makes up the hair, nails, and skin. It acts as a protective layer of the skin from the external environment. But if too much keratin is present, it could build up and cause harm to your dog.

What is nasal hyperkeratosis?

IDIOPATHIC nasodigital hyperkeratosis is a condition that manifests as excessive accumulation of keratin on the dorsum of the nasal planum and/or footpads. Brachycephalic breeds and cocker spaniels may be predisposed. The characteristic sign is thickened, dry and hard keratin accumulating in the sites mentioned.

What is hyperkeratosis dog paw?

Hyperkeratosis is a skin condition that makes your dog's paw pads thick and crusty. It's often referred to as “hairy dog feet” because it causes your dog's paws to look like they are growing an abnormal layer of hair. (The same thing can occur to your dog's nose but is known as nasal hyperkeratosis.)

What dogs are prone to hyperkeratosis?

Certain breeds like Labrador Retrievers are prone to developing hyperkeratosis on their nose due to a hereditary condition. Irish Terrier and Dogue de Bordeaux breeds are prone to developing footpad hyperkeratosis.

Is hyperkeratosis in dogs curable?

At the moment, there is no known cure for hyperkeratosis in dogs. However, you can easily manage its symptoms once your dog has been properly diagnosed. Hyperkeratosis is generally benign, but for more serious cases, your dog will need treatment.

Does hyperkeratosis hurt?

With the exceptions of corns and calluses, most forms of hyperkeratosis are not painful.

How serious is hyperkeratosis?

Prognosis. Most forms of hyperkeratosis are local skin problems that have a good prognosis. Actinic keratoses can develop into squamous cell skin cancer.

Is hyperkeratosis a fungal infection?

Abstract. Foot hyperkeratosis is common. They often coincide with fungal infections, are difficult to cure and relapse rates are high.

Does hyperkeratosis hurt dog's?

Hyperkeratosis happens most often on a dog's paw or nose. It is an abnormal overgrowth of keratin that leaves dry, flaky, cracked crusts on a dog's skin. Causes may be unknown or related to an underlying medical condition. Most forms of paw hyperkeratosis are harmless, but they could cause pain or limping.

How to treat hyperkeratosis in dogs?

How to Treat Hyperkeratosis in Dogs

  1. Underlying Disease Treatment.
  2. Excess Keratin Trimming.
  3. Feet Soaking.
  4. Over-the-Counter Ointments.
  5. Antibiotics or Antifungals.

How to remove hyperkeratosis dog?

6 Ways to Manage Hyperkeratosis in Dogs

  1. Get That Shell Removed. Because the keratin will keep growing and growing over your dog's paws or nose, you can periodically have it removed by a vet.
  2. Use Skin Creams.
  3. Use Booties and/or Socks.
  4. Keep Dog's Nails Trimmed.
  5. Let Your Dog Ride.
  6. Give Your Dog a Sauna Experience.

What does hyperkeratosis look like?

Follicular hyperkeratosis: Also known as inverted follicular hyperkeratosis, this condition presents as a single bump, often on the face, of middle-aged or older adults. These growths are benign (noncancerous), but they often look like cancerous lesions.

What does hyperkeratosis look like in dogs?

Hyperkeratosis is an abnormal overgrowth of keratin which may occur due to an underlying medical problem or for no apparent reason at all. This often appears as raised, rough, thickened crusts of skin or hairy, tentacle-like growths on the nose, paws, and ears of our canine companions.

Can I cut hyperkeratosis?

Excess Keratin Trimming If there is no underlying infection and if the hyperkeratosis isn't life-threatening in any way, you can simply trim the excess keratin from your dog's paws. However, you should consult your vet first so you can perform the procedure safely.


Hi, I’m Cara. I’m a life-long learner and creator with a passion for dog training and the science of canine behavior. My love for dogs began at the age of 4 when my first family pet was a black lab named Dallas who was most definitely not trained to do tricks! Since then I have had several dogs ranging from pugs to Dobermans and I have an unreasonable enthusiasm for all things doable or teachable in dog training. After spending several years training dogs and people in a variety of environments, I formally earned my master dog training certificate.

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