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San Bruno Pet Hospital 1111 El Camino Real
San Bruno, CA 94066
Phone: (650) 583-5039
Fax: (650) 763-8620

Hospital Hours
M-F: 7:30a-6p
Sat: 8a-5p
Appointment Hours
M-F 8:30a-5:30p
Sat: 8:30a-4:30p

After Hours Emergency
Emergency Clinic


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NOTE: These are offered
as general information
only and NOT a substitute
for a visit to your
veterinarian. If you feel
that your pet has a
problem that may require
urgent attention
call us at (650) 583-5039
immediately. If after hours,
contact the emergency
clinic (650) 348-2575.
Does a Dry Nose Equal A Sick Dog?
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call San Bruno Pet - we are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

We always trust pet owners’ intuition when they suspect that something is wrong with their dog. After all, you live with your dog and can pick up on potential early signs of disease or medical problems.

Check out your dog’s nose right now. You may notice it fluctuates between slightly drier to a more soft, moist nose depending on the day, weather, and humidity. A dog’s nose usually feels wet due to the lateral nasal glands and the nasal vestibular glands producing secretions that keep it moist. There is, however, no direct correlation between the health of your pet and their sniffer (for the most part).

When could my dog’s nose indicate a health issue?
If you notice that your dog’s nose is excessively thickened, cracked, or bleeding, then that does mean something may be wrong. Some underlying skin diseases or immune diseases such as pemphigus (more commonly seen in breeds like Collies) or lupus can present this way. The difference will be very obvious.

What nose symptoms warrant a trip to the veterinarian?
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Green colored discharge from the nose
  • Excessive thickening or cracking of the nose
  • Any lumps, bumps, or masses near the nose
  • Any asymmetry of the nose or nasal cavity (area over the bridge of the nose)
  • Itching, scratching or rubbing of the nose on the carpet

These signs may indicate underlying problems, such as:
  • A clotting abnormality (e.g., mouse or rat poisoning)
  • A platelet problem such as immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (ITP)
  • Aspiration pneumonia or pneumonitis
  • Pemphigus foliaceus
  • Nasal adenocarcinoma or other types of cancer
  • Rhinitis
  • Foreign body (e.g., something stuck in the nostrils like a plant awn or grass seed)
Workup for nasal problems include blood work (to look for evidence of an infection or increase in white blood cell count) clotting tests (to look specifically for mouse or rat poisoning or platelet problems), x-rays (of the chest and nose), biopsies (done by endoscopy [a camera is placed in the nostrils under general anesthesia]), or even a catscan. The sooner you recognize the problem, the sooner it can be treated.

When in doubt, check with San Bruno Pet.