Hyperkeratosis

18 Nov 2020

Hyperkeratosis is a skin condition where excess keratin is produced causing a thickening and hardening of the skin.  It particularly affects the nose and paws of dogs and cats and can lead to the skin cracking leaving it at risk of infection.

Noses and paws are VERY sensitive areas for dogs and cats so any pain and discomfort will be felt badly, particularly if the area becomes infected. 

There are several causes of hyperkeratosis.  It can be inherited, with Labradors and Golden Retrievers being breeds that are prone to the condition.  If the condition is inherited it usually shows itself in the first year of the dog’s life. 

If the disease develops later in a dog’s life it is usually as a result of another underlying issue, such as parasites or an inability to absorb certain nutrients. It can also be as a result of contracting Distemper, although this disease is now very rare because of vaccination.

There is no cure for hyperkeratosis.  However, the condition can be managed very successfully with the goal being to reduce the symptoms and to prevent secondary infection.  This usually involves softening and removing the hardened skin on the paws and nose to minimize any secondary infections and to help make the areas much more comfortable for the pet.

If your pet is affected by any of the issues described, please call the team on 01772 639800 who will be happy to help.