Collie nose, medically known as discoid lupus erythematosus, affects many breeds. It is an inflammatory condition often caused by genetics and aggravated by excessive sun exposure. Using alternative medicine approaches that consider diet, supplements and topical applications can help relieve symptoms and combat inflammation.
Collie nose's medical name is discoid lupus erythematosus. It is a form of lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to overreact and attack the body's tissues. With DLE, only the skin is affected, unlike some other immune disorders, which are systemic. Many breeds can get collie nose, but it's most commonly found in collies, German shepherds, Shetland sheepdogs, huskies, Brittany spaniels and German shorthaired pointers. These breeds have a genetic issue predisposing them to DLE.
Symptoms, Triggers & Aggravations
Collie nose's first symptoms are loss of pigmentation and increased smoothness on a dog's nose. In later stages, a dog's nose may become red or flaky, or develop sores. Collie nose can also affect a dog's ears, lips, genitals and the skin around his eyes,. The common issue with these areas is that they are not protected by much fur, therefore exposing them to the sun -- and UV rays aggravate the condition.
Because collie nose is an inflammatory issue, including anti-inflammatory foods can offer benefit. These foods include wild salmon, sardines, rainbow trout, grass-fed beef, flax oil and seeds, and other foods with omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation, boost immunity and improve skin condition. All fish must be wild in order to offer omega-3 benefit. Foods with vitamin E, including sunflower and safflower oils, and almonds in whole or oil form also offer omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidant properties.
Supplements and Topical Applications
Supplements with omega-3, omega-6 or vitamin E can offer benefit to collie nose-affected dogs, for days when fresh foods with these components aren't available. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), ginger also possesses impressive anti-inflammatory properties. Their research has shown that ginger extract inhibits several genes involved in the inflammatory response. Incorporating ginger root into your dog's food may, therefore, reduce inflammation associated with collie nose. Lastly, topical aloe vera can help reduce your dog's itchiness.
Introducing New Things Slowly, and Apply Sunscreen
Alternative medicine protocols and dietary changes should be approached gradually, and it's best to keep your vet apprised of all changes. Introduce new foods slowly to allow your dog's body to adjust. Read supplement dosages and adjust accordingly based on your dog's weight. These steps not only allow your dog's body to adjust, but let you monitor your dog for any reactions. Keep your dog out of direct UV rays and apply dog-friendly sunscreen to his nose.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- Dawg Business: Collie Nose: Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE) in Dogs
- Vet Info: Dog Skin Problems - Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Skin Diseases
- Freckled Paws: Canine Discoid Lupus / Collie Nose - An Effective Natural Treatment
- Yoga Wiz: Diet for Treating Discoid Lupus Erythematosus
- NIH PubMed: Ginger - Ginger - an Herbal Medicinal Product With Broad Anti-Inflammatory Actions
Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.