why is my Golden Retriever’s nose turning pink or brown?

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When you first got your Golden Retriever puppy, it had a very black nose and it stayed that way for a long time but over time, the dog’s nose started turning dark brown or pink (Turning lighter) which left you wondering whether it is a normal phenomenon or something is wrong with the Goldie.

So what actually changes the color of your Golden Retriever’s nose to brown or pink?

What turns your Golden Retriever’s nose brown or pink is a lack of melanin production which mostly occurs during the winter since there is not much of sunlight (Vitamin D) in this season for an enzyme named “Tyrosinase” to produce melanin that keeps a Goldie’s nose black and protects its skin from the damaging rays of the Sun.

So, less Sunlight means less Vitamin D which means less production of melanin that blackens the nose of a dog. in other words, the nose gets light-colored due to lack of sunlight.

However, even when it is not during the winter, a Golden Retriever could experience its nose turning a lighter-color due to Hormonal disorders (imbalances of thyroid, adrenal or sex hormones). So lack of sunlight is not the only reason.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

In other words, there are basically two reasons that change the color of your Goldie’s nose:

  • A decrease in melanin production – A natural and normal phenomenon
  • Hormonal disorders – A medical condition
Photo by Davide Baraldi from Pexels

Nonetheless, remember that the color that a Goldie’s nose turns is basically based on the original color of the nose. For most Golden Retrievers, their noses turn either a dark brown or a pinkish color.

Usually, it depends on the amount of black pigments remained after the melanin production is decreased. That means, less pigments are remaining, the more pinkish or brownish the nose gets.

However, a Goldie’s nose normally comes back to its original color overtime but it may not be the same old color but a bit different, meaning a black nose that turned pink might turn back to a lighter black rather than an original jet black.

Should you be concerned?

For the decrease in melanin production, No. It is not a medical condition that you need to be concerned about as it is a natural occurrence in not only Golden Retrievers but in other dog breeds such as Siberian Huskies and Bernese Mountain Dogs.

But for Hormonal disorders, you certainly should be concerned because it is not a healthy physical state. So check whether the dog is having the following symptoms:

  • Skin issues such as
    • Loss of hair
    • Recurrent infections
    • Itching
    • Scaling
    • Bleeding
    • Crusting
  • Too much drinking and therefore, too much urinating.
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
  • Overall weakness and lethargy.
  • Panting Excessively

If you notice any of these signs, definitely seek veterinary help to get the proper treatments to your Goldie because this is a concerning medical issue that causes not only a light-colored nose but more harmful outcomes to the dog.

How to treat my Golden Retriever when its nose turned pink or brown?

For the decrease in melanin production:

Nothing can be done since it is a matter of a physical reaction of the dog to the change in the environment (Less sunlight due to long and dark nights and extremely short daytime)

So all you can do is wait for the Summer where the dog will start getting enough of Vitamin D from the Sun to produce enough melanin again.

But for Hormonal disorders:

You can get veterinary help for the Goldie. This is all about evening out the hormone levels that are not already equal.

Hormone deficiencies can be treated by replacing the missing hormone to balance out the hormone levels.

Such as

  • Injecting insulin to treat diabetes mellitus
  • Giving steroid and thyroid hormones orally

Hormone surpluses (Too much hormone production) can be treated with 3 methods

  1. Treating surgically
  2. Use of radiotherapy such as using radioactive iodine to get rid of an overactive thyroid gland
  3. Treating with medications

What to do when my Golden Retriever’s nose turned brown or pink?

Since what changes the color of your Goldie’s nose to pink or brown is a low melanin production, there is no other substance within the body of the dog to protect its skin against the harmful Sun rays.

In that case, you have to protect the dog from the sunlight (Although, In winter, there is not much sunlight, still the dog easily can get sunburnt).

The best course of action is to apply a natural moisturizing sunscreen on the skin and the doggo will be fine.

However, bringing the Goldie to the vet’s office is the very first thing you should do if you noticed the symptoms I mentioned in the section above since it may mean a serious illness (But if you notice only a change in the nose color of your Golden Retriever, it is optional to visit the vet).

And there, you can ensure whether the condition is due to a low melanin production or Hormonal disorders exactly.

If it is due to low melanin production, you do not have to worry about it as it is normal.

If it is due to a hormonal disorder, then you should let the vet treat the dog with proper procedures.

Photo by Laula Co on Unsplash

Final Thoughts

It is safe to say that what makes your Golden Retriever’s nose turn pink or brown is a low melanin production or hormonal disorders.

A low melanin production is a condition that is natural and you should not be concerned about it since the dog’s nose turns back to its original color overtime but hormonal disorders are serious health issues that should be taken quite seriously. So surely, give the dog the required vet-care.

And for the time-period when the dog has a pink or brown nose, it is crucial that you apply sunscreen on the doggo before going outside to protect its skin since there is no melanin to do the job.

Nonetheless, I think whether the nose is pink or brown, it looks just as pretty as a black one as long as the Goldie is not suffering from a health issue.

So, provide proper care and look out for the symptoms the dog might show if it is suffering from a sickness that causes changes to the nose color.

Featured image credit: Photo by Steshka Willems from Pexels

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