Control of canine idiopathic nasal hyperkeratosis with a natural skin restorative balm: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study

Vet Dermatol. 2018 Apr;29(2):134-e53. doi: 10.1111/vde.12506. Epub 2017 Oct 27.


Background: Nasal hyperkeratosis may cause discomfort in dogs by predisposing them to fissures and secondary bacterial infection. Approaches to treatment have been described anecdotally; the effectiveness of such therapies remains unproven.

Hypothesis/objectives: To investigate the efficacy of a balm containing essential oils and essential fatty acids in dogs with idiopathic nasal hyperkeratosis.

Animals: Client-owned dogs with noncomplicated nasal hyperkeratosis.

Methods: The study was conducted as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial with parallel group design and two month follow-up period. Dogs received daily topical application of a commercial balm product (group DBB) or placebo (aqueous gelling agent with preservatives, group PB). The main outcome variables were lichenification, dryness, suppleness and extent of lesions. Subjective owner satisfaction index score was a secondary variable. Evaluation was performed on days (D)0, 30 and 60. Response to treatment was assessed as the change from baseline to each examination day for each criterion.

Results: Forty eight dogs, principally French (26 of 48) and English (seven of 48) bulldogs, were included and 39 completed the study. No major adverse events were reported. On D60, changes from baseline for lichenification, lesion extent, suppleness and total score were -31.2%, -18.3%, -72.8% and -36.8% in group DBB (23 dogs) and -11.9%, 2.3%, -42.1% and -14% in group PB (16 dogs), respectively. The total score was significantly improved on D60 in group DBB compared to PB (Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney U-test, P = 0.0016).

Conclusions and clinical importance: The balm proved safe and helpful in managing canine idiopathic noncomplicated nasal hyperkeratosis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / veterinary
  • Dogs
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids, Essential / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Essential / adverse effects
  • Fatty Acids, Essential / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Keratosis / drug therapy
  • Keratosis / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Nose / drug effects
  • Nose / pathology*
  • Oils, Volatile / administration & dosage
  • Oils, Volatile / adverse effects
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Pruritus / veterinary


  • Fatty Acids, Essential
  • Oils, Volatile