Seborrhea in Dogs

Seborrhea is a common skin problem in dogs. Dogs with seborrhea develop greasy, scaly skin and fur that looks dull and coarse. There are 2 types of seborrhea: primary and secondary. Secondary seborrhea can be caused by the same things that cause dandruff in humans, such as allergies or hormonal imbalances. Primary seborrhea is a hereditary condition that causes severe scaling and crusting of your dog’s skin and coat.

There are different types of seborrhea in dogs depending on the underlying cause.

Primary seborrhea is a skin disease that causes inflammation, redness and flaking skin within a dog’s ear canals and on other parts of the body. This type of seborrhea may be caused by hormones or immune system problems, but more often it’s an inherited genetic trait that tends to run in certain breeds like German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers and Dachshunds.

Seborrhea is a skin disease in dogs that causes excessive scaling and crusting of your dog’s coat.

It can affect any part of the body, but it most commonly affects the face, ears and paws.

The symptoms of seborrhea include:

  • Skin lesions that appear as scaly patches with an oily appearance. The scales may be crusty or dry and flaky. They can be red or brown in color depending on where they are located on your dog’s body.
  • Redness around the eyes, nose and mouth area due to inflammation caused by infection (inflammation can also cause hair loss). If there is repeated scratching at the affected areas this could lead to bleeding under your dog’s fur which will make it look like he has some kind of injury when really he just has some scales missing from his coat!

The skin may become inflamed, red and itchy.

  • The skin may become inflamed, red and itchy.
  • Secondary infections can occur as a result of the above symptoms.
  • Allergic reactions often cause similar symptoms to seborrhea.
  • Parasites like fleas and mites can also cause skin irritation that resembles seborrhea in dogs, although the itchiness isn’t usually caused by an overproduction of yeast on the skin but rather by an allergic reaction to their bites.
  • Bacterial or fungal infections are often mistaken for seborrhea because they both cause redness and flaking or scaling in affected areas of the dog’s body, but bacterial infections tend to spread more quickly than fungal ones (though both types can be treated successfully with medication).
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The sebaceous glands overproduce sebum, or oil, which then builds up on the skin, leading to flaky scales and oily patches.

It’s normal for your dog’s skin to produce some sebum—it helps keep moisture in and repel dirt and bacteria. But if it produces too much of this oily substance, it can build up on the skin and cause flaky scales or oily patches.

Symptoms include dry or greasy hair; itching; flaking; redness; crusty areas around the eyes (called “blepharitis”); dandruff-like flakes on ears, belly, paws and tail tip (called “ear yeast infection”).

Primary seborrhea is a genetic or inherited condition that occurs in certain breeds including Bassett hounds, beagles, Weimaraners, Labrador retrievers, dachshunds and West Highland white terriers.

Primary seborrhea is a genetic or inherited condition that occurs in certain breeds including Bassett hounds, beagles, Weimaraners, Labrador retrievers, dachshunds and West Highland white terriers.

The exact cause of primary seborrhea is unknown but it is thought to be an immune-mediated disease. The skin cells become abnormal and produce too much oil (sebum), which blocks the pores of your dog’s skin and causes inflammation around the follicles on their body. This makes them more susceptible to bacterial infections like yeast infections because their immune system can’t fight it off properly.

Secondary seborrhea can develop due to allergies such as food allergies, environmental allergies or flea bites.

Secondary seborrhea can develop due to allergies such as food allergies, environmental allergies or flea bites.

Allergies to foods and pollens from trees, grasses and weeds can cause symptoms similar to those in humans. Your dog may have an itchy skin condition accompanied by redness, flaking and crusty bumps. Treatments include prescription shampoos and anti-fungal medications.

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Flea allergy dermatitis is another common cause of secondary seborrhea in dogs that results in the same symptoms as allergic atopic dermatitis (atopy). The most common signs include hair loss on the head; dandruff-like flakes on the skin; redness around the eyes; small brown crusty areas of eczema/seborrhea on the lips and nose; excessive licking or chewing at their paws/legs if they feel itchy there too (this can lead over time to more severe damage from trauma).

Secondary seborrhea can also be caused by excess hormones produced by the pituitary gland due to a tumor called a pituitary adenoma.

Secondary seborrhea can also be caused by excess hormones produced by the pituitary gland due to a tumor called a pituitary adenoma. The pituitary gland is located at the base of your dog’s brain, and it produces hormones that control your dog’s thyroid gland as well as several other systems in the body. A common type of tumor in older dogs is called an adenoma, which can affect any organ in the body including tumors affecting bone marrow and tumors affecting the adrenal glands (also called adrenal adenomas).

Treatment of primary seborrhea involves shampoos and baths to remove the scaling and crusty buildup and anti-fungal ointments to prevent secondary infections.

The following are examples of shampoos and baths that may help your dog with seborrhea:

  • Use a medicated shampoo containing ketoconazole or selenium sulphide. These can be found in pet stores, online, or at your veterinarian’s office.
  • Bathe your dog once a week with oatmeal-based products like Aveeno® Oatmeal Shampoo for sensitive skin (available online or at most pharmacies). If you don’t want to use oatmeal-based products on your dog, ask your vet about other options.
  • Moisturize the affected areas daily by massaging aloe vera gel into affected areas until they are completely covered by the gel (you can find aloe vera gel at health food stores).
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The following are examples of anti-fungal medications that might be used for dogs with primary seborrhea:

Treatment of secondary infections involve identifying and eliminating the underlying cause.

Treatment of secondary infections involve identifying and eliminating the underlying cause. Treatment may include medication, dietary changes, and supplements. Treatment may also include surgery to correct an anatomic defect. Seborrhea in dogs can be treated with hormone therapy or radiation therapy if it is caused by an endocrine disorder such as hypothyroidism or hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease).

Conclusion

We hope this article has been helpful in understanding more about seborrhea. If you have a dog with symptoms of seborrhea, talk to your vet about what type of treatment may be best for your pet.