Skip to content

Healthy Dogs

Seborrhea in Dogs

Font Size
A
A
A

Seborrhea is a condition in which flakes of dead skin are shed from the epidermis and hair follicles. These flakes may be dry and dandrufflike, or oily and greasy. Oily seborrhea is due to excessive production of sebum by the sebaceous glands. Sebum is responsible for the rancid doggy odor that accompanies oily seborrhea.

Primary and secondary seborrhea are two different diseases.

Recommended Related to Dogs

Dog Park Behavior and Etiquette Tips

Dog parks are becoming more popular all across the United States. They range in size and design but all share the same purpose: to provide a place where dogs can run freely off-leash and socialize with other dogs. Although they’re not for everyone, dog parks can benefit both people and their pets. Read on to find out if a trip to the dog park is right for you and your dog as well as what to do before you visit and once you’re there.

Read the Dog Park Behavior and Etiquette Tips article > >

Primary Seborrhea

This common disease is seen most often in American Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels, West Highland White Terriers, Basset Hounds, Irish Setters, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Chinese Shar-Pei, and other breeds. Affected dogs may have dry flaky skin, greasy scaly skin, or a combination of both. The flakes of dry seborrhea are easy to lift off the skin. The scales of oily seborrhea stick to the hair. In oily seborrhea the hair follicles can become plugged and infected, resulting in the development of folliculitis (see page 158).

The elbows, hocks, front of the neck down to the chest, and hair along the borders of the ears are commonly involved. With oily seborrhea, wax may accumulate in the ear canals, producing a condition called ceruminous otitis.

Treatment: Primary seborrhea is incurable but treatable. Therapy is directed toward controlling scale formation using shampoos and rinses. A number of commercial antiseborrheic products are available. The choice of shampoos and rinses and frequency of application vary with the specific problem, and should be determined by your veterinarian.

For mild dry flaking, moisturizing hypoallergenic shampoos and rinses that contain no dyes, fragrances, or other added ingredients can help rehydrate the skin. These products can be used frequently without causing harm.

For severe dry flaking, shampoos containing sulfur and salicylic acid are recommended to remove scales. For oily seborrhea, shampoos containing coal tar are effective and retard further scale production. Benzoyl peroxide shampoos have excellent hair-pore flushing activity and aid in removing greasy scales that adhere to hair shafts.

Therapeutic shampooing may be more effective when preceded by a warm water shampoo. Rinse thoroughly and follow with the medicated shampoo. Leave on for 15 minutes or as directed, then rinse thoroughly.

Systemic antibiotics are used to treat folliculitis and other skin infections. A short course of oral corticosteroids may be prescribed during periods of severe itching. Dietary supplements containing omega-3 essential fatty acids derived from fish oil are said to be beneficial for seborrhea and certainly can do no harm.

Today on WebMD

bulldog in party hat
Breeds with longevity
Doberman Pinscher Clipped Ears
The facts about ear cropping and tail docking.
 
dog with duck in mouth
Which are considered smartest?
boxer dog
What are their health issues?
 
Pit bull looking up
Article
Pets: Is My Dog Normal
Slideshow
 
Dog scratching behind ear
Slideshow
dog catching frisbee
Slideshow
 

Love your pets, hate your allergies?

Get tips for relief.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Dog Breed RMQ
Quiz
Lady owner feeding dog
Slideshow
 
pooldle
Slideshow
bulldog in party hat
Slideshow