"Sebaceous Adenitis in Dogs
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"Sebaceous Adenitis in Dogs

Dogs
Health & Safety

Fortunately, sebaceous adenitis is a rare disorder that is seen in certain breeds more than others. It is a skin disease that negatively impacts a dog's skin glands and it typically affects dogs when they are young to middle-aged.

Breeds Most Affected

This inflammatory skin disorder, as previously mentioned tends to affect certain breeds more than others and this includes the following:

  • Labradoodles
  • Poodles
  • Akitas
  • Samoyeds

With this said, any breed can develop the condition although it is less common than in the breeds mentioned above.

Symptoms to Watch Out For

Long-haired breeds develop one type of sebaceous adenitis, whereas short-haired breeds suffer from another sort of the condition. As such, there are two sorts of the condition that can affect certain breeds. The signs to watch out for that there is something wrong could include the following:

  • Dogs suffer from alopecia
  • There is a strange smell along a dog's hairline
  • Dogs develop small clumps of matted hair in their coats
  • Casts tend to form around a hair shaft
  • A dog's coat becomes dull, coarse or brittle
  • Dogs experience extreme itching along the hairline
  • Bacterial infections tend to flare up along hair follicles
  • White or silvery coloured scales develop on a dog's skin
  • Skin lesions form in clusters on certain areas of a dog's head

When dogs with short coats develop the condition, the typical signs of there being a problem may include the following:

  • Alopecia - dogs lose their hair in circles or sometimes the loss of hair is spread along the hairline
  • Dogs have a mild form of scaling of their skin on their heads, trunks and on their ear

The Causes

Why some breeds are more prone to developing sebaceous adenitis than others and the actual cause of the condition remains unknown although a lot of research is being carried out with an end goal being to find out the triggers and genetic links.

Diagnosing the Problem

A vet would typically want to rule out any other reasons why a dog is suffering from a skin condition prior to establishing whether it is sebaceous adenitis that's causing the problem. There are a few other skin disorders that present similar symptoms which includes the following:

  • Primary seborrhea
  • Demodicosis
  • Dermatophytosis
  • Endocrine skin disease

A vet might recommend carrying out the following tests to determine whether a dog is suffering from sebaceous adenitis:

  • Skin scrapings
  • Endocrine function tests
  • Skin biopsies

Treatment Options

A vet would recommend a treatment that would best suit a dog with a long or a short coat. It would also depend on when the skin disorder was first diagnosed and therefore the stage it has reached. Symptoms often come and go which can make it more challenging to manage and as such the degrees of successfully treating the condition can vary quite a lot bearing in mind that some dogs respond well to treatments whereas others do not with Akitas being high on the list of those that don’t.

The sort of management a vet might recommend could include doing the following:

  • Brushing a dog’s coat gently on a regular basis to remove flaky skin
  • A vet might prescribe certain drugs to alleviate any advanced symptoms associated with the disorder
  • A vet might prescribe or recommend using special shampoos and other skin products to remove scales that may have formed and which would help keep a dog’s skin well moisturised
  • A vet might recommend or prescribe antibacterial products to help alleviate symptoms

Living with a Dog with Sebaceous Adenitis

Because not much is known about the disorder or how it is passed on to puppies from their parents, more research is needed and as such owners with dogs that suffer from sebaceous adenitis should register their pets so their progress can be recorded and tracked. This would help researchers because they would be able to use the data to further their research into sebaceous adenitis and discover its genetic link.

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