What You Should Know About Seborrhea In Dogs

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As a caring dog owner, your dog's health is one of your top priorities. You want to be sure that you are doing everything in your power to keep your dog as healthy and as happy as possible. There are numerous health conditions that can affect your dog, though. One such condition is known as seborrhea. Get to know some of the important facts about seborrhea as well as what you can do about this condition. Then, you can be sure that you get your dog to the pet hospital or veterinarian's office as soon as possible if you notice signs of this health condition in your canine companion. 

What Is Seborrhea?

Seborrhea is a skin condition that affects dogs. It occurs when the sebaceous glands (glands in the skin) produce too much of a substance called sebum. When this happens, the skin is negatively affected.

Excess sebum can cause itchy skin that is flaky and scaly. The skin will also often appear red and irritated. The most common places for seborrhea are in the places where the skin folds over (like in the crease of the back leg) and on their back. 

Odors can develop with seborrhea as well. This can occur from seborrhea itself or as the result of secondary infection to the irritated area. Yeast infections are quite smelly, for example, and can develop if seborrhea is left undiagnosed and untreated. 

This condition can come in two forms, dry and wet or oily. There is also a high chance that dogs will develop some combination of the two types of seborrhea on their body. 

What Can Cause Seborrhea in Dogs?

Seborrhea can have numerous causes. Sometimes, it is a condition with no known other causes and is known as primary seborrhea (meaning it occurs on its own). However, most of the time, seborrhea is a symptom of another condition (known as secondary seborrhea). 

Allergies are one of the most common causes of seborrhea in dogs. If a dog comes into direct contact with a substance they are allergic to, the sebaceous glands may overreact and produce more sebum to try to soothe the allergy irritation. This, of course, does not work and causes seborrhea. 

Hormonal imbalances and conditions can also cause seborrhea in dogs. Thyroid problems, for example, when the thyroid either produces too little or too much of the thyroid hormones can cause seborrhea. 

What Can Be Done About Seborrhea?

If you notice these patches of skin on your dog, you need to take them to a pet hospital as soon as possible to be examined and diagnosed. Your veterinarian will run a battery of tests on your dog to try to find the underlying cause of seborrhea and to determine if there is a secondary fungal or bacterial infection where the skin is irritated. 

They will then treat the underlying condition and/or the secondary infection primarily. For example, if your dog's seborrhea is caused by a thyroid imbalance, the veterinarian will prescribe a daily thyroid medication to help restore that balance. 

In the meantime, there are special shampoos and sprays you can bathe your dog with or spritz on their skin to help with their seborrhea and to at least provide some relief from the discomfort. Corticosteroids (injection or oral) can also be utilized to help get seborrhea under control so that your dog heals up quickly. 

Now that you know more of the facts about seborrhea and your dog, you can get to the pet hospital right away if your dog develops this uncomfortable skin condition. 

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From Vaccines to Viruses A vet is someone who is there for your pet from their early years until their last years. When your pet is young, a vet can give them the vaccines they need for disease prevention as they become acquainted with the world. As your pet ages, your vet can monitor them for the conditions that often come with old age, such as arthritis and cancer. Vets care about their patients. We hope you will learn more about this care as you browse the content on this blog. We do our best to offer well-researched and helpful information for pet owners like you.