- 1 What is seborrhea? Why does it appear?
- 2 Other causes and predispositions
- 3 Different types of seborrhea in dogs and their symptoms
- 4 Diagnosis of seborrhea in dogs
- 5 How to treat seborrhea in dogs
- 6 Natural remedy for dry seborrhea in dogs
- 7 Home remedy for oily seborrhea
Seborrhea in dogs is a very common disease that affects the scalp of dogs, especially the areas of the torso, paws and face. With seborrhea, the sebaceous glands in the skin produce a large amount of sebum which at the same time causes scales, scabs and excess fat.
Despite being a very common condition, if seborrhea is not treated in time, it can lead to other secondary skin infections. Often times, dogs smell bad because of the buildup of grease and oil on their coats. In addition, this condition can cause the animal to scratch the affected areas more which could cause hemorrhages as well as other damage to the dermis.
What is seborrhea? Why does it appear?
Seborrhea is usually considered a secondary disease. That is, it is caused by another disease, so it is a symptom that indicates that the animal may be suffering from a more serious problem. These more serious diseases that have seborrhea as symptoms are:
- Endocrine disorders
- Nutrient-poor diets
- Metabolic disorders
- Pancreatic diseases
- Autoimmune diseases
Other causes and predispositions
Seborrhea of the primary type is considered to be an inherited disease. There are certain breeds that have a predisposition to suffer from it, for example, Labrador retriever, golden retriever, cocker spaniel, basset hound, German Shepherd, west highland white terrier and shar-pei amongst other breeds. Usually this type of seborrhea affects dogs at a younger age, typical before they are 2 years old.
Different types of seborrhea in dogs and their symptoms
Depending on the dog’s skin, there are two types of seborrhea:
This is the scaly form, much like dandruff. It appears during the initial stages, when there is excess keratin that builds up on the skin. This type of seborrhea is noticeable, but it does not cause significant clinical symptoms.
This type is characterized by excess fat and is manifested by lack of shine in the coat. During this stage, the symptoms of seborrhea are more noticeable and bothersome, such as oily hair, very dry skin with dandruff, irritation and constant itching.
When the disease is advanced, it can lead to other problems like infections of the skin and the inner part of the ear, baldness, fever, deterioration of the dog’s physical condition as well as a reduction in appetite and ultimately depression caused by an attack on the immune system. It is very important to take into account that most of the recorded cases of seborrhea in dogs present a mixture of the two types of disease.
Diagnosis of seborrhea in dogs
The diagnosis of hereditary or primary seborrhea is only possible when the other causes have been ruled out. If it is secondary seborrhea, it is essential to diagnose the root cause of the problem as soon as possible.
However, in order for seborrhea to be diagnosed accurately and correctly, it is necessary to go to the vet. He will perform specific skin studies as well as physical exams, a skin smear to identify parasites, fungus cultures, blood tests and stool analysis. The specialist may also need to do a skin biopsy if deemed necessary.
How to treat seborrhea in dogs
Before starting any treatment you should know what type of seborrhea your dog is experiencing. When the disease is still in its initial stage and the animal’s skin does not yet show any itch-related wounds, treatment is usually straightforward and painless. The approximate duration of treatment is one month. This involves washing the dog once a week, with cold water and anti-seborrheic shampoo with a particular focus on the most problematic areas. You can complement the baths with vitamin supplements.
If seborrhea is inherited, it cannot be cured, but you can treat it. With the right treatment and constant veterinary supervision, you can control seborrhea and successfully give your dog a normal life. With cases of hereditary seborrhea, it is recommended that they take a bath once a week with salicylic acid and sulfur as well as give them oral medication such as retinoid.
When a dog suffers from seborrhea (whatever the type) it is good to add foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon oil to their diet. In addition, it is also very important to prevent your dog from touching the affected areas, as much as possible.
Natural remedy for dry seborrhea in dogs
The first step, as mentioned above, is to wash your dog on a regular basis. The natural approach we recommend is to use a 100% natural soap, which is best to maintain the pH of your skin. It is also essential to keep your dog’s skin as hydrated as possible.
Home remedy for oily seborrhea
Once again, as stated above, the fight against oily seborrhea requires that you wash your dog regularly. However, in this case, it needs to be supplemented with other preparations which will help reduce or eliminate itching and reduce the fat accumulating on the surface of the skin.
One great home remedy for the oily seborrhea condition is a homemade soap, composed of water, baking soda and natural oats. This composition will help eliminate the itching and provide a feeling of total soothing. It also has very gentle, anti-inflammatory and exfoliating properties.
In all cases, you should always wet the dog first with lukewarm water, then wash with the natural soap. Then, make sure to completely and thoroughly rinse your dog before drying his hair.