Seborrhea is a common skin disorder in dogs. It is characterized by the excessive production of sebum, scales, crusted skin, itching, redness, greasiness, and sometimes secondary infections.
Being a responsible dog parent, if you wonder, what are the causes of seborrhea? Or how is seborrhea treated? OR What are the natural remedies to treat seborrhea? Then you should read this post to the end.
🤷 What is seborrhea?
Seborrhea or seborrheic dermatitis in dogs is a chronic inflammatory disease in which the normal process of keratinization of the outer layer of the skin is affected. Keratinization, also known as cornification, is the process in which the superficial epidermal cells are renewed after a regular interval with new skin cells.
Usually, this process takes place every three weeks, but in seborrhea, the rate of cell production increases, and cells renew after every week. This will increase the rate of the turnover rate of the sebaceous gland.
As a result, more sebum will be produced from the sebaceous glands and will cause oily or greasy skin. Increased cell turnover will cause scales and crusty plaques.
Seborrhea can be divided into two types:
1. Dry Seborrhea
It is also known as seborrhea sicca. In this type, dogs can have dry, flaky skin with itching and inflammation. Any dog can acquire this type of seborrhea.
2. Oily Seborrhea
It is also known as seborrhea oleosa. In this type of seborrhea, dogs may have sticky, greasy scales and smelly brown oil patches.
What causes seborrhea?
Canine seborrhea can be divided into three types depending on the causes.
- Primary Seborrhea
- Secondary Seborrhea
- Idiopathic Seborrhea
1. Primary Seborrhea
It is an inherited skin disorder. Genetic factors will be involved due to a family history of seborrhea. Primary seborrhea in dogs is mainly present throughout their life, as it begins at a very young age. These dog breeds are more prone to primary seborrhea, such as:
- English Springer Spaniels
- American Cocker Spaniels
- West Highland White Terriers
- Basset Hounds
- German Shepherd dogs
2. Secondary seborrhea
Secondary seborrhea is more common in dogs. There is no exact cause of this type of seborrhea because it is a sign of underlying medical problems that can cause crusting, scaling, and greasiness. Here are some underlying diseases that can cause secondary seborrhea, such as:
- Dietary abnormalities (low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in dog food)
- Hormonal imbalances (e.g., Cushing’s disease, thyroid disease)
- Internal and external parasites
- Yeast skin infections (Malassezia)
- Environmental factors (humidity changes, temperature)
- When dog unable to groom itself
3. Idiopathic Seborrhea
When seborrhea is caused by an unknown reason and cannot be identified, it is known as idiopathic seborrhea.
How is seborrhea diagnosed?
You can identify seborrhea in the dog by signs and symptoms, but you should always consult your vet to confirm. Your vet may recommend some tests to confirm the diagnosis, such as:
🐶 Complete blood cell
🐶 Serum chemistry
🐶 Skin biopsy or cytology
🐶 Skin culture
🐶 Skin scrapings to check parasite such as mites
🐶 Hormone tests
How is seborrhea treated?
Seborrheic dermatitis treatment is done to keep your dog comfortable and healthy. You can use medicated shampoo on your dog in addition to antibiotic treatment for secondary infections.
Medicated shampoos help decrease the amount of yeast and bacteria on the skin and help your puppy recover quickly.
🍂 Natural remedies
There are also specific natural remedies you can do to treat canine seborrhea.
- To treat seborrhea in dogs, you must add omega 3 fatty acid to your dog diet. Omega 3 is present in fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines.
- You can also use dog food that contains fish oil supplements.
- You can also feed additional vitamins and oils like flax, olive, and coconut oil in their diet.
- Brushing the coat once or twice a week will also massage their skin and use cold lavender tea after that, it will provide a calming effect.
- You can also add moisture to your dog’s environment because it can help strengthen your dog’s coat.
- Trim your dog’s long hair regularly as this will make bathing more effective and easier
Also Read :Best Seborrhea Dog Shampoo
Seborrhea in dogs is a common skin problem. In the case of primary seborrhea, you can only control the symptoms, but in secondary seborrhea, you must first treat the underlying medical problem, and then provide a healthy diet to treat seborrheic dermatitis in dogs.