Sebaceous Adenitis (SA) = uncommon inflammatory skin disease of leading to the destruction of sebaceous (oil) glands.

SA is most common in 1-7 yrs old. It is genetically inherited in Poodles, Akitas, & Samoyeds. Other breeds can include Vizlas, Lhasa apso, German shepherd, & the Bernese mountain dog. It is rare in pets.

The cause is unknown but possibly by an immune system attack against the sebaceous glands responsible for the production of sebum (oil) on the skin. The skin becomes dry/scaly & loses the hair (alopecia). Some dogs may develop skin infection due to the abnormal skin oil & may become itchy.

Skin infections manifest with odor, papules (red bumps) & excessive shedding. This condition is considered a “cosmetic” problem & does not affect overall health or lifespan. It starts on the head & spreads to other body parts. It starts when dogs are 1-3yrs old & tends to worsen with time. Dogs carrying the disease should not be bred.

Signs may include:

  • Poor hair coat
  • Hair loss
  • Scaling
  • Foul odor to skin
  • Itching

Cytology should be done to determine the type & severity of the skin infection.

Diagnosis is made by histopathology with biopsies. Since the changes may not be present in all areas, it’s important that several biopsies are taken.

There is no cure for this condition. Long term treatments are required to control this disease & prognosis for response to therapy is good. Several topical & systemic treatments help decrease the clinical signs.

Dogs need regular medicated to soothe the skin & remove the excessive scaling & to help speed the recovery from skin infections. Dogs also benefit from weekly baby oil soaks & conditioners. Topical use of propylene glycol as a rinse can be beneficial in some dogs.

Systemic meds are given for skin infections & to normalize oil production.

Cyclosporines/Atopica is effective & immunosuppressive & has the potential to increase the risk for bacterial infections. Dogs should be monitored for vomiting, diarrhea, & liver/kidney disease.

Dogs also benefit from omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acid supplements.