Seborrhea In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

A white terrier dog scratching itself. May have seborrhea.

(Picture Credit: Photographer, Basak Gurbuz Derman/Getty Images)

Seborrhea in dogs is a condition that affects the skin. It occurs when a canine’s sebaceous glands start producing too much sebum, which, in turn, can lead to the dog’s skin turning flaky, scaly, itchy and appearing red in color.

The condition can take two forms — either dry or oily seborrhea — and it’s possible for the same dog to have a combination of both at the same time.

If you see concerning symptoms in your dog, they you must consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and course of treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of seborrhea in dogs.

Symptoms Of Seborrhea In Dogs

Seborrhea in dogs can bring on a number of symptoms that affect the dog’s skin.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Flaky skin
  • Red skin
  • Itching
  • Oily skin
  • Emitting a bad odor

In most cases, it’s the skin along the back that is primarily affected. Other areas of the dog’s body that involve folds of skin, like the neck or the armpits, are also commonly affected.

Causes Of Seborrhea In Dogs

Close-Up Of Dog

(Picture Credit: Petra Urbath / EyeEm/Getty Images)

Seborrhea in dogs can appear due to a number of causes and depends on whether the dog is experiencing a primary or secondary case.

Primary seborrhea is an inherited condition, and it most often affects the Basset Hound, Cocker Spaniel, and West Highland White Terrier breeds.

Cases of secondary seborrhea are usually linked to another condition the dog is suffering from. Some of the most frequent causes include:

  • Allergies
  • Hormonal conditions
  • Fungal infections
  • Poor diet
  • Parasites

Treatments For Seborrhea In Dogs

If your veterinarian suspects your dog is suffering from seborrhea, they’ll carry out a full physical examination at first and pay close attention to the affected areas. Sometimes, vets take skin scrapings to check for the presence of parasites. They may also suggest skin biopsies and hormone tests.

Once your vet has confirmed their diagnosis, they will attempt to treat the underlying cause. They may suggest special shampoos and a strict bathing regimen to help control the condition.

If the vet identifies dietary problems as the root cause of the dog’s condition, then they may recommend supplements and vitamins as additions to the dog’s daily meal times.

Has your dog ever suffered from seborrhea or other skin conditions? How did you treat the problem? Tell us all about it in the comments below!