SEBACEOUS ADENITIS MEANS INFLAMMATION OF THE SEBACEOUS GLANDS
WHAT DOES AN AFFECTED DOG LOOK LIKE?
This depends a great deal on whether the hair is short or more plush/fluffy. The condition is generally not itchy unless there is an accompanying Staphylococcal infection.
BIOPSY IS REQUIRED FOR DIAGNOSIS.
If there is still active inflammation present then an anti-inflammatory medication such as cyclosporine or a corticosteroid such as prednisone may be able to spare some of the sebaceous glands from destruction. Nutritional supplements such as Vitamin A, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, and Vitamin E can be helpful.
The skin oil will need to be replaced and the dandruff will need to be removed. This is generally done with an oil soak followed by a bath to strip the dandruff and excess oil or with a bath to strip the dandruff followed by a conditioning rinse.
A shampoo containing sulfur and salicylate (Sebolyt, sebolux, or one of any number of other products) can be used up to three times a week. The lather must remain on the dog for at least 10 minutes and after it is rinsed a brush can be used to remove the excess scaling. A humectant rinse such as Humilac or 75% propylene glycol or a regular conditioning rinse may be used to help the skin remoisturize.
Poodles seem to need period mineral oil soaks which mean that the oil is rubbed into the hair and allowed to soak in for an hour. It is important to keep the dog from licking the mineral oil off as it will act as a cathartic (causing diarrhea) or worse, it could be aspirated to create granulomas in the lung. (Because it is a mineral based oil, the body cannot remove it and can only wall it off inside the lung.) A degreasing shampoo or even Dawn® dishwashing liquid can be used to remove the oil soak. Poodles typically need these soaks every 1-4 weeks.
Synthetic retinoids (vitamin A derivatives) have been found to be effective but at the present time these medications are tightly regulated by the government and it is extremely difficult to obtain them for veterinary use.
There have been some cases that have been reported to respond to tetracycline combined with niacinamide (a form of vitamin B-3). If more conventional methods have failed, it may be worth asking your veterinarian about trying this one.
Page posted: 4/17/08