Sandra R. Merchant, DVM, Diplomate ACVD 

Carol S. Foil, DVM, Diplomate ACVD

Seborrhea - Keratinization Disorders

Seborrhea is a clinical syndrome that can present in several different forms. It can be seen as excessive flaking and extremely dry skin, or odiferous greasy scale and yellow brown adherent oil deposits or a combination of the two, In addition there may be circular scaling and reddened or pigmented areas of inflammation. Many of the symptoms are worse in the folds of the skin, especially on the feet, underneath the body, and the neck. The odor associated with this can be worsened by secondary bacterial or yeast infections. Many patients have ear problems.

Seborrhea is sometimes secondary to some underlying problem. These include hormonal imbalances, allergies, parasites (internal and external), fungal infections, dietary abnormalities, environmental factors (temperature, humidity changes) and obesity. Seborrhea occasionally can have no underlying problem associated with it. This is primary or IDIOPATHIC SEBORRHEA.

The treatment for seborrhea is to diagnose and treat the underlying disease if possible. If the underlying disease cannot be found or is not treatable or it is primary idiopathic seborrhea then the objective is control of the skin problem. There is, unfortunately, no cure for idiopathic seborrhea.  However, synthetic vitamin A derivatives, called retinoids, or oral cyclosporine may be helpful in controlling clinical signs in some cases in cocker spaniels.

The main method for controlling symptoms is by the use of antiseborrheic shampoos. Several shampoos may need to be tried before we find the best one(s) for your pet.  Sometimes two different shampoos may be needed. Medicated shampoos are most effective when they are kept in contact with the skin for 5-15 minutes!  Gentle massaging during this time is useful. Be sure to avoid the tendency to undertreat the affected areas on the feet and in the skin folds while overtreating the middle of the back.

Treatment Instructions

1)  Shampoo 1:  apply____________every_________days.  Leave on skin for______minutes before rinsing.

2)  Shampoo 2:  apply____________every_________days.  Leave on skin for_____minutes before rinsing.

3)  Moisturizing treatments may be helpful after each bath.
    Spray or rinse to be used: ____________ ___________________
    Apply every_________days.  Do not rinse off.

4)  Dietary supplementation recommended: ______________________

5)  Therapy for bacterial or yeast infection:
Antibiotic____________________give______tablets/capsules  ______times a day till finished.

6)  Other:_____________________________________________________


Please make a recheck appointment for_______days/weeks.