Canine Sebaceous Adenitis (SA)

Canine Sebaceous Adenitis (SA) is a skin disorder that affects a dog’s sebaceous glands. Sebaceous Adenitis is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy cells and tissues. The sebaceous glands produce sebum, which is an oily substance that helps keep their skin and coat healthy. When these glands are attacked by the immune system, they become inflamed and are unable to produce sebum. This leads to dry, scaly skin and hair loss.

SA can affect any dog breed, but is most commonly seen in Akitas, Standard Poodles, German Shepherds, and Labrador Retrievers. It’s also more common in males than females. The exact cause of SA is unknown, but it’s believed to be related to genetics, environmental factors, or a combination of both.

Symptoms of Canine Sebaceous Adenitis

The most common symptom of SA are:

  • Dry
  • Scaly skin
  • Hair loss

Other signs can include:

  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Musty odor

In severe cases, the affected area could become thickened and crusty.

Diagnosing Canine Sebaceous Adenitis (SA)

Diagnosing Sebaceous Adenitis (SA) typically involves a combination of physical examination, skin biopsy, and laboratory tests. During the physical examination your veterinarian will look for signs of hair loss and scaling on their. The skin biopsy involves taking a small sample of tissue from the affected area and examining it under a microscope to look for changes in their sebaceous glands. Laboratory tests can also be used to look for specific antibodies associated with SA.

Stages of Canine Sebaceous Adenitis

SA can be split into three stages:

Stage 1

Mild sebaceous gland inflammation. This stage is associated with dry, scaly skin and mild hair loss.

Stage 2

Moderate sebaceous gland inflammation. This stage is associated with more severe hair loss and their skin thickening.

Stage 3

Severe inflammation of the sebaceous glands. This stage is noted for severe hair loss, skin thickening, and crusting.

Treating Canine Sebaceous Adenitis

Treating SA depends on the severity of their condition. Mild cases can be managed with topical medications and shampoos that help reduce inflammation and restore their skin’s moisture. In more severe cases, systemic medications such as antibiotics or immunosuppressants might be necessary. In some cases, surgery can be recommended to remove affected tissue.

It’s important to note that SA is a chronic condition and will need lifelong management. It’s also important to know that SA can be very difficult to treat and might not respond to treatment in some cases.

Preventing Canine Sebaceous Adenitis

Unfortunately, there is no known way to prevent SA. It’s important to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy by feeding them a balanced diet, regularly grooming them, and avoiding environmental irritants such as fleas or mites. It’s important to monitor your dog for any signs of skin irritations or hair loss and get veterinary attention if these signs are present.

Additional Information

Sebaceous Adenitis (SA) is a chronic skin condition that can be difficult to diagnose and treat. It’s important to work closely with your veterinarian to develop an appropriate treatment plan for your dog.