Liaison: Tina Oswald
Sebaceous Adenitis or SA, is a skin disease in which the sebaceous glands become inflamed and destroyed, leading to progressive hair loss. The disease is primarily seen in Standard Poodles, Akitas, and Samoyeds, although there have been reported cases in a number of other breeds and mixed breeds. It is a hereditary disease in Poodles, and is probably a hereditary disease in Samoyeds. Severity of this disease varies from dog to dog and breed to breed.
Signs and Symptoms
SA is often mistaken for hypothyroidism because the signs are similar. Both diseases exhibit a musky odor, itching, scaling, hair loss, and secondary skin infections such as yeast infections. There are some dogs who are affected by the disease over their entire bodies. Some dogs with SA will show few signs of this disease or absolutely no signs of this disease, which is called a ‘subclinical’ form of the disease
There are no definitive known causes for Sebaceous Adenitis
Currently the ‘gold standard’ of diagnosis is by punch biopsy. Two 6mm punch biopsies are taken along the back of the neck between the neck and withers, and in any affected areas.
Note: Treatment of animals should only be performed by a licensed veterinarian. Veterinarians should consult the current literature and current pharmacological formularies before initiating any treatment protocol.
There are currently no ‘gold standard’ antibiotics or supplements that will cure Sebaceous Adenitis. About 95% of owners with SA affected dogs have had successful results with weekly to monthly oil soaks. There are a few people who have chosen to try the immune suppressing drug Cyclosporine with minimal success.
Many owners supplement their dogs diets with Vitamin A and Ester C. Some owners are trying Melatonin as a supplement.
Get your dog on an oil soaking regime. This will help the dog’s skin get the oils he is no longer producing.
Look for reddish looking ‘dirt’ at the base of the hair shaft close to the skin. This is keratin which needs to be removed to keep the hair follicles open and reduce the risk of infection. Keratin is not water soluble but is oil soluble.
Merck Veterinary Manual online on Hyperplastic and Seborrheic Syndromes
Merck Veterinary Manual online on Sebaceous Adenitis
Sebaceous Adenitis on the OFA website
Yahoo Group on SA -- This support group is for those people who have dogs with Sebaceous Adenitis (SA) and/or Addison’s Disease. Learn how to care for your dog and help others with their questions.
Facebook Group on SA -- Another support group if you use Facebook (closed group)
Sebaceous adenitis on the OFA website
Test breedings reveal inheritance mode of SA, DMS By: Alice Jeromin, DVM, Dipl. ACVD
Sebaceous Adenitis on the Canine Inherited Disorders Database
Canine Sebaceous Adenitis on the MSPCA Angell website
Forsythe P, Paterson S. Ciclosporin 10 years on: Indications and efficacy. Veterinary Record Journal of the British Veterinary Association, March 2014