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Seborrhea in Dogs… Symptoms, expectations and costs!

Beneath all that fur, dogs can get skin diseases and problems, too. This is why we wanted to take a moment and discuss one common issue that will often arise, which is called Seborrheic dermatitis or seborrhea in dogs. Hopefully, in the article, we’ll be able to answer a few questions you may have about this condition and provide insight into what it might be like to have a dog struggling with this condition.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

What is seborrhea in dogs?

If your dog has flaky, dry skin, or greasy skin, then your dog could have seborrhea. The dry form of seborrhea is called seborrhea sicca, whereas the oily one is called seborrhea oleosa. It’s also possible that your dog has both sicca and oleosa or combination skin. That makes treating it a little more complex because it’s not just getting the skin moisturized or aired out; you have to be a bit more strategic.

Symptoms & Clinical Signs

Having dry/ flaky or oily skin isn’t the only symptom of seborrhea. A dog with seborrhea might also have an odor. You may also see scales or flakes (dandruff), and your dog could feel itchy. Sometimes, the dog suffers from hair loss or redness.

Most Common Affected Breeds

Some breeds have more sensitive skin than others, which makes them more at risk for seborrhea. These breeds include (but are not limited to):

Underlying Cause of Seborrhea in Dogs

An underlying cause could cause seborrhea. That’s why it is known as a secondary condition. This means that seborrhea will eventually disappear and ultimately go away once you treat the underlying disease. Some of the primary conditions that lead to seborrhea include:

  • Food allergy or other allergies
  • Inherited disorders
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Parasites
  • Skin infections

Also, you must know that seborrhea can be made worse if the skin gets a bacterial infection, yeast infections (which happen more rapidly with the presence of fatty acids), or fungal infections.

Diagnosis of Seborrhea

If you don’t think your dog has a primary condition, then you can treat seborrhea directly by using special medicated shampoos that help the skin to heal. You may have to find the right shampoo for your dog’s skin type before seeing results. This is where seeking the advice of your veterinarian can come into play because they should be able to recommend a shampoo that could do the trick. Your veterinarian may also recommend other treatment options like:

  • Benzoyl peroxide,
  • Salicylic acid,
  • Or sulfur compounds, especially for areas not covered by fur, such as the ear canals.

So, please speak to a veterinarian before deciding what treatment options to try on your pet.

After all…

Your vet may even need some diagnostic tests before deciding your dog has seborrhea. This could include skin scrapings. This isn’t usually necessary, but each case is different. If your vet thinks it’s required, then they will recommend it. This brings us to where we like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians, or medical professionals. We are all a bunch of folks passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them.

This is why…

If you feel like your pet may have seborrhea (or any other health issue for that matter), the first thing you’ll want to do is have them checked out by a vet ASAP! An early diagnosis will often lead to the “best” medical outcome for your pet regardless of what is bothering them, but beyond that, diagnosing a medical condition early could save you a bundle in medical costs!

Prevention of Seborrhea in Dogs

Some studies suggest that ensuring your dog has all the essential fatty acids in balance could prevent further outbreaks of seborrhea. It could be a good idea to look at what’s in your dog’s food and adjust it accordingly.

How much will it cost to treat my dog’s seborrhea?

It’s hard to say how much treating your dog’s skin disease will cost. As we mentioned, there could be a primary condition at play that also needs treatment, and likewise, the seborrhea could have resulted in another type of infection.

All of this…

It will impact the final cost. But be sure: taking care of it will probably cost you $200+. That’s not much if you compare it to other problems like cardiac disease or dystrophy, but it’s still more than you probably want to pay.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now, will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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