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Seborrhea is a skin disorder that presents with a wide range of signs ranging from mild dandruff to severe, painful and potentially life-threatening generalized skin disease.

Seborrhea can have many causes including infections, skin injuries, immune system dysfunction, dietary deficiencies, hormonal or other systemic disease, metabolic disease, parasites and cancer. Some pets may suffer from a hereditary form of seborrhea without an underlying cause.

Common signs include:

  • flaky
  • scaly
  • dry skin
  • greasy sour smelling skin
  • redness and hair loss
  • darkening or "bulls eye" type lesions of the skin

Diagnosis is based on symptoms, examination findings, skin and laboratory tests, and response to treatment.

Treatment varies based on the severity and cause of the disease. Antibiotics, anti-histamines, steroids, dietary supplements, and skin treatments are commonly prescribed. Any underlying conditions must be addressed as well. Good grooming, flea control, and proper nutrition are imperative to good skin health.

Important Points

  • Use all medications and skin products as prescribed by your veterinarian.
  • Control fleas and ticks.
  • Provide routine bathing and grooming to your pet according to recommendations of your veterinarian. The medical team can offer guidelines specifically tailored to your pet.
  • Monitor your pet carefully and have him or her rechecked as recommended by your veterinarian.

If you have questions about this or any medical topic, please contact your Banfield hospital today.