Adenitis in Dogs

The sebaceous glands are responsible for the production of oils on your dog's skin, and adenitis (also known as sebacious adenitis) is an inflammation of these glands that ultimately leads to their destruction. Sebacious adenitis is an uncommon condition that is not found in many dogs, though it is slightly more common in younger dogs. The disease itself is genetically passed down and is common in certain breeds like poodles, Lhasa Apsos and German shepherds. Read on for a brief overview of this condition, including symptoms to recognize and how to treat it.

Symptoms of Adenitis in Dogs

Adenitis causes recognizable symptoms in dogs. This makes it relatively easy for a pet owner to know when their animal has a problem or may have this condition. However, you'll still need to be vigilant in order to address this issue as quickly as possible, to save your dog discomfort and pain. The symptoms of sebaceous adenitis that you should recognize in your pet include the following:

  • Gradual hair loss (especially at the top of your dog's head)
  • Musty odor to the skin
  • Loss of hair coat quality and color
  • Infection of the skin (this may occur as a secondary symptom caused by adenitis)

If you notice any of these symptoms, make a note of when they began and how they have developed, and take your pet in to the vet. This will help your vet in making a proper diagnosis of sebaceous adenitis in your pet.

Diagnosing Adenitis in Dogs

Because there are a number of different types of conditions that may have symptoms which mimic those of sebaceous adenitis, it's important for your vet to run a small sample of tests on your pet in order to confirm the diagnosis. A skin scraping is a good way to rule out many types of mange and other conditions which may be similar.

A tape impression of the skin can help to determine whether the symptoms present are a result of a skin infection. If not, it's more likely that your dog is suffering from sebaceous adenitis.

Treating Adenitis in Dogs

While a long term cure for this condition in dogs is difficult to come by, there are a number of ways that you can help to manage your pet's symptoms. Medicated shampoos and ointments can be helpful in addressing the inflammation of the sebaceous glands; you'll likely need to bathe your pet in these shampoos about once per week in order to maintain their full effect and provide a full range of benefits.

Additionally, you can provide your pet with antibiotics systemically in order to help reduce the likelihood that he'll suffer from secondary infections as a result of his adenitis. This can help to keep symptoms in check and reduce his discomfort greatly. For more information on this condition and how to address it in your pet, ask a vet.