Samoyeds and Sebaceous Adenitis
Sebaceous Adenitis is an autoimmune disease that is considered an uncommon-idiopathic skin disease. This disease occurs when the dog’s immune system begins to attack the dog’s sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are glands found near hair follicles in the skin’s dermis. This disease can be found in over 60 dog breeds, including:
- Springer Spaniel
- Chow Chow
- German Shephard
Sebaceous Adenitis can result in the destruction of the sebaceous glands; therefore it is important to get the disease diagnosed as soon as possible. Sebaceous adenitis causes inflammation of the skin and has an unknown cause. There is currently research being conducted to determine causes; more specifically, to determine if the dogs are at a rare genetic predisposition for the disorder.
There is little information known about the disease, one thing that is known is that there are two different strains; one that affects short haired dogs, and the other that affects long hair (or double-coated dogs). For double-coated dogs like the Samoyed, Chow Chow, or Akita this disease appears as a silvery dandruff that sticks to the dog’s coat. For longer haired dogs, the disease also causes skin lesions, thickened skin in certain areas, a dull or brittle coat, and even a foul odor coming from the dog.
On the other hand, for short-haired dogs like the Viszla or Boxer sebaceous adenitis appears as a fine dandruff that does not stick to the fur. Much like sebaceous adenitis in long-haired dogs, there are other symptoms including skin lesions and giving the dog’s fur a “moth-eaten” appearance.
A veterinarian can take a look at the dog’s skin to determine whether to do further testing for sebaceous adenitis. However, if the vet thinks the dog has this disease, the vet will send the dog for multiple punch biopsies that will be analyzed by a dermopathologist. A dermopathologist will be able to take a close look at the dog’s sebaceous glands and determine how much damage has been done.
At this time, there is no cure for sebaceous adenitis, and the disorder requires life-long treatment. Treatment can take several forms; some examples of treatments are antibiotic shampoos, soaking in mineral spirits, cyclosporine, corticosteroids, large doses of vitamin A, or immunosuppressant therapy. All of these treatments have been shown to effectively ease symptoms and slow progression of the disease.