cbd oil for dogs seborrhea

"Don't dress your itchy dog in black": A case approach to seborrhea (Proceedings)

Seborrhea is the abnormal (increased) production of skin cells (keratinocytes) and sebum that manifests clinically as scale and / or increased oil secretions on the skin and hair coat. Most often seborrhea occurs secondary to another dermatologic problem; less often it is a primary problem.

Seborrhea is the abnormal (increased) production of skin cells (keratinocytes) and sebum that manifests clinically as scale and / or increased oil secretions on the skin and hair coat. Most often seborrhea occurs secondary to another dermatologic problem; less often it is a primary problem. Virtually every condition listed in the dermatology textbook can cause seborrhea. Let's make approaching dandruff a little easier by taking a case approach.

Disclaimer: The following cases are embellished examples of real cases. Names have been changed to protect the flakey and data manipulated for a more informative experience.

Seborrhea and the Young Dog

Katie, a 4-month old, 3-pound, long-haired Chihuahua

CC: very flakey skin since acquired at 8 weeks of age

Exam: Tiny and cute. Very large dry flakes of skin on skin on entire body. No significant erythema.

Most likely differentials for seborrhea in young dogs (less than about 1 yr old):

Degen / Anomalous: Primary seborrhea (congenital / hereditary disorder such as icthyosis)

Metabolic: less likely in young dog

Nutrition: Poor diet; nutritional theft by intestinal parasites


• External Parasites: Cheyletiella, sarcoptic mange, lice, fleas

• Pyoderma (secondary to something else)

Immune-mediated much less likely in a young dog

Toxin / Topical reaction

History is the first diagnostic step in dermatology cases

1. Is she itchy? No. This makes scabies, lice and fleas less likely. Cheyletiella may or may not be itchy.

2. Diet? Science Diet Growth Formula

3. Bathing? Moisturizing gentle shampoo from veterinary clinic once every 3 weeks

4. Deworming / fecals? 2 dewormings before 3 months of age

5. Patchy or diffuse scaling? Diffuse. Why do I care? Infectious causes of seborrhea (or any lesion) often cause asymmetrical lesions.

So, what I am left with? Demodex, primary seborrhea, pyoderma, dermatophyte, cheyletiella.

The academic diagnostic approach: skin scrapes and skin cytology. If negative, set up fungal culture, treat empirically for Cheyletiella (Revolution, ivermectin, FL Spray), start antibiotics for pyoderma. If no improvement and fungal culture negative, do skin biopsies.

What I did: Skin scrapes: negative. Wood's Lamp exam: negative. Tape cytology: nsf.

Now "the rest of the story": I previously examined a full-sibling to Katie (different litter) for marked seborrhea. And the bitch to these pups has seborrhea. This is very likely a congenital disorder of keratinization.

I offered biopsies for more insight; declined by owner because of low-risk empiric treatment options.

Treatment: Topical anti-seborrheic shampoo (sulfur + salicylic acid) and moisturizer, oral fatty acids (emphasis on omega 6 fatty acids) and oral vitamin A.


Vitamin A and the skin:

• Vitamin A (retinol) plays an important role in regulating normal proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes and other epithelial tissues. It acts like a steroid hormone, being transported to the cellular nucleus by a binding protein where it influences gene transcription.

• Retinoid effects on the skin include:

o Inhibition of sebum production

o Decreased keratin proliferation in hyperproliferative disorders

o Normalizes the differentiation of keratinocytes

o Stimulates humoral and cellular immunity

o Anti-inflammatory effects via affects cytokines, such as prostglandins

Natural and synthetic retinoids have been beneficial in cases of primary seborrhea (Vitamin A-responsive seborrhea), sebaceous adentitis, cutaneous lymphoma, Schnauzer comedo syndrome, sebaceous hyperplasia / adenomas, and feline acne (topical tx).


Vitamin-A responsive seborrhea

• Disorder of keratinization seen starting in young adult dogs

• Most common in cocker spaniels but not limited to this breed

• If this is the only derm problem present, non-pruritic unless secondary infections occur

• Typified by (disproportionately) marked hyperkeratosis of the hair follicles appreciated on biopsy. This appears clinically as follicular casts ("little sweaters" of keratin on the hairs) ± comedones.

• Diagnosis: Histopathologic changes and response to therapy

• Treatment: oral vitamin A, 10,000 IU daily (or 1,000 IU / kg) and topical anti-seborrheic therapy. May take 6 weeks to see response to the vitamin A. I usually add in fatty acids supplements with focus on omega 6 fa's as well (Derm Caps, safflower oil, borage oil).

Katie: after 6 weeks of borage oil, 8,000 IU vitamin A 3x/week and sulfur-salicylic acid prescription shampoo, the scaling remained, but was more than 50% improved and the scales much smaller.

Seborrhea and the Young Adult Dog

Shiloe: 4-year old m/n sheltie CC: 2-year h/o scaling; owner does not report pruritus

Exam: Marked whole body scaling with large flakes and erythema. Thin, oily hair coat on trunk and head, less so on extremities, tail. Pinnal scaling; yellow otic exudate. No fleas. Malodorous.


Metabolic: hypothyroidism; hyperadrenocorticism

Nutritional: "Fatty acid-responsive dermatosis"


• Primary: epitheliotropic lymphoma; exfoliative dermatitis of parapsoriasis.

Secondary (paraneoplastic event) to thymoma, cutaneous lymphoma

Infectious: Dermatophytosis; pyoderma / Malassezia (secondary to?); Demodex secondary to immune suppression

Immune: Lupus (cutaneous /systemic); erythema multiforme

Allergic dermatitis* (food, atopy); contact reaction to topical product

Toxin: no known exposure

Shiloe's Diagnostics

Skin scrapes: negative. Wood's lamp exam: neg. Ear cytology: several yeast, cocci / o.i.f.

Skin cytology (tape impression): 1-4 yeast / "oif", 0-1 wbc and 0-6 cocci / "oif"

CBC, Chemistry Profile, UA and FT4: normal.

Skin biopsy: Complicated: Hyperkeratosis suggestive of a primary seborrhea; evidence of pruritus; and inflammation suggestive of underlying allergic dermatitis.


• The yeast and bacterial overgrowths are secondary to an underlying problem (allergic dermatitis). The Malassezia is important to address: Malassezia thrive on oily skin. As they overgrow, they stimulate increased proliferation of keratinocytes, worsening the existing seborrhea.

• Skin biopsy can indicate allergy as an underlying problem but cannot differentiate between food reaction, atopy, or flea bite hypersensitivity. Clinical impression must be used.

Treatment Plan

Cephalexin and ketoconazole, combination topical otic treatment, d/c current shampoo and start Rx anti-microbial shampoo bathing 2x/week, tapering dose of prednisone for 10 days, and a novel-ingredient diet high in fatty acids. Recheck planned for 4 weeks.

At the follow up

Shiloe came in 8 weeks after the first visit. Owner reports Shiloe did well for the first 2 weeks after the last visit, but then skin problems recurred, looking almost as bad as when he first presented. Diet was 90% restricted (as good as we were going to get).

Assessment B

Food trial has not helped; by process of elimination, this leaves us holding a bag that says "atopy ± seborrhea" on it.

Plan B

Antimicrobial medications were resumed. Started on daily Atopica (2.5 mg / kg rather than 5 mg/kg b/c on ketoconazole for yeast) along with treating the microbial overgrowths (again). We did not use any systemic corticosteroids this time.

Why did I choose cyclosporine over allergy testing and immunotherapy or antihistamines + fatty acids in this case?

1. The owner did not wish to pursue allergy testing and had a needle-phobia

2. Cyclosporine works relatively well in control of atopy with fewer predictable side effects than steroids

3. Cyclosporine may have beneficial effects in keratinization disorders. How is unknown, though the speaker's theory is the anti-inflammatory effects of cyclosporine on cytokines down-regulates keratin proliferation.

At a 4-week follow up, Shiloe was 85% better in all respects. Antibiotics discontinued and bathing frequency decreased. By 6 weeks, decreased the frequency of Atopica / ketoconazole to 2-3 times a week. Shiloe continues to do well on this regime.

Seborrhea and the Geriatric Patient

Marked scaling starting in the older dog / cat is never going to be happy news.

"Tyco", 9-year old boxer CC: 4-month h/o scaling, pruritus

Generalized multifocal round areas of large-flake scaling, some crusting. Face and chin most affected. Scaling is a large peeling of epidermis with embedded hairs. Depigmentation on lips and left lateral canthus.


Metabolic: Superficial Necrolytic Dermatitis

Neoplasia: Cutaneous lymphoma; exfoliative dermatitis secondary to neoplasia

Immune-mediated: Erythema multiforme; lupus (cutaneous / systemic); pemphigus foliaceus; drug reaction

• Infectious: Demodex (sec to ?); Fungal (dermatophyte); Leishmania; Bacterial / Malassezia secondary to?

Plan: Considering the age of onset, no history of drug administration, this warrants blood work and biopsy for histopathology.

CBC, Chem, T4 / FT4: T4 and FT4 at bottom of normal. UA not obtained.

Biopsy result: Nests and nodules of uniform round cells surrounding hair follicle units and some in the epidermis. Cell morphology consistent with cutaneous lymphoma.

No treatment was instituted and Tyco was lost to follow up. Treatment options would include lomustine orally every 3 weeks or 3 ml / kg safflower oil twice a week.

Management of Seborrhea

Topical therapy is important for some immediate improvement in the appearance and health of the skin. Systemic therapy in seborrhea focuses on nutritional support of the skin and treatment of secondary infections when they arise.

Mild cases of seborrhea sicca

• Question bathing (what kind of shampoo and how often being used?) If owner using a harsh, OTC product regularly, change to reputable, gentle moisturizing shampoo.

• Add omega 6 fa's to diet

• Topical moisturizer with emollients (oils) and hygroscopic agents (propylene glycol, urea, lactic acid, glycerin) to draw and retain moisture in the epidermis (e.g., Humilac, Virbac; Douxo "Calm" or "Seborrhea" Microemulsion spray) after baths

More refractory seborrhea sicca (lacking obvious underlying cause)

• Bathe with shampoo with keratolytic / keratoplastic effects; sulfur / salicylic acid is best combination:

• Sebolux or Keratolux (Virbac)

• Duoxo Anti-seborrheic shampoo (Sogeval)

• DermaSebS or Malacetic shampoo (DermaPet)

• OR a benzoyl peroxide shampoo (Pyoben, Virbac; DermaBenSs, DermaPet)

• Use moisturizer discussed above after and between baths, esp if using benzoyl peroxide shampoo

• Oral fatty acids with omega 6's such EFA caps (Virbac) or Safflower oil: ½ tsp / 10lbs body weight; Sunflower oil: 1.5 tsp / 10 lbs body wt

Derm Disaster Cases (seborrhea sicca and oleosa of Westies and Cockers),

• Benzoyl peroxide or tar-based shampoo (T-gel) or Keratolux until condition better, then sulfur / salicylic acid shampoo

• Post-bath topical moisturizing very important

• Oral fatty acids as listed above plus omega 3's (180 mg /10 lb EPA + DHA); (OmegaDerm – Virbac; Eicosaderm – DermaPet)

• Vitamin A (speaker's opinion)

• Identify and address any underlying problems such as atopy, food hypersensitivity


Griffin CE. Cyclosporine Use in Dermatology. In: Bongura and Twedt, eds. Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy XIV. St. Louis: Saunders Elsevier, 2008; 386-389.

Power HT, Ihrke PJ. Synthetic retinoids in veterinary dermatology. Vet Cli N Am: Small Anim Prac 1990:20; 1525-1539

Scott DW, Miller WH, Griffin CE. Muller and Kirk's Small Animal Dermatology. 6th ed Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 2001.

K S Iwamoto KS, Bennett LR, Norman A, et al. Linoleate produces remission in canine mycosis fungoide. Cancer Lett. May 1992;64(1):17-22.

How To Help Your Dog’s Skin Allergies: Allergy Medicine for Dogs in 2021

Dog skin allergies are a lot more common than one would think. Fortunately for you and Fido, most are easily manageable and treatable.

As always, it’s important to consult your vet if you think your dog has a skin allergy, but the good news is that there are several things you could do to help out the allergy and make your pup more comfortable.

Below you’ll find an extensive list of:

  • Products to help dog skin allergies
  • Essential oils
  • Home remedies that you can do to help your dog’s skin allergies.

But first, we’ll walk you through a few of the most common dog allergies and the symptoms.

How to Help Dog Skin Allergies

Common Dog Allergy Symptoms

Dog skin allergies can be caused by many factors including plants, food, dander, insects, medication, and anything in between. These allergies cause a multitude of symptoms that could be anything from Scratching and chewing, to rashes and inflammation just to name some of the more common ones. Luckily there are ways to help our dog get relief in these tough times.

There are tons and tons of different dog skin allergies and it can be really hard to decipher which one is what. If you think you your dog has a skin allergy, have your vet check it out before you try to treat it.

Once identified, most skin allergies can be treated.

See a vet if your dog is scratching or licking excessively, or if you notice any changes in your pet’s coat or skin, including scaling, redness, discoloration, or bald patches. There is quite a few common dog skin allergies, so we have directly pulled some from this list on Pet Web MD for you.

Allergic Dermatitis

Dogs can have allergic reactions to grooming products, food, and environmental irritants, such as pollen or insect bites. A dog with allergies may scratch relentlessly, and a peek at the skin often reveals an ugly rash.

Corticosteroids can help with itchy rashes, but the most effective treatment is to identify and avoid exposure to the allergens.

Yeast Infection

If your dog can’t seem to stop scratching an ear or licking and chewing her toes, ask your veterinarian to check for a yeast infection. Symptoms include irritated, itchy, or discolored skin. The infection usually strikes the paws or ears, where yeast has a cozy space to grow.

Yeast infections are easy to diagnose and often respond well to a topical cream. In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe oral drugs or medicated baths.

Another type of bacterial infection, impetigo is most common in puppies. It causes pus-filled blisters that may break and crust over. The blisters usually develop on the hairless portion of the abdomen.

Impetigo is rarely serious and can be treated with a topical solution. In a small number of cases, the infection may spread or persist.

Seborrhea causes a dog’s skin to become greasy and develop scales (dandruff). In some cases, it’s a genetic disease that begins when a dog is young and lasts a lifetime. But most dogs with seborrhea develop the scaling as a complication of another medical problem, such as allergies or hormonal abnormalities. In these cases, it is vital to treat the underlying cause so symptoms do not recur.

Despite its name, ringworm is not caused by a worm, but by a fungus. The term “ring” comes from the circular patches that can form anywhere but are often found on a dog’s head, paws, ears, and forelegs. Inflammation, scaly patches, and hair loss often surround the lesions.

Puppies less than a year old are the most susceptible, and the infection can spread quickly between dogs in a kennel or to pet owners at home.

Various anti-fungal treatments are available.

Mange (Mites)

Mange is a skin disorder caused by tiny parasites called mites. Sarcoptic mange, also known as canine scabies, spreads easily among dogs and can also be transmitted to people, but the parasites don’t survive on humans. The symptoms are intense itching, red skin, sores, and hair loss.

A dog’s ears, face, and legs are most commonly affected.

Demodectic mange can cause bald spots, scabbing, and sores, but it is not contagious between animals or people.

Treatment depends on the type of mange.

Dry, Flaky Skin

Dry, flaky skin can be a red flag for a number of problems. It’s a common symptom of allergies, mange, and other skin diseases. But most often, dry or flaky skin is nothing serious. Make sure you are feeding Fido high-quality food.

Like people, some dogs simply get dry skin in the winter.

If this seems to cause your pet discomfort, consult your veterinarian.

Hot spots, also called acute moist dermatitis, are small areas that appear red, irritated, and inflamed. They are most commonly found on a dog’s head, hips, or chest, and often feel hot to the touch.

Hot spots can result from a wide range of conditions, including infections, allergies, insect bites, or excessive licking and chewing.

Treatment consists of cleansing the hot spot and addressing the underlying condition.

Products That Help Dog Skin Allergies

There are several wellness pet products on the market that can help with your dog’s skin allergy. If you are trying to treat a specific allergy then you’ll be able to find products that are made to specifically target that allergy. However, going the preventive route is always a great idea. These products below are good to incorporate into your pup’s regular routine.

Kronch Salmon Oil

An all around good, natural product to use is Kronch Salmon Oil.

Kronch is a pure salmon oil dogs supplement from Denmark.

The salmon in the Lakse Kronch Salmon Oil is cold-pressed from 100% wild Norwegian salmon.

It’s a dietary supplement rich in essential Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

Kronch Salmon Oil can be good for dogs with dry skin, itching, dandruff and a dull coat. It’s also great to use if your pup is allergic to flea bites.

Using Kronch Salmon oil on a daily basis can help to alleviate/ prevent these problems. So it’s great to use as a preventive measure if you think your dog may be getting an allergy.

Natural Doggie Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil

Another salmon oil that is great to use as a preventive measure is Natural Doggie Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil .

Similar benefits to the Kronch Salmon Oil, Natural Doggie Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil is a dog food supplement that can promote healthy skin and coat, relieves dry, itchy skin and encourages a healthy immune system.

The Omega-3 fatty acids support a healthy heart too!

Additional Salmon Oil for Dogs Resources:

Coconut Oil For Dog Skin Allergies

Coconut oil can be good for dogs and can help aid your pets’ digestion, may improve their coats, and may help prevent infection and alleviate skin irritation.

It is recommended to use coconut oil for dogs with allergies because it contains lauric acid, this can help to decrease the body’s production of yeast.

Using fish body oil with coconut oil can help moderate or even suppress the inflammatory response.

Lauric acid has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Capric and caprylic acid also have similar properties as lauric acid and are best known for their anti-fungal effects.