Does your dog have an oily coat? Seborrhea maybe?

Over the last few weeks, Val has acquired an oily coat. During the summer, after doing a lot of swimming, he started smelling like a musty dog when he dried. The vet gave us some medicated soap to shampoo him with and all seemed fine. Kind of confused since he’s been swimming for years without any problem. Now, we have this oily coat thing, so we’re back to bathing him with the medicated soap. Some research online suggested that he may have canine seborrhea, a very common skin problem in dogs which falls into three categories:

Seborrhea sicca – “Dry seborrhea” which shows scaliness only.
Seborrhea oleosa – “Oily seborrhea” which not only shows scaliness but also greasy skin with a distinct odor, due to excessive oil production by the skin.
Seborrheic dermatitis – Greasy and flaky skin accompanied by inflammation.

Well, Val seems to have the oily type and seborrhea is commonly seen in certain breeds including the Spaniels (American Cocker Spaniels and English Springer Spaniels), Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, West Highland White Terriers, Basset Hounds, Irish Setters, and Shar-peis. I am not entirely convinced, though, since he has very few of the other symptoms which include excessive licking and scratching, redness, skin flaking and ear redness or secretions. Again, since this is of recent vintage, I’m guessing its’ cause is not of the heredity variety but may be the result of one of the indicators:

hypothyroidism (maybe his thyroid needs to be retested? He’s already on medication for that but maybe something has changed), a nutritional imbalance or allergy, a parasite or a flea or tic.

Luckily, his annual check-up is next week so we can pursue this further with a professional! Please, make sure that you always consult a professional as self-diagnosis can lead to a lot more problems than it’s worth and, don’t forget those regular check-ups to ensure the health of your pooch! Will keep you posted on the remedy (other than the medicated shampoo) and diagnosis, but in the meantime, if anyone has any other ideas or experiences with various treatments we’d love to hear from you.

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