Skin Conditions

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Primary Keratinization Disorder also called Primary Seborrhea

My Cocker Spaniel Skin Problems: Primary Keratinization Disorder or Primary Seborrhea

Primary Seborrhea is commonly recognized in the Cocker Spaniel. Primary Seborrhea is caused by overproduction of skin cells including sebaceous (oil) cells. The skin appears greasy and scaly with a foul smell. The trunk, back,and ears are most commonly affected. Itching varies among those affected. Diagnosis is done by biopsy. Treatment includes the administration of retinoids (vitamin A derivatives) such as Isotretinoin. Concurrent treatment with antifungals may be indicated as primary seborrhea may be associated with yeast infection. Routine use of antiseborrheic shampoos and moisturizers is also recommended

Phoenix Zoo Primary Seborrhea

Primary Seborrhea is a inherited disease that causes the skin to grow and shed abnormally. The outer layer of skin on us, our dogs, and all animals is composed of dead skin cells called the keratinized layer. The keratinized layer is tough and resists abrasions - it is the body's coat of armour. The depth of this layer determines the texture skin. Normally, skin cells are arranged in several layers with the keratinized layer on top and the live growing cells at the bottom. The way a cell changes from live growing cell into a keratinized cell, called keratinization, is regulated by many different systems. Keratinization may be affected by abnormal genes that change a cell's ability to divide normally, or that affect the way other cells in the body send signals to the skin to cause the change. There is no magic bullet to cure primary seborrhea. Special anti-seborrheic shampoos are helpful. Your veterinarian probably carries recommended shampoos and may be able to prescribe specific drugs that help the skin grow in more normal ways.

Script updated: January 1st 2023

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