This is an inherited skin disease controlled by an autosomal recessive gene that adversely affects the development of sebaceous glands. Predisposed breeds include the Standard Poodle, Akita, Samoyed, and Vizsla. Signs usually appear in the first four years of life, but may develop later.
Longhaired breeds such as the Standard Poodle have areas of symmetrical hair loss involving the muzzle, top of the head, ear flaps, and the top of the neck, trunk, and tail. The skin develops a scaly seborrhea, and in advanced cases a bacterial infection of the hair follicles. Shorthaired breeds such as the Vizsla have circular areas of hair loss with scaling on the head, ears, trunk, and legs.
Treatment: The diagnosis is confirmed by skin biopsy. Treatment involves corticosteroids, Accutane (isotretinoin), and a number of antiseborrhea and antifollicular drugs and shampoos that can be prescribed by your veterinarian.
The institute for Genetic Disease Control in Animals maintains a registry for sebaceous adenitis in Standard Poodles (see appendix D). OFA has taken over much of the sebaceous adenitis data and registry. Dogs with sebaceous adenitis and those identified as carriers should not be bred.