Seborrhea is a skin condition where the sebaceous glands in the skin produce too much sebum (an oily substance that lubricates the skin and hair). This causes the skin to be scaly, itchy, and red.
There are 2 types of seborrhea:
Seborrhea is usually secondary to an underlying issue, including:
In these cases, the cat will not show scaling at a young age. It will only develop from scratching due to other skin problems.
Sometimes, there is no underlying issue. This is idiopathic or primary seborrhea. In these cases, it is usually genetic, and scales will form at a young age.
Seborrhea usually affects places that have a lot of sebaceous glands, including: the back, underside, thighs, feet, armpits, and neck.
Tests that your veterinarian will perform to diagnose seborrhea and to check for underlying conditions may include:
The underlying condition must be treated. There is no cure for seborrhea itself, but it is manageable with:
After the skin is cleared up within a few weeks of treatment, you must bring your cat to the veterinarian for a follow-up.
If your cat has genetic seborrhea, you can only manage it. A healthy diet with enough fatty acids is a good way to prevent the condition when caused by underlying issues.
There is a good prognosis if you treat the underlying cause successfully.
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