Treatment is initially geared to treating the primary cause of the Seborrhea lesions. Yeast infections are treated with Ketoconazole. Bacterial pyodermas are treated with antibiotics such as Clavamox® or Baytril® for long periods of time. Endocrine disorders such as Cushing's Syndrome are treated with Lysodren® or Trilostane®. Hypothroidism is treated by oral T4 administration.
Pruritus is usually controlled by Atarax® (hydroxyzine). This is a prescription antihistamine that alleviates some of the clinical signs associated with itch. One has to be careful about using corticosteroids. They will provide relief but can suppress the animal's immune system making it much harder to treat a bacterial, fungal or yeast infection. Giving corticosteroids to a suspect Cushing's Syndrome patient can make the condition worse! If the patient is a diabetic, steroids will really throw off the blood glucose and play havoc with an insulin dose.
Topical shampoos are crucial in providing some relief from clinical signs plus return the skin to a more normal condition. Shampoos containing chlorhexidine and or combinations of chlorhexidine and ketoconazole are very effective, if used properly. Some of the best products for this purpose are made by Virbac®. The best shampoo interval is twice the first two weeks, than once weekly for months on end. Do not use warm water. Use cool tap water or water from an outdoor hose. Warm water will make the animal scratch even more! Repeating the shampooing will keep sebum production under control; as long as the primary disease condition is being treated.
If a cause of seborrhea can not be determined, the condition is treated with antibiotics, ketoconazole and shampoos. Oral cyclosporine (Atopica®) may help some of those patients.