Your leader in veterinary care in the Long Island City area

Let us prove it! Our knowledgeable and helpful staff are anxious to assist you and your furry family member.

All visits are by appointment only. Please call or email us to book your next appointment now!

Starting March 2022 All spay and neuter will get Free Distemper and Rabies. Call to book your appointment today.

Schedule Today


This Educational Article Sponsored By

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:

  1. Dry Seborrhea: dry, flaky skin
  2. Oily Seborrhea: smelly, greasy scales and sticky, brown oil patches

Most affected dogs have dry and oily seborrhea at the same time.


Seborrhea is usually secondary to an underlying issue, including:

  • Hormonal imbalances: thyroid disease, cushing’s disease
  • Environmental factors: temperature, change in humidity
  • Parasites: fleas, ticks
  • Yeast skin infections
  • Diet low in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Allergies
  • Obesity

In these cases, the dog 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.


  • Skin flaking off in white scales, (which you may notice where your pet lies)
  • Swollen skin, either oily or dry
  • Excessive scratching
  • Bad odor


Tests that your veterinarian will perform to diagnose seborrhea and to check for underlying conditions may include:

  • Skin biopsy: checks for an underlying cause or confirms primary seborrhea
  • Skin culture: checks for bacterial and fungal infections
  • Skin scrapings/skin cytology: a swab of the skin checks for underlying skin infections
  • Complete blood cell count (CBC): a blood test which checks for underlying conditions
  • Hormone tests: tests for thyroid disease and cushing’s disease


The underlying condition must be treated. There is no cure for seborrhea itself, but it is manageable with:

  • Bathing: two or three times a week with medicated shampoo. Gently massage the shampoo into the skin for around 10 minutes. There are different shampoos and conditioners available, depending on the type of seborrhea and the underlying infection. (for example: there are shampoos for dry skin, for oily skin, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-itch)
  • Clipping: for dogs with long hair. This makes the bathing easier. With long, thick hair, the shampoo will not be able to reach the skin
  • Antibiotics: to treat bacterial and fungal infections. You must give the medicine to your dog for as long as your veterinarian recommends in order to ensure the infection is completely cured
  • Topical treatments: moisturizers
  • Supplements: omega-3 fatty acid

After the skin is cleared up within a few weeks of treatment, you must bring your dog to the veterinarian for a follow-up.


If your dog 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.

Get in touch with our Team

Use the information below to get ahold of us, or submit the form and a member of or staff will get back to you as soon as possible.

Contact us any time

To send us a message, use the contact form or the information below. A caring member of our knowledgable staff will do their best to respond to your inquiry as soon as possible. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call us.

The communication methods below are monitored during our facility's regular business hours.

Long Island City Phone: 718-752-1488
FAX: 718-752-1499

Astoria Animal Society is a non-profit veterinary practice.


Fill out my online form.