Registered Standard Poodles with SA
(sebaceous adenitis)

mode of inheritance: unknown

SA (sebaceous adenitis)

Sebaceous adenitis is a hereditary skin disease in which the sebaceous (oil) glands become inflamed and often are destroyed. Why the immune system attacks these glands is currently unknown. There is no cure.

SA is most frequently seen in Standard Poodles, but it has been reported in all varieties and affects all colors proportional to their numbers. SA appears mainly in young dogs, from ages 1 to 5 years.

SA looks different in different breeds; even within the breed, symptoms can range from mild to severe. A test breeding between two SA-affected Standard Poodles suggested that SA is inherited as a simple autosomal recessive trait. That is, SA is transmitted by a single gene from each parent. Subsequent research has supported this theory of transmission.

Poodles with SA will progressively lose their hair, often in clumps. Their coat generally looks moth-eaten. Other symptoms include silvery/white excess dandruff (scaling), lesions, sensitivity to feet and face being clipped, thickened skin, a telltale musty odor, and a secondary skin infection. Itching is not usually a symptom, unless thereís a secondary skin infection. SA can occur in cycles of hair loss, regrowth then hair loss again. When hair does grow back, it frequently has a different texture.

SA is often confused with hypothyroidism and other forms of endocrinopathy, idiopathic seborrhea, pyoderma, dermatophytosis (ringworm), demodicosis (mange), or allergies. A professional diagnosis is made by a skin punch biopsy with an interpretation by a qualified canine dermapathologist. Test results will show one of four possibilities:

  • Clear -No evidence of SA is found at the time of testing. Unfortunately, this is no guarantee that the dog is unaffected and that the disease wonít show up later. Annual biopsies, especially of breeding stock, are advised.
  • Affected -Destruction of sebaceous glands is found.
  • Affected without clinical symptoms -Characteristic inflammation is found. These subclinical SA dogs sometimes develop external symptoms of hair loss later in life.
  • Equivocal -Some inflammation is present but the cause is unclear. Retesting is advised during another season to rule out the possibility of allergies.
Other than prescribing antibiotics for secondary skin infections, there is no consensus on how to treat an SA dog. Evaluating options can be frustrating, as what will work for some dogs will not work for others. For instance, one of the SA test dogs responded well to oil baths, a popular SA treatment, while another from the same litter didnít.

Treatment is lifelong. Although some dogs severely affected with SA have been euthanized, most dogs with SA can lead relatively normal lives.

Registered Standard Poodles:

Finnish Poodle Club list of names and parent names of Standard Poodles affected with SA

Swed/Fin/Nor Ch Lapponia's Ratkin (Am/Swed/Fin/Dan Ch Canmoy's Rubiazo x Fin/Dan/Est Ch Harbovi's Over The Rainbow)
Am/Fin Ch D'Kamron Diplomat (Ch Eaton Affirmed x Ch D'Kamron Glory Joda)
Wild Wine Dolores (Ch Graphic Double Take x Marmaloo Wild Rose Gilda)
Fin Ch Emberiza Magdalena ( Can Ch Alias Foreign Affairs x Fin Ch Emberiza Christmas Snow)
Sir Ascot's Genevieve (Fin Ch Marmaloo Boy George x Fin Ch Wycliffe Renate)
Ted El Halo Hot Patootie (Ch Dassin Delano x Ch Ted-El Torchy Lane)
Ch Dacha Helen (Ch Eaton Deryabar Dynamic x Ch Dacha Gypsy)

Links for Additional Information on SA (sebaceous adenitis);

Treatment options: SA Support Group


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