Skin Disorders in a Lhasa Apso

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Lhasa apso is a small, hardy dog breed that is prized for its exotic look and mischievous temperament. Its long, distinctive hair and independent spirit have made it popular as a show dog, agility competitor and family pet. They make excellent apartment dogs and are generally long-lived.

Lhasa apsos can have a number of health problems, however, such as kidney disease, retinal atropy and a number of skin problems.

Lhasa Apso Grooming

Lhasa apsos have a distinctive coat of long hair from front to back. Without regular brushing their coats can become matted and unsightly. Good grooming is important to keep the coat in good condition and to prevent flea and tick infestations that contribute to chronic skin problems. To prevent problems, many people choose to keep their lhasa's coat clipped short.

Sebaceous Adenitis

Sebaceous adenitis is a hereditary skin condition that produces symptoms of dandruff, greasy skin, darkened skin, dry scaling, hair loss, thickening in the skin and a musty odour. In this disease, the sebaceous glands of the skin are inflamed constantly, killing the glands and hair follicles. The disease can affect dogs of any age. According to, there is no cure, but it can be treated with medicated shampoo and propylene glycol rinse treatments to lubricate the skin. Antibiotics are used to treat secondary infections. Oral fatty-acid supplements may also be helpful.

Skin Allergies

Lhasa apso is one of the breeds that are known to have problems with skin allergies. Allergic reactions are the overproduction of immune system chemicals to fight the offending material. Problems can come from contact allergies, such as from shampoos, flea treatments, bedding or cleaning chemicals. Food allergies can also cause reactions. Inhaled substances like dust, pollen or moulds can also cause allergic reactions. Allergies are treated with antihistamines, corticosteroids and antibiotics for secondary infections.

Yeast Dermatitis

Yeast dermatitis is another condition that can be a problem for lhasa apsos. The disease produces an itchy, crusty, smelly rash. Both topical and oral medications may be prescribed to stop the yeast overgrowth. Medicated shampoos and ketoconazole are standard treatment, according to

Treating Skin Problems

For inherited disorders, treating the symptoms is often the only course of action. Your veterinarian will advise you on the best course of treatment for the disease. You will have to experiment to find the offending substance that is causing the contact allergic reaction, removing one chemical at a time to see if there is improvement in the condition. Food allergies also require an experimental approach, restricting foods to see which ones cause problems. Antihistamines and corticosteroids are often required to control inflammation.