Beau - Sebaceous Adenitis

Beau is a 4 year old Male Samoyed that was presented to Dr. Hoelscher in February 2016 for mild hair loss on his back and sides. He appeared to have a skin infection (pyoderma), which was thought to be secondary to an allergy.

The infection was treated with antibiotics, shampoo and an antihistamine. The skin improved but Beau’s hair loss progressed. Multiple skin scrapings were performed to rule out skin parasites such as Sarcoptes and Demodex (types of mites) which were all negative. Beau was treated with a medication to eliminate fleas in case this was playing a role in his hair loss.

The next step in the diagnosis was a skin biopsy. Three samples of skin were procured for submission to a pathologist. The results revealed a condition called Sebaceous Adenitis.

Sebaceous adenitis is a hereditary, destructive, inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands. Normal sebaceous glands secrete sebum, a fatty substance that keeps the skin moist and aids in immune function. When a dog is affected by sebaceous adenitis, the sebaceous glands become inflamed and eventually get destroyed. Once a large number of these glands are destroyed, the skin becomes dry and flaky, the hair starts to lose its curl in some cases, and eventually hair loss ensues. Because the skin has little protection from hair and the sebum which is no longer being produced, skin infections occur due to opportunistic yeast and bacteria.

There is no cure for this condition. It is simply a matter of maintenance and control of the skin infection. The pathologist characterized Beau’s condition as “End stage sebaceous adenitis” because there were no discernible sebaceous glands left. We did not feel confident that Beau would recover as well as we would like. Treatment was going to be long, expensive and labor-intensive.

The combined efforts of Beau’s dedicated owner, Dr. Hoelscher and a little help from our Help-a-Pet Fund, we were able to start treatment right away. This included an expensive medication called Atopica to stop the inflammatory process, Vitamin A to help restore sebaceous gland function and treatment with shampoos and antifungal medications to stop the secondary infection.

After a few weeks of treatment, we began to see some new hair growth and began to feel encouraged. Take a look at the attached photos of Beau prior to his illness, during the diagnosis and treatment process and today. Beau looks and feels amazing!

 Dog Beau before treatment    Dog Beau after treatment
Beau before treatment   Beau after treatment, at our annual Dog Wash event that raises money for our Help-a-Pet Fund, which assisted in Beau's treatment.

 


My Cat Ate...What? - Marley

Marley is a Tonkinese cat who was presented to Animal Hospital of Verona almost a year ago for intermittent vomiting. He was not known to have eaten anything abnormal. Dr. Hoelscher’s physical exam and initial lab tests were normal. Since the vomiting was sporadic, after discussing treatment options with Dr. Hoelscher, the owners opted to perform a hypoallergenic food trial. Marley’s vomiting worsened a month ago, and during his physical exam, Dr. Hoelscher discovered a firm swelling in the area of the stomach. X-rays showed an unidentifiable density in the stomach area.

cat marley's x-rayDr. Hoeslcher discussed surgical exploration versus endoscopy to further characterize the object and hopefully remove it. The owners made the decision to have us explore the stomach surgically, since the suspected object was potentially too large to remove with an endoscope. Dr. Voss performed surgery, aided by our highly trained technician team. Marley was anesthetized with a safe, short-acting inhaled anesthesia called sevoflurane. Anesthetic depth and body functions were carefully monitored by a technician using a sophisticated six-function machine. Dr. Voss made a midline incision through the abdominal muscle wall to expose the stomach, and then removed a foreign object.

cat marleyMarley made a good recovery from surgery, went home the next day, and thanks to the collaborative efforts of Drs. Hoelscher and Vossand, has been thriving since! His owner did some detective work and determined that the foreign material in Marley’s stomach was a collection of hair bands and other material that he had chewed up and swallowed, probably over a year’s time. This material formed into a ball in the stomach and only sporadically caused blockage and vomiting.

The moral of the story: cats sometimes eat weird stuff, and you may not see them eating it! And if your cat (or dog) does something like this, we can help.