Institute of Genetics

Sebaceous adenitis in the Hovawart


Sebaceous adenitis is an autoimmune disease occurring in many dog breeds. It is characterized by inflammation and subsequent destruction of the sebaceous glands. The first signs of disease are usually seen at the face, neck, ears or tail. Affected dogs often show a "rat-tail". Hair tufts kept together by yellow-brown keratin clumps are shed. The hair coat becomes dull and irregular. The skin becomes dry and scaly. Due to secondary infections affected dogs frequently develop pruritus (itching) and blackheads. The coat also frequently starts to smell. Sebaceous adenitis typically starts at an age of 3-4 years, but sometimes also later in life. The disease can be localized or generalized. There is no cure for sebaceous adenitis but the symptoms can be ameliorated with intensive therapy. We would like to further investigate the genetic risk factors for sebaceous adenitis in the Hovawart. Our aim is the development of a genetic test, which is specifically suited for the Hovawart breed. For the research we need EDTA blood samples from affected dogs, ideally together with their parents and siblings. We therefore ask breeders and owners to donate samples for our research.