Ichthyosis is an autosomal recessive genetic mutation that affects the skin of Golden Retrievers. The mutation prevents the outer layer of the epidermis from forming properly, resulting in skin that becomes darkened and thick and flakes excessively.
The name "Ichthyosis" is derived from the Greek word for fish, which describes the skin's resemblance to fish scales. The most common symptom of ICH-A is excessive flaking of the skin. Other symptoms include areas of hardened skin and hyperpigmentation, which may make the skin appear dirty or blackened. Symptoms can be mild or severe. Evidence of the disease may be detected when the dog is still a puppy, but symptoms may take a year or more to develop. Additionally, symptoms can improve or worsen, depending on stress and hormonal cycles.
Ichthyosis is generally not dangerous to a dog's health, but can be unsightly, and uncomfortable for the dog. ICH-A is frequently related to other health issues such as yeast overgrowth and fungal infections. An affected dog will usually require more care with special shampoos and treatments.
ICH-A is unfortunately quite common in Golden Retrievers, but can be identified with a simple DNA test. An affected dog would need to inherit the mutation from both parents since the mutation is autosomal recessive. Asymptomatic carriers and affected dogs can be identified prior to breeding to avoid producing an affected pup.
Animal Genetics accepts buccal swab, blood, and dewclaw samples for testing. Sample collection kits are available and can be ordered at test now.
Test Is Relevant to the Following Breeds:
Animal Genetics offers DNA testing for Ichthyosis. The genetic test verifies the presence of the Ichthyosis-A mutation and presents results as one of the following:
|Ich/Ich||Affected||The dog carries two copies of the mutant gene and is homozygous for Ichthyosis-A. The dog is likely to be affected by Ichthyosis and will always pass a copy of the mutation to its offspring.|
|Ich/n||Carrier||Both the normal and mutant copies of the gene detected. Dog is a carrier for the Ichthyosis-A mutation and can pass on a copy of the defective gene to its offspring.|
|n/n||Clear||Dog tested negative for the Ichthyosis-A mutation and will not pass on the defective gene to its offspring.|