Ichthyosis (German Shepherd Type)

$75.00 (RRP)



Ichthyosis is a condition of the skin, where the skin becomes thickened and covered in scale.  It is an inherited condition, and the genetic mutation responsible for the disease has been characterised in several breeds.  It is thought that the defect relates to the metabolism of lipids within the epidermis (outer layer of the skin). 

Signs associated with ichthyosis can start from a very young age in some breeds, with hairless skin on the underside becoming reddened and then developing a brown scale and a wrinkly appearance.  By the time the dog reaches adulthood the underside of the dog is covered in brown scale, with white-to-tan scales visible in haired areas.  The feet may occasionally be affected with thickening and cracking of the footpads.

The main complication from this condition is that the skin's defensive barrier function is impaired, and cracking allows organisms to penetrate the skin, leading to infections.  Yeast overgrowth is the most common complication, leading to severe itching and irritation and also conditions such as otitis externa, intertrigo (infection in the skin folds) and pododermatitis (infection of the feet).  The condition can also be quite distressing for the owner due to the appearance of their dog and the irritation it causes, although the disease itself is not life-threatening.

Treatment of ichthyosis is aimed at relieving dryness and scale with keratolytic shampoos, which may need to be used from weekly to daily.  Moisturising oils are usually applied as well, and these help to maintain the barrier function of the skin and prevent secondary infections.  Diet is supplemented with fatty acids, and sometimes retinoids may also be used.  Infections are treated appropriately.  There is no cure, and affected animals should not be used for breeding.


Dermatologic - Associated with the skin



Variant Detected:



It is a trait and so is tested based on preference, not usually for health concerns.

Mode of Inheritance:

Autosomal Recessive

Research Citation(s):

PLoS Genet. 2017 Mar 1;13(3):e1006651.

Associated Breed(s):

German Shepherd Dog, Mixed Breed,