Golden Retriever Ichthyosis May Be Underdiagnosed Due to Seborrhea Similarity
When a scaling skin disorder first showed up in Golden Retrievers in the 1990s, it was frequently misdiagnosed as seborrhea, a condition that also causes scaling and dandruff. More than a decade later, veterinary specialists began studying the disorder and realized it is specific to Golden Retrievers. More recently, geneticists identified the causative mutation and developed a direct DNA test to identify affected and carrier dogs.
Fortunately, Golden Retriever ichthyosis is seldom severe. The disorder is named for the Greek word ichthys, meaning fish, because it looks like fish scales. Breeders sometimes refer to the condition as “puppy dandruff” since puppies usually outgrow signs of flaky skin as they mature, although ichthyosis also occurs in adult dogs. Research in Goldens led to the discovery that the disorder is similar to one of the human autosomal recessive congenital ichthyoses (ARCI).
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