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  Ichthyosis In Golden Retrievers

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   Lamellar Ichthyosis In Golden Retrievers
Miss Sahvahna
      Aust CH Outbackgold Sahvahna WildHoney "Miss Sahvahna"
Affected Puppies should NOT be put to sleep
What is Lamellar Ichthyosis:

Lamellar Ichthyosis is specific to the Golden Retriever and resembles the human autosomal recessive congenital Itchthyosis (ARcI).  
Ichthyosis encompass a heterogeneous group of hereditary and generally congenital diseases that are all characterized by the faulty formation of the outer layer of the Epidermis, and the Stratum Comeum, 
a Deletion in the PNPLA1 Gene - a gene that affects the barrier formed by a Golden's skin, 
with the result scaling.
The name is derived from the Greek word for "Fish" due to the fish-like scales that are observed 
on dogs with the disease.
Puppies affected with Ichthyosis develop white flakes on the skin soon after birth.
The flaking persists through out the animals life, progressively becoming larger and darkening, 
becoming dry and rough with age, this disease typically does not cause any itching.
On badly affected Golden Retrievers, secondary infection complications caused through bacterial,
fungal or parasitic is associated with the condition.
Every Day Occurance
This amount of flaking is what you see every day after brushing.
Flakes fall from the coat to the ground in normal movement.
These photos are of a 7 month old Puppy
 Treatments usually rely on increased hygiene measures with frequent brushing and Kerato-regulating Shampoos,
weekly emollients and providing a fatty acid-enriched diet.
To date there is no specific or effective treatment for Ichthyosis currently available.
Ichthyosis is not a new disease but a condition that has been with us for many years,
it is a common inherited dermatosis observed in Golden Retrievers World wide.
What is new is the DNA Test now available to Breeders to use as a tool in controlling this disease 
and slowly breed it out.
This disease occurs in many breeds of dogs and is also a common condition in humans.
 Until recently Breeders in Australia and New Zealand did not know what caused the flaking in certain puppies.
Veterinarians were of the belief the flaking was caused through allergies, poor diet or hormones, 
as they had never heard of Ichthyosis.
Flaking in ears causes Inflamation
Flaking in ears causes on going inflammation
Inflammation, Skin Starting to Flake
Skin Flaking with Inflammation
Foot Inflamed from Scaling
Flaking between paw pads causes Inflammation
Ichthy skin colour
Skin looks a dirty colour
Every day flaking
Flakes drop when moving
Ichthyosis is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, a Golden Retriever must inherit 2 (one from each parent) 
defective copies of the mutated gene, to be affected by the disease.
By having a simple autosomal recessive mode of inheritance, and by using careful selection, 
Ichthyosis is not difficult to breed out.
I have DNA Tested my Goldens and their status has been added under their profiles on this website, 
all my puppies bred will be either Clear or Carriers.
My Litters bred out of a Carrier or Affected Bitch to a Clear Dog, Puppies will be DNA Tested
and a Certificate produced stating their status for their Puppy Health Information folders.
As each litter of breeding progresses this disease will be bred out of my lines without loosing any of the gene pool,
I will still look for the best of everything we need to consider in a Golden before considering a Clear over a Carrier.
Below are listed links to the site where the DNA Test is performed, 
this link has all information for attaining Test Kits and Costs.

Antagene Laboratory - Immeuble Le Meltem - 2, allée des Séquoias - 69578 Limonest cedex - France
USA OptiGen®, LLC - Cornell Business & Technology Park - 767 Warren Road, Suite 300 - Ithaca, New York 14850

Testing can now be done in Australia through Orivet Genetic Pet Care
Breeders Personal Thoughts on this Disease:
Ichthyosis is NOT by far the worst problem we see in our breed, but it is a disease we have control over with Genetic Testing.
Not all Golden Retrievers Affected with Ichthyosis are badly Affected, some are only lightly Affected
and only have minor flaking, where as others badly Affected can have many problems,
as a Genetic defect of the Skin a Golden who is Affected has this problem for life, 
it does not just disappear or heal itself.
If Breeders are being proactive and informed on this disease, with DNA Testing
and knowing the status of our breeding Golden Retrievers there is no longer any excuse for breeding Affected Puppies.
 The dropping of skin flakes throughout the home when inside does not in my opinion
make for a healthy living environment for humans and especially young children.
Golden Retrievers are a family member and should be in the homes with their families, 
not locked outside because of Flaking Skin.
Make sure the diet is correct as a "Hot Spot" of fungal infection can become an expensive trip to the Vet
and cause suffering for the puppy, this disease could easily have been avoided.
I don't believe you need to keep a puppy just because it is Ichthyosis Clear, 
there are other considerations which I feel come first in selecting a Golden for Breeding, 
and I will always choose a Carrier over a Clear if the Carrier is closer to the Golden Retriever Standard
than the Clear in what I look for in a Golden Retriever for Breeding.
It is an added bonus if the best puppy DNA tests Clear, but all is not lost in keeping a Carrier to run on, 
so long as the Carrier is bred to a Clear.
An Ichthyosis Affected or Carrier Golden Retriever should only be Bred 
to a Clear Golden Retriever.
As Breeders we should be breeding for the betterment of our breed.
Treatments I use to control Ichthyosis:
After 8 weeks of this diet there is a major improvement in the skin
After 20 months of trial and error I have found a Raw Diet and Good Hygiene is working for "Miss Sahvahna",
who has gone from massive flaking all over her body, Skin Infections, and Inflammation in her Ears,
between her Paw Pads (due to the continual flaking) to being Flake and Inflammation free.

She started on her new trial of diet and hygiene in November 2012, after 7 weeks her skin was clear, 
and no inflammation in her Ears or Paw Pads.
This is the first time since Miss Sahvahna's birth that her Ichthyosis is finally under control.
We have also trialed on another Golden Puppy now 7 months old, 
who was having the same problems and he has had very good results as well.
Our hot, humid climatic conditions here in the Northern Territory cause Ichthyosis to be very hard to control, 
heat stress is a major factor in flaking breaking out and insect bites need treatment instantly to stop infections.
 Miss Sahvahna always has an outbreak when she is coming into season and for at least a month after, 
then I am able to control the flaking again.

RAW- fresh Vegetables and Fruit, broken down in the blender to aid digestion,
and a meat which can be any of these - Kangaroo (Human Grade), Turkey, Chicken,
Chicken Necks & wings broken in half and Lamb Shanks, Salmon, and Organ meats.

VET'S ALL NATURAL SENSETIVE SKIN is also good to use and add RAW MEAT 
according to instructions on the bag.

When looking for food, I choose food free from -  NO Artificial Colours, NO Artificial Preservatives, 
NO Artificial Flavourings, Antibiotic Free, Hormone Free and GMO Free. 

Is very important, be very careful to keep the coat clean and well brushed.
When Miss Sahvahna was flaking badly, I found Garnier Fructis Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with 
Antibacterial Action and Scalp Exfoliator was a great Shampoo to use twice
in the week before a Show, the last bath being the day before the Show.


I do hope this page is of help to those who are seeking to try and control the
Ichthyosis in their Golden Retrievers, I am happy for you to e-mail me at outbackgoldens@gmail.com



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