Tag archives: Skin disease

Prevention is Smart Breeding- Ichthyosis and the Norfolk Terrier

Prevention is Smart Breeding- Ichthyosis and the Norfolk Terrier

There are few dog breeds that can match the spirit and spunk of the Norfolk terrier. Prior to the recognition of the Norfolk terrier as its own independent breed, this small, English bred working terrier fell under the Norwich terrier banner, in which either drop or prick ears were recognized as acceptable traits. With time, Norwich breeders began to differentiate dogs based upon ear carriage. The drop eared members of the breed eventually became known as the Norfolk terrier, thereby splitting the breed into two very similar, yet distinct lines. The Norfolk terrier was officially recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1964 and by the American Kennel Club in 1979. Two independent breed standards were established for these breeds and despite their common roots, the breeds have diverged slightly in their physical appearance over the past few decades. The Norfolk terrier is well known for their energy, loyalty, bravery, and affectionate demeanor. Breeders of the Norfolk terrier take pride in producing dogs with great temperament while maintaining the breed’s ability to work. That being said, today’s Norfolk terrier is more commonly found in homes as a companion animal rather than fulfilling its original purpose of hunting rodents and other ...

Preventing Ectodermal Dysplasia/Skin Fragility Syndrome in the Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Preventing Ectodermal Dysplasia/Skin Fragility Syndrome in the Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Like other popular retrieving breeds such as the Labrador, golden, and flat coated retrievers, the American bred, Chesapeake Bay retriever can trace its roots back to the St. John’s water dog, a purpose bred dog originating in the Canadian providence of Newfoundland. With its wavy and slightly oily, waterproof coat, the Chessie has become a prominent fixture at the side of bird hunting enthusiasts since its development in the 19th century. Not surprising to those that have lived and worked with a great Chesapeake, the breed has increased in popularity in the US over the past several years as indicated by their jump in the AKC registration rankings from 49th in 2009 to 40th in 2014. Unfortunately, like other pure bred dogs, along its path to modern popularity the Chesapeake has developed some inherited genetic disease concerns that are known to cause medical issues for some dogs and can be a source of heartache for those that love them. One particularly severe, inherited condition unique to the Chesapeake Bay retriever, is a condition known as ectodermal dysplasia or skin fragility syndrome (ED/SFS).

What is ED/SFS?

ED/SFS is a severe, inherited disease in which affected dogs are ...

Exercise-Induced Collapse and Hereditary Nasal Parakeratosis in the Labrador Retriever

Exercise-Induced Collapse and Hereditary Nasal Parakeratosis in the Labrador Retriever

In this third part of a four part blog series examining preventable inherited diseases in the Labrador retriever (See previous blogs here; part one and part two) we will be examining a relatively common neuromuscular condition known as exercise-induced collapse and a skin disorder unique to the Labrador known as hereditary nasal parakeratosis.

Exercise-Induced Collapse

There aren’t many inherited diseases more concerning to Labrador lovers than exercise-induced collapse (EIC). This potentially fatal condition caused by a mutation in the DNM1 gene results in an inability to produce adequate amounts of a protein called dynamin 1, which plays an important role in nerve signal transmission in the body. As its name suggests, dogs affected with EIC typically present during periods of intense exercise, often before 2 years of age. During an episode of collapse, affected dogs will commonly develop an awkward, wobbly gait that progresses to severe weakness, dragging of the hind limbs, and collapse lasting for 5 to 10 minutes. Though unable to rise, dogs experiencing an episode of collapse are usually mentally alert and pain-free. Most dogs completely recover within 30 minutes and appear normal between episodes. Most concerning however, is that in some cases affected dogs can progress ...

Why is my dog so itchy? Part 3: Lice and Mites

Why is my dog so itchy? Part 3: Lice and Mites

Click for Part 1 and Part 2 of this ongoing blog about itchy dogs.

Though many itchy dogs suffer from food or environmental allergies (as discussed in previous blogs of this series), parasites of the skin and hair coat (called ectoparasites) are another important cause of itchiness in our canine companions. In fact, performing parasite testing should be considered a veterinary standard for itchy dogs. Ruling out parasitic causes of itchiness is important because they can greatly complicate diagnosis and treatment of other skin related diseases. Though there are many individual species, in this and the next blog in this series we will examine four general groups of ectoparasites that infest our dogs.

Lice

The first experience I can recall involving lice was in elementary school; a time period in life when an infestation of head lice could turn any otherwise sanitary, well-meaning child into the classroom leper. Luckily for us dog owners, we don’t need to fret much about our own health if our canine children come down with an infestation of lice as they tend to be very species-specific in regards to which creatures they choose to call home.

Lice come in two main varieties; chewing lice and ...

Does Paw Print Genetics do Ichthyosis Testing?

Does Paw Print Genetics do Ichthyosis Testing?

The Golden Retriever’s easy going, gentle demeanor combined with their robustness of body, eagerness to please, and significant intelligence have consistently kept them near the top of the most popular American dogs for many years.  As a result, Paw Print Genetics frequently comes in contact with golden retriever owners and breeders looking for specific genetic tests to help make sure their dogs are going to be healthy, and in addition, that their favorite breeding sire or dam is not a carrier for a recessive disease that may be inherited by their offspring.

One of the genetic diseases most commonly tested for in Golden Retrievers is the skin disease, ichthyosis.  Ichthyosis is an autosomal recessive disease occurring due to mutations in the PNPLA1 gene and can be seen as early as the first few weeks of life in affected animals (to be affected, dogs must carry two copies of the mutated gene, one from each parent).  The prefix of the word, “ichthy-”, comes from the Greek word, “ikhthus”, meaning fish.  This is in reference to the fish-like dermal scales that characterize this disease.  Most commonly, dogs present with mild to severe generalized skin scaling of ...