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This is a Skin & Connective Tissues condition.

Skin Fragility Syndrome

What is Skin Fragility Syndrome?

This condition causes dogs to have extremely fragile skin that is prone to tearing or abrasion, which can be managed with close monitoring and supportive care. In Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, ED arises from a mutation in plakophilin-1 gene, which is necessary for cell-to-cell connections called desmosomes. Within the skin, desmosomes function to keep skin cells "buttoned" together such that they move and act together as a true layer of skin. Defective desmosomes means that the skin isn’t tightly connected, and so tears and abrades easily with pressure.

What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?

Affected dogs have skin that is injured easily.

When do signs and symptoms develop?

Signs first appear in puppies.

How do vets diagnose this condition?

Genetic testing, skin biopsy, and clinical signs can be used to diagnose this condition.

How is this condition treated?

There is no treatment currently for this condition, and multiple different techniques may need to be used to make sure an affected dog will heal from an injury.