skin & connective tissue

Ichthyosis is derived from the Greek root “ichthy,” meaning fish, and was so named due to the visible scales on the skin. Affected dogs may develop generalized severe greyish scales, mild redness of the skin, less hair than normal, and specific areas of hair loss. Dogs may also have blackheads on their belly. Some dogs develop secondary bacterial skin infections that may make diagnosis difficult and contribute to itching.

  • Signs and symptoms

    Affected dogs typically have large, greasy flakes of dandruff but aren't itchy. The scales of skin can get so thick that they can crack and cause fissures, leading to considerable discomfort.

    As puppies, affected dogs can show signs of scaling. This disease tends to worsen with age.

    Uncover health risks with Embark

    Embark Breed + Health Test

    Original price:


    Sale price:



    Embark for Breeders Dog DNA Test

    $129 - $159


  • Diagnosis

    Examining the characteristic lesions is the first step in diagnosing Ichthyosis. Confirmatory genetic testing and/or skin biopsies can also be performed.

  • Treatment

    There is no definitive treatment for Ichthyosis: typically, ichthyotic dogs are maintained on the continuous treatment of mild anti-dandruff shampoos and moisturizing rinses. This is a chronic and frustrating condition to manage.

  • What to do if your dog is at risk


    • Following your veterinarian's advice on skin care and nutrition is the best way to manage Ichthyosis.

  • Genetic Information

    This variant was first identified in the German Shepherd Dog.

    This variant has a dominant mode of inheritance, meaning that dogs with one or two copies of the variant may show clinical signs of Ichthyosis.

    Gene names:

    ASPRV1 Exon 2 ‐ chr

    Inheritance type:


  • Breeds affected

    This health condition affects the following breeds

Learn about your dog’s unique genetic health

Dog owners

Breed identification, health and trait insights, personalized care recommendations, and the world’s first canine relative finder—all in one leading dog DNA test.

Learn about the report for dog owners
Shop the test
Breeding programs

Embark’s test for breeding programs is one comprehensive DNA test designed with your needs in mind.

Learn about the report for breeders
Shop the test