Ichthyosis, Epidermolytic Hyperkeratosis

skin & connective tissue

This skin disorder gets its name from the thick, darkly pigmented scales of skin ("ichthys" is Greek for "fish") that affected dogs display on their noses, paw pads, and muzzles.

  • Signs and symptoms

    Ichthyotic 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.

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  • 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 a 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 mutation was first identified in Norfolk Terriers.

    This mutation has an autosomal recessive inheritance, meaning that dogs must have two copies of the mutation in order to show clinical signs of Ichthyosis.

    Gene names:

    KRT10 (Intron 5) ‐ chr

    Inheritance type:


  • Breeds affected

    This health condition affects the following breeds

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