Retriever with ichthyosis - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:23 PM
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Question Retriever with ichthyosis

Hi, I've never participated in a forum before, but I feel the need to share my experience and get some feedback from others with a similar problem.

We are based in the UK and our lovely Retriever, Dino, has Ichthyosis. He is now 3 years old and was diagnosed when he was 14 months old. Basically he had all the symptoms from day one but the vets didn't know what it was and we tried all sorts of the usual treatments, shampoo, different diet etc but to no avail. It's rare over here and the skin specialist I ultimately took him to had only seen 3 cases in 25 years! So I couldn't blame the locals for not recognising it.

Since diagnosis we have been following suggestions for controlling the condition. (For anyone who doesn't know, and is interested, it's basically dandruff on a massive scale) He has dried food which is high in oils and I supplement this with an egg and 5 x Oil of Evening Primrose 1000mgs capsules, plus a small sachet of 'wet' food because he likes it better that way. This he gets once a day. He is groomed thoroughly using a close toothed comb at least once a week. I vaccuum thoroughly after this of course. He's so docile I have even used the vaccuum on him, very gently, and he just lies there. I use Teatree shampoo when I bathe him (about every 2 weeks) and as a final rinse I mix a good squirt of Johnsons Baby Lotion in a jug of water and pour/massage this emulsion into his neck and shoulders (his worst areas). He does have a problem with smelly feet and I put this down to the fact they are always damp and he has a lot of fur between his pads, so I keep them as clipped out as possible and dip them from time to time in a very mild solution of Savlon antiseptic (more gentle than Dettol!)

I have to say none of this bothers him at all. There's no itchiness, no sores and he loves all the grooming! What I would like to know is, have there been any developements in the available treatments since 2011? Is there anyone out there with any suggestions? For example does all the grooming make it worse? Is there something else we could be doing? Some might ask why didn't we return him or have him euthanased when we knew the problem? Well, he is the best of dogs and that much was obvious within weeks of knowing him, before we knew his problem was permanent. In our world our dogs are our child substitutes now that the children have grown and moved away. He is not suffering, far from it, and if he was,trust me, our decision would immediate, agonising and heartbreaking. He is an absolute gentlleman, absolutely trustworthy with other dogs and children and everyone who meets him wants their dog to take note and be a bit more like him. He is much loved and I would move mountains if I thought it would help his problems.

Sorry, seems to be very long post. Anybody have any thoughts? Charlotte
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:29 PM
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Hi Charlotte, I don't have any advice for you but I'm sure somebody will. I just wanted to welcome you to GRF. I would love to see pics of Dino when you get time. We're kind of addicted to pics around here
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:50 PM
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There are several members that posted about it. You can do a search on itchthyosis under the forum.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:11 PM
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Hello from another Charlotte.
No advice on Dino's condition but rest assured, no one here would dream of suggesting you should have returned your boy or anything else.
There are lots of informed people on this forum, you are sure to find some good advice.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:16 PM
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I don't have any info to offer you, but wanted you to know that no one on this forum would ever question the fact that you kept Dino and didn't return him to the breeder or put him down. I myself have a Golden with numerous allergies and a thyroid disorder. Her upkeep is very similar to yours and it is a full time job. We love and accept for who she is, even though she is a wholly handful. I hope you get some useful info for your boy. My best to you and Dino.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:05 PM
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Icthyosis is likely as wide spread on that side of the pond as it is here. Most Veterinarians just dismiss it as puppy dander or mild allergies and leave it at that unless it's a severe case. A large portion of the gene pool is involved (affected or carriers), so this is something that has likely been with the breed from the beginning. It is nice to now have the genetic test available, so the disease can be bred out over time.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:08 PM
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I did a search and did not find much. Let alone that I cannot spell the darn thing. I am trying to remember the threads where it was mentioned. One thing for sure I will be testing my pup for it.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:29 PM
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Hi Charlotte and welcome!
Swampcollie has it spot on with his post. About 60-70% of the goldens being DNA tested are coming back as either carriers or affected, so it's very widespread in the breed. It is, according to Optigen's website, as prevalent there as it is here. Other websites say the form found in the UK lines is more severe than that found here, but I don't know that to be true. Also, the form found in goldens overall is not as bad as that found in other breeds.
We do have a DNA test for it now, so hopefully breeders will be selective and not breed carrier x carrier, or carrier x affected, and certainly not affected x affected.
There are no new treatments that I know of. Since it appears to be a lipid disorder, there is anecdotal evidence that fish oil is helpful.
My Toby had ichthyosis, but we never knew it. The vet just thought it was puppy dandruff or allergies. Then it went away for quite a few years, and came back when he was much older and under stress from other physical ailments. That appears to be the general pattern of ichthyosis.
And no one here would EVER suggest you give back, or euthanize, your dog because of Icthyosis. In the "great cosmic scheme of things", it's pretty mild compared to a lot of the other things that goldens are prone to.
Looking forward to pictures of your boy!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampcollie View Post
Icthyosis is likely as wide spread on that side of the pond as it is here. Most Veterinarians just dismiss it as puppy dander or mild allergies and leave it at that unless it's a severe case. A large portion of the gene pool is involved (affected or carriers), so this is something that has likely been with the breed from the beginning. It is nice to now have the genetic test available, so the disease can be bred out over time.
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Claudia M (01-24-2013)
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:28 PM
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3 Dino leaping like a salmon! He's not hanging off that tree, he's trying to catch a snowball! Thanks for all the wonderful messages. And particular thanks to hotel4dogs for the information. I've posted another pic of the boy in the Adult dogs section of the Gallery, he is looking gorgeous, but then all Retrievers are gorgeous aren't they? There's been one in my life for the forty years (Dino is my 6th) and I can't imagine being without one. Must go supposed to be at work! Thanks again, Charlotte

PS How do I post a pic? I've tried twice and it hasn't worked and now I'm in trouble with the boss!

Last edited by Charlotteanddino; 01-25-2013 at 01:31 PM. Reason: No picture????
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:37 AM
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I have a 13 month old dog with DNA tested icthyosis. He is lovely and has a super character but leaves "snow" all over the house. I find that food is the major factor in controling this problem. On R.C. or Hills is was awful but on Acana pacifica or Orijen fish all the "snow" went away. Unfortunately he has trouble digesting these foods (diahrea can't spell!!) so I am now looking for something he can digest which will work. Can anyone help. I live in France so do not have a huge choice. He also has Efamol capsuls (500mgs), Omega 3 & 6 capsuls and Essential 6 spot on every week. This helps but the food seems to be the main problem.

I informed the breeder who never returned my calls or emails. I hope they are testing their bitches as Grit's father is their main stud dog.

Looking forward to hearing from you Roo
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