I am a student researcher at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and I am currently investigating a very rare, but severe genetic skin disease affecting Labrador Retrievers. Since the condition is usually only seen in pups (as early as 2 weeks), I am reaching out to breeders (or new puppy owners) in order to locate potentially affected dogs and, hopefully obtain blood samples for DNA testing and analysis of the disease. Any and all information will be kept 100% confidential. Please feel free to repost this or reply with any questions or concerns. I have provided more specific information on the disease below.
Thanks so much!
Class of 2015
At the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, we have been investigating the genetic basis of a severe and rapidly progressing skin disease found sporadically in Labrador Retrievers. This condition may be a form of Ichthyosis, a group of scaly skin disorders that are usually inherited and found in a variety of breeds, such as Golden Retrievers and American Bulldogs. In Labradors, the condition is characterized by generalized areas of scaling, with more severe scaling present on the trunk and limbs. The skin appears dry, with large plate-like scales, and can become itchy due to secondary skin infections. Hyperkeratosis or scaling of the footpads may also be present. Affected dogs can lose their normal resistance to infectious agents in the environment (bacteria, and yeast) and develop secondary skin infections or demodicosis (skin mites). In the past, breeders have been able to recognize the disease shortly after birth, after which time the severity of the disease progresses rapidly and often necessitates euthanasia. While we believe the condition is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait (thus both parents would be carriers), the exact mode of inheritance is still under investigation. Our main goal is to identify the mutation responsible for this disease in the Labrador, and create a genetic test to help develop breeding programs to eliminate it from the bloodline, without losing high quality breeding stock. For this, we would need a blood sample from affected dogs and/or their parents to make DNA for these tests.
If you have a Labrador with the following features and would be willing to help us find a method to diagnosis and eliminate this problem from this breed, please contact us.
1) Severe scaling or plaques (usually noticed when the dog was less than one year of age).
2) Prior examination by a veterinarian to rule out common skin conditions (e.g. mange, skin allergies).
3) If you own a parent of an affected dog.
*ALL INFORMATION IS HANDLED CONFIDENTIALLY*
STOP SPAMMING MY FORUM!
OP - please ignore nut case above - THANK YOU for the research you are doing!