What is ICT and how does this condition affect me and my pet?
Ichthyosis (ICT) results in a profusion of dandruff. ICT is generally not dangerous to a dog's health, but can be unsightly, and uncomfortable for the dog. ICH-A is frequently related to other health issues such as yeast overgrowth and fungal infections. An affected (has ICT) dog will usually require more care with special shampoos and treatments.
ICT is an autosomal recessive genetic mutation that affects the skin of Golden Retrievers. Therefore to pass ICT to any offspring, both parents must carry a copy of the mutation. An "affected" dog has two copies of the gene and therefore has the disease. A "carrier" has one copy of the genetic mutation and will not have the disease, but could pass it on if bred with another carrier or and affected dog.
An ICT "clear" dog does not have the genetic mutation anywhere in their DNA and therefore cannot pass it on. Since to have an affected dog requires getting an ICT gene from each parent, an ICT clear dog can be bred with either a carrier or an affected dog and no offspring will have the disease. A majority of the Golden Retrievers are carriers of the gene responsible for the disease, about 50%. An estimated 30% are affected and the remaining 20% are clear. A reliable DNA test can screen stud dogs and brood bitches, in order to adapt matings and avoid birth of affected puppies and spread of the disease in the breed. We have tested all of our breeding dogs to make sure this disease is not passed on.
When researching for your next new family addition, this would be an important question to ask. If the breeder does not know it is likely that they haven't tested their dogs and quite possibly they have affected dogs. At Good Gracious Goldens we have made it our priority to only breed dogs that will continue to better the Golden Retriever breed. All of our litters will be either "Carriers" (which will not have any symptoms of the condition!) Or they will be ICT Clear, which is VERY hard to find among Golden Retrievers, and is part of the reason we priced the ICT CLEAR litter higher. As we have gone to great lengths to produce this quality of puppies.