Rabbit nine months old , female entire.She was presented to the clinic with a history of progressive hair loss over the last two months. The rabbit came as a second opinion from another practice where she was treated for mange mites for a month with Doramectin and a month treatment for dermatophytes without result of both treatments.
A clinical examination found:
Generalised alopecia, yellow crusty skin,pododermatitis over the pelvic limbs and abnormal skin elasticity.
*microscopic examination- Negative for ectoparasites *Punch biopsy- There is diffuse thickening of the epidermis characterized by laminated stratum corneum with disproportionate thickness than the underlying nucleated epidermis. Focal parakeratosis is also present. The epidermis is mildly to moderately achantotic. The follicular infundibulum is greatly distended by keratin. The granular layer of the epidermis exhibits different sizes of keratohyalin granules (hypergranulosis). Superficial dermis lacks follicular and adnexal structures. Few intact sebaceous glands are present. There is no evidence of neoplastic cells, parasitic/mycotic/fungal or bacterial elements in the examinated sections. The histological appearace is consistent with non-epidermolytic ichthyosis.
Treatment was undertaken to support body hydration, using megaderm( omega three and six fatty acids,linolenic acid,GLA,EPA,DHA )in order to strengthen the skin structure. pain medication(meloxicam 0.2mg/kg ), and antibiotic therapy(Procaine penicillin 150,000 IU per mL. Benzathine penicillin 150,000 IU per mL. ) to control the bacterial infection of the feet. There was an option for treatment microneedle therapy, but the sample for histopathological study did not showed hair follicles.
After one month of therapy the rabbits skin had significantly improved. However pododermatitis had worsened and abscesses had formed over the limbs. Due to failure of antibiotic therapy and deteriorationof pododermatitis, the decision was to euthanase the rabbit.
Ichthyosis is a inherited genetic disorder that occurs both in humans and in animals characterized by diffuse keratinization of the surface layer of the skin. The disease develops as a result of gene mutation that is passed from generation to generation.
Ichthyosis studies are more for dogs and cats, and not so much about rabbits. There is not much information regarding the classification of rabbit Ichthyosis and details of treatment or maintenance therapy.
Affected BreedsThe West Highland White Terrier and the Golden Retriever are the breeds most predisposed to this disease.