Non-epidermolytic ichthyosis in rabbit- case report


Dr Spas Spasov

Dr Spas Spasov
United Veterinary Clinic


   Case presentation:

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.


 Diagnostic approach.

*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.spas-1spas



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