Researchers of the Uppsala university and Åke Hedhammar, SLU, Sweden, identified what they believe is a gene involved with atopic dermatitis (atopy).
The PKP-2 gene encodes for a protein that is crucial for formation and proper function of skin.
Atopy is a genetic predisposition to allergic skin disease. It is a condition similar to hay fever in humans, except with dogs it results in itchy skin and can lead to secondary infections.
The researchers from Uppsala University, SLU and Broad Institute, compared DNA samples from a large group of purebred German shepherd dogs affected by atopic dermatitis with the DNA coming from healthy dogs.
Certain variants of the PKP-2 gene seems to be behind increased risk of developing the disease.
This knowledge might lead to better long term treatment strategies, as well as it might allow the development of genetic screening for the disease.
It make sense that the lack of proper skin barrier would cause trouble.
Source article: Gene Associated With Eczema in Dogs Identified