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Types & Classifications of Dog Albinism Do all Albino Dogs Have Red Eyes? Dog Albinism Characteristics Albinism in Different Dog Breeds How to Know if the Dog is Albino? 150 Names for White Dogs Albinism in Dog Breed Standards How Common are Albino Dogs? Dog Albinism vs Dog Behavior Do albino dogs have health issues? How rare is a albino dog? What does it mean if a dog is albino? How much is an albino dog worth? White Dogs vs Albino Dogs Albino Dog vs Albino Human Albino Dog vs Albino Cat Partial Albinism in Dogs What is an Albino Dog? What Causes Dog Albinism? Albino Dogs and Puppies Dog Coat Genetics & DNA Albino Dogs Life Longevity Partial Albinism in Dogs Deafness in Albino Dogs Albino Dog Eyes Color Redness in Albino Dogs Are all Albino Dogs Deaf? Unique Colored Dogs Albino Dogs Care & Lifespan Dog Albinism History Albino Gene in Dogs Albino Dogs Care Albino Dogs Health Albino Dog Names Merle-Colored Dogs Albino In Dogs Dog Albinism Albino Dobermans
Albinism in Dogs Albinism is the lack of pigment melanin in skin, hair and eyes.
Tyrosinase is one gene that causes some forms of albinisim in mice and people and cows. Most researchers have equated the C locus with tyrosinase because of albino mutations in this locus. Animals with mutations in tyrosinase can also be white or white haired with colored points. Little discussed albinism in dogs as caused by a genotype of caca at the C locus, but that this condition was probably rare.
A completely pure white animal with pink eyes and pale pink skin is considered albino, and is technically referred to as tyrosinase-negative. Tyrosinase is an enzyme involved in melanin production, and melanin is the natural substance that gives color or pigment, to the eyes, skin, and hair.
In November 1976, a mutation occurred with the whelping of a cream-colored Doberman. Her sire, dam, and littermates were normal colored black and tans. She had pale blue eyes, pink nose, eye rims, pads and membranes. Where tan markings would be, were albino.
She was bred to a dominant black male, producing 14 black and tan pups. A male and female were kept and all ran loose. Her son sired her next litter, which contained two albino males. He was also bred to his sister and her litter contained two albino bitches. Later, these albinos were bred together producing all albinos. These dogs have been highly inbred and have multiplied at an enormous rate. While we can readily identify an albino, we cannot detect the mutant gene, which is carried by a great many of our normal-colored dogs. It has been proven that the albino mutation is not related to our dilution genes (blue and fawn).
There are four colors of the Doberman Pinscher: Black, Red, Blue and Fawn with rust markings. These are the accepted colors.
Tests were done to prove that these Dobermans are in fact albino. They are usually cream to white in color with white markings where the rust would normally be. They have blue eyes instead of the red/pink that you usually see in albino animals but the membranes - nose, around the eyes, etc. are pink. The albino is a mutated gene that has not yet been identified in our Doberman Pinschers, even after The DPCA employed the services of several noted geneticists, vets, and color experts as well as purchasing two albino bitches for test breedings. They also conducted many scientific studies of hair, skin and eyes by professionals at leading universities.
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America did everything they could to keep these dogs from being allowed registration through AKC in hopes of keeping them from being bred further into the Doberman blood lines. AKC said no and the DPCA changed their standard to disqualify this color so that it could not be shown in AKC shows. AKC agreed to mark the bloodlines that carry this mutated gene with a Z on the registration papers. This was to help the ethical breeders to recognize these lines so they knew not to add them into their breeding program. In 1982, the AKC approved the DPCA's amendment to the Doberman standard disqualifying - dogs not of an allowed color. This prevented the albino's from being shown in the conformation ring, but unfortunately does not stop the continued breeding of these mutant Dobermans. The AKC had refused DPCA's request to cancel any registration of albino Dobermans.
The results after a 5 year study conducted by the DPCA and its consultants, concluded these mutants were correctly termed, "albino or tyrosine positive, partial albino or tyrosine negative which suffer from hypo-melanocytic disease."
It is important to note here that partial albinos are still albinos. Albinism is a deleterious mutation which affects the whole body. This mutated gene has come from intense inbreeding as mentioned earlier in the article. Albinos are very sensitive to sunlight, and are prone to skin cancer and skin lesions due to their lack of skin pigmentation. Many, if not most, have unstable temperaments due to the intense inbreeding.
Ethical breeders adhere to the DPCA code of ethics. Since the albino is a disqualified color, and the lines are easily identified when they are researching pedigrees, you would not find an ethical breeder with albino lines. On top of that, the early albinos were so inbred that unstable temperaments were a serious issue. Even though the first were bred over 20 years ago, what is in a bloodline will always crop back up in the line sooner or later. This is why now you might have a more stable temperament. But the goal with all breeding programs is to maintain the highest breed standards not dilute them.
In the mid 1970's, a spontaneous MUTATION in a litter sired by RASPUTIN VI and the dam DYNAMO HUMM occurred, this was a white APPEARING female that was eventually registered by the AKC as a "white", named PADULA'S QUEEN SHEBA. Sheba was the first such Doberman ever registered by the AKC. Testing on Sheba's hair and test breedings with Sheba's offspring have proven that she is "A TYROSINE POSITIVE ALBINO" and NOT WHITE at all. She was erroneously registered by the AKC as such which does not register albinos. Sheba was subsequently bred back to one of her sons, producing 2 white bitches... Albinism does occur in dogs, but it is definitely hereditary. Albino Doberman pinschers are being bred that are marked just like normal Dobermans but without pigment. However, this condition is considered a genetic disorder, not an unsual color, although one can find the odd dog breeder who tries to hawk a rare white Doberman.
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Albinism in dogs isn't a specific breed, but is a rare, genetic mutation known as tyrosinase (full albino) or tyrosinase-positive (partial albino). Albinism causes a complete lack of pigmentation, including of the skin, hair, and eyes as well as the blood vessels, resulting in a pinkish tinge.
There are two main types of albinism: Oculocutaneous - eyes, skin, and hair. Ocular - just eyes.
There are also different levels of albinism, and different types within those two classifications. In fact, until recently, a lot of people denied they even existed. Sure, white dogs are everywhere!
But albino dogs aren't just white - they a complete or almost complete lack of pigment in the fur, skin, eyes, and nose. True albino dogs with no pigment at all are extremely rare.
In 1976, a white female Doberman Pinscher named Padula's Queen Shebah was born to two black and rust parents. Shebah was bred to her son to produce more white Dobermans. Since then, several thousand Dobermans, many of them white, have descended from Shebah. Although they are called white, they are actually light cream, with blue eyes and pink nose, lips and eye rims. The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA), backed by several geneticists, contended they were albinos. But many of their breeders insisted they weren't because they didn't fit the image of the prototypical albino with white fur and pink eyes.
Dobermans are the only breed in which albinos appear to be purposefully bred, very much against the wishes of the DPCA. They squint in bright light, and they're prone to sunburn, which may lead to skin tumors. A recent study (Winkler PA, Gornik KR, Ramsey DT, Dubielzig RR, Venta PJ, et al. (2014) found albino Dobes had a much higher incidence of eye and skin melanocytic tumors than normally pigmented Dobes.
What Causes Albinism? A completely pure white animal with pink eyes and pale pink skin is considered albino, and is technically referred to as tyrosinase-negative. Tyrosinase is an enzyme involved in melanin production, and melanin is the natural substance that gives color (or pigment) to the eyes, skin, and hair. Albinism is a lack or defect of this enzyme and is caused by a recessive gene that is inherited from both parents. Many true albino dogs will suffer from deafness because the unpigmented skin in the ear canal causes the nerve endings to degenerate.
The truth is, more than 60 different gene mutations in various species are known to cause albinism, often with slightly different effects. Light fur with blue eyes is typical of the most common type of albinism, oculocutaneous albinism type 2 (OCA2), in humans. It is now acknowledged that white Dobermans are in fact albinos, and the causative gene has recently been discovered.
The mutation is not a part of any of the known dog color loci. This includes the C series, where mutations causing albinism in many others species, including cats, rats and mice, have been identified. However, mutations in SLC45A2 cause the OCA4 type of albinism responsible for cream-colored Bengal tigers, horses, and gorillas, as well as some albino humans.
But Dobes are not the only breed with albinos. Pekingese seem to have the second largest number, but they have also been seen in Shih Tzu, Poodles, Pit Bulls, Beagles, Pugs, Dachshunds and doubtless, many others. In the few individuals tested, they don't seem to share the same mutant gene with the albino Dobes, nor do they seem to share the C-series allele seen in so many other domestic albino animals. In no breed is the purposeful breeding of these dogs encouraged. Nonetheless, if you have one, they make fine companions but you need to take steps to keep them from being dazzled by bright light or from getting sunburned.
Despite the fact that albinism is equally rare among all vertebrates from humans to fish and birds, the real albino dogs are even rarer due to two reasons. The first reason is that the most "albino" dogs pictures on the internet depicting pretty normal dogs with white fur. The second one, it's a bit hard to figure out if your dog is real albino.
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Without genetic testing, the true albino dog can be determined most easily by a close inspection of his nose and eyes. Like albino cats, the eyes and the tissue surrounding the eye sockets of albino dogs appear to exhibit a pinkish hue. The pink in both eyes and skin is not true pink, though. What seems to be pink is actually the result of diffused blood flow in these areas. Note the pale pink of the skin surrounding this albino Maltese's eyes and on its nose:
The pink of an albino dog's eyes, nose, and the skin, especially surrounding the eyes and mouth, will appear to be very pale, even bleached out. An albino dog's eyes themselves may retain some minor pigmentation, but this coloration, too, is pale or translucent in nature. The lack of melanin and pigmentation in a dog's skin puts these dogs at higher risk, not only for sunburn, but also for developing skin cancers. Note the absence of color on the nose and around the eye sockets:
An albino is an organism that is unable to produce the pigment melanin. Melanin decides what color eyes, hair, feathers, skin, scales, or fur we all have. Not all albino animals have red eyes, but they are still indeed albino. Those with red eyes simply lack the ocular pigment that would normally hide the sight of blood flowing through retinal blood vessels. Some pets where white is their dominant color, but may have patches of other pigment, could still thought of as albino, or partially so. What this means is those spots on your pets body still have melanin producing apparatuses. Albinism so far affects every vertebrate mammal species.
The most visible effect of in-born genetic deviation known as albinism is the lack of pigment melanin in skin, hair and eyes. However, most of the time even in albinos' eyes are enough pigment to make them look not freaky pinkish red, so not all albinos have red eyes. This is true for humans, for dogs and any other creature affected by albinism.
Most normal dogs are black. Their fur could be even white, but underneath they are all black from nose to tail. If you want to determine the real albino dog, look at its nose: it should be light pink in color. Not like pig's snout but much lighter and cleaner looking. But this is not enough. Another thing you should note is the dog's eyelids. Albino's eyes could be pretty dark but the eyelids will tell everything.
REAL vs FAKE ALBINO DOGS EXAMPLES These are real albino dogs. You can say it by its nose and eyelids color. Note that the skin of this dog is the same light pink color as its tongue and lips. Though, the eyes are not red at all, they are lighter than the normal dogs' eyes.
This is fake albino. Or, better to say, not albino at all. This is pretty normal and very handsome American Eskimo with snow white fur which is common for the bread. Note its charcoal black eyelids.
There are a number of genes that can cause albinism, and the most common is tyrosinase, usually referred to as the "C locus". The C locus is responsible for albino in many species of mammal, and generally lightens or removes all (melanin-based) pigment, not just phaeomelanin. It can also restrict pigment to certain areas, as in Siamese cats.
There are no known C locus mutations in dogs, and as yet no pure white dogs have tested positive for albino on this locus. However, there is one gene in dogs that has been proven to albinistic, and that is the gene causing "white" Dobermanns.
A white Dobermann is not entirely white and retains some very faint pigment, giving a ghost-like appearance. It is a common misconception that albinos are always solid white with red/pink eyes, however this is not actually the case and some albinos can retain traces of pigment. Recent genetic testing has shown that the gene responsible for white in Dobermanns is SLC45a2, which causes a form of albinism in humans and also in horses (the colour known as "cremello", although this is caused by a different mutation to white Dobermanns and appears as palomino/buckskin when heterozygous). SLC45a2 causes oculocutaneous albinism, which just means it occurs in the eyes and skin.
The white Dobermann gene is recessive and many white Dobermanns have extreme sensitivity to light and an increased risk of skin cancer (melanoma), as with many albinos. Some Dobermann breeders refer to albino as the Z gene. A dog that is heterozygous for the albino gene will have normal colouring but may be referred to as "Z-factored" as it could potentially produce albino offspring if bred to another Z-factored dog.
Tip #1 - Inspect the dog's coat. If the dog is predominantly white, but has some brown or black fur around the nose or feet, the dog is not an albino. The albino dog is unable to produce hair color of any kind.
Tip #2 - Spread the fur and look at the dog's skin. Many dogs have mottled skin with large colored patches beneath their fur. These are normal skin colorations and prove that the dog has the ability to produce melanin, the key component in skin coloration. Albinos lack the ability to produce melanin.
Tip #3 - Look at the dog's eyes. If the iris of the eyes is brown, the dog has normal melanin distribution. If the iris of the eyes is pink, the dog is an albino. The iris appears pink because the eyes lack the pigment to shelter the blood vessels of the eye.
Albinism is rare in all animals, including dogs, and many people easily confuse white-coated dogs, or dogs that exhibit forms of albinism, for albinos. True albinism is a genetic condition in which pigmentation of eyes, coat, and skin is completely absent. An important distinction to draw between dogs with white coats and albino dogs is that white-coated dogs produce the color white, while albinos only appear white due to lack of pigmentation.
All-white dogs have genetic markers by virtue of which the white pigment masks, or suppresses, all other colors. Albinism, on the other hand, is caused by the absence of both melanin and the enzymes that produce it. That said, some dogs exhibit characteristics of albinism without being true albinos. Let's explore the distinctions, as plainly and legibly as possible, and see what makes an albino dog an albino.
Partial albinism in dogs Some dogs may appear to be true albinos, but retain some pigmentation, which will be most noticeable on the nose or stomach. We can call this partial albinism, but there is actually a range of melanins, and as such, a wide variety of albinisms are possible and observable in dogs. Eyes and skin of albino dogs may appear pink, but it is the diffused color of blood vessels:
In cases of partial albinism, dogs produce only a small amount of melanin, sufficient to produce limited coloration. With the exception of small areas of pigmentation, whether in eyes, skin, or coat, what remains will retain that extremely pale, color-drained appearance.
Coat patterns confused with albinism Instances of limited coloration in non-albino dogs produces two coat patterns, each producing limited color swatches on a dog's coat and skin. These patterns are known in breed standards and kennel clubs as "piebald" and "merle." Piebald dogs have mostly white-colored coats that display large spots or patches of dark coloration. Merle-coated dogs exhibit splotches or patches of color, not only on the coat, but on the skin as well.
Dogs with merle coats are also prone to having heterochromatic, or different-colored, eyes. As in white cats, the genes responsible for coat color, eye, and ear health are not causally linked, so white and albino dogs are not necessarily more likely to be born blind or deaf. However, a rare genetic combination, known as "double merle", does carry inherent health risks. Double merle dogs, like Keller in the photo above, may be mistaken for albino dogs. Unlike true albino dogs, who, aside from light sensitivity, are generally healthy, double-merle-coated dogs are at higher risk for both deafness and blindness. This beautiful dog is Keller, a double merle Australian Shepherd. Her owner writes very movingly about the difficulties and health issues of double merle dogs, not to be confused with albinos:
Light sensitivity in albino dogs Melanin serves a number of uses in the body aside from providing pigmentation. In the eyes, the presence of melanin is one thing that allows dogs to process and filter light. For a true albino dog, without melanin or without much, direct sunlight causes pain in their eyes which makes them squint. True albino dogs should get minimal and carefully managed exposure to direct sunlight.
Light filtration is not the only purpose for melanin. With regard to the skin and body, it provides natural protection from the sun, as well as contributing to the body's ability to fight off infection. Further, albino dogs are far more prone to sunburn and to developing skin cancers due to their extreme photosensitivity.
Some people refer to mostly white deaf dogs as "albino" or "part-albino." The term albino is often used as if it just means "white," but the facts are somewhat more complicated. In actuality, there are degrees of albinism, although "part" albino, i.e. white with patches of full pigment, is not possible. A "complete" albino (pure white) has no pigment (not even skin spots). Their skin is a very pale pink, and their eyes are usually pink as well (this is called tyrosinase-negative). Even though this is what is usually thought of as albino, dogs with this genetic pattern are very rare, and likely to be deaf, since they have no pigment at all.
There are other forms of albinism, called tyrosinase-positive, that are not really white (they will be an even all-over light gray or pale cream instead). The West Highland White Terriers and white Dobermans fall into this category. Since these dogs do have pigment, they are not usually deaf. There are many genetic factors that can cause a dog to have a lot of white in its coat. Many dogs will have more than one factor at work as well.
In Australian Shepherds, Dachshunds, some Great Danes, Corgis, Shetland Sheepdogs, Collies, Catahoulas, and others, it is caused by inheriting two Merle (Dapple) genes instead of one. Merle is not actually a color, it is a pattern - Merles can come in many different colors. Merle is a dominant gene, it is nearly always visible when the dog has it. Having one copy of the Merle gene causes irregularly-shaped patches of color on a background that is a lighter shade of the original color. Merle can have many variations: some dogs will be mostly the original color with very little Merling, while others will have small patches of the original and be mostly Merled. The Merling can also vary from very light to almost as dark as the original color. Having 2 copies of the gene doubles this effect, and causes some of the coat to turn white. Double Merles will not always be deaf. If the excess white does not affect inner ear pigmentation, they will be able to hear or only have minimal hearing loss.
Great Danes also have the Harlequin gene. The Harl gene changes a lot of the base coat to white, with irregular splotches of the base coat color showing through. In essence, the Dane coat color is whatever it is, usually black, although other colors and patterns sometimes appear as well and the Harl gene modifies where that color can appear. In order for the Harlequin gene to "work," the dog must also be carrying the Merle gene. A "Merlequin" might simply be Double Merle (no Harlequin), but it's also possible that the Harl gene has incompletely modified the Merle, and so the dog still shows some Merle.
It is also possible that very lightly marked Harls are doubles with the Harlequin gene, but they could be singles with very little color left as well. There is still a lot that is not known about Harlequin. In addition to the above, there are several types of white trim that can affect a dog's appearance. Each of these genes are listed separately, but since genes always come in pairs, some can & will double up, and there are other modifiers of coat pattern as well.
Sometimes these dogs will be deaf, and sometimes not, depending on where the pigment ends up. Dalmatians are homozygous for this gene and carry 2 copies, with the spots in the coat being caused by the ticking gene. So there are many ways for a dog to have more white in its coat than it should. Sometimes it is just a guess as to why a dog has the pattern that it does, and there is still a lot of research being done in this area.
Eye Color Without melanin, light entering the eye through the irises illuminates blood vessels in the eyeball, making the irises appear pink or even bright red. Depending upon the way light hits the irises, the eyes of an albino animal can also appear light blue or light green. Sometimes, this effect can be extremely beautiful. Think of the ice-blue eyes of Siamese cats, but when eyes lack melanin, the problem is more than merely cosmetic, especially for animals who spend a lot of time in bright sunlight. This pigment plays an important role in helping to protect delicate eye tissue from overexposure to the sun's rays.
Impaired Eye Development and Vision In normal eyes, melanin does more than act as a natural sunscreen. It's essential for the normal development of irises, retinas, eye muscles and optic nerves. According to "Young Naturalist" magazine, the absence of melanin in the eyes of albino animals puts them at risk for structural defects leading to impaired focusing, depth perception and tracking ability. Without camouflaging coloration, an albino animal is already dangerously conspicuous in its natural habitat, and vision problems compound its vulnerability. For predators, poor eyesight will have a negative impact on catching prey. For prey animals, limited capacity to see a predator coming in time to escape reduces chances of survival.
Notable Albino Animals The exotic beauty of Siamese cats springs from the human manipulation of feline genes for partial albinism. Kittens are born either white or cream-colored, developing dark "points" on the face, tail, paws and ears later. This particular gene variation allows for the production of more melanin in the coolest regions of the animal's bodies, the extremities. In the pet trade, albino snakes fetch higher prices than normal ones, so reptile breeders have been busily encouraging albino adults to make lots of albino babies.
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There are roughly 35,000 completely deaf dogs and 120,000 partially deaf in the United States. Roughly two per every 1,000 dogs are born deaf, but trauma, disease and old age can also cause hearing loss in dogs. Historically, deaf dogs were euthanized out of misplaced kindness; these days they are treated like regular family pets, doing anything a hearing pup can do.
All deaf dogs are albino? Deafness in dogs is caused by a variety of conditions:
Ear inflammation or infection Tumors of the ear canal or brain Trauma to the ear, physical or noise Congenital defect or disease Heavy metal poisoning Drug toxicity Old age
The gene for albinism in dogs was only discovered last year by researchers at Michigan State University. What we found was a gene mutation that results in a missing protein necessary for cells to be pigmented. Some defects in this same gene cause a condition called oculocutaneous albinism in humans. But contrary to popular belief, albino dogs are no more likely to be deaf than non-albinos.
Double Merle and piebald dogs, on the other hand, are known to suffer hearing loss more often. Both are types of coat patterns in dogs, caused by a specific gene. The distinctive pattern features mottled patches of color with blue or mismatched eyes, when two merle or piebald dogs are bred, the gene's lightening effect is doubled, with a 25% chance of creating what some call "lethal whites." Double Merle and piebald dogs are often deaf or have partial hearing loss in addition to eye issues.
Researchers have pinpointed the genetic mutation is dogs that cause them to becopme albino. The mutation, caused by a missing protein, causes albinism in Doberman pinschers. Affected animals have a white or lighter-colored coat, pink noses and lips, along with pale irises in the eyes - similar to humans affected.
Researchers studied 20 dogs of each color and discovered that more than half of the albino dogs had at least one tumor while only one of the regular-colored dogs possessed a tumor.
The canine breed and people also experience the same skin sensitivity to sunlight, which results in an increased risk of skin tumors. These traits are very similar to the characteristics humans display with this particular condition causing light-pigmented skin and hair, along with eye discoloration and vision disturbances. Albino Dobermans typically developed these types of tumors, much like humans, but we wondered what the actual increase in prevalence was between a "white" dog and a regular-colored Doberman The eyes have it: The differences between a normal and Albino Doberman:
Dog and cat eyes are able to process a great deal more available light than human eyes. This is not only why they have far superior night vision, but also why their eyes appear red in flash photography. What we perceive as pink or red in any standard dog's eyes is simply excess light reflected back out through the blood vessels in their eyes.
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There is no dog breed in which albinism is considered to be desirable. In fact, albinism is a disqualification in many dog breeds. In some breeds albinism is specifically identified and disqualified. In others, it is effectively disqualified because of requirements for or disqualifications of specific skin, eye, or fur colors or markings (it seems especially common to disqualify blue eyes, for example). A few examples of each of these types of disqualification are listed below. This should NOT be considered a complete list, but just an illustration of the widespread rejection of albinism in dogs.
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Would you care to invest your love on an albino dog? A major fraction of professed dog lovers would frown at getting an albino dog. Dogs with this congenital disorder are hard to care for. An albino dog owner would do everything to boost the immune system of the dog but just the same, it would be difficult to maintain the health of the pet. Melanin provides pigment that filters and protects us from UV rays from the sun. So it goes without saying that albino pets are very sensitive to sunlight and require extra protection.
But how can you take an albino dog out in the beach knowing that sun exposure would be harmful to the dog? Because of the decreased melanin protection of the skin, the dog is more prone to being sunburned. The risk of skin cancer is as well greater in these dogs. With an albino pet, you can say goodbye to the pleasurable time on the poolside during hot summer days. A hunting enthusiast cannot take the dog hunting. Obviously, the dog's color would not be an effective camouflage. Complete albino dogs are noted to be deaf and visually hampered. These disabilities cause the dog to be fearful and to have an unstable temperament.
True, this dog would need more tender loving care but they do make good companions. Moreover, albino dogs fit the bill for people requiring unique and exotic looking pets. The pale colored eyes and the all white coloring makes these dogs absolutely beautiful. Melanin protects the skin from sun radiation. The absence of this compound makes an albino dog highly vulnerable to severe sunburn and skin cancer. Too much exposure to the sun must be avoided. It is therefore necessary to protect the skin from too much exposure to sunlight to prevent the occurrence of these conditions. Who says you cannot take the dog outdoors? You can have the albino dog as a jogging companion as long as you do not jog during the hottest part of the day. Sunscreen will protect the dog from the damaging ultra violet rays of the sun. Protective clothing will achieve the same results while giving the dog an attractive and attention grabbing appearance. Eyes must be protected from sunlight as well. Invest in canine goggles. These sunglasses will ease the pain the dog feels from too much sunlight.
Dogs, even albinos are naturally energetic. These dogs will not know that harsh sunlight has harmful effects on their skin and eyes. Commonly, albino dogs would ignore the discomfort felt from being out in the sun. It would be up to the pet parent to make sure that the dog is confined inside the house during the hottest part of the day. When it comes to maintenance and care, albino dogs may not be the best representative of man's companions but these dogs are not to be considered bad pets.
Unless your dog has an extremely dense coat, limit continuous time in the sun and never leave them out in the yard or garden all day. Even with that thick coat, stay on the safe side of cautious. Albino animals are very susceptible to skin cancers. If long exposure is unavoidable, then visit your local drugstore or pet store and grab some sunscreen. Put sun screen on Snowball, especially if Snowball likes to sit in full sun until they are panting. Or better yet, again, limit their time in the sun. Preferably use children's sun-screen or sun screen made for sensitive skin. Animals are not used to having products put on their skin as we are, so you need to minimize the impact of said product.
Also, albino pets with blue or pale green or red eyes will have a greater light sensitivity. So keep that in mind when they are out in the sun or you are using a laser pointer to entertain both yourself and your cat. Bright lights flashed into their eyes can actually be painful to some, and certainly discomforting. If you have an albino dog with red, or light color eyes, sunglasses or goggles in some situations are not as ridiculous as they sound. In fact, their supervised use may save your pet some retinal damage.
Vision: Albinos often appear to have trouble seeing or tracking toys. Try noise-making toys (such as the Wiggly Giggly ball) or toys with flashing lights to make them easier to find.
Wear high-contrast clothing (like bold stripes) to make yourself more visible
Photophobia Photosensitivity: Some albino owners report that visors and/or sunglasses help albino Dobermans to manage their photophobia/photosensitivity problems
Try "Doggles", special UV-blocking swimmers'-type goggles made specifically for dogs WWW.DOGGLES.COM
Sunburn: Always keep sunscreen on specially vulnerable areas such as nose, eartips, and back when an albino is going to be in the sun
Provide as many shady areas as possible when the dog is outside - one owner has placed a tarp over a corner of her fence to provide additional shade
T-shirts or other clothing will also help to protect that sensitive albino skin
Sensitive Skin: Try bathing with Nova Pearls sensitive skin formula, or oatmeal shampoo
Some albino Dobes appear to be sensitive to metal. It might be a good idea to avoid metal collars, just in case
Albinism can cause other medical problems & issues. Albinism is linked strongly to deafness in white animals, as is the combination of white fur + blue eyes, or white fur + one blue eye + one green eye. Dalmatians, who are mostly albino, have higher percentages of deafness, especially if they have one or two blue eyes. The same goes for Paint horses who are dominantly white, with partial or fully blue eyes. Albino animals also show a higher propensity for neurological problems, vision issues, and even immunological disorders. So, as you can see, your lovely alabaster best friend is not only beautiful, but is also at risk for several (entirely preventable) health problems. So pay attention to their behavior, have them tested, and do what needs to be done to keep them safe.
Health Concerns of Albino Dogs The lack of pigmentation in the eye causes an albino dog to have impaired vision. These dogs are sensitive to sunlight as well. Due to the lack of pigmentation in the iris, the retina is exposed making the dog highly sensitive to bright lights. The dog is more prone to sunburn as the skin is not protected by pigmentation. The incidence of skin lesions and skin cancer are higher in albino dogs. The genetic mutation that that results to the lack of color also causes the dog to have other health concerns. Dogs may have missing teeth or would have very small teeth. Experts tell us that albino dogs are not suitable for families with small children because of the dogs' unstable temperament. Immunological and neurological disorders are common in albino dogs. Owners have a hard time in keeping the dog healthy. Most albino dogs have shorter life spans.
Life Longevity for Albino Dogs The oldest albinistic Dobermans for which I have any verifiable records are three dogs who have reached eight years of age, three living nine year olds, one who is alive at ten, and one trustworthy report of another dog who died at 10 years of age. In contrast, it is easy to find normal Dobermans living 12, 14, or even occasionally as long as 17 years. In fact, as I mentioned above, a widely used albinistic stud dog. Duke, the first albinistic Doberman to complete the WDCas health evaluationa certification program - died in October of 1999, at five years of age. Of skin cancer. (Interestingly, the dead 10 year old).
Special Care for Albino Dogs Albino dogs have special needs. An owner that does not have the time nor the inclination to provide the pet with more TLC had best opt for another dog. As mentioned, the absence of melanin, the pigmentation that protects the skin from sun radiation makes an albino dog prone to sunburn. These dogs are also vulnerable to skin cancers. This concern can be prevented by avoiding too much exposure to sunlight. Albino dogs, despite the defect are affectionate beautiful dogs. Owners would naturally want to have the dog around. Lazing in the pool during the hot summer days, or an outing to the beach is a no, no. The skin and the eyes of the pet must always be protected from harsh sunlight. Human sun block creams can be used on the dog's exposed skin. Dog goggles would protect the pet eyes from glaring light. Sometimes, if you shine a light on the eyes of a light eyed albino pet, or the sun hits their face just so, you can see very easily the 'spooky' red of the blood vessels beneath.
Albinism is occasionally reported in many dog breeds, including pekingese, Saint Bernards, samoyeds, pugs, and pomeranians. The information suggests that these dogs are off-white/cream in color with blue eyes, as are the Dobermans.
Albinism in Mixed breed dogs Albinism is also occasionally reported in mixed breed dogs. Here's a statement and photo from a woman who owns what appears to be an albino mixed breed. "I have a mixed breed who is for all intents and purposes, albino. Pure white, pink skin, no color, and very light blue eyes. He is truly without pigment... His pupils are reddish... when he was found dumped in the AZ desert. He is now about 2-1/2 yrs.
His health appears good, but his personality is a bit...off. He is good with me and my children, but can be really squirrely at times; skittish and fearful. This is why I had thought he might by a coyote mix, but it might be the albinism... His coloring is pretty much like the Dobie on your site-pure white, pink nose, pink eye rims, etc. He is quite camera shy, and of course, squints so badly outdoors."
Albinism in Pekingese Albinism is sometimes found in Pekingese dogs. Here is a statement and photos from the owners of one albino peke. "Hi, I'm Cool Vanilla Frosty. I am a seven year old Albino Pekingese male. I have a pink nose, pale blue eyes, and white hair with a little cream color..."
Albinism in Samoyeds Albinism is also reported, rarely, in Samoyeds. One experienced AKC Samoyed judge reports that she has seen three albino sammies during her career in the breed. The dog has absolutely no pigment anywhere on her body. Her eyes are a very pale blue with pink pupils. She is also a Dwarf. Her legs are just a little shorter than they should be. She's had no health issues. Her fur is very white, but she does have some more creamy fur on her back. Samoyeds have a double coat and the coat textures are very different. The undercoat is soft, downy wool. The outer coat is a harsher texture to protect the dog from the elements. The outer coat is what is the creamer color but the difference in color is slight. Yes, she can get sunburned, especially on her little pink nose. She was very fearful of being "hurt".
Another owner of an albino samoyed reports: "We have an Albino Samoyed. He is 9 months old and a very beautiful animal. His eyes are whitish (pinkish) with light blue rims around the pupil and iris. The pupil is red. Our Sammie's nose and gums, both, are a salmon pink color." He seems sensitive to sunlight, only by either squinting or closing his eyes... no sun burn as of yet.
Albinism in Pugs One albino pug, named Babe, went through a pug rescue group several years ago. "Babe came into Southeast Pug Rescue after being in an adoptive home since February 1996. She is estimated to be about 2 years old and is spayed and came from a puppy mill. She is accustomed to living out of doors in a cage. She arrived in our group with a sunburned nose, severe flea allergy with accompanying scratch/itch cycle and is currently under treatment of all of this. Due to her albinoism, she is a special needs pug. She is reluctant to go out of doors in bright light which can present what seems to be a house breaking problem. She is easily sunburned and wears sunscreen at all times. She shows some retinal atrophy which the vet attributes to the structure of the albino eye. We are closely watching this condition as well as the possible need for entropion surgery in the near future. She is also afraid of the dark, a fear which we are working on."
Albinism in Pinschers
Albinism in Dobermans
Albinism in Pitbulls
Albinism in Shih-Tzu
Albinism in Poodles
Albinism in Labradors
Albinism in Wiener Dogs
Albinism in Pully
Albinism in Yorkies
Albinism in Rottweilers
Albinism in Vislas
Albinism in Dachshunds
Albinism in Japanese Chins
Albinism in Boston Terriers
Albinism in Beagles
Albinism in German Shepherds
Albinism in Bassets
Albinism in Saint Bernards
Albinism in Great Danes
Albinism in Mountain Dogs
Albinism in Boxers
Albinism in Chihuahuas
Albinism in Shar-Peis
Albinism in Dogo Argentino
Albinism in Maltese + Chihuahua
Albinism in Wild African Dogs Known as African wild, painted, or Cape hunting dogs, these endangered canines closely resemble wolves in their pack-oriented social structure. according to Google images there are no any correct result for Albino African Wild Dog, But I think the earth have maybe at-least one Albino African Wild Dog, if anyone got an image of Albino African Wild Dog please don't forget to pin it here. So I'm adding few beautiful images of Arican Wild Dog here for now.
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