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#6027
Jennifer
Jennifer
Participant

I wonder how the rates of skin tumors and vision disturbances (light sensitivity) in dogs with this mutation compare to those of the high-white piebald dogs commonly found in numerous breeds (and mixes, including mine at left). Many piebald dogs do have spotted skin even in areas where their fur is white, which might have limited protective effect, but not all of them do; and in certain breeds piebaldism can also cause blue eyes, presumably the cause of the light sensitivity in these Dobermans (you can see the ones pictured in the article squinting). And whereas this type of albinism doesn’t result in increased risk of deafness in puppies, being high-white piebald does. It’s interesting how such health risks are treated as unacceptable and therefore to be rigorously selected against in some breeds, but as a can’t-be-helped inevitability in others. Then again, in Dobies the overwhelming majority of dogs have always been solid-colored so it’s very doable to select against albinism, whereas you can’t very well have Dalmatian or Cattle Dog spotting or “flash pattern” Boxer white markings without piebald mutations…