Stunning white angels, a symbol of purity and cleanliness, snow-white pearls of nature, those are all epithets used to describe albinos. However, Albino dog health problems are a factor to reckon with.
Features of an Albino dog
Albino dogs look really extraordinary and magical with delicate skin, frosty hair and transparent eyes. But, these physical traits can hardly be considered a gift of nature but rather the opposite!
But a dog owner can become so addicted! Once he sees an albino Doberman, he is thinking that this is so cool, we must try to bring breed more dogs like that!
The female albino Doberman began to be brought together with different males, but the result was quite disastrous because other than the unique appearance all puppies have inherited numerous health and mental problems. Among them are aggressiveness, cowardice, unpredictability, mental retardation, weak eyesight and hearing and weak immune system.
Almost every albino dog breed you can find, except, oddly enough, West Highland White Terriers they are characterized by a complete or partial absence of pigmentation of the coat, light eyes, which, under special lighting, appear red (this shows through the blood vessels), a pink nose and paw pads.
But don’t confuse Albinos with white dogs with normal pigmentation of the nose, skin and eyes. For some dogs, this is a breed characteristic and they are not culled. These include white huskies, bull terriers, Pomeranians, etc.
Albino dogs have extremely fragile health and experience problems with vision and hearing. Their life expectancy is generally shorter than their “normal” counterparts, even when provided with perfect care, they can live as much as 50% less.
Albino dog health problems: Care required is colossal
Albino dogs have a sensitive nervous system and should not be exposed to a stressful environment or situation. They are fearful, jealous, suspicious, and tend to panic. Even at a young age, they are less energetic and playful than normal.
Due to poor eyesight and hearing, they should not be allowed out on the street alone as they can easily lose their orientation in space and be exposed to dangerous situations.
As a result of a weaker immune system albino dogs are susceptible to infectious disease.
Due to their poor health, it is necessary to limit contact with other animals and protect the from heavy sun and wind. Remember that their light-colored eyes are incredibly light-sensitive!
In addition, problems with the musculoskeletal system, allergic reactions, and bad dentition are common. For hair care, it is recommended to use professional dog cleaners, and wipe their thin, delicate skin with cotton pads.
Albino dog health problems require rigorous and more frequent examinations by a veterinarian in order to prevent the development of diseases and prolong life. Albino dogs, especially large ones, may require the support of a behavioral specialist to correct their behavior.
Owning an albino dog requires to be prepared for challenges along the way. However, he will give you all the love he can … after all he needs a caring and loving dog owner like no other dog would!
Albinism: a gift or a curse?
Albinism is a genetic malfunction that can hardly be called a gift. This is a defect, which cannot be influenced, since a special gene prevents the production of coloring pigment, which is present in ordinary animals in the fur, skin and retina of the eye.
The albinism gene is recessive, that is, the genetic information it contains is in most cases suppressed by the dominant gene and does not manifest itself in the phenotype. Scientists believe that in nature the probability of a meeting of two carriers of such gene is roughly 1:20,000, so this natural phenomena is very rare.
Albinism can be complete or partial. Full albinos are completely devoid of the enzyme melanin, so they have pale skin, white hair and red eyes. Partial albinism has many variations, as the natural color of the eyes, paws, tail and muzzle can be combined with a lack of pigment on the trunk. Either pure white hair can be evenly combined with colored hair throughout the body, or there will be spots all over the body that are devoid of pigment against the background of colored areas.
The bright white coat makes albino dogs more vulnerable to predators as they are more likely to draw attention. Most importantly, albinos have a low value in the love hierarchy of animals, since bright saturated colors serve as one of the main criteria for choosing a partner. In animals, color is not a sign of beauty, but of health, and animals deprived of it signal their relatives that they may not be healthy breeders.
History of Albino dogs
Albinos are rare among domestic dogs. In 1976, in the United States, two ordinary Dobermans had, by accident, an albino puppy. It was a bitch with pink paws and nose, blue eyes and no tan. The owners tried to get albino offspring from her and after some unsuccessful attempts, it was decided to breed her with their own son, which led to two albino males.
All albino Dobermans in the United States have been created as a result of such crosses, but in addition to exotic colors, they inherited most of the Albino dog health problems described above. These problems will not necessarily occur in all albino dogs, but the risk is higher than in normal animals.
There are also dogs in which partial albinism is considered a trait of the breed and not a genetic defect. Partial albinos are white dogs in which the absence of pigment in the coat is combined with a well-colored nose, normal pigmentation of the eyes and skin. Leucism is considered a breed characteristic for many breeds such as the white Spitz, white bull terriers and some huskies.
Albinos can be observed in dog breeds with white and dark coats, such as the dachshunds. It’s interesting to note that among the population of West Highland White Terriers, which are dogs with white coats, not a single case of albino appearance has ever been observed.