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Dr.Fiona
Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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DOES A PUPPY WITH ONE BLUE EYE MEAN DEAF Years ago we

Customer Question

DOES A PUPPY WITH ONE BLUE EYE MEAN DEAF???

Years ago we had a Boston Terrier that had one blue eye, when we took it to the vet he said that meant deafness. We trained the dog sign language and he lived to be 10.

MY QUESTION? IS THIS TRUE. I SEEN A BOSTON TERRIER PUPPY AT PETLAND YESTERDAY AND IT HAD ONE BLUE EYE. I KNOW THESE DOGS COME FROM PUPPY MILLS BUT THAT NOT THE QUESTION . IT IT TRUE THAT THIS PUPPY COULD BE DEAF. I KNOW THAT IF IT WAS TO TURN OUT TO BE DEAF THAT IT WOULD BE EUTHANIZED. SINCE WE HAVE 2 DOGS THAT WOULD TRAIN THIS PUPPY, I WANTED TO KNOW IF THIS IS A TRUE.

PS: OUR DAUGHTER HAD 8 MORE MONTHS AND SHE''LL BE A VET TECH. SHE LOVES IT.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.
Hi there,

Welcome to Just Answer!

I would be happy to help you with this question. I need about 15 minutes to write up a detailed answer and then will be right back!



Fiona
PS Congratulations to your daughter - it is a fun profession to be in!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanking you in advance for your time. It is very important to me.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.
Hi again,

Sorry for the delay - I am working on your answer (but was called away to a bathroom emergency with my 4 yr old daughter....).
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
THAT OK WE HAVE A 4 YR OLD TOO. LENA MARIE
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.
LOL about having a 4 yr old too - thanks for your understanding. Sometimes, it is hard to explain that Mommy is working! ;-)

So, the short answer is that this pup has a higher chance of being deaf than a Boston with 2 brown eyes. However, it is more likely that he can hear normally than that he is deaf! So, the odds are that he can hear…

Let me explain…

I will include here information from a recent conference on deafness in pets.

*************************************************************

Hereditary Deafness in Dogs and Cats: Causes, Prevalence, and Current Research

Tufts' Canine and Feline Breeding and Genetics Conference, 2003

George M. Strain
Comparative Biomedical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA, USA

An association between deafness and blue-eyed white cats was noted as early as 1828, and Darwin commented on it in his famous publication The Origin of Species in 1859. Blue-eyed Dalmatians were noted for having deafness as early as 1896. So, the existence of a relationship between white pigmentation and deafness in dogs and cats is not new, and there is an extensive bibliography on the subject,6-12 but the mechanism behind the relationship has only recently begun to be understood.

In dogs and cats with white-producing genes, deafness appears to result from strong expression of the gene.

Not all blue-eyed animals are deaf, and all deaf animals don't have blue eyes, but there is a strong statistical correlation between the two.11,12 Conversely, weak expression of the gene is associated with a reduced likelihood of deafness. Dalmatians have a base color of black (dominant) or liver (recessive) covered up by the recessive extreme-white piebald gene (for which they are homozygous). The dominant ticking gene (T) Apunches@ through the white to show the black or liver. Dalmatians with blue eyes (strong piebald expression) are statistically more likely to be deaf. Dalmatians with a patch (weak piebald expression) are statistically less likely to be deaf. The same association between blue eyes and deafness holds in other dog breeds11 and most white cat breeds. Efforts through breeding to reduce blue eyes in Norwegian Dalmatians reduced the prevalence of deafness.19 Blue eyes are allowed in the Dalmatian breed standard of the United States, but not in Europe; deafness prevalence rates in Europe are approximately 20% compared to the US rate of 30%.

Deafness Prevalence

In dogs, congenital deafness has been reported in over 80 breeds (Table I). This deafness is not necessarily hereditary in all listed breeds, but must be assumed to be so in most cases. Deafness prevalence is known for several studied breeds, but is unknown for most breeds.11 For the few studied breeds, the prevalence rates are as follows:

Breed

(N)

Unilaterally deaf (%)

Bilaterally deaf (%)

Total deaf (%)

Dalmatian

(5,333)

21.9

8.0

29.9

Bull terrier

http://www.vin.com/Members/Images/Bullet1.gif white

http://www.vin.com/Members/Images/Bullet1.gif colored

(665)

(346)

(311)

9.9

18.0

1.3

1.1

2.0

0.0

11.0

19.9

1.3

English setter

(3,656)

6.5

1.4

7.9

English cocker spaniel

(1,136)

5.9

1.1

6.9

Australian cattle dog

(296)

12.2

2.4

14.5

The Boson Terrier is one of the breeds at risk for congenital deafness . So, this little guy stands a much higher risk of being deaf than another pup. The only way to know if he is deaf, or deaf in one ear, is to take him to a specialist to have something called BAER testing done. This is an electronic test that will diagnose this condition.

More about it here:

http://www.lsu.edu/deafness/baerexpl.htm

You could do a little test on the pup at the pet store. Have the pup out on his own so he cannot react to the cues of another dog. Then, have someone stand behind him and clap loudly or blow on a whistle. See if he reacts. I know that this is not scientific, but it will give you some idea of whether he can hear.

As you know from your previous experience, dogs that are deaf can live long and happy lives, but their owners do need to be aware of this disability and train the dog with hand signals.

Hope that helps!

If this has been helpful, please "Accept" my answer and provide feedback.

If you need more information, just click on reply and I will try to provide it!

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.

Fiona

Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience: Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
Dr.Fiona and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you so much. We are going to run down and buy this puppy when we know we can aide it if that is the case. I don't feel puppies need to be euthanized just because they might have a defect.. Have a Great Day with your little one. We are.

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.
Aw, what a lucky puppy!

You are good people and this puppy is going to love his new forever home!
Congratulations! :-)
Fiona
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Wanted to send you a picture on the little guy. Well I should say RAMSES NAMED AFTER THE MOST POWERFUL PHARAOH IN EGYPT. I husband is into ancient culture. He is really cute and he is not deaf or should I say completly deaf, cause he can hear. Thank you for your precious time today.

Kim

XXX@XXXXXX.XXX
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.
Kim...

OOOH - I would LOVE to see a pic of Ramses! :-) My son is very into Egyptology (but at age 6 on a different level than your husband, LOL).

You can post a pic to this thread by using the TREE icon if you have a toolbar.

I bet he is adorable!

Fiona
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I can't get them up loaded for you so if you wish you may go to My space at

http://www.myspace.com/Customer

Hit on PICS under my husband and my picture and then, look for the Ramses joins the Vaia Family. Hope you can get them. Have a Great Evening and Week.

Enjoy Life.

Kim

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.
Kim,

Enjoy your adorable puppy! :-) Congratulations!
Fiona

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Dr.Fiona
Dr.Fiona
Veterinarian
2107 Satisfied Customers
Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario