Pet Health Concerns: Deafness In White Dogs

Last week, we covered overall deafness in pets due to reasons other than cell pigmentation. This week, we dig a bit deeper into a specific type of deafness that occurs in certain dog breeds, such as Bull Terriers, White Boxers, and Miniature Bull Terriers to name a few. Deafness in white animals, such as these dog breeds occurs due to pigment deficiencies in embryonic cells during development. It is known that if the pigment cells in the embryo do not develop properly and lack pigment, hearing may be affected.

Unlike other forms of deafness, this one doesn’t necessarily occur due to ear trauma, infections, or toxins, and deafness in white dogs does not necessarily mean that they are albino. Albinos lack all pigment and dogs such as Bull Terriers lack a large portion, but not all since they may have spots and other color markings. Since this is a genetic condition, unfortunately there is no cure, however, special training is available to pets with hearing disabilities.

To learn more about deafness in white pets, check out our Pet Health Concerns Guide. By enrolling your pet with Trupanion pet insurance, your cat or dog’s policy will include coverage for diagnostic tests, medications, surgeries, hereditary and congenital disorders, as long as treatment for a certain condition is required after enrolling and is not pre-existing.

Has your pet ever been diagnosed with this deafness due to pigment issues? If so, we would love to hear from you and any comments, advice, experiences, of thoughts on this condition.

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Akvile is an avid fan of surfing on snow, on water, and the web! Growing up in NY, she moved to Seattle a few years ago and has found her happiness here, where she can do all of the above. Aside from working during the week in the Trupanion office, she has her hands full being the mother of Batman, her massive-eared mini schnauzer who is a cuddle monster by day and super hero by night. She enjoys traveling, wakeboarding, snowboarding, camping, painting, and DJ'ing for fun.

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