Yes, some breeds of dogs are more prone to deafness due to genetic and hereditary factors. Deafness in dogs can be congenital, i.e. present from birth, or acquired throughout life due to different causes. These causes can be infections, injuries or aging and the aforementioned propensity.
It also happens that dogs with white coats and light or blue eyes are more prone to suffer from deafness. This is related in some cases to a lack of pigmentation in the inner ear.
Breeds prone to deafness
Some of the breeds that have a greater predisposition to congenital deafness are the following:
- Dalmatians: Dalmatians are one of the breeds best known for their high incidence of congenital deafness. Deafness in Dalmatians is often due to a lack of melanocytes in the inner ear, which affects hearing.
- Bull Terrier: White Bull Terriers, especially those with blue eyes, may be prone to congenital deafness due to lack of pigmentation in the ears and the area surrounding the eyes.
- American Cocker Spaniel: This breed can also be susceptible to congenital deafness, particularly in white-coated dogs with blue eyes.
- Border Collie: Although not as common as in some other breeds, Border Collies can occasionally be born with congenital deafness, especially if they have a white coat.
- Boxer: Some white Boxers may also experience congenital deafness due to lack of pigmentation in the inner ear.
- English Bulldog: Although not an extremely common trait in the breed, some white English Bulldogs may be predisposed to congenital deafness.
It is important to note that not all dogs of these breeds will develop congenital deafness, and deafness can vary in degrees of severity. If you are considering adopting or purchasing a dog of a breed known to be predisposed to deafness, it is advisable to have hearing tests done at an early age to detect any hearing problems and take the necessary steps to properly care for the dog.
If you have a congenitally deaf dog, remember that he can still lead a happy and fulfilling life with proper training and adaptation of visual and tactile communication techniques. It is always advisable to work with a veterinarian and, if necessary, a canine behaviorist to ensure the well-being of your deaf dog.
Causes of deafness
The causes of deafness in dogs can be congenital or acquired. Congenital causes of deafness include genetic predisposition due to mutations, lack of pigmentation or lack of melanocytes, which are the cells that produce pigment. Lack of these in the inner ear can lead to deafness. This is especially seen in dogs with white coats and blue eyes.
Acquired causes may be chronic or untreated ear infections that can damage the auditory tissues. Other causes are traumatic injuries to the skull or ear and aging.
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