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Can you resist staring at those beautiful blue eyes? – But then you start wondering if blue eyed dogs have health problems.
They are rarely found but very stunning, something that has led people to go looking far and wide for those specific dogs with blue eyes.
In normal circumstances, most of the dogs have brown eyes, but there are a few who have blue eyes but very familiar without any underlying eye conditions.
Most dogs get blue eyes genetically; therefore, when you see a dog with blue eyes, it shouldn’t worry you at all.
Blue eyes don’t indicate that the dog has health problems, although the blue color in the eye can sometimes come up because of specific health issues or eye conditions.
However, when you notice a dog with blue eyes, you should be aware of what has caused the color change and the dangers it will have on your dog.
Table of Contents
Do Blue Eyed Dogs Have Health Problems?
If you have a dog with blue eyes, worry not as this article is for you, we are going to highlight and touch on every point on whether dogs with blue eyes have a health problem or not.
What runs into your mind when you hear about genetics?
Well, in simple terms, this is a situation whereby there is an inheritance from one being to another so that you get to have the same characteristics and features.
Dogs are not different as they also have genes, and they inherit some features from their breeds, which give the same characteristics and appear to be the same.
Human beings have genes, but so do dogs; they have a gene that makes the eyes adapt to the blue color, which is known as the merle gene.
There are specific breeds of dogs that generally have blue eyes due to their genetic nature.
When you see a dog having white patches of fur around the face and body or a partially or entirely pink colored nose, know that it’s due to the effect of the Merle gene.
The Merle gene causes the cells not to create pigment in the iris and thus giving a result of blue eyes.
The gene dilutes any coloring pigment around the iris of the dog’s eye.
Also, blue eyes can be caused by another gene that is not common, which will make one eye or both to be blue.
It’s evident to note that not all dogs with blue eyes have underlying eye conditions, but instead, they get it from genes, things that can’t be avoided under any circumstances.
Below are the specific breeds that have the Merle gene in them, and they act as carriers:
- Merle gene carriers
- Border Collie
- Australian Shephard
- Old English Sheepdog
- Great Dane
- Catahoula Leopard Dog
- Hungarian Mudi
- Cardigan Welsh Corgi
- Shetland Sheepdog
- The Great Pyrenees
If you have the above dogs, it’s important to note that they are carriers of the Merle gene and because of this gene the dog’s eyes can turn out to be blue, so you should not get worried seeing your dog having blue eyes.
But it would help if you did not forget that some dogs get blue eye color due to underlying eye conditions; thus, you need to get your dog checked up.
Which breed of a dog do you have at home?
Does it have blue eyes?
Well, let’s continue so that we get clear insights and a full understanding of our discussion on whether dogs that have blue eyes have health issues.
How It Happens
What you need to know is that when your dog adopts or gets the merle gene, it’s not guaranteed that your dog will get blue eyes.
Naturally, dogs are born having blue eyes but as they continue growing you get that they adapt to their brown color in due time when they become adults.
You might be having a good time when your dog reproduces pups with blue eyes, and the merle gene can bring about severe risks that may not be desirable to both you and your best friend.
For example, when you have two dogs with the merle gene and they breed together, the puppy will be at greater risk of having health issues and, thus, the appearance of blue eyes.
If you get such a case, then the latter will have a double Merle gene which makes the dog have more health problems like blindness, deafness and can even end up with both if not looked into quickly.
It’s not advisable to breed dogs that have the Merle gene as you will be causing more harm than good and exposing the dog to dangers and avoidable health issues, as mentioned above.
Otherwise, you are required to make a proper selection when breeding to avoid exposing the dogs to becoming blind and deaf.
In the scenario where you bred a dog with a Merle gene with the one that doesn’t have the Merle gene, they might not have any health problems.
All you need to do is to be very careful when breeding the dogs with the Merle gene so that you avoid having problems arising.
How would you feel if you expose your dog to become blind because of issues you could have prevented earlier?
I guess it wouldn’t be a good feeling, that is why it’s crucial to have a proper selection when breeding to avoid such circumstances.
Heterochromia means that two eyes have different colors that can occur to animals and even humans.
Merle gene is what causes this condition, but also if your dog has a loss of pigmentations, you can be sure that your dog will also experience the same problem of having two different colored eyes.
In other cases, two different colored eyes are a result of other health issues such as cataracts and glaucoma.
It’s vital to note this so that when you see something of the sort on your dog, then you know how to handle the problem if it’s alarming.
As discussed earlier, when we have no pigment in the iris of the eye it will automatically turn to blue, unlike when the iris is full of pigmentation the eye adapts to a dark color which is brown in most cases.
It’s important to note that when the dogs are born, you will notice that they have blue eyes but soon as they start growing the color will be changing to brown.
It’s because when the dogs are born they have less pigment in the iris thus the blue color but as they continue growing the pigment level increases, making the eyes to be brown because of their full development.
If you happen to see your dog having two different colored eyes, this should be something to worry about because it indicates that the dog has some underlying health issues.
Have you ever seen a dog with two different colored eyes?
What do you think was the issue?
Well, I believe up to this point, we are still going on well with these essential points to note on whether dogs with blue eyes have health problems.
It’s one of the most sensitive issues you need to understand if you have a pet in your home so that you can quickly identify the problems your dog has in time.
3. Diseases That Cause Blue Eyes In Dogs
Remember, we discussed earlier that once the puppies are born they usually have blue eyes but as they continue growing they adapt to the brown color.
If the changing process is from blue to brown, it shouldn’t worry you because it’s a natural process that occurs in puppies, so there is no cause for alarm.
By any chance, if you notice that your dog’s eyes are turning blue from its natural brown color then know that the dog has certain underlying conditions.
These diseases include interstitial keratitis which is caused by infectious canine hepatitis, Nuclear sclerosis, and cataracts.
The disease makes the eyes turn blue from their natural brown color by developing a white lining in the eye, which will cover the iris, and it will make the eye appear blue in so many different ways.
It is also referred to as Blue Eye and is caused by an infectious hepatitis virus.
If your dog gets exposed to Interstitial Keratitis, you will start seeing some noticeable changes in your dog after seven to ten days as the eyes will start turning blue.
During this time, your dog will be so sensitive to light, have discharge, and will be tearing excessively; these are but a few symptoms of showing you that your dog is having health issues.
If you treat the disease it will heal slowly but eventually, you will get positive results.
All the same, note that the color of the eyes might remain blue for the rest of the dog’s life if it was exposed to the virus.
It’s a degeneration that occurs mostly in older dogs and many mammals, not forgetting human beings of all ages.
It’s also known as Lenticular sclerosis in canines which forms a blue lining over the dog’s eye you can easily mistake it with a cataract but it’s easy to distinguish between the two conditions.
It usually develops in both eyes and doesn’t cause pain to the dog.
If you want to prevent your dog from getting blind or losing vision, you need to get immediate advice from the vet doctors for the right diagnosis.
Although lenticular sclerosis doesn’t cause blindness in dogs, it should be treated at an early diagnosis to rule out loss of vision.
It can be a hereditary disease or a diabetic opportunistic disease that comes about when the eyes lens of the dog clouds due to changes in the balance of water and protein in the lens.
It, therefore, causes the brown part of the eye of the dog to turn blue either one eye or both.
It can be a severe condition that may progress slowly or rapidly over time.
Therefore, going to visit the veterinarian is a great idea at the early stage to get a proper diagnosis and an appropriate treatment for the disease.
Cataracts come with other underlying conditions such as:
Uveitis is a severe and painful condition that is due to the inflammation of one or all the following eye structures; the iris, ciliary, and choroid.
It should be treated immediately to avoid permanent damage to the dog’s vision.
A severe eye condition that may cause blindness if not treated by a vet.
Glaucoma comes about when the fluid of the eye doesn’t properly drain, causing an increase in pressure in the eye and destruction in the internal eye structures.
Treatment is vital to keep your pet safe and healthy.
Ulcers In Dogs
Ulcers can be another cause of blue eyes in dogs and might come with other severe health conditions if not diagnosed and treated correctly.
Some of the causes of ulcers in dogs may include dry eyes, scratching of the eyes, problematic placed hairs, and viral or bacterial infections.
It is a painful condition that can bring about discharge in the eyes, squinting, and if not treated severe and permanent damage.
Visiting the vet is advised when signs occur.
Albino dogs are also referred to as C-series and are characterized by blue eyes, pink-colored nose, and a distinctive white coat in their whole body.
The loss of pigmentation is the reason for their blue eyes, pink nose, and white coat.
These dogs lack the tyrosinase enzyme, which is responsible for the production of melanin resulting in the characteristics mentioned above.
Albinism is a sporadic condition in dogs and the parents both need to be carrying the recessive gene.
Albino dogs are at a higher risk of having health conditions such as cancer, deafness, and severe deformities in their eyes, which may result in blindness.
They also have light sensitivity and should be protected from direct sunlight.
5. Breed Specific Gene
A few breeds have a specific gene that causes blue eyes.
These are common in Siberian Huskies and Border Collies.
Unlike the Merle gene, these do not bring about health conditions like blindness, loss of pigment, or pink nose.
These dogs are naturally blue-eyed due to the mutation of a specific gene passing through a recessive gene of both parents.
Any chance you are looking for a stunning blue-eyed pup?
You are definitely in luck as there are a good number of naturally occurring breeds without health conditions that may be associated with loss of pigmentation, as discussed above.
These breeds include Australian Shepherd, Siberian Husky, Weimaraner, German Shepherd, Dalmatian, Border Collier, Shetland Sheepdog, Great Dane, and Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
6. Treatment Of The Blue-Eyed Dogs
Most of the dogs have brown colored eyes, and it’s in rare cases you find dogs with blue eyes when they are in an adult state.
Breeds such as Siberian Husky are the types of dogs that usually have their eyes blue for the rest of their life.
In the situation whereby your dog gets lenticular sclerosis or interstitial hepatitis, you can be able to handle them differently as they are supposed to be managed.
For interstitial hepatitis, you can’t worry too much as the treatment helps the body to recover and heal slowly in a natural way without any problems.
With this, you give it time to heal and your dog will be back to normal in due time.
It’s a natural process; therefore, there is no way you rush the process.
For lenticular sclerosis, it’s evident that it’s all about degeneration and the cause of it is old age.
So far, there is no treatment for this disease, but what you can do is to make sure you feed your dog well and give it the care that it deserves so that it can reduce the level of degeneration as it gets older.
In all of this, remember, getting clearance and advice from the vet doctor is what is required of you so that you can get the right diagnosis and protect your pet from severe health conditions.
It’s better that way so that your dog can get treatment at the earliest time possible to avoid further complications.
Do you take your dog to all its vaccinations?
Is that a yes?
Well, it’s very important to get your dog all the vaccinations it deserves so that you can prevent some of the diseases which might come later in life to affect the well-being of your dog.
On-time vaccination is vital for your dog’s being; therefore, make that appointment with the veterinarian for your dog to avoid severe issues in the future.
We always say prevention is better than cure, so a checkup for your dog will go a long way.
Taking your dog to the vet for a proper checkup can help detect any signs of diseases, allow for appropriate diagnosis, and if there is a need, early treatment.
Are you looking into breeding to get a specific look at your dog?
As much as you want a beautiful dog, you have to consider other traits like temperament and in this case, the most important is health concerns.
The most stunning dog might come with a lot of health issues, and this may bring about turmoil for both your dog and yourself.
Therefore, it is essential to make sure that the breed of dogs you choose for breeding has been tested and has health certificates that confirm they are not at any health risk.
Inbreeding should also be discouraged as it encourages the passing of specific traits, which may include serious health issues.
Are you still there?
We are almost through; let’s continue with some other essential insights on the health issues of dogs with blue eyes.
There are many reasons for those magical “blue eyes” in dogs, one of which is that blue eyed dogs might have health problems.
Blue-eyed dogs are common, and some occur in different breeds naturally.
Others are a result of underlying health conditions that can result in detrimental effects on your dog.
Genetics is one of the main reasons dogs get blue eyes, and you need to be careful while breeding to avoid having a recessive gene that may cause severe and avoidable health issues.
Blue eyes in dogs can also be caused by diseases that may be diagnosed and treated if caught at an early stage.
We have discussed everything that pertains to blue-eyed dogs and whether they have health conditions.
I hope this has been enlightening and will be useful guidance in whatever concerns you might have.