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Health Issues Associated With Color Headed Whites?

Discussion in 'General Health' started by HopeShelties, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. HopeShelties

    HopeShelties Forums Enthusiast

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    Alright, someone here has got to have the answer to this. Are there health issues, similar to those that are sometimes found in double merles, also present in color headed whites?
    The reason I ask is that another breeder and I were debating over this, and I would truly like to know the answer. Please, someone with more knowledge of genetics, reply!
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  2. Elenbah

    Elenbah Forums Regular

    Stacey, I'm no expert in this, but aren't colour headed whites the result of doubling up of the white factor gene?...
    In Australia the colour headed white is not a recognized colour but they do occur. Here we call them miss marks and are sold as pets. I have whelped a few myself as my line is heavily white factored and the gene can be carried even by a dog that physically shows no outward sign of the white going all the way up the stifles to the belly hair. As far as I know, (and my mentors know) there are NO health issues associated with White Factoring. It is not a mutation of any genes or anything like that and it can present itself in sables, tri's or blue merle's. The white factored gene is actually needed to produce glamour and if it were not there our shelties would all be very plain indeed.
     
  3. GeeRome

    GeeRome Forums Enthusiast

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    The mutation that causes CHWs has been discovered. It is inherited as a recessive, so if you breed two white factored dogs together, roughly 25% of the litter will be CHW. While the gene that contains the mutation has been known to cause health defects in other breeds (deafness most common), it does not seem to cause any health problems in breeds like Shelties.
     
  4. HopeShelties

    HopeShelties Forums Enthusiast

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    That's what I thought... I hadn't ever seen a health issue linked to CHW in Shelties. All the CHWs I've ever seen have had a solid colored head, and I always believed it was the hair lacking pigment on the face that tended toward causing blindness/feadness (as seen in double merles).
    My friend insists there are health issues linked to CHWs, because there is a small sentence written about it in the old 1970's Sheltie Talk (that information, I would think is perhaps outdated).
    Here in the US, they can't be shown in AKC, however they can earn championships in UKC and IABCA.
     
  5. Elenbah

    Elenbah Forums Regular

    Are you sure your friend is not confusing the white factor colour pattern with the double merle?...I have in my hand the 1976 edition of Sheltie Talk and here it says that the white factor is the next most common pattern factor which many shelties carry to some degree and here again it says that a certain number of white factored dogs MUST be retained for breeding or eventually the flashy markings would be lost and only the plain dogs would be left.... Now, you would think that if it were detrimental to the breed ,health wise, breeders would not have continued breeding with such animals....
     
  6. SheltieLuver

    SheltieLuver Forums Enthusiast

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    I've never heard of health problems being associated with color headed whites. I tend to agree with the post before mine that the friend must be confusing color headed whites with double merles.
     
  7. Elenbah

    Elenbah Forums Regular

    GeeRome, is the white factor gene an actural mutation and the same mutation seen in other breeds that can cause deafness and blindness?....Is it not like the kind of gene for a colour patten that you get in other breeds such as parti coloured Pomeranians or Cavalier King Charles Spanials.
    Mutation to me suggests a defect.
     
  8. HopeShelties

    HopeShelties Forums Enthusiast

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    That's what I was thinking, that she must have them confused with double merles, but she insists it is in there about the CHWs.
     
  9. Narmowen

    Narmowen Forums Enthusiast

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    Just for comparison, it's the same gene that causes the silver mutation in horses (and there are no health problems there).

    Mutation means just that-that it's a gene that's changed. Eye colors (such as black and violet) in people are the result of a mutation. Mutations can also lead to other things, such as different dog coat colors, horse colors etc.

    In horses, it's thought that all of the different colors (such as silver, cream *which causes buckskin, palomino and smokey black*, spotted and pinto) are a result of one horse's color mutating from the original color (thought to be chestnut/black with dun).

    Mutation just means a change or an alteration. It's not a bad thing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
  10. Narmowen

    Narmowen Forums Enthusiast

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    Any color can have health problems. Perhaps she's read things like that? Or she's see a double merle/CHW?

    Right now (as far as I'm aware) the only color that has health problems (related to color, that is) are the double merles.
     

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