Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Could My Aussie Have The "Lethal White" Gene?

by Hannah
(Tennessee)

Here is a picture showing his lack of whiteness and his eyes

Here is a picture showing his lack of whiteness and his eyes

The litter that my pup came from when I got him had 9 pups all exactly 5 weeks old, and no mother to be seen. I was looking for a blue eyed blue merle male, and the guy said he had one, but when I got there, it was about 90% white, with little color. There were 3 more the same color. I started not to get one, but I fell in love with a red merle. It was full of color and spunk, so I decided I would save it (since the puppies still needed to be with a mother I felt, and the mother WAS NOT there).

I took it the 4 hours back home and got it some puppy milk for suppliment. Things were great until yesterday when I realized its eye has a eccentric pupil, which is common with the double merles. It also has REALLY long hair, at 6 weeks it is 3 inches long, it was about three times more fuzzy than its litter mates (I don't know if this is a problem with the breeding?) I am taking it to the vet in 2 weeks to get it checked out and shots, but I would like to get advice?

Note from Anton: More information about "Lethal Whites" or Homozygous Merles here.

Comments for Could My Aussie Have The "Lethal White" Gene?

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Lethal White
by: Sheryl

Hi - my dog is a lethal white; I've had him since he was three months old. I strongly recommend that you take your puppy to the vet as soon as possible and secondly, locate a eye specialist - my dog has "multiple occular abnormalities" and is also hearing impaired but he's a total champ.

His had a very active life, exercising, hiking, swimming, etc but we've also made sure to learn as much as we can and have good vet care - especially someone who has Aussies. You might look for a vet who has Aussies of their own or knows about diagnosing this condition.

Just from looking at your puppy, it's hard to tell what's going on. But there are some good websites on line but I would suggest do your homework and find out what resources you have where you live - because if your vet is not familiar with "lethal white" that's important. Knowledge is knowledge, right? Best of luck, and don't panic.

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