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Albinism In French Bulldogs

Albinism In French Bulldogs

It is general knowledge that all dogs come in different colors, sizes, skin types, coats, eye colors, and shapes, etc., and a French bulldog is no exception. All of these features only make them unique and more endearing to us. 

However, there is often the misconception that every white dog is an albino dog. This is not true. If you are interested in purchasing an albino Frenchie dog or somebody is trying to pass on a white French Bulldog as an albino dog to you, here are some characteristics to look out for. 

What is Albinism? 

The condition of albinism can be defined as the absence of color. Contrary to popular opinion, albinism is rare, especially in dogs or French bulldogs, although it can occur in all animals. 

Albino dogs are different from white dogs. Albinism is a genetic mutation known as tyrosinase (full albino) or tyrosinase-positive (partial albino). In actual albino dogs, there is a complete lack of pigmentation or production of melanin in the skin, hair, and eyes, resulting in a lack of color. A white dog, however, is a white-coated dog; white is a color. 

For a French Bulldog to be born with albinism, both parents must carry the genes. So, it is possible for two black dogs carrying recessive albinism genes to mate and produce an albino puppy. However, albinism is rare because most dogs with recessive genes do not live long enough to reproduce. 

Identifying a true albino by mere looking is one of the most complex things. Most cases are usually partial albinos, a dog suffering from leucism, or piebald and merle dogs. A partial albino dog will retain some measure of pigmentation, leading to the dog having some coloration in different parts of the body. 

Leucism is often mistaken for albinism because they share similar characteristics. The only difference is that a leucitic dog will not have as many health issues as an albino dog. In addition, sometimes, there are instances of limited coloration in dogs; these instances are usually known as piebald or merle patterns. 

Piebald dogs will have mostly white coats with large patches of dark coloration. In contrast, merle French Bulldogs will have patches of color on the coat and the skin as well. None of these patterns indicate albinism. The only accurate way to identify albinism would be through a thorough medical examination. But there are some things you should know. 

Things You Should Know About An Albino Frenchie 

Albinism can come in different shades and variations. These variations are often the cause of the vast spread of confusion. As previously mentioned, only proper medication can successfully identify a dog with albinism. But you should know; 

#They are just like other regular French bulldogs 

Albino Frenchies are friendly and affectionate, just like their non-albino counterparts. Even though they look different and need specialized care, it doesn't reduce the fact that they are loving, loyal, and energetic as the breed can be, and they make excellent companions. 

If you are looking to get an albino Frenchie, do not hesitate to do so. An albino dog can grow to be well-adjusted and socialized, like any other Frenchie, as long as you put in the necessary work in training, socialization, and housebreaking.  

#They do not precisely have pink eyes

The general idea that an albino dog will have pink eyes is wrong. According toPetMd, an albino dog will only have skin that appears pink around its eyes. This lack of pigmentation results in the pinkish hue around their eyes and nose, which people often mistake for a pink eye. So, if a dog has a pinkish hue around his nose but not his eyes, he may not be an albino dog. Therefore, it has to be both eyes and nose. 

Albinism in rabbits and rodents will result in pink eyes, but it is not the same for dogs. In albino dogs, their eyes are light. So rather than being black or brown, it looks like light blue, gray, or sometimes green. This is often due to underdeveloped lenses and retinas; thus, they cannot filter out excess light, so they squint. One thing to remember, though, is that not all light-eyed dogs are albino. 

#Albinism does not equate to deafness or blindness 

Due to the lack of melanin in an albino dog, the chances of his vision being impaired are very high, but albinism does not naturally equate to blindness. However, if an albino dog is not properly and adequately cared for, he/she can become blind. Most albino dogs already have small and deformed eyes, which leads to poor vision and light sensitivity, but being prone to a disease does not automatically confer it. 

According to a professor specializing in deafness in dogs and cats, there is no correlation between albinism and deafness. Only merle-coated dogs with the rare genetic combination of being "double merle" are at a higher risk of deafness and blindness. 

#They are prone to extra health issues 

Melanin has several functions in the body apart from just providing pigmentation. The absence of melanin thus can lead to several other health issues. Two of them are sensitivity to light and skin cancers. If you decide to adopt an albino Frenchie, you will need to invest in pairs of doggy glasses not to damage his eyesight. Albinos are incredibly sensitive to ultraviolet rays (AKA sunlight), so they must protect direct sunlight. 

Just like with humans who have pale skin, sun damage is a concern. And great care must be taken to avoid too much sunlight, resulting in sunburns or, worse, skin cancers. Although French Bulldogs are generally more likely to get sunburned, the stakes for an albino French bulldog are higher. 

So, if you must take your albino Frenchie out in the sun, you need to get in doggy goggles and lather him up in dog-approved sunscreen lotions. If you decide to opt for the sunscreen idea, please speak to your vet about which sunscreens you should use and which to avoid. 

#They require extra care

Generally, French bulldogs are a bit high maintenance with all of the health issues they are prone to. But with an albino dog, the risks are higher, and extra care needs to be taken. For one, it is best to keep their coats as long as possible so that their skins can have some layer of protection. You might even consider dressing them in extra protective clothes, but you need to remember that they don't do so well with heat. 

Evening and morning are the best ties to walk or play with your albino Frenchie. This is because while they do require exercise, their other health issues are more pressing. 

#Short Lifespan 

It is hard and painful to lose a dog. It's even harder to swallow that your dog is not strictly average, and they only have a short while to live. But that is the package deal with an albino Frenchie. 

The short lifespan is due to their weak immune system and other health challenges. If you were looking to breed your dog, you might not be able to with an albino dog. They do not often live long enough for that. 

But you can improve the health of your albino Frenchie and help to prolong their lifespan with quality care. An excellent and specialized diet will help to boost their immune system. When planning their meals, you should choose ingredients that strengthen the immune system, encourages healthy-looking skin, and provides a balanced diet. You can also complement this diet with drug supplements. Speak to your vet about the best recommendations. 

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