Deafness prevalence and pigmentation and gender associations in dog breeds at risk

Vet J. 2004 Jan;167(1):23-32. doi: 10.1016/s1090-0233(03)00104-7.


Hearing function was tested in dogs from breeds at risk for pigment-associated congenital sensorineural deafness - Dalmatian, English setter (ES), English cocker spaniel (ECS), bull terrier (BT), Australian cattle dog (ACD), whippet, Catahoula leopard dog, and Jack Russell terrier. Deafness prevalence was highest in Dalmatians and lowest in ECS. Phenotype correlation studies were performed in breeds with >100 brainstem auditory evoked responses (BAER) tested subjects. No gender differences were observed. No differences were seen between black- and liver-spotted Dalmatians, among the ES roan colour varieties, among the ECS parti varieties, or among the ACD colour varieties. Blue eyes were positively associated and patches were negatively associated with deafness in the Dalmatian. Blue eyes were also associated with deafness in the ES and ECS. White BT were more likely than coloured BT to be deaf. Having one or more parent's ear deaf was positively associated with deafness in Dalmatians, ES, and ECS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breeding*
  • Deafness / epidemiology
  • Deafness / genetics
  • Deafness / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / congenital
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Dog Diseases / genetics*
  • Dogs
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem
  • Eye Color / genetics
  • Female
  • Hair Color / genetics
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / congenital
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / genetics
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Pigmentation / genetics
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors