Oculocutaneous Albinism

Other Names: Albinism, White Doberman Pinscher, Z Factor, OCA, WDP
Affected Genes: SLC45A2
Inheritance: Autosomal Recessive
Mutation: Deletion

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Common Symptoms

Oculocutaneous albinism is an inherited condition affecting the pigment of Doberman pinschers. Affected dogs are born with white or cream hair coats, pale eye color, and pink noses, lips and eye rims. Dogs with this condition exhibit sensitivity to bright light and are prone to melanocytic tumors of the lips, skin, eyelids, and irises. Dogs with this condition typically lead a normal life.


Breed-Specific Information for the Doberman Pinscher

The Mutation of the SLC45A2 gene associated with oculocutaneous albinism has been identified in Doberman pinschers, although its overall frequency in this breed is unknown.


Testing Tips

Genetic testing of the SLC45A2 gene in Doberman pinschers will reliably determine whether a dog is a genetic Carrier of oculocutaneous albinism. Oculocutaneous albinism is inherited in an Autosomal Recessive manner in dogs meaning that they must receive two copies of the mutated gene (one from each parent) to develop the disease. In general, carrier dogs do not have features of the disease but when bred with another carrier of the same Mutation, there is a risk of having affected pups. Each pup that is born to this pairing has a 25% chance of inheriting the disease and a 50% chance of inheriting one copy and being a carrier of the SLC45A2 gene mutation. Reliable genetic testing is important for determining breeding practices. In order to eliminate this mutation from breeding lines and to avoid the potential of producing affected pups, breeding of known carriers to each other is not recommended. Doberman pinschers that are not carriers of the mutation have no increased risk of having affected pups.


There may be other causes of this condition in dogs and a normal result does not exclude a different mutation in this gene or any other gene that may result in a similar genetic disease or trait.


References

  • Winkler PA, Gornik KR, Ramsey DT, Dubielzig RR, Venta PJ, Petersen-Jones SM, Bartoe JT. A partial gene deletion of SLC45A2 causes oculocutaneous albinism in Doberman pinscher dogs. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 19;9(3). [PubMed: 24647637]