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A former co-worker of mine just bought an AB puppy last night and she is concerned that he may be hearing impaired or even deaf. He does not respond to lound noises, yelling, door slamming, etc. She has made an appt with the vet to do a basic wellness exam, and I suspect we will have to refer her to the specialist for BAER testing if we really do think there is a problem. My question, is deafness a common problem in ABs or does it seem to be isolated? I would have thought the solid white ABs would be at higher risk but one of my girls, Pinky, is solid white as well as many of her ancestors who did not have hearing problems.

Lisa, you seem to be knowledgeable about NCL, could this be a possiblility?

Thanks,
Jana
 

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bumping up so maybe lisa or someone else might be able to see this in case they missed it!
 

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I'll bump it up again. I would try PMing Lisa or Carrie about this - they will probably be most knowledgable about this kind of thing. Good luck to your friend.
 

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ys heard that white boxers and bulldogs had a much greater probability of being deaf. This is something I found on the internet. I don't know if it helps any.


Inherited deafness can be caused by a defect in a single gene locus or may involve multiple genes. It is usually not possible to determine the cause of congenital deafness unless a clear problem has been observed in the breed or carefully planned breedings are performed. Congenital deafness has been reported for approximately 40 breeds, Bulldogs among them.

It can potentially appear in any breed. The deafness has often been long-established in a breed but kept hidden from outsiders to protect reputations. The disorder is usually associated with pigmentation patterns, where increasing amounts of white in the hair coat increase the likelihood of deafness. Two pigmentation genes in particular are often associated with deafness in dogs: the merle gene (not found in Bulldogs, but seen in the Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, Dappled Dachshund, Harlequin Great Dane, American Foxhound, Old English Sheepdog, Norwegian Dunkerhound among others) and the piebald gene (found in the Bulldog and Bullterrier, Samoyed, Greyhound, Great Pyrenees, Sealyham Terrier, Beagle, Dalmatian, and English Setter). Not all breeds with these genes have been reported to be affected.

The deafness, which usually develops in the first few weeks after birth while the ear canal is still closed, normally results from the degeneration of part of the blood supply to the cochlea. The nerve cells of the cochlea subsequently die and permanent deafness results. The cause of the vascular degeneration is not known, but appears to be associated with the absence of pigment producing cells (melanocytes) in the blood vessels. The function of these cells is not known but appears to be critical for survival of the cells supplying blood to the cochlea.
 

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The deafness in AB's appears for the most part in the all white ab's, they are at higher risk to be deaf. As far as it being related to NCL, I doubt it. I've done a lot of research on NCL and I have never heard of deafness being a symptom.

Goodluck to your friend and her new puppy. Has the breeder been contacted about the pup's possible deafness?

Keep us posted.

Bridget
 
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