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Like people, dogs are susceptible to albinism, a lack of pigmentation of the skin. In addition to the usual dog care, those who are albinos will need extra attention to their dermis to avoid the appearance of health problems.
In this AnimalWised article we will detail with you the care for albino dogs that you should offer your dog to avoid burns or cancer, common problems of this condition.
Find out if your dog is albino in our post about the characteristics of albino dogs and keep reading and discover how you should take care of your albino dog so that it is healthy and happy:You may also be interested in: Care for a dog without a spleen Index
- Why should we take care of an albino dog?
- Albino dog care
- Before adopting an albino dog...
Why should we take care of an albino dog?
Albino dog diseases
Lack of pigmentation reduces the vision of these dogs, partly because the pigmented area of the retina is less developed, and partly because the depigmented iris allows more light to pass through than it should. In addition to these problems, albino dogs often have strabismus (wandering eyes) and nystagmus (rapid involuntary eye movements)..
In addition to poor vision, albino dogs have photophobia. That is avoid very bright places, because the overstimulation they receive is aversive to them. This has to do largely with the depigmentation of the iris. Vision problems are often useful for the diagnosis of albinism in humans, so they should also be taken into account in dogs, although it is not so easy to identify these problems.
On the other hand, the skin of albino dogs is much more sensitive to solar radiation. Therefore, burns, tumors and skin cancer tend to be more frequent in these animals..
In addition, there is a relationship between albinism and deafness, which is why many albino dogs they are also deaf. This relationship is not very strong, since not all albino dogs are deaf, but if you have an albino dog it is worth having some hearing analysis..
Other albino mammals present additional problems, such as suppressed immune systems, kidney failure, liver failure, anemia and neurological disorders. Although these diseases have not been linked to albinism in dogs, it does not hurt to be aware and give extra care to an albino dog.
Behavioral problems in albino dogs
Due to different health conditions, the behavior of albino dogs is also modified. Vision and hearing impairments can cause exaggerated responses in common situations that dogs can perceive as threatening. Thus, it is not surprising that many albino dogs are exaggeratedly shy or aggressive (in this case it is more about aggression out of fear).
Photophobia can also cause strange behaviors. Dogs that present it can adopt antisocial habits for spending a lot of time in isolation without sharing with their families.
Also, most albino dogs have trouble socializing. The socialization of these dogs does not produce very reliable results, so these animals are usually shy around strange people and situations. However, they tend to do well in familiar situations and with people they know..
Sensitive skin is also a potential trigger for aggressive behavior and strange reactions. As these dogs can be hurt more easily than non-albino dogs, they can also react by growling or running away when you pet them in an area that is hurt.
Due to these behavioral problems, and perhaps others directly related to overstimulation and cognitive difficulties, the dog training it can be a serious challenge with an albino dog. In fact, there are no reports of albino dogs with good performance in work or obedience tests, or in real situations..
Albino dog care
There is no treatment for albinism. However, there are some precautions you should take if you have an albino dog. Here are some helpful tips and tricks:
Dogs with vision problems associated with albinism
- Try to maintain order within the home so that your dog with vision deficiencies does not collide or have trouble positioning..
- Choose easy-to-find sound toys.
- Do not expose him to strong sunlight.
- Use curtains to make him feel comfortable.
- Buy a covered bed for your dog, like a tent, this way he will feel safe and protected whenever he needs shelter.
- Put special glasses on your dog to reduce the light it receives. Those glasses are known as Doggles and they reduce solar radiation. Of course, keep in mind that your dog still needs light to see, so do not put the Doggles at night. You also can't use them all the time, so check with your vet for time and frequency of use..
Dogs with skin problems associated with albinism
- He goes to the vet every 6 months for his routine check-up and asks that they pay special attention to his dermis.
- Don't spend too much time outside with your dog.
- Protect your dog with sun protection cream when he is on the street. You can also put him light clothing that protects him from radiation.
- Identify a specific shampoo for albino dogs or for dogs with sensitive skin.
- Avoid metal collars, it seems that some albino dogs are sensitive to metal.
Do not forget go see your vet of confidence before any problem or change in the dermis of your dog. Detecting any of the skin diseases in dogs promptly will help us make the treatment more effective.
Before adopting an albino dog...
If you are considering adopting an albino dog, keep a few considerations in mind. These dogs can make excellent pets and are beings that deserve as much love and care as any other dog, but also they need special care.
Do not forget that it will be very important to sterilize it, that dog can be the best friend you have ever had and deserves all the love and respect that you can give, but there is no reason to bring other dogs with this condition into the world that, without being lethal, can make life difficult for dogs.