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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 34273
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My black and white tibetan terrier had a litter of 8 puppies

Customer Question

My black and white tibetan terrier had a litter of 8 puppies on Friday morning. Mum and puppies are very healthy and content, mum is feeding well. She was put with a minature grey and white poodle. After a friend visited to see the new pups I was told that some of them could be blind and deaf because 4 have white ears and white noses and white around their eyes. After looking at the web I would like some advice as I am worried sick. Please can you help.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

Sally, I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I believe that your friend is concerned about color-linked genetics that could cause those sensory defects. These genetics are mainly seen in merle to merle breedings. Please see here for the merle coloring: You'll read that "If two such dogs are mated, on the average one quarter of the puppies will be "double merles", which is the common term for dogs homozygous for merle, and a high percentage of these double merle puppies could have eye defects and/or be deaf." This scenario would be quite rare when two different breeds as you've described are mated much less because neither are merle. I hope I've assuaged your concerns. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.