Here are the facts behind blue eyes in dogs, a rarity that comes with some health risks
Blue-eyed dogs are striking, mostly because they are such an unusual sight. After all, even though all puppies are born with blue eyes, 95% of them will change color within the first eight to 10 weeks of life. And while there’s almost nothing sweeter than staring into the brown eyes of an adoring pet, those with blue eyes are, well, a sight to behold. Contents
If you’re lucky enough to own a dog with blue eyes, congratulations. If, like the rest of us, you’re just curious about what causes that beautiful abnormality, read on. We’ll share which dog breeds naturally have blue eyes, why that occurs, and if blue-eyed dogs are at risk for health problems as a result.
Some breeds of dogs, such as the Siberian husky, Cardigan Welsh corgi and border collie, have genes for blue eyes. Blue eyes are often results of the merle gene, which is related to dog coat coloring and dilutes the coloring of the pigment in the iris of the eyes, often making them blue, according to the Dog Coat Color Genetics website. Another cause of genetically blue eyes in dogs is a rare gene separate from coat coloring that causes one or both eyes to be blue.
Some illnesses and eye conditions make eyes appear to be blue. For example, infections canine hepatitis, a preventable yet deadly disease that affects several organ systems, often causes the corneas to appear blue. Cataracts, or clouding of the iris, and scar tissue on the eyes are other issues that make eyes appear to be blue — cataracts may be milky white with a blue tinge. Genetically, blue eyes are typically no indication of health issues; however, dogs with genetically blue eyes have been linked to having hearing impairments, according to Washington State University.
Amanda Williams has been writing since 2009 on various writing websites and blogging since 2003. She enjoys writing about health, medicine, education and home and garden topics. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at East Stroudsburg University in May 2013. Williams is also a certified emergency medical technician.
For many breeds of dogs, notably the Siberian husky, blue eyes are of genetic origin and do not indicate any signs of poor health. However, sometimes tinges of blue in the eyes are evidence of illnesses or eye conditions.
Why do some dogs have blue eyes?
Thanks to the hard work of researchers, the causes behind this puzzling phenomenon are slowly uncovered. Here are the top factors that lead some dog breeds to have striking blue eyes:
These Are 10 Dog Breeds With Blue Eyes
What are the causes behind dogs with blue eyes? Are blue eyes dominant in dogs? No, it isn’t the most dominant eye color in dogs. Most pooches have brown eyes, which can vary in shades depending on their breed. Surprisingly, some dogs do have dazzling baby blues.