Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Double Dapple Dilemma

I am beginning to suspect that Dexter is actually a double dappled mini dachshund. Not that it at all changes any bit of the love I have for him. After all, it is what makes him so adorable.

However, I am completely furious that the breeder did not disclose this information to us, if this is the case, and I do believe that this is the case.

Double dapples are a possible result of breeding two dappled parents or a single and a double dapple parent, and the definite result of breeding two double dapple parents. The genes that make the dogs' coats dappled can also be related to some severe birth defects. Double dapples can be born with heart problems, eye/vision problems, in some cases so severe be born without eyes, hearing problems, and in extreme cases missing limbs.

So what makes me think he is double dappled?

Dexter had blue eyes when we brought him home. Within a week, just like a baby, his left eye turned completely brown. His right eye turned mostly brown, but there was still a bright blue spot on the bottom of the iris. It could be possible that he has limited vision in that spot. However he gets around just fine.

Also, many articles have told me that double dapples tend to have white in their coats. I am starting to notice parts of Dex's coat that I thought were just the very light variegation of the tan color are actually white patches interspersed.

Articles have described that the dappling on double dapples is asymmetrical (as apposed to piebalds whose coloring is symmetrical), meaning the sides of the body do not match. Dex's left ear is solid chocolate.

His right ear is completely dappled. This is a perfect example of asymmetrical dappling.

Also, Dexter was the only puppy at the breeder who was not able to be AKC registered. Now remember, we got him in February. I read somewhere online, which of course I can not find the article now, that as of January 2010 the AKC was disallowing the registration of double dapples (if anyone knows if this is true, let me know).

And finally, when we went to get Dex at the breeder, we were not allowed to see his parents, which at the time, I did not think anything of; even if I has seen them and they were both dappled, it would not have phased me, because I knew nothing of double dapples at the time.

Luckily, Dex has had two vet appointments so far, and seems to be very very healthy, other than being somewhat small. At 13 weeks, he is still only a bit over 3 lbs. But he is definitely growing, and we love him more and more each day.

However, my opinion of the breeder continues to decline. Next time, I will do my homework better.


lisa said...

Okay, so I raise australian Shepherds, and they have "merle" which is your dapple. the blue in the eye is not a problem, it is a result of the merle or dapple gene. If you breed to merles together, you get homozygos for merle, which is a double merle. they are know in aussies to cause hearing and eye problems, but this is a result of lack of pigment in the ear canal, and pupil deformities. The split color in your pups eye should be nothing more than a color change, BUT if his pupil is distorted or "blown out" looking then you have vision issues. Even though this is an old post, I figured I would take a moment to try to help figure it out for you!

lisa said...

I breed Australian Shepherd, and in aussies, this is called merle. If you breed two merles together, you have a risk of producing a homozygos merle, or double merle. The risk in doubling up of this gene is vision and hearing issues, but they are related to the issue of too much white or lack of pigment in the ear canal and pupil distortions in the eyes causing vision issues. the resulting color difference in Dexters eye is NOT a vision problem, it is a result of the merle or dapple gene. Unless his pupil is distorted looking, his vision will be fine. And as for hearing issues that is related to the lack of pigment in the ears, and your baby looks like he has plenty of pigment in him. So although he may be badly bred, he looks okay......He is very cute!!