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Characteristics + English

  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is a genetic mutation affecting many breeds that causes developmental defects in the eye that can lead to vision deficits or blindness. This defect can be diagnosed by a veterinary ophthalmologist between 6 and 8 weeks of age by visualizing spots of choroidal hypoplasia or a colobomas . It can be associated with microphthalmia or enophthalmia. It can lead to retinal detachment and blindness. Although laser repair of partial retinal detachments can be attempted if detected in early stages, there is generally no treatment for CEA. Vision varies depending on the extent of the lesions and some dogs will become blind. Prevention requires not breeding animals that carry the mutation and this can be achieved through genetic testing of breeding dogs.

  • This handout discusses excessive drooling (hyper-salivation) in dogs. There can be many causes for this particular complaint, and a short discussion of the more common reasons is included. Further diagnostic and treatment options are outlined.

  • Cats are not completely color blind as they can see yellow and blue as well as shades of grey. Their eye structure does allow them to see better in dim light compared to people. Near-sightedness is common among cats.

  • The simple answer to a complicated, much researched question is, yes! Dogs do recognize our facial expressions which makes them wonderful family members.

  • Knowing how and what your dog can see will help you make good choices for her. For example, you should keep your dog’s color range in mind when shopping for toys. She will enjoy yellow and blue toys more than red ones. And you’ll understand why she gets distracted during a game of fetch as she hones in on a bird flying 50 yards away. You’ll also know that to get her complete attention, you should stand directly in front of her where her range of visual acuity is greatest. And the next time you are lucky enough to be graced with a rainbow in the sky, rest assured that your dog can enjoy it, too. She will not see ALL the colors of the rainbow, but she may see a bit of yellow and blue. And that will be just fine for her!

  • With over 70 pure breeds and countless combinations of mixed breeds, there are lots of cats to choose from. That's a good thing, because cats are the #1 pet in the United States. Of course, all cats consider themselves number one!

  • Getting a dog is a long-term commitment. Before choosing a pet, consider initial and recurring costs, home environment, size, temperament, and physical characteristics of the dog. Consider training, exercising, and grooming needs, along with your lifestyle.

  • Despite the huge variety in coat color, there are only two basic pigments that determine the color of canines: eumelanin (black) and phaeomelanin (red). All different variations in color are created by these two pigments, which are both forms of melanin. This handout discusses the details of genetics and coat color selection.

  • There are multiple methods of inheritance including autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive and sex-linked inheritance that determine which characteristics (or phenotypes) are displayed by the offspring. There are also many polygenic traits (i.e., associated with multiple genes) as well as environmental factors that make prediction of disease or likelihood of passing disease onto offspring much more complicated.

  • Mutations are errors made during DNA replication. Mutations can be acquired as cells divide within the body or can be inherited if the parent’s DNA contains a mutation. Acquired mutations can arise spontaneously or can be triggered by external factors. Effects of mutation depend on what area of the DNA has been altered and can range from no effect to severe effects such as cancer development. Genetic markers can be used to determine genetic heritage such as breed origins.