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Dogs + Characteristics

  • 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.

  • Dogs, like people, produce a thick liquid inside their mouths called saliva. While the production of saliva is normal, excessive production is not.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Inherited traits or disorders are passed down in an animal's genetic code. This genetic code is found in the animal's DNA. The DNA contains thousands of genes. A gene is a specific DNA sequence that leads to the expression of an inherited characteristic.

  • Each time that DNA is replicated, errors can be made. One base may be switched for another base, for example an A switched with a C. In more severe situations, an entire section of the genetic code can be deleted or moved to a different location. Depending on where in the DNA this mutation occurs, the effects of these mutations may vary from nonexistent to severe.

  • Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a long molecule that contains an animal’s entire genetic code. DNA is primarily located within the nucleus of each cell. In the nucleus, enzymes transcribe the DNA bases into a substance called RNA (ribonucleic acid), which serves as a messenger, taking the DNA message out into the cytoplasm of the cell where the RNA is translated into proteins. These proteins are responsible for a number of functions in the cell and throughout the body, primarily by acting as enzymes that regulate various cell reactions. DNA tests allow us to examine an animal’s DNA in order to see whether they carry certain genetic diseases. DNA testing can also be used to determine the ancestry of an animal.

  • The nose is a prominent canine facial feature…long, short, black, pink. Noses vary, but they all have one thing in common. Noses are key to canine survival.

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