Oculocutaneous Albinism, OCA

skin & connective tissue

Albinism refers to the lack of pigment in the hair, eyes, and skin.

  • Signs and symptoms

    Affected dogs appear white with pink skin, nose leather, paw pads, and lips, and either blue, pink, or red irises.

    Signs are often recognized shortly after birth.

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  • Diagnosis

    Genetic testing and clinical presentation can be used to diagnose this condition.

  • Treatment

    There is no medical treatment for this condition; lifestyle changes are recommended to prevent sun exposure.

  • What to do if your dog is at risk


    • Because albino dogs lack melanin, which in addition to providing pigment also absorbs the sun's radiation, affected dogs must have protection from direct sunlight. To prevent sun exposure, try modifying the time of day spent outdoors, dressing the dog in protective clothing, and/or applying non-toxic sunblock. Too much exposure can result in sunburn.

  • Genetic Information

    This variant was first identified in Bullmastiff dogs.

    OCA is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, meaning that affected dogs must have two copies of the variant to show clinical signs from it.

    Gene names:

    SLC45A2 Exon 6 ‐ chr

    Inheritance type:


  • Breeds affected

    This health condition affects the following breeds

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