Oculocutaneous Albinism, OCA

skin & connective tissue

Caused by a failure of melanin synthesis, oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) is characterized by lack of pigment of the eyes, skin, and hair.

  • Signs and symptoms

    Besides their lack of pigment, albino pups can sometimes suffer visual deficits due to lack of pigment in the eyes (which help direct and absorb ambient light) and their unhaired areas are prone to sunburn.

    Signs are often first recognized in puppies.

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  • Diagnosis

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

  • Treatment

    There is no treatment for this condition.

  • What to do if your dog is at risk


    • Keep your affected dog protected from the sun, and support visually impaired dogs by keeping them on a leash in unfamiliar territory and teaching them verbal commands.

  • Genetic Information

    This mutation was first described in the Lhasa Apso, Pekingese, and Pomeranian.

    This mutation has an autosomal recessive inheritance, meaning that dogs must have two copies of the mutation in order to show clinical signs.

    Gene names:

    SLC45A2 ‐ chr4

    Inheritance type:


  • Breeds affected

    This health condition affects the following breeds

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