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Jasmine had her pups eight weeks ago (born 1/6/09). The first three pups have left the nest, and gone to their new homes. Such a bitter-sweet feeling. I sure shed a lot of tears when "Swoosh", my personal favorite, went with his new family. We are thinking seriously about keeping "Buster" (my 2nd favorite)...although my husband is partial to "Flash"...so we'll see what ends up happening!

 

Jasmine is at the vet TODAY for her surgery...they just called and said all went well and we can pick her up later this afternoon. NO MORE PUPPIES FOR US!

 

The pups visited the vet on Thursday (last week) ... the are all very healthy! They had their first shots and official weigh in ... ranging in weight from 9 lbs. to 12 lbs.!!

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I know what you mean about bittersweet. It looks like you did a great job raising them! Like Ninso, I was wondering about the white pup. Can it hear? Are you really planning to keep one? I'd be hard pressed to part with them all.

 

J.

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How time flies! It doesn't seem like it's been 8 weeks already. Glad to hear homes are being found for your unexpected puppies and that Jasmine won't find herself in that predicament again! You've done a great (and responsible) job of handling one of life's little surprises!

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Matt,

Any dog with a white head or ears can potetentially be deaf. The deafness is believed to stem from a lag of pigmentation in the hair of the inner ear. So you could even have a dog with black ears on the outside, but lack of pigmentation on the inside who could also then be deaf. As a matter of policy, I would have hearing tested on any dog that is white headed or has a lot of white on its ears.

 

ETA: Dogs that are "double merles"--that is, the product of merle bred to merle, often have hearing or vision problems (including complete blindness and even deformed eyes), as well. Different genetics, but same end result of likely deafness (and other issues).

 

Here's some information from Lousiana State University:

Congenital deafness has been reported for approximately 85 breeds, with the list growing at a regular rate (see list); it can potentially appear in any breed but especially those with white pigmentation. Deafness may have been long-established in a breed but kept hidden from outsiders to protect reputations. The disorder is usually associated with pigmentation patterns, where the presence of white in the hair coat increases the likelihood of deafness. Two pigmentation genes in particular are often associated with deafness in dogs: the merle gene (seen in the collie, Shetland Sheepdog, Dappled Dachshund, Harlequin Great Dane, American Foxhound, Old English Sheepdog, and Norwegian Dunkerhound among others) and the piebald gene (Bull Terrier, Samoyed, Greyhound, Great Pyrenees, Sealyham Terrier, Beagle, Bulldog, Dalmatian, English Setter). However, not all breeds with these genes have been reported to be affected. The deafness, which usually develops in the first few weeks after birth while the ear canal is still closed, usually results from the degeneration of part of the blood supply to the cochlea (the stria vascularis). The nerve cells of the cochlea subsequently die and permanent deafness results. The cause of the vascular degeneration is not known, but appears to be associated with the absence of pigment producing cells (melanocytes) in the blood vessels. All of the function of these cells are not known, but one role is to maintain high potassium concentrations in the fluid (endolymph) surrounding the hair cells of the cochlea; these pigment cells are critical for survival of the stria. [emphasis added] Deafness in the Doberman, which is also accompanied by vestibular (balance) disturbance, results from a different mechanism, where hair cell death is not the result of degeneration of the stria but is instead the primary cause. Deafness may also occur later in life in dogs from other causes such as toxicities, infections, or injuries, or due to aging (presbycusis); these forms of deafness almost never have a genetic cause in animals and thus do not present a concern in breeding decisions.

 

Note that border collies can carry both merle and piebald genes, so even though they are not on the breed lists above, they can still be affected by deafness.

 

If you want to go to the source of the above, it's at this link.

 

J.

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As far as we can tell, the little white one (Flash) is able to both see and hear. She also is very capable of barking loudly!! :-) We just had all 5 in the house -- and Flash was the leader of the pack as they ran circles around my husband and me.

 

Yes, we are seriously considering keeping one. Although, jokingly, we've said, "Can't we keep 'em all?"

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