Deafness in animals as associated with other inherited characteristics has long been recognized. This relationship was noted by Darwin, who in 1859 described the association between the white blue-eyed cat and deafness. Early in this century, many investigators turned to animals in an effort to improve their understanding of the histopathology of deafness and if possible to discover the extent to which the defect was similar to human deafness.In dogs, deafness was usually found in animals described as dappled or merled. These were animals in which the area of color has a marbled and mottled distribution peppered throughout with white hairs. Usually, in addition to the deafness, they had eye defects and were frequently blind. The most striking anomalies occur in homozygous, merled matings. Dogs described with these defects include collies, Norwegian dunkerhounds, great Danes, dachshunds, fox hounds, and bull terriers.14 The Dalmatian commonly has ocular defects
HUDSON WR, RUBEN RJ. Hereditary Deafness in the Dalmation Dog. Arch Otolaryngol. 1962;75(3):213–219. doi:10.1001/archotol.1962.00740040221007
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