Do you own an albino pet? Like a dog, a cat or a horse? Then you must be wondering about what is the major health problems related to albino pets. Because if you own one you are supposed to take care of your special member of the family. But before you try to relate with the health problems mentioned in this article be sure that your pet is ‘albino’ as all the white animals are not albino. There are more reasons like leucism and so on which are responsible for discoloration of an animal’s skin. An albino is an organism which cannot produce the pigment melanin. Now melanin is responsible for the coloration of scales, furs, hair and skin. So the albino animals do not have any variation of color and they end up being only white. Now digging into the topic, albino pets are more sensitive and they have some exclusive health issues which should be taken care of properly and in today’s article we will be discussing about 5 such common health problems with albino pets which you will surely find useful if you own one pet having albinism.
Common Health Problems with Albino Pets:
1. Skin sensitivity towards sunlight: We all know that melanin is responsible for different color pigmentation in animal skin and in addition to that, it also protects and filters skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Sensitivity to sunlight is one of the major health problems of the albino pets and they require extra protection from the rays of sun. So unless they have a very thick coat of fur, do not let them roam about in sun. Even if they are furry try to keep them indoor because there is nothing better than being a little bit more cautious. For added protection, you can use sun-screen, preferably children’s sun-screen if the long sun exposure is unavoidable.
2. Light sensitive eyes: Yes friends, like their skin is sensitive to sunlight, their eyes are also sensitive to any sort of bright light. Especially the blue or pale green or red eyed albino animals cannot withstand bright light. Actually they don’t have that pigments that screen the light entering the eye. Thus, in too much light the albinos can even be literally blind. Even in lower light also, their visual accuracy is not that good and there is decreased binocular vision and perception of depth in them. For a shorter remedy use goggles to protect their eyes. May be it’s ridiculing you but it can at least protect your pet’s eyes from some more retinal damage.
3. Albinism and Deafness: Albinism has strong connection with being deaf. Especially albinos with white fur and one blue eye or one blue and one green eye are more susceptible to deafness. A very popular pet dog breed- Dalmatian, who is mostly albino, is majorly found to be deaf. And if you have heard of White Paint Horses, they are also partially deaf and the same goes for the albino cats also.
4. Neurological Problems: Albino and nearly albino pets are likely to lack melanin (pigments) in brain also. And here lies the problem. Actually they lack some important receptors in their brain due to absence of melanin and thus they are often victims of neurological problems. The famous white mice, which are famous for being used in laboratory research, are such affected albinos. The albino Dalmatians and paint horses are also among these highly unpredictable pets due to neurological problems.
5. Lesser Immunity power and some associated health problems: Albino pets acquire lesser immunity. And any sort of small disease can get dangerous due to lower immunity. To top that, albino animals are prone to skin cancer and often they tend to lose all of their hairs. They also have certain problems regarding their overall development of body. And the worst part of the story is that albino animals do not live long and they generally have shorter span of life.
To end with, albino animals are not the best animals to be chosen as your pet as they have some complex health issues and as albinism is genetical disorder these health problems cannot be completely cured, but, yes, some of the problems might be taken care of and their intensity can be controlled. Sometimes albino pets look exceptionally beautiful due to their milky white coat and far. But alas! They are highly challenged. So before you buy an albino pet please be ready for all the associated pet problems to come your way and if you already have one then you must pay attention to their health, their behavior. Try to take them often to doctors and give them the best protection you can offer. After all pets are like kids and you cannot ignore them.