Blue-eyed dogs are usually rare and extremely attractive; anyone would fall in love with them at first glance. Some dogs naturally have genes for blue eyes, but others develop them due to eye conditions and illnesses.
If you’re a whippet lover and so much into blues, you might be interested to know if whippets can have blue eyes.
So, can whippets have blue eyes? Yes, there are whippets with blue eyes, but finding one that’s naturally blue-eyed isn’t easy; you need to be careful not to go for one with faulty eyes.
Are you interested to know more about blue-eyed whippets? We’ve got you covered; read on to find out more about blue-eyed whippets, causes of blue eyes, and why they’re so rare.
Why Do Some Whippets Have Blue Eyes?
Blue-eyed whippets aren’t dogs you see more often; most dog breeders have a long list of clients waiting to be lucky and have one of them.
Some whippets can have blue eyes while young, which fade off as they grow, while others retain their blue-eyed colour.
It must be confusing, especially if you’re unsure if the dog is sick or it’s just his eye colour. According to the whippets’ breed standards in America, whippets’ eye colour can vary depending on the coat colour.
However, the dark-eyed whippets are more common and favoured regardless of coat shade, and blue-eyed whippets are hard to come by but beautiful to see in person.
Genetically, blue eyes can show up in almost all dog breeds, even if the blue-eyed dog parents didn’t carry those characteristics, although it’s so rare. The blue colour is heritably black but can turn blue or ashed out’ black when a dilute gene is present.
If there’s no dilute gene, the whippet will be black. Examples of dilute colours include; blue fawn and blue brindle. A dog could get such colours if both of his parents had and passed him the dilute genes.
Sometimes, both parents can have these genes, but not all their puppies will have blue eyes because not all of them received the genes from both parents.
Some of them can be blue or have only one copy of the gene. If you breed such a dog with another canine having a dilute gene, they can produce dilute puppies.
So, can whippets have blue eyes? Theoretically, yes. Whippets with dilute genes or have blue eyes can recessively pass down their genes when bred, but it’s also possible to get puppies without the blue genes if they have other dominant colours.
If you want a blue-eyed whippet, it’s best you procure him from reputable breeders who understand how to breed dilute-coloured whippets to avoid bringing home a sickly dog.
Eye Conditions And Illness
Besides the blue and dilute whippets’ genetic composition, eye problems and illnesses can cause whippets to have a blue eye. One of the main causes of dog illnesses and eye problems is the Merle gene.
The merle gene causes dogs to randomly have pigment dilution on their eyes, nose, and fur. If two whippets with this gene are bred, they can produce puppies with blue eyes. As much as blue whippets are striking, having a blue whippet with a merle gene can be extra costlier to raise and own.
Dogs with this gene are usually more susceptible to health problems, such as blindness, deafness, or both. So, if you find a blue-eyed whippet, don’t be excited to buy it just yet; you should find more about his parents to ensure they’re not merle carriers.
Whippets can also have blue eyes if they contract an eye illness. These diseases usually cause the eyes to get cloudy and have a whitish hue with a blue tinge.
If your whippet usually has blue eyes and suddenly starts to become cloudy and blue, you should immediately take him to a vet.
Other Reasons For Blue Eyes In Whippets
There is an array of reasons why can whippets have blue eyes other than genetics and illnesses. Some of these reasons include;
Albino whippets usually lose their bodies’ entire pigment, causing their noses to turn pink, eyes become blue, and the whole coat becomes white.
Most puppies usually have blue eyes from the moment they open them. This colour tends to change as they grow older, usually within their first 9-12 weeks. Some puppies can have entirely blue eyes, green-blue, or blue with brown spots.
Some puppies retain this colour even in adulthood for various reasons, such as recessive genes, the merle gene, or just an iris pigmentation.
Whippets With White Patches On Their Face
Mostly, any breed of dogs with white patches as the dominant colour on their faces has a higher probability of producing blue eyes.
Common Eye Illnesses That Can Make Your Whippets Eyes Turn Blue
If your whippet’s eyes aren’t genetically blue and suddenly become blue, it can be due to an eye disease or ageing.
Bluish eyes that develop due to ageing (commonly known as Nuclear Sclerosis) usually don’t need medication, but a frequent veterinary check is advised to get the correct diagnosis and proper care.
Corneal dystrophy is a dog’s eye problem that can cause your whippet to have blue eyes and mainly affects the cornea. It doesn’t cause vision loss. This problem is usually inherited and worsens as the dog grows.
Cataracts are another severe eye problem in dogs that makes eyes look cloudy, bluish, or whitish, causing vision loss in either one or both eyes. This condition is usually severe and can lead to blindness; therefore, immediate medical intervention is necessary.
Glaucoma and uveitis are other dangerous eye infections that can cause extreme damage to your whippet’s eyes if not treated. Some common signs of uveitis are excess discharge and tearing, cloudy eyes, swelling, and iris colour and shape change.
Whichever the eye conditions your whippet develops, it would be best you take him to a vet for a check-up. Don’t just ignore or get excited that your pup had blue eyes; it can be an infection while you think his eyes are naturally blue.
Blue eyes are usually an appealing and exciting characteristic in dogs. You should be very keen not to confuse the blue eyes with an eye condition.
If your whippet isn’t genetically blue-eyed and starts developing this trait later, you should take him to your vet more sooner for checking.
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!