Hearing — Deafness in Dalmatians
Deafness occurs in many breeds; however, the highest incidence is in the Dalmatian. Studies from the US and the UK indicate that 18 to 30% of Dalmatians are unilaterally deaf, and 5 to 10% are bilaterally deaf. The condition also seems to be slightly higher in Females.
The elimination of deafness is one of the most important concerns to responsible Dalmatian breeders. It is estimated that only 6% of the Dalmatian population is entirely free of the deafness gene.
The mode of inheritance in Dalmatians is believed to be autosomal recessive involving more than one gene. Statistically, deaf parents are more likely to produce deaf pups; however, dogs with normal hearing in both ears can produce bilaterally deaf puppies and vice versa. In addition, dogs with deafness in one ear can have pups that are deaf in both ears or neither.
Note: This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website is intended as a source of information only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about health related matters.