Oculocutaneous Albinism (OA)


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Oculocutaneous Albinism (OA) : "Z Factor"


In Doberman pinschers, a 4,081 base pair deletion in the (SLC45A2) gene causes a recessive form of oculocutaneous albinism (OCA). Dogs affected must have two copies of the mutated gene, one coming from each parent. Dogs with one copy are considered carriers and are not affected but can pass the mutation on to offspring at a rate of 50%. The mutated SLC45A2 gene that causes oculocutaneous albinism is also associated with additional health problems including photophobia (light sensitivity) and melanocytic tumors.


The American Kennel Club registered the first white "white factored" Doberman pinscher (WDP) in 1976. The first registered white Doberman was Padula's Queen Sheba. Sheba inherited two copies of the "white" mutation, one from Rasputin VI and one from Dynamo Humm. The popularity of the white coat color resulted in extensive line breeding.


The AKC, in 1996 established a tracking system called a "Z list". The letter "Z" became part of the registration number. This allowing breeders to identify the normal colored Dobermans which may carry the albinistic gene. People interested can view a public list which tracks back to Shebah's (the first Albino Doberman registered) parents is available here. The list is not 100% and may not be complete. Genetic testing of a dog can confirm carrier state.

Sample Type:

Animal Genetics accepts buccal swab, blood, and dewclaw samples for testing. Sample collection kits are available and can be ordered at test now.

Test Is Relevant to the Following Breeds:

Doberman pinscher


Animal Genetics offers DNA testing for Oculocutaneous Albinism (OA). The genetic test verifies the presence of the mutated gene and presents results as one of the following:

OA/OA Affected The dog carries two copies of the mutant gene and is homozygous for the Oculocutaneous Albinism. The dog is affected, and will always pass a copy of the mutated gene to its offspring.
OA/n Carrier Both the normal and mutant copies of the gene detected. Dog is a carrier for the Oculocutaneous Albinism mutation, and can pass on a copy of the defective gene to its offspring 50% of the time.
n/n Clear Dog tested negative for the Oculocutaneous Albinism gene mutation, and will not pass on the defective gene to its offspring.