Can pigment inconsistencies be an indicator of health problems? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Question Can pigment inconsistencies be an indicator of health problems?

Hello,

When choosing a puppy, can pigment issues be an indication of a health problem? Or is this something not to be concerned about when choosing a pet and not for showing or breeding?

I would greatly appreciate advice and insights as I was unable to locate much information regarding this topic the internet. I've seen some information on the forum regarding pigment and AKC standards, but none that comments on pigment as an indicator of health or otherwise.
I also couldn't find anything that commented on the age that inconsistent pigment typically fills in by; if applicable.

I have attached some pictures for reference. These are all pictures of puppy noses, not adolescents or adults. I've occasionally seen this on eye rims also, or pink eye rims, but didn't save the pictures.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pigment issues nose crop 1.jpg (8.9 KB, 81 views)
File Type: jpg Pigment issues nose crop 2.jpg (7.6 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg Pigment issues nose crop 3.jpg (3.3 KB, 77 views)
File Type: jpg Pigment issues nose crop 4.jpg (7.0 KB, 78 views)
File Type: jpg Pigment issues nose crop 5.jpg (38.4 KB, 77 views)

Last edited by smemft; 04-12-2017 at 09:57 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smemft View Post
Hello,

When choosing a puppy, can pigment issues be an indication of a health problem? Or is this something not to be concerned about when choosing a pet and not for showing or breeding?

I would greatly appreciate advice and insights as I was unable to locate much information regarding this topic the internet. I've seen some information on the forum regarding pigment and AKC standards, but none that comments on pigment as an indicator of health or otherwise.
I also couldn't find anything that commented on the age that inconsistent pigment typically fills in by; if applicable.

I have attached some pictures for reference. These are all pictures of puppy noses, not adolescents or adults. I've occasionally seen this on eye rims also, or pink eye rims, but didn't save the pictures.
It is absolutely NOT a health concern, and almost all puppies who have white on their faces have pink noses at birth, which fill in over time. MOST Havanese have complete pigment before they go to their forever homes. Clear red Havanese and Chocolates sometimes take longer to fill in.

Chocolates also are known for having poor pigment. The best are a nice, dark, chocolate brown, with brown eyes that are a shade lighter than those of a black pigmented Havanese. However, it is not uncommon for breeders to have to really pick and choose if they want a show chocolate. There are many, MANY more chocolates with pigment and eye color too light for the show ring. The good news for those breeders is that chocolates are still snapped up by pet people, no matter how poor their eye and pigment color is.

Most black pigmented Havanese fill in completely. It is only a very occasional dog who doesn't. I have a friend who has a very nice girl that she bred herself that has incomplete pigment in one spot on her eye rim and in two spots on her lips. (they should be solid along with the nose and eyes) This girl can't be shown, but her owner is a VERY experienced breeder and also knows that this type of pigment issue is extremely unlikely to be "genetic". (unlike chocolates, where poor pigment (not incomplete pigment) is a common problem) Incomplete pigment just happens once in a while. She will breed this bitch at least once, and if she doesn't pass on the incomplete pigment, and it is unlikely that she will, her other good qualities will still make her an excellent addition to the gene pool.

Here are some photos of a litter that I was involved with from day one. These are clear red on both sides. (ee, genetically speaking) Clear reds develop pigment more slowly, but every one of them has good, solid pigment now, at 5 months old. The first photo is the litter at birth, and you can see that there are pink noses everywhere. Not a speck of black to be seen.

After that are a series of photos of the extreme parti in the litter... He is white except for red ears, red rings around his eyes, and a couple of small red spots on his body. The photos were taken about 1 1/2 weeks apart. (and will continue in the next post)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2016 11 11 Poppy's Poppets (83 of 87).jpg (49.1 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg 2016 11 23 Poppets (62 of 113).jpg (50.2 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg 2016 12 02 Poppy's pups (33 of 66).jpg (40.9 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 2016 12 16 Poppy's Pups (191 of 205).jpg (77.7 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 2016 12 30 Poppy's Puppies (51 of 61).jpg (53.9 KB, 10 views)
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 01:49 PM
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Here he is as he gets a bit older. In the second to last photo he is exactly 8 weeks, and in the last photo, probably about 14 weeks, and in his forever home. This was the puppy in the litter whose pigment came in the slowest, but you can see that by 14 weeks, it was complete.

That doesn't always happen. I've been told that clear reds sometimes take as long as 6 months or more to fill in completely. This would worry me if I planned to show the dog, because it is a DQ for the show ring. If it were for a pet or sport, and I liked the dog otherwise, I wouldn't hesitate even a bit.

The next set is a red irish pied, same litter to show a different puppy's pigment progression.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2017 01 08 Puppy Soaps (42 of 302).jpg (43.3 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg 17098012_10209976142134391_154698758763674650_o.jpg (53.8 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg 2016 11 11 Poppy's Poppets (30 of 87).jpg (56.9 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg 2016 12 02 Poppy's pups (13 of 66).jpg (58.7 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 2016 12 16 Poppy's Pups (186 of 205).jpg (78.6 KB, 9 views)
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 01:51 PM
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And a three more of the irish pied puppy. This boy is destined for a show/breeding career in his new home if all continues as well as it has started!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2016 12 30 Poppy's Puppies (42 of 61).jpg (55.1 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 2017 01 08 Puppy Soaps (66 of 302).jpg (45.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 17855051_1508615672484410_8126172003063216455_o.jpg (41.9 KB, 10 views)
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krandall View Post
It is absolutely NOT a health concern, and almost all puppies who have white on their faces have pink noses at birth, which fill in over time. MOST Havanese have complete pigment before they go to their forever homes. Clear red Havanese and Chocolates sometimes take longer to fill in.

Chocolates also are known for having poor pigment. The best are a nice, dark, chocolate brown, with brown eyes that are a shade lighter than those of a black pigmented Havanese. However, it is not uncommon for breeders to have to really pick and choose if they want a show chocolate. There are many, MANY more chocolates with pigment and eye color too light for the show ring. The good news for those breeders is that chocolates are still snapped up by pet people, no matter how poor their eye and pigment color is.

Most black pigmented Havanese fill in completely. It is only a very occasional dog who doesn't. I have a friend who has a very nice girl that she bred herself that has incomplete pigment in one spot on her eye rim and in two spots on her lips. (they should be solid along with the nose and eyes) This girl can't be shown, but her owner is a VERY experienced breeder and also knows that this type of pigment issue is extremely unlikely to be "genetic". (unlike chocolates, where poor pigment (not incomplete pigment) is a common problem) Incomplete pigment just happens once in a while. She will breed this bitch at least once, and if she doesn't pass on the incomplete pigment, and it is unlikely that she will, her other good qualities will still make her an excellent addition to the gene pool.

Here are some photos of a litter that I was involved with from day one. These are clear red on both sides. (ee, genetically speaking) Clear reds develop pigment more slowly, but every one of them has good, solid pigment now, at 5 months old. The first photo is the litter at birth, and you can see that there are pink noses everywhere. Not a speck of black to be seen.

After that are a series of photos of the extreme parti in the litter... He is white except for red ears, red rings around his eyes, and a couple of small red spots on his body. The photos were taken about 1 1/2 weeks apart. (and will continue in the next post)
- - -

Thank you for taking the time to provide such detailed, educational responses. Very much appreciated.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Question Eye color an indication of health issues or an aesthetic AKC requirement for breed?

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Originally Posted by krandall View Post
The best are a nice, dark, chocolate brown, with brown eyes that are a shade lighter than those of a black pigmented Havanese.
Is eye color ever an indication of health issues? I read that Havanese can have issues surrounding cataracts which is the reason for health testing the eyes. I remember you stating in a previous post that eyes should never be blue, and also saw that in the AKC standards, but I am uncertain if that might be some type of indicator of eye health and should be of concern even for those seeking to adopt a pet, or only a consideration for breeding/show dogs.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 10:41 PM
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Is eye color ever an indication of health issues? I read that Havanese can have issues surrounding cataracts which is the reason for health testing the eyes. I remember you stating in a previous post that eyes should never be blue, and also saw that in the AKC standards, but I am uncertain if that might be some type of indicator of eye health and should be of concern even for those seeking to adopt a pet, or only a consideration for breeding/show dogs.
No, eye color is not an indication of eye health. Cataracts, at least in their early stages can only be seen by a veterinary opthamologist. That's why all breeding dogs should have a dilated eye exam (CERF) annually.

But all breeds have a written "standard" which describes what make a breed different from another breed. Part of our standard is that Havanese "Eyes are large, dark brown and almond-shaped. Chocolate dogs may have somewhat lighter brown eyes." ... meaning that hazel, green or blue eyes are not acceptable.
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