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4 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2016 :  10:32:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For a while now I have been studying the affects of selective breeding on the genetics of animals, their behavior and their health. While they're is a lot of good information on some of the more common domestic species, I did have some questions about alpacas.

In some species of domestic animals there are connections between certain traits and health issues. For my research I was wondering if you could tell me if Alpacas had any such issues?
For example: wool-sheep breeds tend to have more issues with parasites, floppy ears in dogs can lead to an increased risk for hematomas, white cats are more likely to be deaf, dalmatian dogs tend to have liver issues, curly tails in pugs lead to spinal issues, and the Roan color in Guinea Pigs is considered a lethal gene in homozygous form.

Thank you for any information. It helps a lot. : )


469 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2016 :  09:39:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit renfarms's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In alpacas, the most widely known instance of what you are asking about, would likely be the significant correlation between blue-eyed white (BEW) alpacas and deafness. The direct cause is that an in-utero failure of melanocytes migrating to the part of the head where the inner ear parts are developed causes key parts to not develop, resulting in deafness. The most widely speculated reason for the creation of blue-eyed whites is receiving a double dose of a theorized white-spot gene from two parents carrying the gene. Animals most widely theorized to be carrying these genes are tuxedo grays and otherwise solid colored animals exhibiting some white spotting at the extremities (head, legs, tail, etc.). Also falling into this category are animals who appear solid white but who are actually "white spot whites" - in other words, white animals with white spotting on the extremeties. It is theorized that breeding animals of this type together can result in a 25% risk for the production of a BEW. The one exception to this is breeding 2 tuxedo gray alpacas together does not pose risk for a BEW offspring. For some reason not yet known, there are no proven cases where 2 tux grays have ever produced BEW offspring. It is speculated by some that the reason for this exception in tux grays may be that receiving 2 copies of the "white spot" gene in tux grays results in absorption or miscarriage of the pregnancy, which then would obviously not go on to produce any offspring, BEW or otherwise.

Bill and Louise Goebel
Renaissance Farms
McArthur, Ohio 45651
(740) 596-1468
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1844 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2016 :  12:15:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Pardon my spelling ---- can't remember how to spell it ---- but, chloinal atrasia is also a trait that can be given to a cria if both parents have the gene. Some think it also might have environmental factors involved. There are also things like three toes, failure of the anus to open, (which usually also includes heart problems and teeth problems). Like any other breed, alpacas can have defects. These are often caused by tight line breeding.

Robin Alpert
Alpacas 'R Diamonds
15163 W 323rd
Paola, KS 66071

Edited by - ard on 06/07/2016 12:16:46 PM
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4 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2017 :  4:08:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you so much for the responses! They'll help a lot. : )
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10 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2017 :  12:04:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi...I just wanted to let you know that we actually have a beautiful Suri female that is primarily white with multi colors throughout and she has 'sapphire eyes'. She is perfectly healthy and can see quite well. In fact, she has asserted herself to be the matriarch of all our females, including the huacaya girls. I too, researched this trait and have been told not to breed her with any male that had any white at all to prevent blindness in the offspring. This past fall we bred her to a beautiful solid Crimson color male...I'll let you know how it turns out!!!
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