The International Silken Windhound Society (ISWS), Silken Windhound Health and Rescue (SWHRL), and the NWSWS encourage breeders to do BAER testing on their "mostly" white dogs as their is a type of deafness associated with a white colored coat that is described as sensorineuronal. Research has shown that pigment cells are necessary for the development of the inner ear where they colonize the stria vascularis. In the absence of such pigment cells, the stria vascularis degenerates. The cochlea receives its blood supply from the stria vascularis and without such, damage to the cochlea occurs and the sensory hair cells necessary for hearing die off. BAER testing has shown that dogs can be deaf, partially deaf, or deaf in only one ear and compensate to the point that no one without the aid of the test would know the dog is impaired.
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