Some pit bulls have albinism, an inherited trait that prevents cells from producing the pigment melanin. This lack of pigment gives cells a pink, white or bleached appearance. Albinism can be complete or partial, but not all animals that are white have albinism. Dogs with no pigmentation are rare, but some breeds of dogs are prone to partial albinism.
Animals with albinism typically have red, pink or light blue eyes depending on their species type of albinism. A veterinarian or breeder may be able to determine whether a dog has albinism or is simply displaying light pigmentation. Albinism is a result of recessive genes, the frequency of which varies among species and populations. Some researchers, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation, believe that albinism in mammals occurs in about 1 in 10,000 births.
Animals with albinism, including dogs, require special care and attention. The lack of pigmentation leaves the eyes and skin of the animal vulnerable to sun damage. Owners should be careful to protect their dogs' skin and eyes from sunlight: limited exposure, sunscreen and dog sunglasses are smart options. Albinism has also been linked to vision issues, hearing difficulties and a greater than normal risk of developing cancer.