Hm.. I guess my argument is that deafness is an inherited trait from the parents (i.e. It's a gene carried by one/both parents that becomes a dominant trait in the foal that is deaf) and therefore is a pedigree problem, I.e. Through genes.
You could look at it this way:
NOT ALL bald faced horses are deaf, therefore when you get a bald faced horse, you are NOT guaranteed that it's deaf. IF 100% of bald faced (patterned) horses were deaf, then I would agree that it's a pattern problem.
HOWEVER, since not ALL bald faced horses are deaf, that leads me to believe that it is a genetic problem, NOT a color problem.
I believe it is the close proximity of the colour gene loci is relation to one of the deafness mutation genes, which would make some people think that it's color-related, but it's not, it's just color ASSOCIATED. *
Does that make sense?
(Think of it this way.... not all white cats are deaf... but some are. White =/= deaf; the gene = deaf, it just so happens that the color is associated with it.)
*source: Cashew (on this forum) better known as a Zoology major offline :)
The color is not the CAUSE of the hearing problems.
Exactly. I guess what I'm saying is that while it might be color associated, it is not caused by the coloration.
I would be very interested in reading up on it more, to see if certain genes crop up. Just like I said, not all white cats are deaf, but some are (Rich and my little kitty included). Saying that something is dependent on color is untrue, rather it's just an association with certain gene loci for color being associated with another gene loci for deafness.
This have piqued my interest, that's for sure.
I believe it is not just bald faces but a certain pattern of bald face that you see deafness in. If it was a simple as a simple gene then you would see more solid colored Gunners deaf and you do not. The ones that are all have the same face markings as he dose. Normally very close if not hitting the ear. While it is most likely not just the color but more where it is located on the face it makes it more complicated then a simple gene.