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Thread: Heterochromia/Vienna gene?

  1. #1
    New Kit Hermie+Indie's Avatar
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    Default Heterochromia/Vienna gene?

    Hi all, as I have made a previous post, I'm sure some of you would know that I have welcomed a lovely new addition to my home! However, one of the reasons I was so drawn to him (besides his charming personality) at the rescue was because of his beautiful eyes! They are brown but there is a bright blue pigment at the bottom of his iris covering up to about a third of his whole iris in his right eye, there is only a small blotch in the left. As mesmerizing as they are, I did do a bit of researching about this just out of curiosity and maybe a little concern as I had never seen this in a rabbit before. Originally I thought it was heterochromia, though I'd only heard of this in humans. Then I came across a phenomenon called the "Vienna gene". Apparently rabbits that have received this gene from both parents (I believe they are called "Vienna marked") have distinct appearances usually consisting of partially blue eyes, and white markings. Sure enough, my boy is a black rabbit with white markings on his nose and feet. And obviously the eyes too! I just wanted to get some more information here, I didn't find a lot of info online, and a lot of it was geared towards the breeding aspect of it, though I don't breed at all. I would be so grateful if someone could give me a little more information on this, anything that you know would be helpful, thanks!

    Also, I will upload a picture as soon as I can, I find it difficult to post pictures of him at the moment as my phone screen is half broken and Rowan moves about a lot!

  2. #2
    Mama Doe
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    We have had a few rabbits like this. I love the blue eyes on a black rabbit. Sometimes the eyes are split in colour, as you have noticed. As far as I am aware, it is just an 'oddity' in the expression of the colour genes - a bit like tortoiseshell markings in female cats where the coloured markings vary in definition depending on how much white there is as well. Often the more white, the better defined the coloured areas are. Rabbits with a wider white nose stripe seem to have more completely blue eyes, from my limited experience. We have never been aware of any other eg medical issues. It does confuse the vets, though.

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermie+Indie View Post
    Hi all, as I have made a previous post, I'm sure some of you would know that I have welcomed a lovely new addition to my home! However, one of the reasons I was so drawn to him (besides his charming personality) at the rescue was because of his beautiful eyes! They are brown but there is a bright blue pigment at the bottom of his iris covering up to about a third of his whole iris in his right eye, there is only a small blotch in the left. As mesmerizing as they are, I did do a bit of researching about this just out of curiosity and maybe a little concern as I had never seen this in a rabbit before. Originally I thought it was heterochromia, though I'd only heard of this in humans. Then I came across a phenomenon called the "Vienna gene". Apparently rabbits that have received this gene from both parents (I believe they are called "Vienna marked") have distinct appearances usually consisting of partially blue eyes, and white markings. Sure enough, my boy is a black rabbit with white markings on his nose and feet. And obviously the eyes too! I just wanted to get some more information here, I didn't find a lot of info online, and a lot of it was geared towards the breeding aspect of it, though I don't breed at all. I would be so grateful if someone could give me a little more information on this, anything that you know would be helpful, thanks!

    Also, I will upload a picture as soon as I can, I find it difficult to post pictures of him at the moment as my phone screen is half broken and Rowan moves about a lot!

    Hi there

    Shimmer has give you some good info ...

    Also here:

    https://www.anomalyrabbitry.com/abou...-eye-lionhead/

    http://wintertimebunnies.blogspot.co...enna-gene.html

    https://www.researchgate.net/publica...he_Dutch_breed


    I look forward to the photos when you can. Rowan sounds adorable
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  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper tulsi's Avatar
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    How interesting. Two of my rabbits have blue eyes. One blue eyed white lion head x ? (with a brown eyed brown sister) and one dutch x lionhead, marked like a dutch.








  6. #6
    Warren Veteran DemiS's Avatar
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    Yep the vienna gene tends to cause white patches and can cause blue eyes too. Some rabbits may just have a tiny patch of white. Also the vienna gene tends to cause dutch-like markings in a lot of rabbits, so quite often vienna marked rabbits will have a white paw or a little nose stripe.

    Quote Originally Posted by tulsi View Post
    How interesting. Two of my rabbits have blue eyes. One blue eyed white lion head x ? (with a brown eyed brown sister) and one dutch x lionhead, marked like a dutch.







    Bunny one is blue eyed white so has two copies of the vienna gene (one from each parent). Bunny two looks to have a white patch so is a vienna carrier. Bunny three I don't think is actually a Dutch cross (although could possible be a dutch crossed with a blue eyed white/vienna lionhead). Although the dutch marking gene is completely separate to the vienna gene, one copy of the vienna gene can cause markings that are extremely similar to that of a dutch rabbit, even if there are are no Dutch breed ancestors. Also a black and white Dutch rabbit would have brown eyes, because your bunny has blue eyes I think the vienna gene is most likely to be causing those markings. Like look at this bunny, it's a purebred holland lop (what we'd call a mini lop in the UK), no Dutch in there, but it's vienna gene is causing the blue eyes and Dutch-like markings




    This website explains the gene well - http://wintertimebunnies.blogspot.co...enna-gene.html
    Elmo and Cookie the Thrianta brothers ♥
    Princess the Lionlop

  7. #7
    Wise Old Thumper tulsi's Avatar
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    What a beautiful lop earred rabbit! Logan's (third rabbit"s) mum is dutch according to the rescue, she has brown eyes though. Think his two siblings have blue eyes.

  8. #8
    New Kit Hermie+Indie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmer View Post
    We have had a few rabbits like this. I love the blue eyes on a black rabbit. Sometimes the eyes are split in colour, as you have noticed. As far as I am aware, it is just an 'oddity' in the expression of the colour genes - a bit like tortoiseshell markings in female cats where the coloured markings vary in definition depending on how much white there is as well. Often the more white, the better defined the coloured areas are. Rabbits with a wider white nose stripe seem to have more completely blue eyes, from my limited experience. We have never been aware of any other eg medical issues. It does confuse the vets, though.
    Oh how lovely! I do love the colouring, it's also so interesting to know how it all revolves around genes. Such small things can make a big difference! It's good to know that there are no health problems associated, though I can just imagine the vet's are pretty confused XD Thanks for the info! xx

  9. #9
    New Kit Hermie+Indie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack's-Jane View Post
    Oh thank you! I'll have a look at all of these xx

  10. #10
    New Kit Hermie+Indie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyMax View Post
    Hi there

    Shimmer has give you some good info ...

    Also here:

    https://www.anomalyrabbitry.com/abou...-eye-lionhead/

    http://wintertimebunnies.blogspot.co...enna-gene.html

    https://www.researchgate.net/publica...he_Dutch_breed


    I look forward to the photos when you can. Rowan sounds adorable
    Thank you so much! You all save the day when I couldn't find much information myself. I'll definitely take a look! I will probably try to take some photos tomorrow, hopefully Rowan will stay still for two seconds so I can get a focused picture I'll keep everyone posted.

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