We have discovered a very interesting and informative study undertaken by Dayna L. Dreger and Sheila M Schmutz of the University of Saskatchewan, published in 2010. You can read the original study document here
Additionally Dr Schmutz very kindly provided us with a brief statement on the topic of the blue color in Afghan Hounds, which we quote below
Blue coat color in many breeds is caused by a mutation or mutations in the melanophilin (MLPH) gene. Blue is recessive in such cases and the genotype is called d/d typically. However the common mutation is not present in all blue dogs or in all breeds. We have only tested a few "blue" Afghans and they did not have the common mutation, which causes blue in Great Danes, for example.
The d/d genotype is often associated with hair loss but it is not a lethal mutation. The hair loss is severe in some breeds and only patchy and/or late in other breeds. The difference is thus far unexplained.
So the above is the science, but as you will read we do not really know what causes blue in Afghans so I can't say much definitive about any side effects.
I suspect it is not really the "blue" of Great Danes and is another color all together.
Origins of The Afghan Hounds Section
Early Afghan Hounds Section
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