A piebald is an animal, usually a mammal such as a white-tailed deer or horse, that has a spotting pattern of large white and black patches. The color of a piebald’s skin underneath its coat may vary between black (under the black patches of hair) and pink (under the white patches). The coloring is generally asymmetrical, resulting in deer with abnormally wild brown and white coloration. Many piebald-colored animals also exhibit coloration of the irises of the eye that match the surrounding skin. This condition also occurs in white-tailed deer, and makes for a very unusual animal.
A genetic variation (defect) produces the piebald condition in white-tailed deer, not parasites or diseases. Piebald deer are colored white and brown similar to a pinto pony. Sometimes they appear almost entirely white. In addition to this coloration, many have some of the following observable conditions: bowing of the nose (Roman nose), short legs, arching spine (scoliosis), and short lower jaws. This genetic condition is rare with typically less than one percent of white-tailed deer being affected.
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