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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Vitiligo

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Condition Overview

Vitiligo is a condition in which pigment is lost from the skin and hair of the nose, lips, face, and eyelids.

Symptoms

Black pigment is present early in life in affected dogs, but it gradually fades to a chocolate brown or even to white. There does not appear to be any related health problems with this loss of pigment. Rottweilers are one of the breeds in which this problem is seen.

Causes

The exact cause of vitiligo in dogs has not yet been determined, but it is believed to have a genetic predisposition and/or be an autoimmune problem.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made by physical exam.

Treatment

There is no definitive treatment.

Prevention

Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants such as vitamin C may help with this problem.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian if you think your pet may have this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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