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Vitiligo is a hereditary skin disease which is not noticeable at birth. Affected dogs develop bleached splotches(manchas) of skin that occasionally also affect the hair coat andclaws(garras). Most splotches are on the face, especially the bridge of the muzzle(hocico) or around the eyes. Similar patches also appear on both the mucous membranes (tissues(tejidos) that line(forran) theinside of the mouth and nose), and perhaps in the retina (inner layer of the eyeball). The hair that grows on areas affected by vitiligo sometimes turns white. Lesions surround the nares, eyes, anus,mouth and genitals with no inflammation or scaling. Affected areas may re-pigment, remain unchanged or wax and wane. Usually the full extent of the depigmentation occurs within 3 to 6 months of theonset(comienzo) of the disease.
Signs of Vitiligo
A mottled(moteado) loss of pigmentation can occur on all four paw(patas) pads. When vitiligo affects only the nose, the condition is sometimes referredto by dog breeders as "snow nose." Sometimes depigmentation only affects the bridge of the nose and the adjacent muzzle areas. This condition has been termed "Dudley nose" by dog breeders.
Breeds atRisk
Vitiligo is relatively uncommon in dogs and cats. The disease generally develops in animals less than 3 years of age. A marked breed(raza) predisposition exists for Belgian tervuren. Other breedsat increased risk are the Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd Dog, German Shorthaired Pointer, Old English Sheepdog and Dachshund.
"Dudley nose" and "snow nose" conditions have beenreported in Golden Retriever, yellow Labrador retriever, Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute and other northern breeds.
Causes of Vitiligo
Many possible causes of vitiligo have been proposed, includingstress, infections, mutations, neurological factors, defects of skin pigment receptors, and impaired distribution of skin pigment cells (melanocytes). In addition, the accumulation of toxic products of...
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