Just like humans, dogs can get vitiligo too. Vitiligo is a disease that causes the loss of skin color in blotches. It occurs when pigment-producing cells die or stop functioning, which, as a result, makes some parts of the skin whiter than others. For dogs, it makes certain parts of their fur lighter than others.
It is particularly noticeable on this black lab, because his natural fur is so dark. The vitiligo has caused light circles of fur around his eyes, which makes him look like he has a “reverse panda” effect. Although he looks different, he’s just like any other dog.
13-year-old Rowdy attracts attention wherever he goes, and his human is happy to tell his story. According to USA Today, about half of all people with vitiligo develop it in their youth, and it can lead to low self-esteem or depression. That’s where Rowdy comes in. The American Vitiligo Research Foundation appointed him as a representative for kids with the same condition. He does a great job teaching kids that being different can be beautiful.
Take a look at Rowdy in the video below:
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