What is vitiligo?
Vitiligo is an asymptomatic condition that is characterized by one or more spotty areas of depigmented skin or hair. Skin lesions are usually first noted in young adulthood and often affects the nose, lips, face, gums, and foot pads. The condition is uncommon in dogs with the highest incidence in German shepherds, Rottweilers, and Dobermann pinschers. The condition is rare in cats with the highest incidence in Siamese Cats.
The skin condition is diagnosed through presumption (examination) but a definitive diagnosis requires skin biopsy. Your veterinarian will often recommend definitive diagnosis as skin conditions can mimic one another, affecting treatment options and prognosis.
There is no widely accepted treatment option, however, treatments used for autoimmune conditions (e.g. pemphigus and lupus) may be beneficial.
The prognosis is good as this is a cosmetic disease that does not affect the animal's quality of life. Although depigmentation is usually permanent, complete spontaneous repigmentation may occur in some cases.