Imperfectly Perfect: Animals With Vitiligo And Other Fur-Altering Conditions

In the past, some people viewed vitiligo (a condition that affects skin pigment) as something to fear. The condition is not something to be scared of, though. It’s beautiful! In modern days, even supermodels proudly display their vitiligo. Some people might be surprised to learn that this pigment-altering disease also affects many species in the animal world. It makes them all the more astounding.Check out this collection of some of the most amazing animals affected with vitiligo and other remarkable fur-affecting conditions!

Admirable Patches

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Pinterest/Brigitte Santerre

The adorable dog pictured here is affected by vitiligo. Scientists aren’t entirely sure what causes the condition to occur, but it is seen in humans and many species of animals.

Melanin-producing cells stop making melanin which leaves white areas where there would ordinarily be color. Sometimes the condition can also cause fur to be lost in patches. This pup has spots of vitiligo on most of his body, with the exception of his snout and limbs. The butterfly on his head provides a splash of color!

Rowdy’s Legacy

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Pinterest/Susan Reynolds

Rowdy became the most famous dog with vitiligo after his unique looks went viral a few years ago. This interesting-looking fella was born a fully black lab who started showing the condition during the last few years of his life. His owners decided to put his looks to good use and he met with many children to show them that their vitiligo was beautiful.

The remarkable dog acted as a support animal for kids and his social media accounts brought many smiles to faces around the world. Rowdy passed away in June of 2017, but his owner has kept up his accounts to continue spreading vitiligo awareness.

Scrappy The Cat

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Pinterest/Martina Beck

Scrappy the cat was originally a fully black color. His owner, David, first chose him from the litter because black cats have a tendency to be overlooked at rescue centers. Little did David know that Scrappy was in for quite an interesting destiny.

When Scrappy was around seven years old, her coat began to change dramatically. It turns out Scrappy had vitiligo. Her once black coat turned into an amazing array of marbled black and white, making her quite an amazing sight. Despite her condition, Scrappy was able to reach the grand old age of nineteen years old and has left a legacy behind with her very own children’s book.

Spotted Acceptance

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Pinterest/NANCY

Vitiligo has appeared in many different animals. In this case, it has appeared in a magnificent lioness. This particular lioness is in captivity in a zoo, however, there have been cases of vitiligo also documented in the wild.

It’s interesting that although humans sometimes judge others for this interesting skin condition, animals do not. Leave it to animals to accept one another no matter their appearance. It’s just one more thing animals do better than humans!

The Cutest Doxxie

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Pinterest/Pedro Rocka

This adorable dog is a dachshund with vitiligo. While there is a type of dachshund called a dapple, where the fur contains an array of spots, this particular pup’s coloring is a result of vitiligo. Interestingly, the condition seems to only affect the black parts of her fur.

All of her black spots have turned white, leaving behind only patches of brown. Her unique coloring is really amazing to look at and even though it’s called a skin disease we think it’s beautiful. This unique coloring makes her even more adorable than she already was!

The Ghost Mastiff

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Pinterest/Summer Russell

Tibetan mastiffs are known to be quite majestic dogs and are known to be excellent guardian dogs. They are a popular breed in China and originate from the area. In China, they even have a name for this breed of dog with vitiligo. They call them “ghost mastiffs.”

With a mane similar to a lion’s, it’s hard not to notice this amazing breed. These dogs are also quite large and often weigh over 100 pounds. If you didn’t know any better and you stumbled across the dog in the photo, you might think you were looking at some kind of bear. But don’t worry, this kind of mastiff is known to be territorial but rather docile — especially with their families.

Greyhound Goodness

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Pinterest/Jess Leininger

Greyhounds are magnificent dogs who are sometimes forced into racing at a young age because of their amazing speed. To make matters worse, when the dogs are retired they are sometimes put down. Luckily, there are now a bunch of rescues who work directly with greyhounds.

In their older ages, some greyhounds carry a gene which begins to cause their fur to become spotted or dappled. Many people think that this is some kind of form of vitiligo. Whatever the case may be, greyhounds are some of the sweetest dogs around!

The Most Beautiful Cat

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Pinterest/Emilienne

Have you ever seen a more interesting feline face than this one? This is a chimera cat. She appears to be half tabby and half black cat, and the colors are split perfectly down the center of her face. She also has two differently colored eyes.

According to National Geographic, “In mythology, a chimera is a mishmash monster made up of parts of different animals. A feline chimera is a cat whose cells contain two types of DNA, caused when two embryos fuse together.” Apparently, cat chimeras are more common then one would think. Regardless of the cause of this amazing kitty’s coloring, she is among the most beautiful cats we have ever seen!

Xander The German Shepherd

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Pinterest/Summer Russell

This is Xander, a German Shepherd with vitiligo. Xander was originally a black German Shepherd before developing vitiligo in his older age. Much like humans, Xander’s vitiligo affected his face as well as other patches on his extremities.

German Shepherds are known to be an extremely loyal breed and are often used as military or police dogs. This particular doggo didn’t work for a living and instead got to be a beloved family pet. It’s nice to report that this family loved their dog even more when he developed his interesting new coloring.

Duke’s Looking For A Home

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Pinterest/Donna

Duke is a rottweiler who first came to the attention of the internet after he popped up on an adoption site in the UK. The eight-year-old dog was looking for his forever home and his unique looks soon garnered him many admirers around the world.

Unfortunately, poor Duke also suffers from another skin condition which is marked by occasional painful flare-ups. However, despite the pain, this good boy doesn’t let his condition get him down. Duke was originally posted in January of 2018 and we certainly hope he finds his forever home sooner rather than later.

The Remarkable Panda Cat

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Pinterest/Della S

This interesting-looking feline is known as “Panda Cat” due to her distinct markings. She originally found a new friend who spread her photos around the web after she showed up at his car door as though she were waiting for him. Despite being called Panda Cat, her markings are actually of that of an inverted Panda which is not so common.

Panda Cat lives at a veterinary farm in the UK and visits each car that pulls up in order to greet the driver. Although Panda Cat looks quite remarkable, she loves to engage in typical kitty behaviors such as napping and more napping.

Pinky The Albino Dolphin

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Pinterest/Laina Hest

Pinky is a Louisiana Bottlenose Dolphin who got his name from his trademark look. Pinky was first spotted in 2007 and is most likely an albino. If you get up close enough, you would also be able to see that Pinky has reddish eyes and blood vessels. This is a sign of albinism, when the skin and other membranes are essentially devoid of color.

Albinism can sometimes cause issues with vision. It can also present problems for animals in the wild because without melanin their skin is less protected. Pinky has been spotted by humans regularly for the last eight years so it seems as though he is doing just fine.

The Cutest Piebald Deer

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Pinterest/Karen Hollyman

This baby deer looks as though it might suffer from vitiligo, but it actually has piebaldism. Piebald deer are quite common in the wild. Unlike vitiligo, piebaldism is a genetic trait. It is present since birth, hence this little guy’s adorable coloring.

Piebaldism is often passed from generation to generation. Another telltale sign of piebaldism is that affected animals often have a white diamond on their foreheads. Although this little guy was born with a special genetic trait he is still one of the most adorable on our list.

Amazing Snake Skin

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Pinterest/Jenn Mills

While there have been multiple documented instances of snakes with albinism, this boa constrictor with piebaldism is quite remarkable. Snakes often have unique skins with different patches of color. This particular boa has large patches of white throughout its scales where there is a lack of pigment.

Piebaldism is a condition that is present from birth, unlike vitiligo which appears over some time. This snake is certainly one remarkable creature! We can’t help but wonder what he looks like after he sheds his skin.

The Fiercest Spots

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Pinterest/Brittany Rae

This leopard is described as having a cob-webbed pattern on its fur. Despite looking as though it has a dapple coat, this is actually the result of vitiligo. The pattern of white spots looks almost like snow has fallen and settled on her body. It’s hard to imagine that this was once a solid black leopard!

This particular leopard is in captivity. Vitiligo is a condition that you wouldn’t see often in leopards, whether in the wild or in zoos. The expression on the leopard’s face is probably the best thing about this photo. We can’t help but notice that she doesn’t look too happy to have her picture taken. What do you think?

Happy Spots

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Pinterest/Lisa Tofel

Penguins, and their adorable waddles, are some of the cutest animals to watch in the wild. While penguins are sometimes known to have a white patch on their bellies, this penguin has vitiligo. Like other animals affected by the disorder, dark areas of pigmentation are now beginning to lighten, creating a dappled effect.

It will be interesting to monitor this little guy over the years and see if he turns entirely white! One thing is for sure, this little penguin seems to be awfully proud of his newfound colors. At least if his proud stance is any kind of sign!

Snowflake The Gorilla

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Pinterest/Kevyn

Snowflake is another famous entry on the list. He gained his fame because of his remarkable trait of albinism, hence his name. Snowflake was a Western Lowland Gorilla who lived at a zoo in Barcelona, Spain. Remarkably, the rest of Snowflake’s group were all of normal coloring.

Snowflake was the father of twenty-two offspring. Interestingly, none of them inherited albinism. The trait is recessive and must be passed by both the mother and the father. Snowflake lived a happy life to the age of 39 years old.

Gorgeous Stripes

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Pinterest/Sandy Prenzi

This gorgeous animal is known as golden zebra. Golden zebras actually have albinism. Interestingly, instead of completely removing pigment, albinism has instead made the black stripes into golden ones. The result is striking to say the least!

For animals with albinism, being in the wild can sometimes be difficult. This is because albinism can also affect their eyes, making it difficult for them to see well. For an animal like a zebra, who is sometimes hunted by larger predators, this can’t bode well. However, if their territory is a dry or desert area, they can blend in even better with the background.

Long-Necked Beauty

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Pinterest/Martina Beck

This giraffe is located in Kenya at Soysambu Conservancy. Zoe Muller, who works with the Rothschild Giraffe Project, noticed something interesting over the years. The male giraffe appeared to be changing colors. Muller noted, “I first started to see a few white spots appear on the animal’s coat back in November 2009, and was puzzled as I had never seen this before.”

Over the next years, Muller continued to observe the giraffe in his natural habitat and noticed that the white fur continued to spread. Other than the change in color, his health has not seemingly been affected at all. Muller has stated that this is the first known case of a giraffe with vitiligo. His special condition makes him one unique giraffe!

Peacock Perfection

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Pinterest/Liana Johnson

Male peacocks are arguably some of the most beautiful birds in the world. This particular peacock happens to have vitiligo. Despite his vibrant colors of blue and green being stripped away, somehow this has made him even more beautiful!

Half of his feathers are the gorgeous standard colors, while the other half are a stunning perfect white. It almost looks as though an artist has taken a paintbrush across his feathers. A male peacock’s feathers are known to attract their female counterparts. This male peacock seems to be getting on just fine!