Cat with vitiligo disease
When the cat with vitiligo is noticed, the tutor may be afraid. After all, this health problem is somewhat rare in pets and still generates many doubts. Is it a serious disease? Is there a cure? How does the disease affect pets?
To answer these and other questions, it is best to know the problem. For that, we consulted a veterinarian who took all our doubts away. Keep reading to learn how to handle a cat with vitiligo.
Oh, and throughout the article, you also check out some kittens with vitiligo in their Instagram profiles!
What is vitiligo?
Some of the diseases that can affect our pets friends are known to affect humans as well. This is the case with vitiligo in animals, a skin disease that also affects people. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), vitiligo affects about 1% of the population.
Veterinarian, says that in cats, this is a skin disease considered rare. The specialist explains a little how the problem acts. Vitiligo is a disease that causes skin depigmentation. The pet gets light spots on any part of the body.
Often, vitiligo in cats is confused with other health problems. The recommendation is to get a vet for a more accurate diagnosis.
What causes vitiligo in cats?
The animal vitiligo, no matter how old it is in medicine, is still a problem without defined cause. Studies indicate that it is an autoimmune disease, that is, a reaction of the body against itself.
Some genetic factors can influence the appearance of the problem. However, scientists do not understand very well which genes are responsible for this. According to experts, environmental conditions such as sunshine and food can also influence the onset of the disease.
In the case of this cat disease, veterinarian states that there is also no defined cause, but it is already known that the condition is more common in Siamese cats.
How to notice a cat with vitiligo?
To notice that your cat has vitiligo is not very difficult. With the lack of melanin, pets get the white hair well noticeable. The stains, however, can vary in form.
In some cases, they’re little spots all over your body. In others, a larger area is affected and grows over time. In any case, only a veterinarian will know if your cat has the disease. The tip is to seek the help of a specialist as soon as you notice any variation in your pet’s coat.
To identify a Siamese cat with vitiligo, take it to a veterinarian. Although the disease is not serious, it is necessary to have the diagnosis of a professional in the area to rule out other skin diseases.
Cat with vitiligo: should I worry?
If you have received the diagnosis that your furry friend has vitiligo, there is nothing to worry about. As veterinarian explains, this disease poses no health risks to the pet. It’s a purely cosmetic issue.
Veterinarian reinforces, however, that the lack of pigmentation requires some care. As there is a deficiency of melanin, excessive exposure to the sun should be avoided, explains the veterinarian. This is because melanin, besides pigmenting the skin, has the function of protecting it from the sun’s rays.
Without melanin, our friends are less protected. And so the ultraviolet rays can cause burns on the skin of the pet. Besides causing irritation, the excess sun can have more serious consequences.
The excess can increase the chance of some types of cancer, adds the veterinarian. So if you have a cat with vitiligo, be careful with sun exposure, especially in the hottest seasons.
How to prevent the condition?
Even though it is not a serious disease, some tutors try to treat vitiligo and prevent the progression of the disease. However, as veterinarian explains, there is no consensus on how to prevent the problem.
Controversial reports indicate a possible improvement with the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. But it’s not a confirmed cure. Today, there is no specific treatment that has been proven effective.
However, experts indicate that there is no point in trying to combat vitiligo in cats, since the condition does not bring serious consequences for your friend and can make him even more charming.