Meet Blaze, a purebred Labrador Retriever, originally born with a full black coat. He’s ten years old, lives in Finland. He’s almost much like any ol’ Lab. Almost.
Labrador Retriever dogs are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. When Blaze was born, he had a full black coat like any other Lab and it remained that way for most of his life.
That changed however when white patches started to develop all over his body.
“At first, we thought it was just aging, but the white color started to come more and more month by month,” Santeri Frilander, Blaze’s dad, told The Dodo.
The white fur patches quickly covered nearly all of Blaze’s face, spreading to his shoulders and legs.
It was at this point his owners realized that it wasn’t his age changing Blaze’s coat, but it was a skin condition called vitiligo.
Vitiligo is a skin condition mostly diagnosed in humans, but in rare cases, it can also affect dogs. In humans, vitiligo is characterized by patches of the skin losing their natural pigmentation, while in canines it is the fur that loses its color. The cause of vitiligo is currently unknown, and there is no known cure for it.
His owner Santeri, however, said it doesn’t stop Blaze from enjoying his everyday life. He’s still healthy, full of energy, and wants to go places. His new black and white fur gives him a very unique look that people seem to adore. At the end of the day, “Vitiligo is just a cosmetic thing”, he said.
Blaze loves to be the center of attention, and after his owner shared a photo of him sitting next to the dinner table in a well known Facebook group called Dogspotting Society, it quickly went viral. His mesmerizing markings gaining him fans across the globe.