Boy and Dog Share the Same Medical Condition

With boundless loyalty, playfulness, and cuddles, a dog can be a kid’s best friend. And this is especially true for Carter, who suffers from vitiligo.

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Vitiligo is a skin condition that creates patches of unpigmented skin. Carter hated the way it made him look – until his mother found a social media account for Rowdy, an adorable dog who also has vitiligo. Carter became Rowdy’s biggest fan and followed all his pictures and videos. Recently, Carter got to fly to meet Rowdy in person!

“This is an interesting story because vitiligo does take such a toll,” says Dermatologist Dr. Sonya Batra. It’s often especially stressful for people with more pigmented skin, like Carter, because the contrast with the pale patches is more obvious.

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Vitiligo is an immune disorder in which the body attacks its own pigmentation. It may spread with age and is usually symmetrical – which is why Rowdy has a big white patch on each eye. “But it can be treated, and it’s not always permanent,” adds Dr. Batra. “We don’t always understand what triggers it and what causes it to resolve.”

Whether their conditions are permanent or eventually improve, Rowdy is perfectly comfortable with his striking appearance – and he’s helped Carter feel about his!

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