Affecting all vertebrates, including dogs and us humans, albinism is a congenital disorder that causes an absence of skin pigmentation. Also known as achromia or achromasia, this pigment deficiency results in white colored fur, pink skin, and pink or blue eyes. Due of the lack of pigment, animals with albinism may be extremely sensitive to light, easily acquire sunburns, and be more susceptible to skin cancer. Some dogs with albinism may also have unpredictable temperament.
This inherited condition results from a mutant recessive gene that cannot be easily detected prior to birth. Since their bodies do not produce melanin it is important for pet owners to try and limit sun exposure to unprotected areas of the skin that may sunburn easily, and their eyes are especially sensitive to sunlight. If your pet has albinism, it may be wise to speak to your veterinarian about pet friendly sunscreen and how to protect your dog from harmful sun rays.
Trupanion offers cat and dog insurance which provides coverage for hereditary and congenital disorders. If your pet has albinism and is enrolled with Trupanion’s pet insurance policy, anything that occurs that may be associated with this condition such as skin cancer, Trupanion would cover diagnostic tests, surgeries, and medications, as long as it is not a pre-existing condition.
For more information on albinism and other pet health concerns, take a look at Trupanion’s Pet Health Concerns Guide.