Did you ever think about that? Our friends pets can have freckles too!
That’s true, my friends. Freckles can appear on many animal species, like the cats with red fur for example. They don’t appear on cheeks ( as for us human beings), but on all the areas lacking fur, precisely on the mucus-cutaneous junctions. Did you ever notice small dots on the nose, on the lips, on the palate ( but also on eyelids and iris) of your pet? They are just freckles.
You may be wondering if the freckles of the animals are similar to ours. They are dark colored small dots, with sizes of 1-10 mm of diameter.
But where are freckles from? They are caused by genetic Hypermelanosis due to the increasing of melanocites, cells which allow human being to tan ( or burn) when we are exposed at the sun. The “amber” color we get with the tanning varies according to the kind of skin of everyone.
Same thing happens to the freckles of our pets! In this case we talk about Lentigo Simplex and it is an absolutely benign phenomenon, above all if linked to the red color of the fur.
Other kind of freckles exist on our friends carts, all linked to genetic anomalies of pigmentation.
Here it is a short list:
- Lack of melanocites in some portions of tissue, usually because of genetic defects; they are associated de generation of the internal ear, and this also explains the deafness in the cats with white fur and blue eyes (Syndrome of Waardenburg).
- Vitiligo: it is a chronic disease, probably with an autoimmune cause, which appears with evident depigmented areas between skin and the mucosa. It hits lips, the nose or the eyelids. The clear areas appearing on the skin are not inflamed or painful but they are only clearer and tend to extend in an unstable way ( also “ peppered”).
The vitiligo can also appear on cats, therefore if you notice some gradual white or very light areas ( for examples on the nose), control the pads under the paws as well. It may happen that the spots appear on those areas too. The pathology is not severe, but no specific remedy for the cat exits until today.
The cat race more hit by vitiligo is the Siamese.
- Albinism: it is caused by gene mutation which make completely white not only the fur but also the skin, the iris and the retina epithelium. It can cause serious problems to the sight.
- Syndrome of Chédiak-Higashi: it is a very rare gene disease which causes a great susceptibility to the bacterial infections. It creates a very serious compromise of more cell lines: it doesn’t only hit the melanocites present in the skin with hyper-pigmentation, the fur of the pet and the iris, but also other cell lines like the leucocytes ( cells of the immune system) which seriously compromise the immunodeficiency. All these complications can cause death. Among all the cat races, the one more hit seems to be the Persian.