Dog Changes Completely From Black to White Over the Course of Two Years Due to Skin Condition

Close up on black dog in front of black background

Photo: mythja/Depositphotos (Not an actual photo of Buster the dog.)

One of the most endearing aspects of living with a dog is seeing them grow up and change. Many go from naughty little puppies to faithful companions, all while becoming several times bigger. For a dog named Buster, the changes were a bit more different. Over the last two and a half years, Buster's fur has completely changed from black to white.

The process was documented by Buster's human, Matt Smith. In late 2021, when Buster was only 2 years old, the dog was diagnosed with vitiligo. This skin condition is due to an autoimmune disorder that causes patches of skin to lose pigment or color. After taking him to the vet, Smith was told to keep an eye out for other skin issues or irritation, but otherwise there was nothing wrong with Buster's health.

Buster's vitiligo first showed up as patches around his eyes and chin. In less than nine months, his face was almost covered in white, giving him the appearance of a pup who played a little too long in the snow. Interested in keeping a record of the changes, Smith continued to dutifully photograph his dog.

Almost two years after his diagnosis, Buster looks completely different. Smith's images show Buster slowly losing his color—first around his face and then the rest of his body. At a certain point, he looked like a border collie, with the black pigment just showing up on the sides of his body. Then, he started to resemble a Dalmatian with black spots. “He would lose his black fur and new white fur would come in,” Smith wrote. “So there was a point in time where he was balding in areas until his fresh fluffy white fur grew in”

And now, the 4-year-old dog has gone from a completely black pup to an all-white dog. People with vitiligo have expressed their love for this dog, and others have even drawn out some clever pop culture references. Could Buster's ink toner be low? One Redditor compared him to the journey of Gandalf, explaining his changes as going from “Buster the Gray” to “Buster the White.” Others referenced Michael Jackson, who was diagnosed with vitiligo. A Redditor summarized this loving comparison as “He protecc. He attacc. But most importantly, He He.”

Meet Buster, a dog diagnosed with vitiligo.

Buster has vitiligo (also pictured: Rowdy)
byu/TallyMatty inrarepuppers

At first, Buster's vitiligo showed up as patches around his eyes and chin.

[OC] My dog Buster has the skin condition vitiligo. It causes depigmentation of the skin (and fur). The left photo is from 9 months ago. The right photo was taken today!
byu/TallyMatty inaww

Over the last two and a half years, Buster's fur has completely changed from black to white.

My boy Buster (4yo) has completely changed from black to white over the course of the last 2.5 years.
byu/TallyMatty inaww

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Regina Sienra

Regina Sienra is a Staff Writer at My Modern Met. Based in Mexico City, Mexico, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with specialization in Journalism from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She has 10+ years’ experience in Digital Media, writing for outlets in both English and Spanish. Her love for the creative arts—especially music and film—drives her forward every day.
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