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Silver Labrador with 'doggy alopecia' searches for new home

16-month-old Silver Labrador Milo.

A Labrador who was bred for his unusual 'silver' colour but now has significant hair loss due to 'doggy alopecia' is searching for a loving home.

Sixteen-month-old Milo came into York Animal Home, run by the RSPCA York, Harrogate & District Branch, when his owner could no longer take care of him.

When he arrived it was clear he suffered with Alopecia and they wanted to investigate why.

Animal Centre Manager Ruth McCabe said: 

“Milo was bred specifically for his ‘silver’ colouring, which is quite rare, but has caused the genetic condition follicular dysplasia. 

"This is essentially doggy alopecia and is caused by an abnormality in the hair follicle, meaning he experiences fur loss and skin irritation.

“Despite the problems with his skin and his coat, Milo is a fun-loving lad who loves everyone he meets. He is a happy boy who lives life to the full and will make a wonderful addition to the right family. 

"We just hope someone can see past his appearance and his skin problems, and learn to love the boy he is on the inside.”

RSPCA Senior Scientific Officer Dr Andrea Short who has a PhD in dog genetics said:

“Countless health problems in some of our most beloved breeds can be attributed to genetic issues, and often these are problems that have been man-made as we seek to create dogs with more extreme features, unusual colours, or rare markings.

"Breeding for the silver colour in Labradors, for example, often means the recessive traits or coat colour dilution can crop up and cause a life-long genetic health problem, such as follicular dysplasia."

She added:

 “It’s so important that the public is aware of the reality of these unusual colourings and avoid fuelling these dangerous trends.

While we would always urge people to adopt rescue dogs, those who are buying should choose dogs who have been bred with health, welfare and temperament as priorities.”

Milo missed out on basic training as a youngster so would benefit from owners who are willing to work on this with him.

He’s described as a "clever dog who is eager to learn".

Find out more about Milo online or contact the Ashley Heath team on 0300 123 0749 or ashleyheath@rspca.org.uk. To apply to adopt Milo, complete this form.

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