What Does It Mean When a Dog or Cat Has Different Eye Colours?

Posted by Dr Claire Jenkins on Mar 4, 2016 10:31:09 PM
Dr Claire Jenkins

Dogs and cats can have eyes that are each a different colour. Specifically, it’s the coloured part of the eye called the iris. The term for different coloured irises in one individual, as well as different colours within the one iris, is heterochromia iridis.

A dog or cat born with heterochromia does not have a medical problem, but rather has a normal variation of eye colour. Contrary to popular belief that tone blue eye can indicate blindness; their vision is completely normal.

Heterochromia is not uncommon in white cats, and is more prevalent in certain breeds of dogs such as St. Bernards, Great Danes, Beagles, Collies, Australian Shepherds, Old English Sheepdogs, Dalmatians and Shelties.

It can also be acquired through disease or injury, and it’s important to differentiate it from melanoma of the iris.

Treatment is not necessary (or possible!) for dogs and cats born with heterochromia. They are wonderfully unique! 

Want help? Chat with our vets

Our experienced Aussie vets are online between 6am-11pm daily, so let’s get an action plan in place for your fur kid. Get an appointment for a video consult or start a chat within minutes.