Mar 04
cat and dog with different eye colours

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

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. The only necessity is to pile them with admiration for their beauty and uniqueness!

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Dr. Claire Jenkins

Claire is a QLD graduate with over 15 years experience as a neighbourhood Veterinarian in Australia and the UK. Animal lover and the founder of Vetchat, born from a passion to help pet carers everywhere access trusted advice earlier, for healthier, happier pets. Grateful to be carer to her beautiful Red-dog.