Heterochromia in pets: why does it happen?

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Foto de Heterocromia em pets: por que acontece?

Even if in some post on the internet, you have certainly come across a dog or cat that has color variations in its eyes. This anomaly is called heterochromia and arouses the curiosity of several people around the world. So, if you are one of those interested in knowing more about the subject, get ready for content full of details about heterochromia in pets.

What causes heterochromia in pets?

In general, heterochromia is caused by changes in melanin levels. The anomaly is a genetic variation and is related to the pigmentation of the iris, this means that excess melanin results in a brown eye and scarcity of melanin results in a bluish eye.

This difference is still formed during development in the uterus and may be linked to factors related to DNA.

Genetic alteration can also be related to chimerism, a phenomenon that occurs when an animal has two or more sets of genetically diverse cells originating from different zygotes, thus, each vertical half of its body will have color variations.

What are the types of heterochromia?

We can observe different types of heterochromia in pets. Look:

  • Partial heterochromia: a single iris has different shades of the same color.
  • Complete heterochromia: the iris of one eye has a completely different color than the iris of the other.

Are there races with a predisposition?

The change that motivates heterochromia in pets is more easily found in certain breeds of dogs and cats. We have listed the main ones so that you can understand more about the subject:

  • Prone dog breeds: Great Dane; Dalmatian; Siberian Husky; Australian Shepherd; Border Collie; Pitbull Terrier; French Bulldog.
  • Prone cat breeds: Siamese; Sphynx; Turkish Van; Turkish Angoras; Persians; Devon rex.

Does heterochromia in pets indicate risks?

In general, heterochromia can be seen as a benign condition. However, if your pet’s eyes suddenly change color, the veterinarian should be consulted immediately! This is an indication that something is wrong with your pet’s health and that it needs your help.

Heterochromia should not cause difficulties related to vision, except for cases in which other anomalies are present.

For concerned guardians, PetLab’s tip is to look for a veterinarian to confirm that your pet’s situation is completely normal.

So, were our curiosities about heterochromia in pets interesting for you? Keep following us here and on our Facebook and Instagram to learn more about the world of pussies!

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