Look at Those Peepers!

heterochromia_cat

You’ve probably at least seen the pictures, if not the real thing. A dog or a cat (or even a horse) with two differently colored eyes. This condition, which occurs in people, too (though more rarely), is known as heterochromia. It’s a condition most often caused by genetics and is harmless in most cases.

Heterochromia is caused by differing levels of a substance called melanin in our (and your pet’s) bodies. Melanin also determines skin color. When heterochromia does occur, the two most common eye colors are brown and blue, although other combinations are possible. Cats have a higher occurrence of blue and green eyes, for example. Very hypnotic!

It can make for a very striking appearance in people and animals, but if you find that your newborn or newly acquired pet has heterochromia, you might want to schedule an extra trip to the vet. In rare cases, pets with heterochromia can be the bearers of a tumor that can shorten their lives. If discovered early, your vet may be more able to do something about it.

As stated, more often than not, the condition of heterochromia affects nothing more than appearance. Many owners of heterochromatic pets consider themselves lucky to have friends with such distinctive peepers!

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