You Make The Diagnosis: Dog Iris Abnormality

Pictured below is a closeup of the right eye of a dog. Look closely at the eye and then answer the following questions: Name the abnormal structure found in this eye. Will this condition cause problems? What breeds of dogs are most commonly affected?

Uveal Cyst

Diagnosis: Iridociliary (Uveal) Cyst

Iridociliary cysts are pigmented transparent structures which occur in dogs, cats and horses. The cysts can be attached to the iris as in this patient or free floating. Most are benign and require no specific therapy. On rare occasions, I have seen the cysts grow large enough to block vision. I have also had one patient develop so many cysts that they caused glaucoma (increased ocular pressure). In dogs, the condition is most often seen in Boston terriers, Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers. They are thought to be caused by trauma or damage to the uveal tract. I have also seen them in pups with congenital cysts.

Uveal cyst red highlight



-Grey, Heather. ‘Iridociliary Cysts’ Associate Database, VIN last updated 10/22/2006.

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.