Heterochromia in Dogs

Submitted by laurenmeloche on Wed, 02/23/2022 - 11:51

Have you ever seen a dog with two different colored eyes? How does this work? This is called heterochromia, and it is actually more common among certain breeds. Heterochromia is caused by a lack of pigment, more specifically, melanin, in one eye over the other. Oftentimes, this is highly hereditary through genetics. 

Heterochromia can manifest in two different ways, including heterochromia iridis, sectoral heterochromia, and central heterochromia. Heterochromia iridis is when the entire iris is a different color from the other. Sectoral is when there is only partial blue in the iris, while central is when the blue coloring radiates out from the pupil.

Many different types of cattle dogs often have a higher likelihood of heterochromia. Breeds like Australian shepherds, border collies and Shetland sheepdogs are often likely to have some form of heterochromia as well.

If your dog has heterochromia due to hereditary reasons, this is nothing to worry about. However, if you notice that your dog is suddenly developing eye discoloration, then this is cause for concern. This can be due to a physical injury or a new medication. 







Submitted by eeggers on Thu, 02/24/2022 - 08:49


This is interesting - I didn’t know it was more common in cattle dogs.

- you said heterochromia could manifest in two ways, but then you listed three different ways