Iris melanosis is one of the most common conditions specific to felines concerning pet owners across the world. It is a change in the pigmentation of the cat iris and can be easily identified.
In this guide, let us try to learn more about the condition, its implications, causes and treatment to help you understand what you should expect when your four-legged friend gets affected.
Iris Melanosis In Cats – A Complete Guide
Iris melanosis is a condition that affects the iris of felines and is often referred to as iris freckles or hyperpigmentation. In this condition, pigmentation develops in the iris (colored part of the eye). This is a common occurrence in middle-aged and senior cats.
In this feline problem, certain spots in one or both eyes change their colors suddenly. You may notice the cat’s eye to get discolored in some areas or the two eyes don’t seem to look the same. Melanosis typically affects only one eye though it can occur in both eyes. If the pet is affected by melanosis in both eyes at once, the eyes may no longer look asymmetrical.
This condition is generally non-cancerous but can sometimes be a matter of concern. Melanoma is a more dangerous reason for feline hyperpigmentation. Iris melanosis is generally not so dangerous but can sometimes cause vision loss and other effects. This is why it is important that pet owners don’t ignore any change in the feline eye color. It should be taken to a vet for an examination at the earliest.
Feline Iris Melanosis – Is It Dangerous?
Feline iris melanosis is generally a harmless condition. It affects the appearance of the cat’s eyes but is not likely to harm the pet’s vision. It does not cause distortion to the eye’s surface or any obstruction to any part of the eye.
However, this does not mean that iris melanosis in cats is always harmless. It can be dangerous at times. In some cases, melanosis in feline eyes can result in glaucoma in one or both eyes. This condition of the eye is associated with a high amount of pressure resulting in distorted vision and can be painful at times.
Another implication of feline iris melanosis is its confusion with iris melanoma. It is a type of cat cancer that spreads quickly and obstructs vision. If not treated on time, the melanoma can make the cat deprived of vision and spread the cancerous growth to other parts of the body, turning out to be fatal.
Iris hyperpigmentation is a symptom of melanoma which is why it is advisable that you pay attention to changes in your cat’s eye color. It is recommended that the cat should be taken to a vet for examination and confirmation that it is not a symptom of cancer. While melanosis can be left untreated, melanoma should be surgically removed at the earliest to prevent its spread.
What Causes Iris Melanosis In Cats?
Iris melanosis in cats results from inappropriate replication and spread of the pigmented cells over the surface of the iris. These cells, also called melanocytes, are responsible for the hyperpigmentation occurring from this condition. Brown spots or freckles can develop in cats with any eye color and can be either cancerous or non-cancerous.
The condition starts as a flat, small, benign freckle on the iris and then increases gradually in size and intensity. The spot can get darker with time and can occur in one or both eyes. When multiple spots exist, they can merge as they grow bigger. Melanosis is generally flat and does not protrude out of the iris surface. The condition is harmless and painless but can sometimes result in glaucoma, a painful condition of the eye affecting vision and health.
Some specialists recommend treating melanosis with laser therapy to destruct the freckles in the early stages. The therapy aims to delay or prevent the condition from transforming into melanoma. Each cat and each case of the condition is different and the ophthalmologist can best decide the most appropriate treatment plan for the pet.
Specks In Cat’s Eyes?
Specks are the brown spots in the cat’s eyes also known as hyperpigmentation or iris melanosis. There can be one or more areas with specks in the eyes of the cat when it gets affected. These spots can start small and increase gradually in size. While iris melanosis is a common cause of specks, it is not the only reason for spots in the cat’s iris.
If you notice any changes in the color of the iris or a spot, it is important to take the cat to a veterinarian for evaluation. The vet will perform a physical examination and consider the pet’s history about specks and other accompanying signs to find out what is wrong. He may refer the cat to an ophthalmologist for an absolute diagnosis.
The vet or eye specialist should monitor the cat for signs like distortion of the iris, the color of the spot, eye pressure and more to find out whether the specks are benign or cancerous. Cats suffering from iris melanosis are generally advised to be watched. A follow-up is scheduled every six months to make sure the condition does not transform into something serious.
Cat Eye Brown Discoloration
A lot of felines in their middle age or seniority experience a brown discoloration in their eyes. While it may seem to be common, pet owners should take any such changes seriously and address them at the earliest to avoid any risks. One of the most common reasons for discoloration or pigmentation in the feline eye is iris melanosis. This condition is generally harmless and can be left untreated.
However, it is important that you get the cat examined to make sure there is no serious underlying condition. One should monitor the pet for signs of discoloration during grooming sessions. Pet owners should familiarize themselves with the color of the cat’s eyes and any natural spots and always be aware of any new changes to one or both eyes. If any signs of hyperpigmentation are seen, one should report it to the vet at the earliest for further diagnosis and treatment.