It’s Tuesday Trivia, time to test your canine capabilities! Today is dedicated to dogs with two different eye colors. For example, a dog may have one blue eye and one brown eye. Whether you encountered these dogs in real life, saw them only in pictures or actually owned one, there’s a specific term used to describe the condition of having two eyes with distinctly different colored irises. So today’s question is: What’s the term used to depict the characteristic of having two different eye colors?
A: Horner’s Syndrome
C: Complete heterochromia
D: Ocular melanosis
The correct answer is:
If you picked A, you likely have heard the term Horner’s syndrome pronounced around dogs, but Horner’s syndrome is actually a disorder where the dog develops several symptoms such as drooping eyelids, constricted pupils and sunken eyes. If you picked B, anisocoria, you are looking at another term that, yes, has to do with eyes, but in this case, it’s the condition of having pupils of an unequal size. If you picked D, ocular melanosis, you are a bit close, considering that ocular refers to eyes and melanosis comes from the term melanin which means color, but in this case the suffix “osis” gives it a negative connotation as it means an “abnormal state”. Ocular melanosis indeed is a congenital eye disorder in dogs caused by an increase of melanocytes, ( the melanin-forming cells) in the eye.
So the correct answer is C, complete heterochromia.
“Heterochromia is used to describe a multi-colored iris within the same eye, or two eyes with distinctly different colored irises.” Race Foster DVM
You can read more about dogs with different eye colors and breeds that are prone to complete heterochromia here: why do dogs have eyes of different colors?