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Eye colour from green to "rusty"

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

Was just wondering if any of you had any experience of this.

Murphy is 2YO this month and has always had green eyes, but recently they have started to turn .. what I can only describe as "rusty" It started at the top and has gradually spread around his left eye and now his right eye is doing the same.

The eye is not swollen, there is no discharge, hes eating fine, shouting and me and being bossy as normal.

I was trying to research online and read cats can get "eye freckles"?

What do you all think? Here's a couple of pictures.

Thanks in advance.

These are his eyes maybe 15 months ago

And these are today

post #2 of 7
Hopefully it is only harmless pigmentation but please, have the eyes checked as soon as possible. And, if at all possible, get a referral to a veterinary ophthalmologist as well.


Melanosis or Melanoma in eye

Question: I have a 2 year old Persian who has melanosis of the iris in her left eye. I did read your synopsis of this condition and then took her to see a veterinary opthamologist at the animal hospital in NYC. I was told that the clinical diagnosis of no cancer was being made based on the fact that the "freckles" in Jules' eye were flat, light colored and not extending to the furthest most points.

The doctor said that I should keep an eye on it( no pun intended) and bring Jules back in a year for a re-exam; however, I would like to know if you think that this approach is too laid back and a second opinion should be sought. Also, can I do anything nutritionally or otherwise to ward off a full blown melanoma or is it inevitable? Jules weighs 8 lbs. and is in good health and fully vaccinated. I discovered the freckles about 4 ir 5 months ago when he turned two.

Answer: Ellen-

Dark color changes in the iris are not always due to melanoma but it is important to continue to watch carefully for changes in the iris, especially anything that appears to be an increase in thickness. The ophthalmologist has the best ability to evaluate these changes, so I do think it is reasonable to trust his or her opinion. Between examinations at the ophthalmologist's, you can check the eye once a month or so to be sure that there freckles are staying flat and becoming a thickened spot or visible tumor on the iris.

I do not know of anything that is known to prevent the occurrence of melanomas affecting the inside of the eye nor anything that works to stop the growth of the tumor once it starts. In cats, about 60% of melanomas of the eye are malignant and removal of the eye is recommended when there is some certainty that a tumor is present.

We do see pigmentary changes that never develop into a problem and the ophthalmologist probably has a much better feel for which ones will be a problem and which ones won't than general practice vets, such as my wife and I.

Mike Richards, DVM
post #3 of 7
By now you will have been introduced to the notion that this could be something very serious.....hopefully, as Violet suggested, it is simply "harmless pigmentation".

Last year, Yuma posted, urging anyone who noticed changes in their cats' eyes to concult with a Veterinary Opthamologist in this post.

I think all of us need to guard against a tendency to take a "wait-and-see" approach to changes we observe in our cats.....
post #4 of 7
Words can't describe how much I dislike, distrust and disapprove of the "wait-and-see" approach when something is going on that can be a sign of a very serious or even potentially life-threatening health problem. I would urge anyone never to go along with this approach and ask for testing or a referral to a specialist without waiting another day when told let's wait and see. Not waiting can save a cat's life.

I truly hope with all my heart that the melanosis in Murphy's eyes is benign. But it's crucial to have it looked at by a specialist as soon as possible.

Okuda, I'm sending you heartfelt best wishes.
post #5 of 7
Here's some additional reading from a reputable Veterinary Ophthalmology site.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Afternoon Everyone,

Thanks for your replies.

Firstly I didn't take the "wait and see" approach. This is why I logged on here to ask advice late at night. I had mentioned to my husband before I even logged on here that I'd be taking him to the vet in the morning, I was just hoping that some experienced people could give me some advice to go with. If my cats need treatment I will take it to a vets.

I took him to see the Dr this morning. He had a good look in the eye. He says the inside looks really really healthy .. the retina and everything is totally fine. He advised me though that he is going to call an Ophthalmoloist (sp?) who they refer cases to and ask their advice and refer him. (He said this before I even asked about that approach!) So that's where we stand at the moment. I suspect tomorrow being Sunday I won't have news until Monday, but I shall post as it comes.

Thanks your your well wishes. I am really hoping for a positive outcome and it being just a case of a cat with one ginger eye and one green. (which is still a little strange lol, but a lot better than the other outcome!)

** Edit ** oh I should add (after reading that last link) that the Dr said the coloured part was not raised or distorting the iris, it just looks like the actual iris (muscle?) has changed colour but kept its form. I'm hoping this is also a good sign.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by BLAISE View Post
Here's some additional reading from a reputable Veterinary Ophthalmology site.
Very interesting. Thanks for that. When I was trying to google it didn't get many results .. of course "cats eye going rusty" I guess isn't the most technical term in the world lol. At least I have proper word to google now for more information. Knowledgeable lil lot aintcha
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