Tumor of the Eye in Dogs

Tumor of the Eye in Dogs

It also called uveal melanoma. The uvea is the part of the eye that is comprised of the iris (the colored part of the eye surrounding the pupil), the ciliary body (which produces the fluid within the eye [aqueous humour] and manages the ciliary muscle contractions that aid in near focus), the choroid (which provides oxygen and nutrition to the retina — the inner surface of the eye), and the pars plana (at the front of the eye, where the iris and sclera [white of the eye] touch). A melanoma is scientifically characterized by the malignant growth of melanocytes, cells that are dark in appearance due to the addition of the melanin pigment.

Uveal melanomas generally arise from the front of the iris’ surface area, with extension to the ciliary body and choroid. These tumors tend to be flat and diffuse, not nodular (unlike intraocular melanomas, which are raised masses). Such growths at first have a benign (non-spreading) clinical and cellular appearance. Uveal melanomas are the most common primary intraocular neoplasm in dogs. They are generally mild and unilateral, affecting the anterior uvea most often.

Nevertheless, uveal melanomas are as often efficient in destroying the eye. Anterior uveal melanomas have a four percent rate of malignant spread through the bloodstream to the lungs and visceral organs. Choroidal melanomas rarely metastasize.

Symptoms of Uveal Melanoma in Dogs

Anterior Uveal Melanoma

  • Pigmented scleral (white part of the eye) or corneal (the transparent front part of the eye) mass
  • Pigmented mass visible
  • Abnormal pupil
  • Inflammation of the eye (the uvea).
  • Glaucoma (increased pressure in the eyes).
  • Hyphema (blood in the eye).
  • No vision loss unless mass blocks the pupil or glaucoma has developed.

Choroidal Melanomas

  • Frequently missed out on because of the growth area.
  • Mass farther back in the eye.
  • Very slow-growing; rarely needs eliminating the eye.
  • Uncommon growth.

What Causes Uveal Melanoma in Dogs

  • Unknown.
  • Flat, pigmented iris freckles have the potential to transform into melanomas.
  • There is an assumed autosomal (non-sex-linked) recessive inheritance in Labrador retrievers.


Your vet will carry out an extensive physical exam on your dog, consisting of a total ophthalmic test (consisting of testing pressure within the eye and appropriate drain of the eye’s liquid humor). A complete blood profile will also be conducted, including a chemical blood profile, a total blood count, a urinalysis and an electrolyte panel. Proof of metastasis might be present in the blood profile, or the blood count might show increased white blood cells, which can be a sign of the body’s immune system battling the deadly cell growth. You will need to provide an extensive history of your dog’s health and the onset of symptoms.

X-rays and an ultrasound might also help to determine the level of metastatic disease in the eye. During the ophthalmic exam, tonometry will be used to determine the pressure in the eyes, and gonioscopy will be used to see if the melanoma has spread to the drainage angle. Slit-lamp biomicroscopy can be utilized to gauge the size and area of the mass. The mass needs to be transilluminated, a strategy which utilizes intense light to shine through the eyeball, illuminating it throughout as help to medical diagnosis. Indirect ophthalmoscopy can likewise be used to investigate the eye, with or without concomitant scleral indentation.


Uveal melanomas in dogs usually are non-spreading growths (benign), so you may choose to keep an eye on the eye for changes every 3– 6 months. Young Labrador retrievers are susceptible to aggressively growing uveal melanomas and will need surgery. Removal of the affected eye (enucleation) is the suggested treatment.

Signs for enucleation: the size of the mass increases quickly, the eye can not be salvaged, the mass spreads diffusely within the eye, visual function is significantly impaired, invasion of the tumor outside the eye, and secondary issues (e.g., glaucoma, signs of pain, bleeding).

Living and Management

Eliminating an eye is one-sided, and is done to spare the fellow eye. One-eyed animals typically operate extremely well, adjusting to the change in visual capacity quickly. If your dog develops glaucoma secondary to uveal melanoma, your dog will highly likely suffer a bargain of great pain. The resulting headaches may manifest as head shaking, head pushing, whining, placing the paws on the head, or lethargy and sluggish movements.

Your vet will schedule follow-up appointments for X-ray and ultrasound imaging at 6 and twelve months following the initial surgery or treatment. At these appointments, your vet will assess the enucleation site, in addition, to check for growth reoccurrence or metastasis.

Reyus Mammadli
Having engineering and medical education, in recent years actively engaged in the study of the development, reproduction of domestic animals. Special attention is paid to the treatment and prevention of diseases of Pets.
Pet Health
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