Diseases & Conditions
What is a uveal melanoma?
A uveal melanoma is a tumor found within your dog’s eye. These tumors are usually located on the iris (the colored part of the eye) or on an internal portion of your dog’s eye that you will not be able to observe. Fortunately, most uveal melanomas are benign. In only a very small percentage of affected dogs will the tumor spread to other parts of the body. In addition, as long as the tumor is not blocking your dog’s pupil, in most cases your dog’s vision will not be impacted by the tumor.
What will a uveal melanoma look like on my dog?
You may potentially see a dark growth on your dog’s iris, although sometimes the tumors are not darkly pigmented. The tumor can also be located in a portion of your dog’s eye that you may not be able to observe.
How does my dog get a uveal melanoma?
The exact cause of uveal melanomas is not definitively known. However a hereditary link is suspected in certain breeds of dogs.
How is a uveal melanoma diagnosed?
Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough eye exam and may refer you to a veterinary ophthalmologist . Due to the location of these tumors within the eye, it is very difficult to perform a biopsy. Diagnosis is usually based on history and physical characteristics.
How is a uveal melanoma treated?
Generally, your veterinarian will just monitor the tumor meaning that your dog will need an eye exam several times a year. If the tumor is growing aggressively, your veterinarian may recommend surgical removal of the impacted eye. Even with only one eye, your dog can still have a happy and active life.
How is a uveal melanoma prevented?
There is no known prevention at this time. However, a dog with an eye tumor should not be bred nor should you acquire a dog who has a family history of these tumors.
Can I get a uveal melanoma from my dog?
No, you cannot contract a uveal melanoma from your dog.