Animals with Heterochromia
As you may have noticed, these furry friends have truly beautiful and unique eye coloring. This difference in eye color – in humans or animals – is known as heterochromia. Usually found in the iris, heterochromia can also affect the hair or skin. Heterochromia occurs due to a relative excess or lack of the pigment melanin. Most likely to be inherited, heterochromia results from genetic mosaicism (cells with different genotypes) or can be due to disease or injury. Irises with this condition are either hyper-pigmented or hypo-pigmented. Heterochromia of the eye also comes in two packages: complete heterochromia, where one iris is a different color from the other, and partial heterochromia, where part of one iris is a different color from the rest of it. Partial heterochromia is less common – and less eye catching.
Although fairly rare in humans, complete heterochromia is more common in other species, and almost always involves one blue eye – often found in a white patch, where melanin is lacking from the skin and hair. Cats are one of the most commonly affected species, especially breeds like Turkish Van and Turkish Angora. Known colloquially as odd-eyed cats, these stunning felines are usually white or mostly white, with one blue peeper and one normal eye of copper, orange, yellow or green. As for dogs, complete heterochromia is commonly observed in Siberian Huskies, the eyes of which are normally light blue, dark blue, amber, or brown. It’s these unique differences in nature that display life’s true beauty and these animals are living proof.