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DrBridget, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16
Experience:  11 years veterinary experience in small animal medicine and surgery.
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My cat, age 4 yrs, male, has spots around the edge of the

Customer Question

My cat, age 4 yrs, male, has brown spots around the edge of the iris of one eye. The spots start at the edge and seem to spread inward. About 5 spots are small, about 1 or 2 sq mm in size, and one larger spot about 5 sq mm in size. We noticed some spots when he was very young and our vet at the time said that they could just be discoloration, however, they have never gone away and they have grown over time. He does not appear to be in discomfort. The spots look very similar to photos of iris melanosis, particularly in the first photo on this web page. Any suggestions?.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Simba
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Simba?
Customer: He appears otherwise healthy.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  DrBridget replied 8 months ago.

Hi! My name is***** and I am a small animal veterinarian. I'm currently typing up my reply. This may take a few minutes, thank you for your patience.

Expert:  DrBridget replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for your question, it is great that you are monitoring Simba so closely. There are a few different causes of the spots that you have described in Simba’s eyes. The brown spots are caused by growth/spread of pigmented melanocytes on the iris. Iris melanosis are spots that are not raised. If the spots are raised or have an irregular surface or alter the shape of the iris they are usually iris melanomas, this is a type of tumor. As with all tumors they can either be benign or malignant, the malignant type can spread to other organs.

Ultimately the way to differentiate between the types of spots so we can tell if they are likely to cause any problems for Simba is for him to be examined by a Veterinary Ophthalmologist. These specialists have special equipment and advanced training in veterinary eye care so they are able to confirm what type of spot Simba may have by using a slit-lamp biomicroscope.

If the specialist suspects that these could be melanomas they will discuss with you the next steps for diagnosis and treatment. It can only be determined if they are benign or malignant by a pathologist. The ophthalmologist will guide you through these steps if they feel Simba may have a melanomas.

Hopefully the spots are iris melanosis as you have wondered, luckily most of these spots do not progress into malignant tumors. However if more spots form or enlarge they can cause damage to the area where fluid in the eye drains and can then predispose cats to glaucoma - high intraocular pressures. If the ophthalmologist feels that this could be a problem for Simba they will suggest routine rechecks, possibly every 6 months, so they can check with the split lamp biomicroscope for changes to the spots and will also check his eye pressure.

I would suggest you schedule and appointment with a veterinary ophthalmologist so that they can examine Simba and give you a treatment plan if necessary.

I wish you and Simba the best of luck. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

Expert:  DrBridget replied 8 months ago.

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Expert:  DrBridget replied 8 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?