Iridociliary cysts in the dog: a review of the most important aspects of diagnosis, risks and treatment

  • M. Frejlich
  • E. Capiau


Uveal cysts are frequently seen in dogs. They may arise either from the posterior pigmented epithelium of the iris or from the inner ciliary body epithelium. The cysts are usually free-floating within the anterior chamber or attached to the pupillary margin. The Golden retriever and Labrador retriever as well as the Great Dane are predisposed, but many other breeds can also be affected. Larger cysts can lead to the impairment of vision and corneal opacities. Furthermore, pigmentation of the anterior lens capsule, an incomplete pupillary reflex and glaucoma are also possible risks. Uveal cysts are usually diagnosed on the basis of the clinical appearance but transilluminating the cysts with a bright light source is necessary to distinguish them from a pigmented ocular tumor. In most cases, iridociliary cysts are an incidental finding and treatment is not required. However, in some specific breeds, including the Golden retriever and American bulldog, they may have a different appearance with a higher risk of inflammation and the development of glaucoma. When they become too big, removal is possible noninvasively by laser ablation or surgically by aspiration with a needle or by irrigation and aspiration.

How to Cite:

Frejlich, M. & Capiau, E., (2021) “Iridociliary cysts in the dog: a review of the most important aspects of diagnosis, risks and treatment”, Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 90(2), 51-58. doi:

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Published on
29 Apr 2021
Peer Reviewed