Limbal Melanoma (Epibulbar Melanoma)

A limbal or epibulbar melanoma is a deeply pigmented mass that arises from a pigmented shelf at the limbus, which is where the cornea (outer clear portion) and the sclera (white portion) meet. These tumors are typically benign but can be locally invasive. Most of these masses are single tumors that originate from the location in which they are visualized and do not spread from other areas of the body. They are usually smooth and have a dark brown to black pigment and are most often raised above the contour of the eye.

They are more commonly seen in German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers but may be seen in any breed of dog and occasionally, in cats.

If the mass is small and not causing any structural changes within the eye, your ophthalmologist may recommend serial monitoring of the size of the mass.  If your dog has a mass that is enlarging, then your ophthalmologist may recommend surgery. These masses may become large enough that intervention is not possible.  Close monitoring with or without medication and/or surgical intervention may be recommended.

Surgical options may include:

Typically, the prognosis is good for these tumors, as they are most often benign and locally invasive. The best option for your pet will be determined by discussion with your ophthalmologist.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Limbal Melanomas, please call Eye Care for Animals.

Back to Previous Page