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D2004-45

Dear Daisy Dog

Sometimes my dog’s eyes shine green at night. He doesn’t seem to have any problems seeing. What is this green glow?

Daisy Responds

What you are observing is normal and healthy – and actually helps your dog see better at night.

You are seeing light reflect off a layer in the back of his eye called the tapetum lucidum.

This layer sits behind the retina and reflects light back onto the retina, brightening the image so we see better in dim light.

This reflective layer is characteristic of nocturnal animals, including dogs and cats. Humans, pigs, birds and squirrels do not have the reflector.

The tapetum lucidum may be green, as it is in your dog, or blue, yellow or orange. Mom tells me that mine has an iridescent yellow and green pattern, so you see, I am beautiful both inside and out.

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