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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two mice with Waardenburg's Syndrome (?)- only one of them has micropthalmia.

Her small eyes appear black, but her eye lenses (I think) only will reflect red when a picture is taken of her (with a flash, of course). She appears to have poor sight, but I don't think she is completely blind..

Is there anyone who can explain this phenomenon a bit to me? (I mean solely in terms of the lens reflecting - what causes this to happen exactly?).


This is Mitzy.

If you'd like to see her without the flash of the camera, Click here to watch a video of her and two of my other females. One of them looks very much like her but with normal sized eyes - look very carefully so that you can tell them apart!
 

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What exactly is supposed to be wrong with them - they look healthy in your video.

The red reflection is from the retina at the back of the eye (blood vessels etc) the same as it is when you take a photo of people and they have 'red-eye'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmm, I'm not so sure. Mice with normal black eyes do not have any "red-eye" reflection from my experience - and mice with red eyes have their entire eye reflect red.

The lens itself is malformed due to the micropthalmia, I'm pretty sure.. I'll get you a link for Waardenburg Syndrome - hold on. :)

--- Edit: http://atlasgeneticsoncology.org/Kprones/WaardenburgID10089.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11773966
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bookshelf/br.fcgi?book=gnd&part=waardenburgsyndrome

I hope these links are helpful. I'm a bit of a medical nerd here - I'm in the medical field so I suppose it makes sense. ;)
 

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She looks like she just has very dark red eyes to me, which can happen when a black eyed mouse is carrying a lot of recessives. Topaz and Buff rats for example have this effect - where the eye looks black but shows up red under a flash. In rats it's just known as ruby eyes and any rats with visibly red eyes are known as pink eyed. Black eyes are actually brown, so it seems logical that red eyes can appear black too. Either way, she looks healthy enough so I wouldn't worry!

Sarah xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sarah, thank you for telling me this - I never knew that! When yours show up red under a flash, is it the whole cornea or just the iris? I found that quite informative, though.

I'm not worrying. ;) Just wanted to know a little more about it if I could.
 

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I've several pink eyed mice and three mice with varying depths of ruby colouring instead so it does sound more like this I would have thought. I'm no expert but a lot of my mice's eyes show up like yours on camera photos when the flash is working and it hasn't been anything to worry about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I never knew that, Zany Toon. Her eyes are also oddly shaped and smaller than other mice, and I'm questioning how well she can actually see (she could be just clumsy! :D ).

As she's growing up, I can now see the red of her lenses/pupils in normal lighting, and it's quite an odd and striking appearance. She is very unique!
 

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Most mice can't actually see very well, no matter the color of their eyes. That's why they're always sticking their noses up in the air to smell around, and why their whiskers ("feelers") are so long and sensitive: to make up for what they lack in sight. :p

If you think about it, it makes sense: mice are basically night-time animals, where they wouldn't need very good sight. They make up for it by having excellent hearing, smell, and touch so much so that even mice who've lost both their eyes can live relatively normal lives (in captivity).
 

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lizashley said:
Sarah, thank you for telling me this - I never knew that! When yours show up red under a flash, is it the whole cornea or just the iris? I found that quite informative, though.
It's actually the retina at the back of the eye that shows up red.

Cats, dogs and some other animals have what's called the tapetum lucidum at the back of the eye - this has reflective pigments (green or blue) that bounce light from a camera flash around the inside of the eye, so the eye appears blue or green in the centre, through the pupil.

The greeny iridescent bit in this photo is the tapetum:


Humans have no tapetum so we get red-eye when a picture is taken: the inside of the eye is just red because of the blood supply, and there's no nice shiny pigment colour. Blue-eye dogs lack eye pigment, both internal and external, so they will get redeye too.

The larger the pupil when the photo is taken, the more noticeable the red-eye. In cameras with red-eye reduction, a pre-flash 'flash' exposes your eyes to the bright light so by the time the actual flash happens and the photo is taken, your pupils have constricted and red-eye is therefore reduced.

If your mice have more red-eye than normal, there must be a problem with the pupil in that it can't constrict at all, or is limited in constriction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That be true, Jack. ;) I do find differences in eye color quite interesting, though.

And Kallan - thank you for that information! That's what I was thinking - something about the irises not constricting enough.
 
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