Canine leishmaniosis (CL) can present with multiple clinical signs and ocular disease is reported to occur in almost 25% of affected dogs. The purpose of the present study was to characterize the nature of inflammation within the eyes of dogs with leishmaniosis and to determine whether parasites were present in these lesions. Eyes from 60 dogs with confirmed leishmaniosis that died or were humanely destroyed over a 4 year period were included in the study. Sections of formalin-fixed globes were stained with haematoxylin and eosin (HE) and subjected to immunohistochemistry using a Leishmania-specific antibody. Clinically evident ocular signs were present in 15 of 60 dogs (13 bilaterally and 2 unilaterally). Thirty-five of 60 dogs received some form of anti-protozoal treatment. In 36 of 120 eyes (30%) a granulomatous inflammatory infiltrate was found and in 32 of 120 eyes (26.6%) the parasite was identified immunohistochemically within the globe. Ocular tissues affected, in order of frequency, were conjunctiva and limbus, ciliary body, iris, cornea, sclera and iridocorneal angle, choroid and the optic nerve sheath. Different microscopical patterns were defined in each of these structures. Leishmania organisms and associated inflammation can be found in different ocular tissues, accounting for some of the ocular clinical signs described for this disease. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.