Feline Third Eyelid

Cats posses a top eyelid and an inferior one. Cat’s eyes have an additional third eyelid or nictitating membrane, which is a thin fleshy membrane that is usually tucked away at the inner corner of the eye. This cutaneous formation extends sometimes covering the eyeball up to their middle line. In those cases, we can talk about a fall of a third eyelid.

This phenomenon is not always easy to interpret. The fall can appear in the course of conjunctivitis, and in such a cases, it will be treated as such. Sometimes, the eyes show no sign of inflammation, in spite of the fact that the gray veil of the third eyelid, with a worrying aspect, spreads on the eyeball, always clearly in other circumstances. This situation is usually given in cases of poisoning or after the ingestion of certain tranquilizers. If it has to do with the last one mentioned, the fall of the membrane indicates that the wished effect has been obtained and it will stop when it concludes. Eyes also fog in cases of stomach and intestinal affections. It will have to be considered as an internal poisoning. In these cases, it is best no to try to play doctor. It is necessary to treat the underlying disease and only a veterinarian can do it. The possibility of waiting or not, depends only on the general condition. If the disorder is strong, don’t hesitate to go to a specialist. 

Sometimes the third eyelid is enlarged after a long conjunctivitis and affects the vision capacity. Once all inflammatory symptoms have stopped, it is necessary to withdraw part of the tissue with a small and inoffensive operation.

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