Knowing the physiognomy of the cat is one more way to learn more about it and, also, to love it even more if possible. In this special we are going to focus on his eyes, specifically on the third eyelid.
As it is not visible, it is almost unknown, but thanks to this 'fabric' it can keep its eyeballs in perfect health, and You will only see it in case there is a foreign body that is bothering you, or if you feel pain.
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What is the third eyelid?
The third eyelid or nictitating membrane is a characteristic of many animals, including felines and of course cats. It is a membrane, like a very thin 'cloth', of connective tissue in the shape of a T.
In addition to protecting the eyes, They have a gland that produces 30% of tears and several lymphatic follicles that spread antiseptic substances through the cornea to fight bacteria. It is, as we see, an excellent way to always have healthy and bright eyes.
Do I have to worry if it can be seen with the naked eye?
The truth is that it does, especially when seen in both eyes. If you see it only in one, it most likely has a foreign body; On the other hand, if both are visible, then it may be a sign that the cat is not feeling well. In fact, only sick or injured cats will have their third eyelid exposed.
What can cause it to become visible?
It is not very frequent that the owner of the animal takes it to the vet, but the truth is that it is the most recommended. The third eyelid does not have to be visibleAnd if it is, it is because there is something wrong with our friend, and it may be 'simple' conjunctivitis.
Indeed, not only foreign bodies or wounds can cause it to be seen, but also such common conditions as conjunctivitis. I still remember as if it were yesterday the day they gave me one of my cats, Keisha. It was a beautiful puppy barely two months old, but his eyes were full of gore… Just like his brother.
But on top of that, his eyes were not wide open. Could not. I took her to the vet and he confirmed the diagnosis. Treatment? Of indefinite duration. I was putting eye drops at least two months. Even today, after 5 years, from time to time he has an eye problem.
I tell you this because it is important that little details are given importance, especially when living with a cat. These animals will not complain until pain or discomfort prevents them from leading a normal life, and sometimes it is too late. So that, It is convenient to spend a little time each day to observe our friend in order to identify any problems in time.
Other problems derived from having the third eyelid visible
Although cats will not let us know that there is something that bothers them until they can no longer, it is true that when they are not completely well their behavior and therefore your routine will undergo some changes.
In the present case, we are likely to realize that tearing, el cat has a watery eye, you try to touch your eyes with your paws frequently, or even that you spend more time in your bed, not wanting to want to do anything.
It will depend on the cause. In many cases it will be enough to add a few drops of the eye drops, but in severe cases in which the third eyelid protrudes preventing normal seeing, the adenopexy, which is a surgical intervention in which the tear gland of the third eyelid is repositioned. This operation does not carry risks, so much so that the cat will be able to return home in a couple of days.
Once there, we will have to take him to a Quiet room where I can rest. If your furry is a bit unruly, he may want to play as soon as he arrives, but it is preferable that you let a few days pass before returning to the routine. We cannot forget that, although simple, adenopexy is an operation and after going through one it is convenient to be calm.
If you see that it is 'mission impossible', spray the room with essential orange oil and / or put on relaxing classical music (or chill-out). You will see how little by little it calms down. To help him get to that state, I encourage you to sit in an armchair with him, close your eyes, and keep your mind almost blank - just occupy it with your furry friend. Pet him, pamper him. Enjoy their company and their purr. So, little by little, you will both feel much better.
Thus, the third eyelid is a membrane that is very important for the health of the eyes, so if it stands out, it is convenient to take our furry dog to the veterinary clinic to be able to contemplate that look that we like so much 🙂.