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Third eyelid in a cat: symptoms and treatment of gill disease

Third eyelid in a cat

Man has long been fascinated by cat eyes. Already in ancient Egypt, it was believed that cat's eyes, glowing in the dark, testify to the divine origin of these unusual animals.

The cat's eye is very complex in its structure and functionality.

Of all domestic animals, the cat is the best at seeing in the dark, thanks to a number of anatomical adaptations, such as the presence of a reflective film (the so-called tapestry reflects a ray of light 130 times better than the human eye).

The deep anterior chamber (the space between the cornea and the iris), a large cornea that lets more light in, and a lens deep in the eye (gives a brighter image at the bottom of the eye) make the cat's eye an almost perfect organ.

The pupil of the cat's eye narrows spherically vertically, thanks to which in full daylight it has the shape of a very narrow slit, and at night it can effectively expand, catching even the smallest beam of light.

A complex system of muscles is used to move the eyeball, consisting of many fibers running in different planes.

The innervation of the eye is provided by many bundles of nerve fibers, derived from:

  • the zygomatic nerve (they are responsible for the sensation within the eyelids),
  • the optic nerve (it innervates the cornea, medial corner of the eye, third eyelid, iris, ciliary body),
  • facial nerve (responsible for mobility in the circular muscle of the eye),
  • oculomotor nerve (responsible for the muscles that move the eyeball).

The optic nerve carries information about light, movement and color to the brain.

Compared to the human eye, the cat's eye is proportionally larger in relation to the size of the skull, and is also slightly more elliptical.

The field of view for a cat is 200 degrees (for a human it is 180 degrees).

Cat's eye is very sensitive to motion capture, very often potential cat prey freezes during the hunt, which allows them to stay alive.

Despite their perfect functioning, cats do not perceive colors like humans.

They have 3 types of suppositories, but the colors that the cat sees are very faded.

These animals, however, can perceive many more shades of gray than humans - this is also a perfect adaptation to night vision and hunting.

In the article below, I will focus on one of the structures that protect the cat's eye, namely the third eyelid.

What is this?

How it works?

What diseases can concentrate on the third eyelid?

I will try to present the subject of the twinkle in beautiful cat eyes.

  • Third eyelid
    • Functions of the third eyelid in a cat
  • Diseases of the third eyelid
    • Enlargement of lymph nodes
    • Prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid
    • Third eyelid injuries
    • Neoplastic processes

Third eyelid

What is the third eyelid?

The third eyelid, or tangle, is found in most terrestrial vertebrates and in some fish.

It primarily has protective functions.

It is located in the medial corner of the eye, between the cornea and the lower eyelid.

It consists of a "T" -shaped cartilage (which makes the third eyelid stiff) and the gland of the third eyelid, which is located at the base of the fibrillation.

The gland produces a sero-tear secretion about the volume of half the tear film.

It is covered with the conjunctiva, and there are numerous lumps on the surface that contacts the eyeball.

The free margin of the third eyelid, the one visible in the medial corner of the eye, tends to be pigmented.

The third eyelid is moved by the rectus and oblique abdominal muscles and by the retractor - they are rudimentary, the movements of the third eyelid are usually passive

Functions of the third eyelid in a cat

As I mentioned, the third eyelid mainly protects the eyeball - it protects the cornea, in the event of an eyeball injury, it often protrudes to cover the eye, and the gland located on it produces a tear film and spreads it over the entire surface of the eye, and additionally produces immunoglobulins.

They are present in the tear film and provide a protective barrier against pathogens that can enter the eye.

It is highly inadvisable to amputate the third eyelid - in the case of its diseases, doctors do whatever they can to save this structure, which is important for the eye.

Caregivers of feline patients are usually concerned about the excessive protrusion of the third eyelid, which is normally completely retracted.

The snapdragon comes out in many situations in a cat.

These can include:

  • ache,
  • discomfort,
  • dental problems,
  • excessive worming of the cat,
  • the presence of external parasites,
  • Horner's syndrome,
  • neoplastic changes,
  • little eyes,
  • collapsed eyeball,
  • dehydration,
  • trauma within the eyeball,
  • the presence of a foreign body stuck in the eye or the third eyelid,
  • enlargement of the lymph nodes of the third eyelid,
  • tetanus,
  • somnolence.

The migotka also advances in the premedication phase for general anesthesia.

The third eyelid is a very delicate structure, and the cartilage that makes up its scaffolding can be curled up or broken. The migotka can also be affected by the neoplastic process.

The inflammatory processes that may affect the third eyelid are the same as the inflammatory processes of the conjunctiva and can include, for example:

  • the pannus,
  • eosinophilic inflammation of the third eyelid.

Acute bacterial conjunctivitis can also affect the shimmer.

Also, in the case of infection with herpesvirus or chlamydia, apart from conjunctivitis, inflammation of the third eyelid can be observed.

Diseases of the third eyelid

The most common diseases of the shimmer

Enlargement of lymph nodes

In cats, the most common disease affecting the third eyelid is enlargement of the lymph nodes on the corneal surface of the reticulum.

Most often their enlargement is associated with the presence of various types of antigens, bacterial, viral, pollutants, and may also indicate an allergic reaction.

The symptoms are usually:

  • reddening,
  • itching in the eye,
  • tearing,
  • sticky hair in the vicinity of the eye.

The discharge from the eyes, initially transparent, may become yellow - greenish in case of bacterial inflammation.

The conjunctiva is red, the third eyelid protrudes over the surface of the eyeball.

If the symptoms are ignored, the cornea may be injured - with each blink, the rough surface of the lymph nodes irritates the surface of the eyeball.

Treatment of this condition is based on establishing and treating the root cause - if the cause is bacteria - an appropriate antibiotic is selected based on the antibiogram, if the lumps have increased due to an allergic reaction, antihistamines or steroids are introduced.

It is important to care for the proper hydration of the eye, therefore, in addition to medicinal preparations, it is worth using supporting preparations, for example with panthenol, artificial tears, drops with hyaluronic acid.

It is important to clean the eye area, remove all the residual secretions and use mild disinfectants to avoid dermatitis in this area.

In the case of eliminating all the primary causes and ineffectiveness in withdrawing lymph nodes, a surgery, scarification or freezing of lumps is performed.

This is the last flush solution to align the corneal surface of the third eyelid so that the lumps no longer irritate the eye.

Unfortunately, the procedure does not provide a permanent solution to the problem and may need to be repeated.

Prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid

Prolapse of the third eyelid gland (the so-called "cherry eye ") is rare in cats, it is much more common in dogs, or rabbits of miniature and dwarf breeds.

The gland grows in size and extends from the base of the fibrillation and protrudes in the medial corner of the eye as a red, lumpy mass.

Lymph nodes and anatomical conditions predispose to prolapse of the gland - this problem is much more common in brachycephalic breeds, such as Persians.

This disease must not be left without intervention, the gland must be returned to its place.

In the case of a recent illness, you can try pharmacological methods and home remedies - cold compresses and calming the animal can be helpful.

Anti-inflammatory drops should be administered only after the presence of a corneal injury has been ruled out.

You should also take care of proper eye hydration by using preparations with panthenol or hyaluronic acid.

In the case of ineffectiveness of pharmacological treatment, surgical reposition of the gland should be performed.

The procedure can be performed using the anchoring method (higher risk of falling out again) or pockets (lower risk of falling out again).

Third eyelid injuries

The injuries of the third eyelid most often occur as a result of territorial fights, traffic accidents, punctures by a foreign body.

In the case of delicate cuts, there is usually no need for surgical intervention, but care should be taken to protect the patient with appropriate painkillers and antibiotics, especially in the case of foreign body damage.

Oral anti-inflammatory drugs are the most commonly used, they improve healing and increase the patient's comfort.

It is important to wear a protective collar so that sharp cat's claws do not aggravate the damage.

In the event of extensive damage, surgical intervention is required.

The scar that develops within the tinea will change its shape and elasticity and may impair its functionality, therefore the patient, after the injury has healed, should undergo several ophthalmological checks at regular intervals.

Surgical removal of the fibrillation is considered only in the case of very extensive injuries that are impossible to control surgically.

Neoplastic processes

The most common neoplastic processes that affect the third eyelid are:

  • lymphomas,
  • hemangiomas,
  • angiosarcomas,
  • squamous cell carcinomas,
  • adenocarcinomas.

They are rare in cats and usually take the shape of a protruding nipple located on the free edge of the third eyelid.

In lymphomas, the tumor covers the surface of the lymph nodes and has a disc, oval, or round shape.

Diagnostics should be based on the results of a segmental or fine needle biopsy.

Treatment of neoplastic tumors within the third eyelid is usually surgical - removal of the tumor with a small margin of healthy tissue.

If the tumor is located at the base of the fibrillation, the entire third eyelid should be removed.

The exception is lymphomas, which can be managed with systemic chemotherapy.


As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, the cat's eye is fascinating.

Deep, warm orange, or maybe a juicy green - each shade of a cat's iris is beautiful in its own way.

The old saying goes that the eyes are the mirror of the soul. There is a grain of truth in this - many patients who come to an ophthalmologist's office, in fact, suffer from completely different diseases than originally assumed by the caregiver.

Looking deeply at your pet's eyes, you can notice many small and seemingly insignificant changes.

Dear cat owners, do not ignore your intuition if it seems to you that your pet's gaze is sad. This may be the first symptom of a dangerous condition.

Sources used >>

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