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Cat's third eyelid showing.. please help

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
I am in sort of a panic, my siamese simon has never had any problems health related yet (he's almost 2). A few days ago I noticed Simon was acting very lethargic, but I figured he was just getting used to our new kitten. Today.. I noticed that his third eye lid in both eyes are 1/3 of the way up :S His eyes look a little runny, but not too bad. I am just worried, I looked up information on the internet and I found a few leads.

Should I take him to the vet tomorrow morning, or is this something that happens to other cats? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Here is a pic.. I know it's blurry, but I had to take the flash off otherwise he closes his eyes..

post #2 of 49
I would take him to the vet if I was you.
It could just be something minor but then it could also be something more serious. It is best to be safe than sorry. Whatever it is catching it early is always a good idea.
Let us know what it is and how he is doing.
My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your beautiful meezer.
post #3 of 49
Originally Posted by JaneMary
I am in sort of a panic, my siamese simon has never had any problems health related yet (he's almost 2). A few days ago I noticed Simon was acting very lethargic, but I figured he was just getting used to our new kitten. Today.. I noticed that his third eye lid in both eyes are 1/3 of the way up :S His eyes look a little runny, but not too bad. I am just worried, I looked up information on the internet and I found a few leads.

Should I take him to the vet tomorrow morning, or is this something that happens to other cats? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Here is a pic.. I know it's blurry, but I had to take the flash off otherwise he closes his eyes..

Don't panic! First I've got to say that picture of Simon in your siggy is one of the cutest cat pics on the whole cat site.

OK, my cats have had this and it's been because of an upper respiratory infection. Usually curable with a round of antibiotics. Get him to a vet as soon as you can, because the longer it goes untreated the harder it is to cure.

If it's chlymida-related, my alternative-therapy vet recommended crushing up an L-Lysine tablet and adding it to their food. It must be tasteless because they eat it right up. My little Graycie has this.

Both of these illnesses are infectious, so check your new kitten, too.
post #4 of 49
I agree with Nan. I would take your kitty to the vet to be checked out, to be on the safe side. Please keep us updated! Prayers for your little one!
post #5 of 49
There are several things this can be and each one really needs a vet to see it. The fact that your cat is lethargic should also spur you to call the vet and make an appointment. Hopefully the kitty is just dehydrated, but it could be herpes, conjunctivitis, worms, taxo, felv, fip----see why you need a vet?
post #6 of 49
Yes, if it doesn't look better tomorrow I'd take him to a vet. I did see a cat that permanently had half of his third eyelids showing, but usually it is a sign of some things where you need the vet to diagnose the situation.
post #7 of 49
I don't mean to scare you but Tiggers third eyelid shows b/c he has herpes
post #8 of 49
Like all the others

Sounds like the kitten is a carrier, possibly could be calici virus as well, especially since lethargy is an early symptom. Watch for white sores in the mouth, or a split on the lip. The sores would be definituve for calici.
post #9 of 49
definitely a vet, but make sure to take both cats... theh kitten may have passed something to your siamese. when did you get teh kitten?

my Marsh has herpes, and though his third eyelid is not showing, they can only be treated by medication, it does not go away by itself.
post #10 of 49
Thread Starter 
A big thanks to everyone for the replies. Sorry It has taken me so long to respond. I just finished exams and started working full time!

As for Simon and Elle, I took them to the vet the very next morning and the vet recommended a liquid worm treatment. Almost a week passed with no change in Simon's eyelids so I took them both back to the vet. They were tested for FLV and FLP, which came back negative (thankfully!).

Then I decided to get a total blood count done to be sure there was no infection and the test came back perfect. The vet says he is perfectly healthy aside from his eyelids showing. Since they are not red or inflamed she thinks he might be depressed. She mentioed that sometimes when a new cat/kitten is introduced to the household they may feel neglected or jealous. I have tried really hard to ensure that didn't happen, but I notice that simon isn't playing with his dangler (string toys) because Elle is always jumping around in his way.

My vet is going to contact an eye specialist and see if he has any advice for us, or can think of other possibilities for the eyelid showing. For now we're taking things day by day. I am praying that he starts to feel better soon.

They are looking a bit better over the past few days,
post #11 of 49
Good for you. You are taking good care of Simon by being sure that you & your vet are doing every you can for him. Your are a great cat Mama.
post #12 of 49
I agree, you are a wonderful meowmy! haha! I'm so happy that everything checked out okay!!!
post #13 of 49

We got a free kitten from a really bad living environment for my daughter's birthday in late November.  We kept her separated from my adult male cat Sweetie Pie for a week, but then introduced them.  I did take the kitten to the vet right away, where she got shots and dewormed and had a flea treatment.  But at her second appointment, she could not get vaccinated because a different vet in the same practice diagnosed her with an upper respiratory infection.  She took blood samples which came back negative for the really bad kitty diseases.  But we then had to bring Sweetie Pie to the vet because he had become very sick from the kitten.  He needed fluids, IV antibiotics, anti-viral meds, and deworming.  His third-eyelids were constantly up as well.  Now, two weeks later, he is feeling better, but still has the haw's syndrome of the eyelids up when he is indoors.  When he goes outside into the cold, they go down.  I saw the vet today for a recheck of the kitten, and she said Sweetie Pie's eyelids could take up to 6 weeks to resolve, but she's convinced it was just a stress response to getting so sick with the infection.  I feel so guilty for bringing in this kitten and getting my sweet boy so sick.


So here's my question, since I see your post is old:  Did the eyelids ever go down and how long did it take?  Thanks.

post #14 of 49

I saw your post here and don't think the original poster posts here anymore.  She hasn't posted anything on this site for over a year.  However, maybe someone else will see this and be able to tell you if they've had any similar experiences.


BTW, I'm sorry your Sweetie Pie got so sick from the new kitty, but thank you so much for rescuing that baby from the bad environment!  Are they settling in together yet, or still separated?

post #15 of 49

 yes the same thing is going on with me, We took Deezer to the vet today, did blood work, checked him out, Healthy, and did not find anything wrong. This is a puzzle? The only thing that's changed in our lives is We just moved back in with my boy friend, but he knows the place and been here before, now Deezer has went down in the basement, thought it could of been caused  by some then from down there?, and he also hangs in the bathroom and sleeps in front of the shower doors sometimes?,We were thinking maybe could be something there?, I'm at my wits end with this  Deezer is part Siamese too maybe some then in the breed and almost two years old in a mos or so? Your story is so much like mine , with the breed, age, healthy????DON'T KNOW, OR UNDERSTAND !!!!!!. Spent $150.00 and found out nothing. I don't know what to do, he seems fine other then that, I don't get it???????, but I would like to keep in touch with you, and also, anyone that could help figure this puzzle out, it would be greatly appreciate. it. What is it????? Besides death, which I don't want to even go there is him going blind. I hope the best for my son, my baby and yours as well. HELP US!!!! PLEASE!!!!!

Edited by missjane - 2/6/12 at 7:33pm
post #16 of 49
I woke up this morning and the same thing happened to my cat Jitsu! He has already been through hell and back this poor cat. We took him in from outside and his eye discharged occoasionally so we took him to the vet and she said he had an infected tooth and probably was painful for him. Of course I would never want him to feel pain, made an appt for the next day to be removed. I don't know what happened or went wrong but my cat winded up having a stroke, couldn't walk, and was blind. He made almost a full recovery after many weeks and now this third eyelid thing. The vet was baffled and tested for an ulcer but didn't give me any advice. I am very upset with my vet for not fixing his eye in the first place but was wondering if you have any answers or advice???
post #17 of 49
Try putting l-lysine from the pharmacy in the soft food . I put 1 capsule a day. My siamese has had this problem for years and this manages it somewhat. When it gets bad we put polysporin drops for eyes (again human meds) and try to insert it under the 3D LID
post #18 of 49

my cat is @ 2.75 years old. he has always been healthy. His baby sister showed a third eye for about 2 days then it went away. a few weeks later

Darwin, my @ 3 year old displayed same. only, his hasn't gone away and its two weeks now. my vet did a blood sample and it showed the Bun and

Creatinine levels were way out of range--- kidney failure!!!! i'm freaked. changed diet and giving pills. just had another blood test today. waiting for results.

if still high levels he has to be caged, put on IV liquids to flush our kidneys and continue the science diet wet and dry food KD. his behavior is fine,

except of course, he squints a lot and i think feels more comfortable with his eyes closed. is there anyway to know if when the third eyelid is protruding

if it's uncomfortable for a cat????

post #19 of 49

Hi JaneMary


my cat is having that exact problem too! but i suspect it may be just Horner's Syndrome (do not worry).

i bring my cat to the vet too and the vet prescribe some eye ointments and antibiotics. if your cat does not scratch his eyes. that should be fine.

post #20 of 49

Hi all,

I know I am responding to older posts but this is a fresh issue for me. I have had cats all my life and currently my husband and I have 10 (I know.....but we have a big house and we are retired). All of our cats are rescued and several have sever health issues. Recently, one of our cats got quite sick and went down hill quickly and I saw for the first time this thing with the third eyelid showing. Now this cat is FIV positive who also has allergic stomatitis (sp?). He has been quite sick before. In fact when we took him in, he was in bad shape. I have had cats in kidney failure before and I have never seen this.


My vet was convinced that this was a something related either to his FIV or  leukemia. I knew that leukemia was not a very likely scenario as we rescued him some 8 to 9 years earlier and he had never been out of the house since. Her thinking was we had a false negative on the leukemia test years ago.  He was quite dehydrated, so the other responders who suggested dehydration were dead on. It turns out he is in advanced kidney failure. I was shocked when I was told the news and irritated that this had not been caught before. I spend a small fortune at the vets. But, the truth is kidney failure often does not show up on lab work until the kidney's are 3/4 destroyed. I had his allergic stomatitis in remission and I had cut back on his steroids. His appetite was reasonable until 3 days ago. He had lost weight but I had chalked this up to the fact I had cut back on the steroids. We were not monitoring him as closely as some of the other cats.


My point to all of this is that there are serious health problems, like kidney issues, that often do not show up on the lab work until the problem is  a crisis. I have the utmost respect for vets, but it is important that we trust our instincts with our pets and learn to push to get the answers. If you are seeing behavior changes in your pet, trust what you know about your animal and find a vet you can work well as a team with.

post #21 of 49

Hi there,


Thanks for your post!  We have 4 kitties. 2 of them are 3 months old and 2 of them are 2 months old.  One of our 3 month old kitties has the HAW syndrome going on...he looks haggard and sickly but he eats poops plays and purrs like a normal kitty..? =/

The 2 month old kitties just came back from the Vet with upper resp infections and were dewormed...the Vet said that the upper resp infections will heal themselves overtime and not to push for antibiotics because just like in humans antibiotics can cause their immune system to not respond to them so it is better to just let the infections run their course. So thats what we are doing.

The 2 month old kitties seem to be doing great but now my 3 month old kitty is showing signs of illness and he feels hotter then normal...but like I said, he is playing and pooping and eating like normal...?


Raelene in Eugene

post #22 of 49
My cat's inner eyelids were half closed, but then they went to just sticking out. What happened? She's still squinting and they are both still poking out... I can't afford to see a vet!
post #23 of 49

Catlady:  Whenever the 3rd eyelids are showing, it's a sign that they aren't well, but no one here can tell you what is actually wrong.  You need to see a Vet for a diagnosis.  If you want to start up a new thread and give us more information, like how your cat is acting, whether she is eating, drinking, peeing/pooping, sleeping or not, playing or not, what else has happened recently, etc., (anything out of the ordinary) we might be able to give you some suggestions, but really will not be able to tell you exactly what is wrong if it truly is a health problem.


BUT, when you say her eyelids are "poking out", that to me sounds like cherry eye, which is pretty rare in cats.  Please google that for pictures and tell us if that's what you are talking about. 


Since you cannot afford a Vet right now, maybe this thread will be helpful:

post #24 of 49

my cat has the same thing,,, seems fine except for the 3rd eyelid... it makes her look crosseyed... it started last Wednesday ,, took her to vet, they didn't see anything wrong, said it could be start of conjunctivitis.. gave me ointment, which is a pain and  I think it makes her eyes worse coz they look like they stick together and look like Vaseline     I have been giving her l-lysine supplement too from the vet and some probiotics... coz I remembered her smelling gassy last week which I forgot to mention to vet.. I gave them tuna fish one day so I thought it was from that. which is whyi have the probiotics... shes an outside cat so im thinking maybe allergies?????  hope the lid goes down soon, she looks funny and I feel bad for her.....

post #25 of 49

did you read about haws syndrome, I think that's what mine have... the one is starting to clear up now, but its been about a month...

post #26 of 49
My siamese cat kitty, has been looking ill with her eyes looking glossy and the white part showing! Just like the picture of your boy simon. Our cats look like siamese twins. Anyway tomarrow i will be taking her to the vet. But where you mentiond about respiratory infection i noticed that kitty weezes when she sleeps. And i just took her to the vet for all her shots and told the vet she has tape worms. So they gave us a pill. Which she will not take. Will see what happens. And ill let all you know soon.wavey.gif
post #27 of 49
one of my 4 month old kittens was born with both eyes third eye. He is not sickmy dad has seen them doesn't seem to be concerned
post #28 of 49
that should be my Vet has seen them
post #29 of 49

My cat is having the same issue with his third eye (1/4 closed). He was diagnosed with clostridium perfrengens over 6 weeks ago. His stools are much better, he still has a bit of liquid mixed with a normally formed stool. He seems fine otherwise, even more active than usual. He may be a bit stressed as I just returned from a trip. Also, I fed him tuna last night as well as gave him Ignatia Imarra (homeopathic remedy for anxiety, stress).


Here's what I found online--very interesting, if true (see the sentence I bolded):

The "Third Eyelid"

Cats have an inner, third eyelid, called a nictating membrane (also spelled "nictitating"), which serves to protect the eye from dryness and/or damage. When a cat is sick, the third eyelid will partially close, which is a signal to get him to the vet immediately if other symptoms present. Curiously enough, a very happy cat will also show that nictating membrane.


I'm thinking he's just really relaxed after 24 hours on the Ignatia Imarra (normally can take up to 3 days, but I added water to their bowl which can increase the effect of the remedy).

Will try to post a follow up, after praying for him, and watching him closely.

Be blessed y'all! :rbheart: 

post #30 of 49

So I just adopted a 12 week old female kitten from the vet,(tuxedo cat) and her third eyelid seems to always be showing a bit. Considering the replys online, this seems to be a problem with her respiratory system or other signs of a serious illness. The vet clinic that we got her from is a well known and respected place, So I am hoping that there isnt an issue with her health. I have contacted my vet and just waiting for a response. I will let you guys know (in my case at least) if this is something to worry about.


Wish me luck!

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