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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 16316
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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HelloMy 18 mo Burmese developed raised third eyelids (both

Customer Question

Hello My 18 mo Burmese developed raised third eyelids (both eyes) about five weeks ago. He seemed well in himself at the time, eating normally and lively, but was very flatulent! One of the eyes had some discharge. We took him to the vet a few times, he had eye drops and antibiotics as a precaution, they also gave a probiotic and a prescription for bland food. He had no temperature and they didn't think it was anything more than a mild virus. We were advised just to keep an eye on him after that. He seemed fine and the third eyelids eventually started to go down. But in the last day I've noticed they're up again and the flatulence is back! As before, he seems normal and is eating, drinking and playing as usual. As far as we know, he hasn't eaten anything other than what we give him - but he does go out and sometimes into neighbouring cats' houses, so may help himself to other food. What we give him is mostly Royal Canin and James Wellbeloved (hypoallergenic and natural) wet food, a little Applaws grain-free dry from time to time, and occasional cat treats. Any thoughts? Could a virus hang on for this long? Wondering if he has some kind of food intolerance.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Based on your history, I would be suspicious that the raised third eyelids are a wee bit of a red herring. This is because while their elevation is often seen with eye based issues, they can also be raised due to more systemic causes. In fact raised third eyelids in the cat often is a non-specific signs that cat isn't well.
The reason for this eyelid response is not really known, but it is thought to be related to decreased sympathetic tone associated with illnesses.

In regards ***** ***** disease, we can see the 3rd eyelids raise with any illness. Still if he has had GI signs (ie gas, stool changes, etc), then it is quite possible that the two are related. Now since you noted viruses, I do want to note that we can see GI signs with elevated third eyelids as part of the pathogenesis of a strange little virus called Torovirus. Generally speaking, we'd not expect this to cause signs for more then a week or two. But if your lad perhaps has some immunosuppressions (due to fighting off something else, stress, or having another ongoing issue), we can see this virus's signs linger for weeks. So, it would still be a concern.

With all this in mind, we do want to make sure that we are ruling out reasons for the GI disturbances and ocular signs you are seeing. With his history, addressing the GI signs will likely settle his eyelids for him. Therefore, you could consider restarting the probioitics (since gas often is related to an imbalance in the good gut bacteria; example), make sure he is up to date on worming (consider doing so now if its been >1 month), and potentially trying him with activated charcoal. This is available OTC (example) and can be added to food to reduce gas and GI disturbances.

Furthermore, if this is reccuring after treatment, it may be worth consider having a fecal sample tested to ensure your lad doesn't have any low grade infections (ie bacterial, protozoal, parasitic) that could be continually disturbing the GI in this manner. Depending on the findings of this, it may just be a case of treating what is present to settle this for him.

Overall, elevated 3rd eyelids doesn't just occur with eye based issues and the signs he is showing are likely related. Therefore, in this case, the above approach to his GI is advisable to see if you can reduce that GI distending gas and by doing so reduce his eyelid response to this.


I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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