FunNature & AnimalDo you know that the cat has a third...

Do you know that the cat has a third eyelid? Attentive!

When we talk about the third eyelid we refer to one of the parts of the felines that even their owners do not know. The objectives of this structure are to protect the eye from attacks or external dirt and to bring tear to the cat’s eye.

Regarding this characteristic, as with other anatomical properties, the feline surpasses the man. The rational being with two limbs, we, in our extensive evolution, have lost this fragment, an important part of the body of a living being whose function is to protect the eyeball.

The third eyelid can be located in the inner corner of the eye, the one that is located closest to the nose and under the visible eyelids, which we did know before reading this article. To give us an idea, the third eyelid is a connective tissue membrane , without hair and whose framework is a cartilage in the shape of a “T” or an anchor. This structure has a gland that supplies a high percentage of the tear secretion of the eye.

Normally we do not know it because we can only see it when a foreign body bothers the animal in the eye or if it has any pain in it.

But this is not the only function that the third eyelid of our felines has. This unknown (so far) membrane exists for several rather important reasons:

– Protection from external aggressions. Helps parasites not enter, like dirt, sand …

– Tear production. This structure will produce 30 to 40% of the total tear segregation that a feline produces.

– Contribution of defenses.

– Expulsion of foreign bodies. If dirt or a piece of something could get into the eye, this layer will prevent it.

Acts as a curtain to protect the eye

When the eye is going to suffer, for example, a trauma, the upper and lower eyelids contract and cause the third eyelids to come out, let’s say like a curtain that will partially or almost totally cover the eyeball on some occasions. This eyelid does not have its own muscles, so its mobility depends on the other two membranes, the outer ones. Its return to the starting position occurs when the eyelids relax .

Although we do not see the third eyelid first, we may notice changes in the behavior of our cat, for example, it will tear more, perhaps it rubs its eyes too much or we will notice it more listless, due to discomfort. In any case, it is most likely that we do perceive something strange in the eye, because part of the third eyelid appears or in its entirety. If this happens, you have to worry. Especially if it occurs in both eyes since it can be a sign that our friend is not well. The reasons will be:

– Some injury to the eye. Like an inflammation, an ulcer, or a wound.

– Presence of foreign bodies.

– Some kind of eye pain.

To solve this problem we must go immediately to the vet, do not prolong the discomfort of the animal.

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