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My 14 yo cat's right eye has started turning outward just a…

Customer Question
My 14 yo cat's...

My 14 yo cat's right eye has started turning outward just a bit

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the cat?

My 14 yo cat's right eye has started turning outward just a bit

Veterinarian's Assistant: Where does the cat seem to hurt?

She doesn't seem to be in pain at all

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK. No obvious pain. What is the cat's name and age?

Her name is ***** ***** is 14 years old...has never had health issues

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Iva?

No we've had her since she was 8 weeks old no health problems at all

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 11 minutes by:
11/30/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,806
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

I understand your concern about your kitty's eye.

It is likely that rather than her eye "turning out" her third eyelid in that eye is raised.

See this link for a picture of a cat with a raised third eyelid: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQz5asDdk7kTXbs5Hm6TNAAZky1Wab_V54BqK6KRo0v_FwcUTN-6g

The third eyelid is a protective eyelid and can rise up in response to irritation in the eye such as a foreign body, getting an irritant sprayed in her eye, a scratch on the cornea (clear outer part of the eye) or an upper respiratory infection. In these cases you will see a discharge from the eye, clear, yellow or green, you may see redness of the white around the eye and sometimes the kitty will rub the eye or sneeze repeatedly.
The third eyelid can also rise up secondary to a syndrome called Horner's Syndrome. This is secondary to irritation of the nerve that innervates the upper eyelid, some eye muscles as well as the third eyelid. In these cases the eye may look sunken as well and the pupil will be smaller in that eye. See this picture: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_dhJcewUrnkc/TGVco4_fjhI/AAAAAAAAAkw/2ulqA1t_S9c/s400/cathorner's.jpg

Unfortunately we also need to consider things that can affect nerve function, allowing the eyelid to raise, or changing pressure in her eye. Those include an inner ear infection or mass, glaucoma, or a tumor in her eye.
If both eyes are affected it can be secondary to intestinal irritation or parasites. In this case there won't be any discharge, the kitty will be bright and normal otherwise and treating the intestinal upset or parasites will cause the eyelids to return to normal in several week's time.
If your kitty goes outside or comes into contact with other kitties the two most likely scenarios for both of her third eyelids to be up consistently would be intestinal parasites or an upper respiratory infection since both are commonly seen in cats, especially those in crowded, shelter situations.
At her age with only one eye being affected I recommend that she see her veterinarian to examine her and try to determine why her third eyelid is raised.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your kitty. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I haven't had a chance to take her into our vet but I do know it's not her third eyelid. That happened years and years ago when she had an ear infection. It looks as though her eyes are "sunk" in and the pupils are turning outward, as though she has a lazy eye
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

I understand it's hard to accept that it may her third eyelid being raised.

When there is nerve inflammation in these cases the eye does pull back in the socket, and the third eyelid raises as a result. Her pupil location looks strange because a big portion of her eye is covered.

If there was a mass behind/next to the eye that could change position of her eye and pupil, but then I would also expect her entire eye to be pushed out and more prominent, rather than looking sunken.

Please let me know what her regular veterinarian thinks tomorrow.

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