If a cat has a prolapsed nictitating membrane, the nictitating membrane pushes itself into the eye of the quadruped. This impairs vision and in the worst case can even cause permanent damage.
What causes a nictitating membrane prolapse in cats can have, how you can recognize it and what is necessary for its treatment, you will learn below.
What is the nictitating membrane of the cat?
The nictitating membrane is also called the third eyelid. It is an additional conjunctival fold, which is located in the nasal corner of the eye. The nictitating membrane of the cat serves the protection of the eyes against dirt and helps with the moistening.
By the way, humans also have a nictitating membrane. In contrast to cats, however, it no longer fulfills a function in cats and is therefore much less pronounced.
Recognize a prolapsed nictitating membrane in cats
Normally only a very small part of the nictitating membrane of your cat is visible in the corner of the eye of the quadruped. However, if a nictitating membrane prolapse occurs, it pushes out and covers a part of the cat’s eye.
This is usually quite easy to recognize and you should notice it directly when looking into the cat’s eyes. Depending on the cause, nictitating membrane prolapse in your cat can occur either unilaterally or bilaterally.
Causes of nictitating membrane prolapse in cats
If you notice a prolapse of the nictitating membrane in your cat, this can have various causes. In many cases, eye diseases such as conjunctivitis in cats are responsible for the nictitating membrane prolapse.
Apart from this, it can also be a symptom of cat flu or an infestation with intestinal parasites such as worms or giardia.
In addition, various nerve diseases, such as Horner’s syndrome (as a result of an ear infection in the cat) and Feline Dysautonomia, as a cause for a nictitating membrane prolapse in your cat are possible.
In some animals, excessive stress is simply responsible for the prolapse of the nictitating membrane. Regardless, the eyeballs tend to be a bit too small in some breeds, which is why nictitating membrane prolapse is especially common in these cats.
When a cat with nictitating membrane prolapse should go to the vet
Basically, it is first of all nothing unusual if the nictitating membranes of your cat are occasionally visible. This is often the case, for example, when the quadruped is very tired or just dozing and his eyes are open.
Provided that this alleged prolapse of the nictitating membrane occurs on both sides of your cat and disappears by itself, there is usually no reason for concern. The situation is different, however, if your cat has other complaints in addition to the prolapsed nictitating membrane and therefore you suspect that your four-legged friend has health problems.
The possible symptoms depend, of course, on the underlying disease that caused the nictitating membrane prolapse. If your cat suffers from worms or giardia, for example, the symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting as well as loss of appetite and weight.
In case of cat cold you will notice, among other things, discharge and crusting on the nose and eyes. In addition, it is very likely that your cat coughs and sneezes and perhaps even gets a fever.
If the prolapse of the nictitating membrane in your cat is the result of conjunctivitis, symptoms such as reddened and swollen eyes as well as excessive tearing and sensitivity to light are typical.
Treatment of nictitating membrane prolapse in cats
As different as the causes for a nictitating membrane prolapse in cats are, as different are also the necessary treatment measures. The veterinarian will therefore first of all find out the responsible basic disease and depending on the result of his diagnosis will decide which therapy is useful.
If your cat suffers from giardia or worms, the treatment is mainly focused on eliminating the intestinal parasites. Since conventional worming treatments often put a heavy strain on your cat’s organism due to chemical agents, we recommend in this case a gentle deworming with I love my cat Vermal.
If the prolapse of the nictitating membrane in your cat was caused by conjunctivitis, treatment is carried out with suitable eye drops or ointments, while feline rhinitis in turn necessitates other measures.
In addition to the administration of antibiotics, it may be useful in this case, above all, to give the cat a preparation to strengthen the defenses. For this purpose we recommend you to bet on I love my cat Immune. The natural food supplement provides your cat with valuable nutrients that support the functioning of the immune system.
High quality eye drops for cats with prolapsed nictitating membrane
Regardless of the exact cause of the nictitating membrane prolapse, it makes sense to do something for the eye care in your cat. With eye care drops from I love my cat you can clean the eyes of your four-legged friend in a gentle way and thus contribute to a speedy recovery.
Prognosis for cats with nictitating membrane prolapse
If you ignore an existing nictitating membrane prolapse in your cat over a longer period of time, this can lead to permanent eye damage and, depending on the trigger, can have even further consequences.
Therefore, be sure to contact a veterinarian promptly. Provided you do that and follow the advice of the veterinarian during the treatment, the nictitating membrane prolapse in your cat should recede quite quickly and your four-legged friend should soon be fully recovered.