Do dogs have 3 eyelids?

Dogs and cats have an extra eyelid called the ‘third eyelid

third eyelid
To wink or blink; (of certain animals) to close the nictating membrane. [ › wiki › nictate

‘ or the nictitans or nictitating membrane, at the inside corner of their eyes.

We frequently believe that because our dogs have fur, they should also have two normal eyelids. Do dogs have multiple eyelids, and if so, what should we know about them?

When your dog develops a cherry eye or a prolapsed third eyelid, you might not have given much thought to how many eyelids your dog has. That’s right. Third eyelid. How many eyelids do dogs have, what do they do with them, and does that mean they have a fourth or fifth?

Let’s examine these eyelids more closely and the health issues that can result from canine eyelid problems.

How does the prolapsed gland affect the eye?

When the gland is in the incorrect position, it cannot effectively produce tears, which results in the eye’s surface drying out. Despite the fact that the condition is typically painless, it can occasionally result in minor irritability, conjunctivitis, and increased discharge from the affected eye.

The Purpose of Dog Eyelids

Eyelids serve multiple important functions to protect your dog’s eyes. These include:

Protecting your dog’s eyes. A dog’s eyelids will close due to the blink reflex if something comes close to his eyes, protecting the eye from injury.

Keeping your dog’s eyes lubricated. Eyelids also help to keep dogs’ eyes moist with tears. Your dog’s eyelids stimulate new tears to form and old tears to drain away each time he blinks.

Tear production. A dog’s third eyelid is also responsible for producing tears. Tears not only contain water to keep the eyes lubricated, but they also contain immunoglobulins, vital proteins that the immune system uses to protect the eyes from infections.

In dogs, eyelid abnormalities and illnesses are fairly typical. The signs listed below may indicate a problem with your dog’s eyelids:

  • Excessive tearing
  • Lumps/bumps
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Squinting
  • Changes in color
  • Common dog eyelid problems include:

    When a dog has entropion, some or all of their eyelids roll inward. Due to this, irritation is brought on when the outer, hairy portion of the eyelids makes contact with the eye’s surface. Entropion often causes excessive tearing, eye redness and squinting. It increases the likelihood of corneal ulcers, corneal scarring, and dry eye in dogs.

    Entropion frequently affects many breeds, including English Bulldogs, Labradors, and Golden Retrievers, and is typically caused by abnormal eyelid shape. When entropion is brought on by eyelid muscle spasms brought on by another painful eye condition, it may occasionally only be temporary.

    In cases of breed-related entropion, surgery is used, and in cases of spastic entropion, treating the underlying eye condition is used.

    Entropion, in which a dog’s eyelids turn inside-out, is the opposite of ectropion. It looks like a dog’s eyelids are sagging.

    Ectropion is a breed-specific characteristic that is present in some breeds, including the Basset Hound and Cocker Spaniel. Ectropion may also result from previous eyelid surgery or eyelid trauma. Despite not being as dangerous as entropion, this condition can lead to dry eyes, keratitis (corneal inflammation), or conjunctivitis (also known as “pink eye”).

    When necessary, surgery is performed to correct this condition.

    Dogs can develop blepharitis, which is an inflammation of the eyelids, for a variety of reasons. Blepharitis will cause red, puffy, and often itchy eyelids. Hair loss around the eyelids may occur as well. Warm compresses, as well as topical and occasionally oral antibiotics, are frequently used to treat styes, or a small bump or bumps in the eyelid, which are caused by infection of the eyelid glands.

    Allergic skin disease is another common cause of blepharitis. Dogs with allergies and blepharitis frequently exhibit inflammation or itching in other body parts. Environmental, food, and contact allergies may be responsible. While allergies cannot be cured, they can be controlled with a variety of drugs, foods, and/or supplements.

    Parasites can also cause blepharitis. Dogs’ eyelids can be impacted by the ringworm fungus, demodex and scabies mites, and scabies mites. Oral medications are typically needed to treat these parasites.

    Third eyelid protrusion as a result of other disorders

    Sometimes third eyelids protrude because of other issues. The tendon holding the eyelid in place may suffer damage as a result of an injury. It could also swell and become noticeable as a result of an allergy

    Dogs that are ill or unwell may also experience third eyelid prolapse. As a sign of their general ill health, skinny, malnourished, or dehydrated dogs frequently have a visible third eyelid. Any condition that weakens the muscles in a dog’s face could be the root of the issue.

    So how do we treat third eyelid problems?


    Why does my dog have a third eyelid?

    Dogs have three eyelids, with the third one acting as an additional lid that moves back and forth across the eye’s surface to protect it and spread the tear film. The third eyelid is also called the nictitating membrane.

    What does a dog’s third eyelid look like?

    Only a small portion of a dog’s third eyelid, also known as the nictitating membrane, is typically visible. You can see a small triangular portion of your dog’s third eyelid at the inside corner of his eyes if you look closely at them. The third eyelid is typically black, brown, or (rarely) pink.

    Can see dogs 3rd eyelid?

    The third eyelid can occasionally be seen by pet owners when their dog is relaxed and about to fall asleep. Haws is a condition where a portion of the third eyelid is always visible in some dogs.

    What should I do if my dogs third eyelid is showing?

    There are a number of other reasons why a dog’s third eyelid might appear in addition to allergies. Play it safe and have your dog see the vet.