We booked one of our cats into the vets this morning for a check up since he appeared to be having a problem with his eyes. The third eyelid (weird creatures, freaked me out when I found out) was inflamed and was sticking to his eyes. Normally they only cover the eyes when a cat is sleeping, but they weren’t and it was making him look bogeyed.

Bob didn’t seem too bothered by it, but for his trouble he still got a thermometer up his backside and an injection since he had a temperature. The vet told us it was Haws Syndrome (link):

Animals, particularly cats, may bring up their third eyelids in response to illness, particularly intestinal irritation. Generally the third eyelid remains elevated for 4 to 6 weeks and eventually goes back to normal.

Hmm nice! Apparently they can have diarrhea as well, but thankfully Bob hasn’t. We’d know if he did since when he has had it before he has a habit of crapping wherever he damn well pleases. Its highly contagious amongst cats, but Weebl is fine. As to what causes it, the vet said it just occurs.

Anyhoo, it should sort itself out, if its not gone within two weeks we have to book him back in again.

Bonus cat pictures. Bob on the left, Weebl on right, about 3 weeks ago:

BobandWeeblBed BobandWeeblSleeping

Weebl wearing a towel cape. Obviously.


By Paul

8 thought on “Bob was at the vets”
  1. […] Bob seems to be doing ok with his eyes. It comes and goes, but its certainly not as bad, and it doesn’t seem to have affected his hunting skills. He went out earlier this morning (4am, woke us up specially, bless him) and when I was getting breaky at a more reasonable time (8am), Bob was sat on the patio with a bird in his mouth, crying away. Nothing unusual in that. They like leaving gifts for us. I left the kitchen door open thinking he might come in. […]

  2. I just wanted to thank you for posting this journal entry. My cat has been having problems with her eyes & I now see that my sister’s cat who is staying with me is starting to have problems too. The third eyelids seem to be staying elevated.

    We’ve taken my cat to the vet but they had no clue what it was. I suggested Haws syndrome (from reading on the internet) but he quickly told me it couldn’t be. After reading up on the internet, I’m almost positive that Haws is what it is.

    Believe it or not, I couldn’t find ANYWHERE whether or not it was contagious or not … that is, of course until I found your journal entry! This now almost makes me positive that this is what my cat & sister’s cat are dealing w/ right now.

    Just wanted to thank you for sharing the information. Much appreciated.

  3. Hi Abby, glad my post was of use :). From what you’ve said it sounds like Haws Syndrome. For Bob all it seemed to affect was his eyes, he was fine apart from that. It did take nearly 8 weeks to clear up and unfortunately there isn’t anything you can give to help them.

    I had the same problem finding info on it, it might be because it’s not a particularly bad illness (still worrying though I thought) and there’s no proper treatment.

    Anyhoo, hope your cat and your sisters cat gets well soon.

  4. My “boy” Monty appears to have Haws syndrome with the associated bowel symptom! He’s also on medication for hyperthyroidism and, as he’s an old gentleman anyway, he’s not a bundle of energy. His wierd eyes are spooky though and I hope he recovers as soon as possible.
    Your blog was useful and I love cat – in – a – cape!

  5. Hi to all cat owners whose pet is enduring the unsightly haws syndrome, we have three cats, mum Perle and two offspring Buster and Scooch . one week ago Buster showed signs of haws two days later sister Scooch followed suit. neither of them show any other signs of ilness. the one and only difference is that they keep dropping wind with more odour than a 20 stone man on a saturday night after 10 pints and a vindaloo. they’ve been to the vets who could only come up with a possible vitamin b defficiency though which b wasn’t forthcoming. so our remedy was to try Marmite which to our surprise two loved it the other hated it, shouldn’t have been that surprised after watching the advert. to sum up mum Perle is not afflicted with haws, the kids still have it but in all other respects appear perfectly healthy apart from wind. and two off them get a weekly treat of marmite. OCT 08

  6. our cat freddy got really skinny, we thought he was just getting old , hes 12 and is very active and has always been on the lean side. we took him to the vet and she thought he had horners ( scared us with possibilities of tumors) and hyperthyroidism. his third eye was covering most of one eye and he was very unwell. after some tests and a night in the vets, they started him on thyroid meds and he has gained over 2lbs in 3 weeks and looks much better, also his third eye has gone back almost to normal. he seems just like our old healthy cat again i have searched on the internet to see if horners or haws is related to hyperthyroidism, but cant find an answer. does anyone out there know

  7. So, my kitty suddenly developed bilateral protrusion of the nictitating membrane. IOWs, both his third eyelids are approx. 1/3 the way up. From all the info on the net – its Haws. The overall consensus is that its an indication that the cat is under the weather – but the underlying causes may be difficult to discern. GI irritation/infection seems to be the most common culprit.

    I’ve read a number of accounts that cats are seemingly otherwise healthy – but stress has been invoked. Apparently Haws usually resolves itself within 12 weeks, and is something that just runs its course.

    After searching the net – my best guess for my own kitty is that its a flare-up of tapeworms from eating rodents. I live in a forested area that is prime grounds for the life-cycle to uh.. cycle. And my kitty has been spending about 5x the amount of time outside, since my son moved out last week. Its been cold and rainy and he’s not getting his sleep and he may be worried about losing a good friend that has always been there – all ten years of his life! IOWs, I think his immune system is really run-down – allowing the parasite load to get the better of him.

    The only way to test for worms is with fecal samples that may not contain segments. My kitty poops outside as does his brother who isn’t presenting Haws – so collecting a sample will not be easy. And if worms are the culprit – chances are, my cat will get reinfested just as soon as he is cleared – given environment. Also, I’m not yet convinced that deworming is the safest course.

    Anyway, vets seem to not be very good with Haws – given what is posted on the net. And some sites based on science publications say there is no treatment and prognosis is good. Given this, I am not going to stress my cat out even more and spend hundreds of dollars at the vet to get non-answers.

    Dehydration has also been implicated – and my kitty is really bad at drinking water. He eats dried food, but I’m going to get some canned food that contain a lot of water and claim to be immunity boosters. And then just watch and wait.

    I’m not recommending this (non) course of action to anyone – but I went from a state of panic and almost rushed him to the pet ER – to a realization that my kitty will have strange eye coverings for probably a few months – and to just be vigilant about making sure he gets enough food and water and rest.

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