Third eyelid showing

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Harlee Lester

New Member
Aug 9, 2022
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United States
My baby boys jack has both his third eyelids showing. They are very small not swollen and I barley noticed them, because he has a light on. That was recommended from the vet, as he had gi stasis a couple months ago and he’s almost 8. He’s eating normal and active such as, running around my room, giving me kisses, fixing his blankets and rearranging his area. He is free range and a shelf fell causing diarrhea that needed antibiotics and pain meds from a new vet. His physical was spotless besides the dirty butt. His teeth were checked a couples months ago when he was checked out for gi stasis. I know there’s many causes for this but could it just be stress? Or the meds he’s on? He’s only been of medicine once 7 years ago when he was neutered. He is a mini Rex and has great health, including his eyes. The vet said he’s just older so he needs more light to see at night.


Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Sep 10, 2012
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Utah, , USA
Stress can cause the third eyelid to be more pronounced, but usually it will return to normal when the rabbit calms down. But if this is happening almost all of the time, this can be an indication of it being due to a health problem.

The primary concerns in an older rabbit suddenly and consistently(all of the time or alot of the time) having the third eyelid protruding, are heart problems and thymoma. Especially if it seems worse when his head is lowered, he is showing any signs of increased respiratory effort(breathing faster and harder than normal, while resting), noisy breathing, excessive sneezing, losing weight, sudden development of skin issues, unusual lethargy and reduced activity, and/or consistently resting with his head in an elevated position(not wanting to flop out or lay with his head down).

Medirabbit: protruding third eyelid

Why exactly does your vet say your rabbit needs a light on at night? Was there some sort of problem your rabbit was having at night? Is your rabbit currently on the antibiotics and pain meds, and if so which ones? How exactly does a falling shelf cause diarrhea, and was all of the poop runny/mushy, or just some with there also still being normal round fecal balls? Is your vet an experienced rabbit vet, preferably found on the HRS vet listings?