There are many defects that can occur in animals, and the more animals you’re exposed to, the more of these defects you’ll become familiar with.
Some of them are common enough in both people and animals that they’re fairly easy to recognize, but others can seem rather foreign.
But there was something different about this trio: Something was up with their eyes — or their eyelids, more specifically.
They didn’t have any. This condition (called agenesis) may just seem odd at first, but when you really start to think about it, not having eyelids is really pretty limiting and painful.
Most cats are able to blink regularly, keeping their eyes hydrated. Their eyelids protect their eyes from dust, debris and hair.
But when they don’t have eyelids, they have no way to keep their eyes from drying out, and the skin that encircles their eyes is normal, hairy skin that can cause major eye irritation from pokey hairs. Many will go blind without surgery.
Drops and topical treatments can only do so much. Fortunately, these kittens are in the hands of a skilled veterinarian who knows what he’s doing, because he has corrected this sort of condition before.
Initially, the three were taken to Randolph Animal Hospital in Randolph, Massachusetts, and then to MSPCA-Angell in Boston, where Dr. Martin Coster was able to assess them.
The way this condition is corrected depends on the severity of the case. Two of the kittens will require reconstructive surgery, where Dr. Coster will take a section of their lips and use that to give them functioning eyelids.
The last kitten’s case isn’t as dire, so they’ll use liquid nitrogen cryotherapy to remove the hair and create a more eyelid-like section of skin above the eye, according to WHDH.
The kittens were named Marie, Berlioz, Toulouse, and are set to undergo the $5,000 surgery — but even though some of the funding has been provided, MSPCA is still trying to raise the rest through donations from generous supporters.
“Any donations we receive will be used to offset the cost of the kittens’ surgery and to administer ongoing veterinary care for animals like them,” Anna Rafferty-Fore, the associate director of the adoption center, said. “We’re hopeful that our community will keep supporting our good work so we can continue going above and beyond for the animals in our care.”
“These three kittens were born without eyelids but thanks to Martin Coster DACVO of Angell Animal Medical Center, their sight will be saved!” MSPCA posted on their Facebook page.
“We don’t know much about them beyond the fact that they’re adorable, playful and oh-so-social. Once surgeries are completed they’ll be available for adoption — and we’ll keep you updated on their progress!”
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