Melon the cat has a lot to be thankful for lately. After being tied to a bush and left to die, she was rescued by a loving family who would nurse her back to health. Among her heart disease, lung disease other health conditions, it was discovered that Melon was born without eyelids. Her new family brought her to CARES, where it became clear that Melon had a lot of scarring and irritation of her cornea. Known as eyelid agenesis, this congenital defect mainly targets cats and is very rare with dogs. And, with no upper eyelid to protect the eye, a whole host of problems can arise.
After meeting with CARES’ board certified veterinary ophthalmologist, Dr. Martha Low, Melon’s owners agreed to a surgical solution. The two-step surgery first involved taking a strip of skin from below Melon’s lower eyelid and rotating it to the top of the eye. About eight weeks of recovery followed. During Melon’s second surgery, Dr. Low worked to freeze off any hair growing toward the surface of the eye or in the wrong direction. “The folks at CARES in Langhorne, PA are just extraordinary,” says Melon’s mom Sarah. “From the desk staff, to the vet techs, to the surgeons, there is just a wonderful sense of genuine love for each animal that walks into those doors. Melon’s surgery went better than expected.”
Melon is now enjoying life and plays with the rest of her furry siblings chasing lasers, fetching jingle balls, and running up stairs. Her innovative surgery with Dr. Low is just one of many advanced procedures available to pets at CARES. If you have questions regarding eyelid agenesis or for more about our ophthalmology services at CARES, feel free to call us at 215-750-2774.