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Three Homeless Kittens Born without Eyelids to get Sight-Saving Surgery

Organization Raising Funds for Sight-Saving Surgery at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center

BOSTON, Nov. 1, 2018 – Three adorable kittens born without eyelids were transferred to the MSPCA-Angell last month from a veterinary clinic in Randolph Mass. and the trio are awaiting sight-saving surgery at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center, the organization announced today.

The 10-week-old kittens—now named “Marie,” “Berlioz” and “Toulouse”—were rushed to Randolph Animal Hospital at the end of September by a concerned citizen who found them outside.  Staffers at the Randolph Animal Hospital then reached out to the MSPCA after diagnosing them with a rare congenital condition known as eyelid agenesis.  All three kittens will need surgery to save their sight.

Angell Ophthalmologist Dr. Martin Coster will remove a sliver of tissue from two of the kittens’ lower lips and transfer the tissue to the muscles that enable them to blink which, in effect, reconstructs the missing lids.  The third kitten—whose condition is less severe—will undergo liquid nitrogen cryotherapy to create a smooth, hairless eyelid border.

Without the procedures, constant irritation brought on by dry and itchy eyes would lead to ulceration and, potentially complete blindness.  “We weren’t able to perform the specialized eye surgery the kittens require and we’re grateful to the MSPCA for getting them the care they need before they can be adopted,” said Susan Harrington, DVM, owner of the Randolph Animal Hospital.

Marie, the only black and white “Tuxedo” among the trio, is slated to undergo cryotherapy surgery next week.  The other two kittens will have surgery later this year—and those operations are identical to the one Dr. Coster performed in 2014 on a kitten named “Phil,” who recovered from his condition and is now a healthy and happy four-year-old cat.

Dr. Coster sees only a handful of agenesis cases every year.  “Unfortunately it’s fairly common to see multiple kittens from the same litter suffering from the condition,” he said.

Donations Sought
The surgeries are expected to cost about $5,000—even with Dr. Coster donating his time—and will be paid for by Spike’s Fund, a fund that pays the medical care costs of homeless animals in the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center.  That fund, owing to the dozens of dogs, cats and other animals surrendered in 2018 requiring expensive medical care, is nearly depleted.

Anyone who wishes to donate may do so by clicking

“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,” said MSPCA-Angell adoption center associate director Anna Rafferty-Fore.  “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.”

The MSPCA-Angell will announce availability for adoption when the time draws near.  Meantime, anyone interested in adopting can email for more information about the adoption process.

For more information about Angell Animal Medical Center’s Ophthalmology (and other) specialty services readers may click here.