Posted By: Gudi - Vet

Bob's eyelid needs a surgical repair

Taking on a new kitten is an exciting experience, and can also be a busy time too. There are lots of things to think about, not least all the routine check-ups and visits to the vets. Usually these are planned for and can be scheduled at convenient times, with a bit preparation. This was not the case however for Bob.

Bob’s new owners adored their lively new kitten and were really enjoying having him in the house. They planned to bring him to the vets in due course for a full health check and to arrange all his routine preventative healthcare needs – vaccinations, microchipping, parasite control and neutering. Understandably though, they wanted to give him some time to settle in at home first, and as his owners were getting to know him the weeks flew by.

Before his owners had managed to book his vet appointment, Bob suffered a trauma that suddenly made it much more urgent. He returned from a jaunt outside in the middle of the night, jumping in through his owner’s bedroom window very distressed. They could see that one of his eyes did not look quite right so it seemed that Bob had been in some kind of scrap, but as he settled down quite quickly they realised that his injuries were not life-threatening.

First thing in the morning, Bob’s owners brought him in to see us and it was clear straight away that there was a serious problem with his left eye. He was holding it closed, it was uncomfortable, swollen, red and, most worryingly, something was protruding from it.  On closer examination, we could see that Bob had suffered a laceration to his third eyelid, with a flap of tissue torn away and hanging down.

The third eyelid is an extra special eyelid sitting at the inner corner of the eye in dogs and cats, consisting of a tiny thin piece of cartilage covered with a mucosal membrane. The third eyelid is usually only just visible in the corner of the eye but moves across to cover the surface of the eye when the outer eyelids close, and may become more visible when dogs or cats are unwell. Of course, Bob’s third eyelid was very visible after it had clearly been scratched and torn.

Although there was some conjunctivitis, due to the local swelling and trauma in the eye, we could see that Bob’s eyeball itself was completely unharmed. It seemed that his third eyelid had done a great job of protecting the fragile eye from becoming scratched. Once we had assessed his eye we were able to give Bob that all important general health check and found that, eye injury aside, he was as fit as a fiddle.

We knew that Bob’s eyelid needed a surgical repair and that this should be done as soon as possible. His owners had wisely not given him any breakfast that morning in case we would require a general anaesthetic and so we were able to book him in straight away for his surgery. We then discussed his neutering and agreed we would castrate Bob at the same time. Castration is not usually performed as an emergency operation but we felt that it would be better for Bob to only have to undergo one anaesthetic if possible so it made sense to do this at the same time. His owners had worried that, at nine months, he wasn’t old enough for the castration procedure but we were able to reassure them that we routinely neuter kittens from the age of four months, as this helps to reduce the number of unwanted litters of kittens.

Bob’s owners were also keen to have him microchipped so that he could be more easily reunited with them if he were to stray or become injured while out and about, and so we decided to do this while he was asleep as well. As we discussed further it became clear we should give Bob the works and give him his first vaccination and flea and worm treatment at the same time.

So Bob came in to stay with us for the day and had his procedure. His eye operation was a tricky and delicate undertaking but, by using tiny instruments and fine, dissolvable sutures, we were able to reconstruct his third eyelid. We knew there was a chance that the result might not be anatomically perfect and Bob’s third eyelid might always be a little more prominent than normal, but we were very happy with the result. The rest of Bob’s more routine procedures were quick and straightforward and he had a very good recovery, going home later that day. At Bob’s routine post-op checks we could see he was quickly back to his normal self and, by the time we saw him after three weeks for his second vaccination, his eye had healed really well.

Bob may not have had the most conventional introduction to his routine veterinary care but, in the end, that doesn’t matter. His owners have given him the best possible start by providing preventative healthcare to help keep him at his fit and healthy best. And Bob just gets to go back to living life to the full in his new home, albeit with a slightly imperfect eye!

Other Articles


Search through our previous blog posts by month.

View All

Feel free to contact us for any advice you may need

Shepton Veterinary Group Limited
Allyn Saxon Drive
Shepton Mallet BA4 5QH

©2024 Shepton Veterinary Group Ltd., All rights reserved.
Privacy PolicyTerms & ConditionsCookie Policy