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Stray kitten with odd birth defect.

April 7th, 2008, 05:53 PM
Hi! I'm a student in New Orleans and I've acquired a stray kitten. There are a million strays out here, and normally I leave them alone because I don't want to bring fleas and parasites to my dogs, but I picked this one up. She was very malnourished, and as I was deciding whether or not I cared how upset my fiancee would be at having a stray, a pit bull chased me back to my car with the kitten.
So, now I have a kitten. My mother is vet, so I knew how to clean her eyes and ears, get rid of the fleas, and portion her food so her stomach doesn't get too full.
However, once I cleaned her eyes, I found that she had a very strange birth defect that makes it impossible for her to close her eye completely. Basically, at the corner of her left eye there isn't any lid, as if the skin never grew over her third eyelid. The third eyelid does seal the gap completely, but I'm wondering if that will offer enough protection?
She does cover the eye when shes sleeping, either with her paw or the substrate, but otherwise it doesn't bother her and she can see normally. There is a clear fluid, but my mother said not worry unless it has a color. She lives in boston, otherwise I would just take the cat to her.
General info on her; Black and tan long-haired calico with brown eyes. Had fleas, but no scabs or rashes. As energetic as an emaciated cat can be, cleans herself and has a regular gait. No obvious parasites. Less then two months old and possibly abandoned by mother. Her ribs, spine, and tail are all straight, and she's not deaf or blind, which are the only other birth defects I've seen in cats. Very affectionate. Actually, she's just your basic stray cat aside from the eye thing. Also, she smacked my dog, so she doesn't seem to have any anxieties. (My dog loves cats, so no worries) Weighs less then a pound and no larger then my hand.
So, can the third eyelid offer her eye adequate protection? I will take her to the vet, but I'm curious if anyone else has seen this or knows what she's in for. Thanks!

Dr Lee
April 7th, 2008, 06:12 PM
From what you are describing, I am concerned that there will NOT be enough protection to the eye and there may be chronic inflammatory changes that may progress due to excess 'exposure'. A veterinary exam would be the next step. If the eyes look dry, saline can be used. Avoid Visine or visine like medications as some dogs and cats will have a marked allergy to them. Keep us posted on this one. It was great of you to rescue her!:highfive::cat:

April 7th, 2008, 07:21 PM
Lucky kitten! I hope you can sort out her eye.
I have a young calico as well, also an ex-stray, and she's a riot! Have you got any pictures?

April 7th, 2008, 07:47 PM
Thank you, I almost bought visine. I'll get her to the vet asap. It's hard not to pick up strays around this city, but most of them find plenty of food and shelter. My fiancee tried to get upset but he ended up giggling and petting her. Also, I'll get a picture of her soon, she's just been peacefully sleeping most of the day. :)

April 7th, 2008, 09:45 PM
Thank you for taking her in! :grouphug::angel2:

I hope you can sort this eye issue out, I have never heard of anything like it, so would be interested to see how the vet visit goes... best of luck to you both! :goodvibes:

Oh and a :pray: for the others without homes...:sad:

April 7th, 2008, 09:47 PM
thanks for taking her in :angel:

My fiancee tried to get upset but he ended up giggling and petting her
Good thing, you wouldn't want to stay with any man who could resist a tiny kitten :laughing: (i'd tell him he passed the test :D)

:goodvibes: that the eye damage doesn't cause her any long term effects and you guys have a happy and healthy long life together :cloud9:

Let us know what the vet says, i'm curious :confused:

April 7th, 2008, 10:15 PM
Hey, I got a picture of her that turned out okay, I took it with my cell phone so the focus is a little off. You can make out the part of her eyes too. Sorry if this is a little big;
The discolored part at the corner of her eyes is actually the third eyelid, I'm thinking they look a little swollen but I don't remember ever seeing a third eyelid before.

April 7th, 2008, 10:18 PM
What a little darling!:lovestruck:

Hard to see the eye though, a bit too blurry for me:o

thanks for the pic :thumbs up

April 7th, 2008, 10:34 PM
She is adorable :lovestruck:

I wonder if maybe she had an persistant infection as well (living on the streets, malnourished etc) & this could've prevented the eyelid from developing properly?

Please do let us know how the vet visit goes :goodvibes:

:thankyou: for rescueing this baby & :pray:ers for all the others left behind

April 8th, 2008, 05:58 AM
Thank you for rescuing this poor little kitten.

She looks like a little sweetie :lovestruck:

April 8th, 2008, 02:39 PM
Oh, she's a cute one! :lovestruck: I can see now why you couldn't resist her!

You did a great thing by taking care of her - and we'd love to get an update on this little darling - does she have a name yet?

April 8th, 2008, 03:02 PM
She's absolutely precious! What a beautiful grown cat she will be. I hope you can get her eye issue sorted out and she won't have any major lasting effects on it. Please keep us posted! And thank you for not turning away and taking her in.