Eyelid Agenesis

General Information

Eyelid agenesis is a congenital condition (birth defect) in cats where a portion of the eyelid margin is underdeveloped at birth. This disease of the feline eyelid is also referred to as an “eyelid coloboma”, as a coloboma implies an area of missing tissue. This condition generally affects both eyes and most commonly occurs along the upper and outer aspects of the eyelids. The cause of eyelid agenesis is not fully understood; however, hereditary patterns or in utero viral transmission have been proposed. All cats with eyelid agenesis should receive a thorough ophthalmic examination as additional intraocular abnormalities may be present, which could lead to discomfort or vision impairment.

Treatment Strategies

Eyelid agenesis is generally accompanied by varying degrees of corneal irritation (keratitis) due to hairs rubbing on the cornea or improper tear film distribution leading to corneal drying. These side effects can occasionally lead to corneal ulceration varying from superficial to deep wounds.

If a procedure is indicated for your pet, common postoperative care may include the use of short-term systemic antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and pain medication as well as topical therapy which may include eye drops or eye ointment. An Elizabethan collar should be placed following eyelid surgery to prevent self-trauma. Complications of surgery are uncommon but include wound infection, suture dehiscence, or persistent ocular irritation.

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding eyelid agenesis, please do not hesitate to call us at Eye Care for Animals.

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