A CAT who was going blind after being born with ingrowing eyelashes had his sight saved by vets who injected his eyelids with lip filler.

Two-year-old Oreo had been in pain and discomfort since being born with abnormally-formed eyelids.

He was diagnosed with bilateral upper eyelid agenesis, which is a congenital condition meaning his eyelashes were turned inwards.

Owner Joanne Salomon became concerned when Oreo was constantly rubbing his eyes and took him to Linnaeus-owned Eye Vet in Sutton Weaver.

A common remedy is reconstructive surgery to reshape the eyelids using skin grafts taken from the lips.

However, veterinary ophthalmologist Natasha Carr-Sycheva used cosmetic lip filler normally used to produce a so-called ‘trout pout’ instead.

She said: “Oreo underwent a detailed examination which found the outer aspect of his upper eyelids had not formed.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

“The diagnosis was bilateral upper eyelid agenesis – a congenital condition where the hairs from the upper eyelids rub against the surface of the eyes, causing irritation and discomfort.

“The challenging aspect of this case was the extent of the agenesis.

“Three-quarters of the upper eyelid had not formed and surgical repair would have required extensive skin grafting to repair.”

After discussing surgical options, including using portions of the lips to graft new eyelids, the owner opted to pursue the vets’ alternative solution of using hyaluronic acid filler injections.

“These fillers are actually used in human aesthetic lip enhancement but we were confident they could also be used in this different way to help Oreo,” Natasha continued.

“The benefits of the injections are that they are quicker, minimally invasive, only require sedation, not a general anaesthetic, and recovery is shorter and less painful.

“There is also an immediate beneficial effect with this technique, and once the patient has recovered from the sedation, there is usually no further recovery period required.”

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Oreo had the procedure last month, and was well enough to return home just days later.

Natasha added: “It certainly worked well for Oreo.

“He was sedated and we used surgical operating loupes to magnify his eyelids to ensure the filler was injected into the correct position, to direct the hairs away from the surface of the eyes.”

Relieved owner Joanne, 57 and from Hooton, said: “When we heard about this ground-breaking treatment, we thought it was such a great idea.

“It is a much less invasive procedure compared to an operation, and without all the trauma and risks associated with surgery, so we were keen to try it.

“We are very pleased with the results. Oreo certainly seems happier, he has come out of himself more and is a lot more playful, which is all wonderful to see.

“We are also now able to tell everyone that our cat has had cosmetic surgery – and how many people can say that?”