Help! Sick Kitten

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Terre d'Esprit, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. Terre d'Esprit

    Terre d'Esprit Boer-ing Mom

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    On Christmas day I found a kitten that some S.O.B. had dumped at the neighbor's. It was eating grain, and had endured being soaked to the bone with frozen fur, just to get a drink out of the hose spray. I scooped it up and brough him home. He is doing well, and has gained quite a bit of weight in a week.

    The next day I went back (I was feeding the neighbor's horses) and found his brother. This little guy had a respiratory virus, and was not doing well. I brought him home, warmed him up, and began feeding him Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR). By Wednesday, he was so sick I took him to the vet. He just started out so far behind the 8-ball: he was emaciated, beyond imagination. He was soaked to the bone, it was below freezing outside. Both kittens were approximately 8 weeks old. They must have been taken from their mother and dumped, and were "hanging" with the feral cats. Except they had never been taught to hunt.

    The vet gave him a shot of antibiotics for a secondary infection, but said the virus would have to run its course. He also gave me some liquid antibiotics to continue giving the kitten, and to his brother, who was beginning to get the sniffles.

    The sick kitty's infection and virus are improving, but he will not eat. I nearly lost him a couple of nights ago, and only snatched him back from the clutches of death by tube feeding him the KMR. I am now "force" feeding him with a medicine dropper, several times a day. I have tried to get him to eat by giving him smelly canned cat food, by putting him with the other cats while they are eating, putting the dropper to his lips, etc. He just refuses to eat.

    He is improving otherwise, bathing himself, meowing, wanting to be with the other cats, rubbing on our leg, etc. But he just won't eat. Any suggestions?

    Does anyone have experience nursing a kitty with a respiratory virus?

    Thanks in advance!

    T
     
  2. MeowMix

    MeowMix Active Member

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    Don't try too hard to force feed him. The fluid can get into his lungs and kill him. Try putting a small amount of the canned food on your finger and put it in his mouth. he may not take it right away. But keep doing this. he will eventually say, hey this stuff tastes good. at 8 weeks old they should be trying to eat real food and not just milk. I hate people that are mean to animals. They will surely have a payback coming to them in the end. God created the animals first, so, That should tell us something. Whoever did this needs to be done the same. I also rescue cats and anything else that breathes, LOL, So, good luck with your kitten, and I sure hope that he makes it ok. Pray a lot, too. That can't hurt any.
    I hate to say this but the antibiotics the vet gave you are about his only hope. You can have the vet to prescribe for your animals human amoxicillan. It is cheaper and comes in a bigger bottle. Always good to have some. GOOD LUCK To you and kitty. It is very hard to save a kitten with respitory illness. But it can be done.
     

  3. jeannie242

    jeannie242 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with MeowMix, People that treat animals like this have their payback coming one day !
    But I also believe people like You " Terre d'Esprit" that go out of their way to help animals will be rewarded big time!!
    Good luck nursing them back to health and God Bless you for having such a big heart. :)
    Jeannie
     
  4. babetteq

    babetteq Well-Known Member

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    Good for you for doing this. Kittens have been known to get over respiratory stuff, so keep the faith. I second meow mix on putting a little in his mouth. Even if he doesn't want itparticularly, some will get in. Poor wee thing. If they end up not quite being able to make it, just know that they have had you in the end to love them.

    babs
     
  5. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes raw liver will get their appetites going- any kind will do, deer, beef, etc. Its also packed with iron and other goodies.
     
  6. Terre d'Esprit

    Terre d'Esprit Boer-ing Mom

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    Thank you all for your help and your kind words. I just can't stand to see an animal suffer. Someone must have thought that if they dump their cats out here, they would just "become" a barn cat. The feral cats do well, but they avoid people and have a stronger instinct to survive. These little guys didn't even know how to hunt.

    That being said, this kitten is STARVING. I can feel very rib, every vertibrae in his back, I can see his pelvis bones sticking through his fur. I have to feed him because he literally can't miss a meal or he would die. However, I will be very careful not to be too forceful and do more harm than good. I have not tube fed him since the one time, because that was too scary for me! It was the only hope I had, though, and thankfully it worked. I had been squirting the dropper full of KMR in the back of his throat and then he would just swallow it. This morning, however, he has licked the dropper and taken it on his own. I hope he moves to solid food soon, but I am happy with this small baby step!

    I will keep you posted!

    T
     
  7. havellostmywings

    havellostmywings Well-Known Member

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    we have two kittens from a litter of 10 someone dumped next to the Lavaca River... they are about three months old now... we tried to catch all the kittens, but the others ran from us, the two we have came running to us...

    they both had worms, sniffles, fleas etc... but, after some careful bathing, and some dewormer... they are as healthy as can be and sooooooo loving... one is tiny and one is huge and starting this week, they are going to start spending some time outside so they can learn to be indoor/outdoor cats. We already have 3 very spoiled indoor cats and in a 16x80 mobile home, that is almost 3 too many....

    what we found that helped the littlest of the kittens - who was the sickest - for the first two weeks he ate very little and just wanted to be held - anyways, we cooked up the giblets from any chicken or turkey we ate and chopped them very fine and gave them to the kitten - gave him extra nutrition and helped him feel better.

    These two will eat anything... we ran out of cat food recently - and before we could get any, we were trying to feed them anything they would eat... well the spoiled cats went hungry - but these two kittens LOVE cornflakes with a little bacon grease or the oil from a can of tuna... or chicken broth...

    And honestly, of all the cats we have.. they are actually the most loving... want to be held, rub against us, get up under your chin and cuddle and purr... the three that we have had for years, act like it is a good deed on their part if they allow you to pet them... lol.. maybe those three need some outside time. I wouldnt do that to them.. one of them my daughter has had over 10 yrs.. and it is her best friend...

    Best Wishes for that kitten's health
    Lynn in Texas
     
  8. Madame

    Madame Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sounds like he's decided he wants to live. Try the canned food on your fingers, maybe he'll eat that. Thank God for people like you!
     
  9. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just keep encouraging him to eat...sounds like he's on the road to improvement. You might want to check with the vet about vitamins for him.

    We once had a cat named Piggy because he LOVED to eat. He caught the flu from his brother and we ended up having to force feed him...we even had to force water down him. This went on for over a week, but he recovered. I honestly think his throat was so sore he didn't want to eat.
     
  10. Q_Links

    Q_Links Well-Known Member

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    Cats won't eat what they can't smell and if his head is congested even canned cat food may not get through. Add a little tuna juice to it. It has a stronger smell. The vet can also give a med to help his appetite but I can't remember the name of it. Don't let him go without eating. Cats don't metabolize their fat and can develop a liver disease from not eating.
    I've used KMR even on an older kitty temporarily when I had to force feed. It's easier to get in them and has the vitamins and minerals they need. Susan
     
  11. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    Try something like NurtaCal. It's a calorie dense paste for convalescent animals. You only have to get a little down them to get in a lot of calories, vitamins, and fats. And they seem to love it. It's about the consistancy of toothpaste, so you can put a bead in the roof of his mouth and he will lick it down. Good luck. He sounds like a fighter.
     
  12. Terre d'Esprit

    Terre d'Esprit Boer-ing Mom

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    This little guy is a funny one! He has been following the dogs around (2 black labs) and rubbing on them, trying to get close and snuggle, etc. They don't know what to do. They are used to being leery of cats, not trusting them, etc. So they let him get so close, avoiding eye contact, and then they just leap up and run away! Poor guy is left feeling like he has the plague.

    The past few nights he's been irritating them at feeding time, and I have been worried that they will snap at him. They always give a low growl, but never have been aggressive. Anyway, today was no exception, but I turned around to find that he had chased away one of the dogs and was eating his dog food! He has been eating dog food voraciously all evening!

    What a funny cat. Thank goodness we feed a good dog food! I think I would feel better if he ate a cat food, but right now I am just thankful that he has somethign in his tummy!!

    T
     
  13. MeowMix

    MeowMix Active Member

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    Wonderful!!! So happy that he is eating something!! We need more people like you in this world. I thought no one else cared. Sometimes it feels that way to me.. Good going girl!!
    I have a cat that has always been a dog lover. So, it is not so unusual. but it is cute to see Bridget rubbing this hugh austrailian shepherd. blue, only growls a low growl at her when she has had enough kitty love.. LOL They really do love each other a lot. :p
     
  14. Randy Rooster

    Randy Rooster Well-Known Member Supporter

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    i rescued a 6 week old kitten out of the local highway median in late september. Poor thing would have been road kill for sure. But now shes a loving little kitty living with a loving family. thank god for minor miracles.

    Please encourage and get your own pets spayed and neutered. Lets pull together to stop the suffering of innocents.
     
  15. DreamingBig

    DreamingBig Well-Known Member

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    So glad to hear the kitten is eating! :) If this happens again, try putting the food on his paw and he'll have to lick it off.