kitten not thriving - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2019
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kitten not thriving

Due my concerns the kitty was seen by the vet tech at the shelter today (shelter closed so no actual vet on duty), and I’m bringing him back in the AM to see the vet. I’m just still SO worried about him and so grasping for help online in the meantime. Sorry this is so long!!

Ok so Fred is a 5 week old orphan, he and his sister have been w me since they were surrendered to the shelter 3.5 weeks ago. From beginning, Fred was the “weaker” one- eyes and ears opened a few days later, fussier to eat, weighs 1/2 Oz less, walked later, etc. but he ate consistently and enough, and he gained weight regularly. Very sweet and lovely personality. Seemed to be thriving really well overall until yesterday. However I did start to notice about 1.5 weeks ago that he showed some signs of what I came to learn is cerebellar hypoplasia. At first I thought he was just learning to walk or possibly have vision issues but over the course of a few days it became really clear. Classic wobbly walk, head tremors, the goofy way he overreacts w his hands while he eats, lack of depth perception, the whole bit. The sister (Chewbacca aka Chewie) seems to have a slight touch as well but is overall more typical. At that point about a week ago, I noticed Fred hadn’t passed stool in several days, following his first course of dewormer at the shelter & when the kittens had just started reliably using the litter box so I wasn’t stimulating as much and was starting to offer solids. I called & discussed my concerns- both the CH and the constipation- w my foster coordinator who talked w the vet and came back to say that as long as Fred was still eating, peeing, playing and acting normally, not straining or in pain, inflamed, etc, (all true), they were not overly concerned, we’d continue to monitor, and I had an appt coming up where we could readdress. In meantime she suggested pumpkin & if that didn’t work a particular brand of over the counter laxative.

I tried both to no avail. First added about 1/2 tsp pumpkin to each feeding for several days. This helped Miss Chewie who pooped a ton! Fred on the other hand seemed to dislike the pumpkin instantly, though he acclimated to it after a feeding or two. He did poop, once, and it was quite a lot. But then nothing. Everything else still seemed normal. End of last week I had been trying to introduce them to canned wet food (to some success) but I stopped as I worried about Fred’s constipation & didn’t want to further change his diet until that seemed more settled.

Last night at his midnight feeding Fred wouldn’t eat at all. This was a first. I tried the canned food mixed w some formula, even just formula without pumpkin as I know he preferred- he wouldn’t eat anything. He wouldn’t poop but just strained in the litter box like he had to & it hurt. I attempted to stimulate him for a while but he seemed very in pain so I didn’t want to continue. This morning the pattern continued and he seemed to deteriorate quickly. Wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t pop, and just wanting to sleep or sit in a corner listless, not his normal social self.

I contacted the shelter but as explained above, they are closed Mondays. They did have me bring him in to see a vet tech, who gave Fred some sub- cutaneous fluids, a second round of dewormers, and advised me to bring him back in the morning to see the vet. Since then, he has eaten a few drops of formula, a few bites of canned food when basically forced, and peed once. He is shaking on and off with very shallow breathing and now seems in actual pain when touched.

What can I do in the meantime? I have him comfortable and on a heating pad, I’ve been sitting with him and holding him anytime he wants, offering him food and formula and his litter box, keeping his sister from harassing him (she’s very playful). I was able to get the laxative from a pet store; is it worth still attempting this? I would basically have to force him to take it & am reluctant to interfere before he sees the vet in the morning in case I make anything worse.

Whew that’s a lot. Again sorry so long. If anyone has any advice they can offer please do not hesitate to comment. Thank you so much in advance & if you made it this far thank you for just listening.

Last edited by marie73; 09-10-2019 at 11:41 AM.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 09:24 PM
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Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 60
Hi Carla . . . there must have been a glitch in the forum last night. I sent off a reply, then everything disappeared. Now here's your post again! Anyhow, hopefully your vet has solved Fred's problem.

One thing I wanted to say is watch out for low blood sugar. Kittens can't regulate their blood sugar level until their liver is fully developed. If they aren't eating well, they can get hypoglycemia and that can be fatal. Symptoms are lethargy, wobbly walking, burrowing the head into a corner. (In humans, headache is an early symptom.) If you think it's happening, put a little honey, molasses or Karo syrup on your finger and rub it on their gums. The kitten should recover in about 5 minutes.

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