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Discussion Starter #1
I got a plea from my coordinator to take on a bottle baby that was abandoned with her that she couldn't take care of because of her summer work schedule (she normally is the one to do this) so because I'm off for the summer I agreed to take her.

I got her last Wednesday and it was guessed that she was about 3 1/2 weeks old. She is so stinking cute.



She had a bout with bloody stool that cleared up when she started Albon which we keep on hand for our baby kittens, but then her stools got progressively worse even with the meds. I woke up Monday to find her completely paralyzed and maybe blind? (she didn't act like she could see me) but a quick dose of Karo syrup jump started her system and she was up wanting to eat within an hour. Tuesday was probably her best day out of the whole week. She was up running around (albeit somewhat clumsily but so adorable!) and playing.

Wednesday brought on worse diarrhea that progressed to it literally dripping out of her behind every 30 minutes to an hour. Her energy level dropped throughout the day. She played a little but nowhere near how she was Tuesday.

Yesterday her diarrhea continued to get worse (yellow in nature and all liquid) and her energy level was almost non-existent so I called my vet to have her worked up. Her fecal test revealed coccidia (which she was being treated for with the Albon), roundworms and bacteria (starts with an s, can't remember the exact name). The vet dewormed her even though she's only about 4 1/2 weeks and gave me metronidazole for the bacteria and instructions to continue the Albon for another week.

Because of her lethargy and lack of appetite yesterday I gave her a preventative dose of Karo syrup once in the morning and once right before I put her to bed. She had been receiving force feedings of her KMR/Pedialyte mix to keep her hydrated as much as possible. I fed her every hour from 8-12 then had my alarm set for 2, 4, 6, and 8 to get up and feed her every two hours.

A few minutes before my alarm went off at 2, I was woken up by her crying. I ran to my closet and looked in her box to see her rolling around on her back, rigid and showing signs of another crash. I dosed her quickly with Karo and sat with her waiting to see improvement. When she did this Monday, she bounced back in about 20 minutes. After 45 minutes with minimal improvement I dosed her again and willed her to get better. Through my tears and prayers she finally started moving around a bit. I gave her 2 syringes of straight Pedialyte and started feeding her a syringe of formula every 10-15 minutes and a dose of Karo every hour.

Over the next 3 hours I've been spacing out the Karo and trying to let her rest. She hasn't been doing much of anything but sleeping but she will wake up when I try to force down some formula.

I've got another hour until our (humane society) vet opens so I can get her in there for some fluids. Not really sure what they are going to want to do aside from that but I am just worn out. Watching her fight so hard at such a young age and keep having issues is the most difficult thing I've ever done.

Prayers are appreciated for my little Willow.
 

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I will put willow in my thoughts. What a sweet girl, and a lucky girl to have you there for her.
 

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Quick update:

Got her to the vet as soon as it opened and she had a temp of 94. She's staying to be warmed up and given IV fluids. A leukemia test on her came back negative but there's a chance it's a false negative because of her age. She'll come back home with me tonight and I'll continue doing what I have been doing as far as feedings, medicines, etc. I'll probably start administering sub-q fluids as needed on her too. Thankfully I've had practice with that.

She could be perfectly fine after all this or she could crash again.

I am so torn on what I should do if that happens. A big part of me thinks I should put her to sleep if she shows that she can't regulate herself properly to keep from crashing again, especially with so many meds treating other conditions that should take that extra strain off her body... but I just look at her and don't know if I can do it. What if she just needs more time for her body to figure out how to work properly? What if all she needs is one more go to get her body in check? I don't ever want to regret or second guess that choice.

Thanks for your prayers guys. She was hootin' and hollerin' in the back when they were trying to start an IV on her so she's still got that spunk in her!
 

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I have never raised kittens this young. Is the room you are keeping her in warm enough? Or are you doing anything like putting a hot water bottle under her bedding to keep her warm?
 

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No baby that young can regulate their own body temp! That's your job as foster mom! Get a heating pad, set it on low, and put a blanket over it. Make sure the kitten can get OFF the pad if she gets too warm and check often. It is impossible for her to digest her food properly if her body temp is too low so this is important on a number of fronts. Feed very little but often and keep her warm!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Got a heating pad in her little nesting box that is under a towel. Problem is that it shuts off after an hour (I'm guessing, could be more) so I've had to get up an turn it back on all the time. Having a friend drop off one that stays on 24/7 so this won't be an issue anymore.

Her box is in my closet and I keep the door closed to protect her from any drafts from the AC. It's the only "room" that doesn't have a vent. I live in a 1 bedroom apartment so I don't have a whole lot of space.

I took her out of her box last night to treat her for the hypoglycemic shock and wrapped her up in a towel and kept her on my chest all night (was too afraid to go back to sleep) but I guess it wasn't warm enough for her. :( Her temp was normal at 10 PM, so I was shocked when they said how cold she was. I've heard that you can throw rice in a sock and microwave it to make kind of a poor man's hot water bottle. I'm thinking I'll do this to keep with me if when I take her out to feed her and cuddle her.

I'll be monitoring her temperature like a fiend now so this won't happen again!

Any other suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Willow crossed the Rainbow Bridge a little while ago.

She is no longer in any pain and is basking in the sun the way she loved to do each afternoon.

 

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I'm so sorry. Willow knew love and warmth in her short time here because of you. Thank you for making her little life better.
 
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