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Discussion Starter #1
Quick back story-
On Monday I took in a litter of kittens from a well meaning but very misguided elderly lady. She had removed them from their feral mother and given them to her cats in hopes that they would care the kittens. Poor little things were so young their eyes were closed, ears still folded down and they had their umbilical cords.
She realized her mistake too late, by the time she got them to me 2 were deceased and only one was alive. By alive I mean still breathing, it was very close to death.
Hypothermic, dehydrated and starving (she hadn't eaten in at least 2 days).

I do some kitten rescue and fostering, and this not my first critical care bottle baby.

Amazingly this tiny creature is still alive, of course she is a tortie so she's got that tortie spunk! Of course she has major issues, including a reluctance to eat despite always looking to suckle. She has consistantly refused the bottle even though I've tried several different nipple types and always warn the nipple before feeding. At this time I am syringe feeding her when she is having a good moment and tube feeding her when she's not.

She is vocal and fairly active, yesterday she opened her eyes for the first time, and purred. She is even standing and walking now, when the mood suits her.
She has gained no weight since I got her, and passed very little stool. Today we started her on antibiotics, gave her a plasma transfusion, dewormed and gave subcutaneous fluids.

I'm honestly at my wit's end. The veterinarian says give her another 24 hours and if she isn't getting better by then it would be humane to euthanize her. I'm not against this, but am having a difficult time trying to decide if I'm hanging in there trying to save her for my own emotional desires, or if this spunky little critter who by all rights should already be dead can beat the odds further if I just give her that extra chance.

I know it is a lot to ask of a community that hardly knows me, but I'd really like the outsider perspective to help me give some balance. I've always managed to save these little guys before, but I fear this one may be beyond anyone's ability to save, despite her spunky attitude and very loud voice.
 

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I've fostered a lot of newborns, and it's tough. Not all of them make it when they're so young. It sounds like you're doing everything right. My own opinion is to continue doing what you're doing and give her some more time. She'll get stronger and her appetite will improve. She sounds like a survivor to me.
 

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This poor little baby has been through so much. I would follow your vet's lead on this one. Sometimes the kindest thing to do is also the hardest. :patback
 

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My answer isn't advice; it's only what I would do in the same circumstance. She can't fight hard enough for herself, so I'd keep fighting for her. And I'd do it as long as she had a spark of life.

"She is vocal and fairly active, yesterday she opened her eyes for the first time, and purred. She is even standing and walking now, when the mood suits her." ----- To me, it sounds like she deserves your help. You've done a great job so far. I think you can save her (or already have).

The only thing I wouldn't have done is deworm her in her condition. You might want to add a bit of yogurt or probiotics for a few feedings to make up for the "good bugs" in her stomach that the dewormer killed.

I've been through the same thing a few times. Last year, two kittens in a litter suddenly failed to thrive, and they died within a day. I saved the two girls; interestingly, both calicos....and one a tortie. I also gave them a few drops of corn syrup every 12 hours for 3-4 days to raise their blood glucose and that made a big difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This had just been a heartbreaking week. Ever since about 4 this morning she had been getting more and more lethargic, and increasingly pear shaped when viewed from above.
I elected to euthanize, as mostly likely she was going septic and that is a horrible way to go. There wasn't much else I could but give her a peaceful passing, I could have gone the crazy heroic route, but her chances were so tiny (even smaller than she was) and I just couldn't torture her by trying to save her.

Now I'm just angry at the woman who took her and her siblings away from her mother and then waited so long to find help for them.

At least she's not suffering. Poor little mite didn't even live long enough to get a name.
 

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Oh, I'm sorry. Once a kitten that young suddenly starts going rapidly downhill in spite of excellent care, there's nothing left to do but put it to rest. You did the best for her that anyone could.

And her name was "Loved".
 

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I'm so sorry; I know you were hoping for a much better outcome. I hope that lady has learned not to tamper with animals she doesn't understand; sometimes well-meaning people do the most harm :(
 

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At least during her short little life, she was finally loved and was surrounded by kindness and warmth.
 

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Oh, that's sad. I know how it feels to lose one. You put your whole heart and soul into saving them, and they still die. But you did all you could for her. Bless you for having a compassionate heart.
 
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