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I have a 7 month old kitten that got very sick and after progressively getting worse in a matter of 3 days, my vet did some blood tests, which revealed that my kitten's glucose levels were exceptionally high, which was a case of either diabetes or pancreatitus, both which the vet said was unusual in the case of such a young cat. He gave the cat a dose or two of insulin but that did not change anything and the decision was made to euthanase the kitten. An autopsy was done and the vet at first could not find a pancreas, but he said eventually he found a small blob of red flesh which he suspects was the pancreas and also the kittens' kidneys were 80% not functioning, the vet has put the cause of illness and death to a birth defect, and it would have been impossible for the kitten to live much longer without a functioning pancreas. Besides the fact that I am very much heartbroken, I have tried to google the above and cannot find anything relating to a kitten born without a functioning pancreas, has anybody ever had or heard of such a case or similar as mine. I am concerned as there were 7 kittens in the litter and I have his little sister, I would hate for the same to happen to her. My kittens initial symptoms was sudden, lethargy, not eating at all, throwing up alot of bile and runny tummy.
 

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This must have been so heartbreaking for you to go through! I'm glad that you were able to get answers through the autopsy.

A birth defect in one kitten does not mean others in the litter will automatically have it. Have you talked to the vet about your concerns? Perhaps he might be able to draw some blood to check things like blood sugar control.
 

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I'm so sorry about you losing the kitty :( I have a kitten that they vet initially said not to get my hopes up about... but you can't help but fall in love! I don't really know anything about cat pancreas problems, but maybe the vet could do an ultrasound to see if one is there?
 

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Was this kitten from a mother cat that was from outside?

Some cats or kittens breed with a brother or sisters which haven’t been s/n and thus birth defects.

We had a semi feral mom which every litter died from horrible birth defects. We had a heck of a time trapping her to spay her. We eventually did but she kept passing on messed up genes to each litter.

One time there was a Manx cat which a white trash man refused to get neutered. It kept breeding with the strays where we were trapping. Baby kittens were being born with the Manx syndrome from this cat. After two years of arguing with him he finally let us neuters his outdoor cat. A coyote got it about a year later and he blamed us because we neutered his cat. Oh Pleeze!

Check on who the mother was and if she is spayed now.

This had to be heart breaking for you. This type of problem is not common so I hope you will get another kitten a chance at a great home with you.
 

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Thank you everyone for your sympathetic answers, I thought there was something wrong with me for being so heartsore about my Smokey, but after finding this cat forum, I was very relieved. Dear Mitts and Tess, I dont know who the mother or father is for that matter as we found the kittens under a bush at our church one evening, and they were venturing all over the place and we were worried they would go onto the nearby road, so my sister took all 7 home, and we found homes for all of them, I took a brother and a sister, and it was the brother that died. You are most likely right about them interbreeding and hence the complications with the pancreas. I will in time get another kitten but this time will take the trouble of finding a kitten from a reliable source. Thank you all once again for your replies.
 

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Hi Brenda,

All sorts of birth defects can show up, in any animal, really. I've heard of kittens born without eyes, without legs, or with really twisted limbs, but this is the first time I've heard of a cat born without an internal organ. I had a cousin who was born without kidneys - luckily dialysis and good care kept him alive for years until he was stable enough to receive a transplant - but he was human, of course.

Things aren't so easy for our animals, even when we catch defects early :{

I'm sorry to hear you lost the kitten. It sounds like you did everything you could for him, and he was probably happier and felt safer during his last days with your love and care.

As Minikin suggested, if your vet thinks it feasible, I would definitely see if you can get an ultrasound for sister kitten.

Otherwise, if sister kitten isn't showing any symptoms, she's probably okay - or at least doesn't have the same deformities her brother did.

See if your sister can get in contact with the other homes who adopted the kitties. The owners might want to get them checked out too, just in case.

I'm sorry you had to go through this heartache, but it's wonderful that you opened your home and heart to two little kittens who needed you :}

And there is nothing wrong with feeling heartache over the loss of a pet - whether you had them for years or hours, whether they were a fish or a cat, they still get into your heart ;}
 

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So sorry for your loss. It's amazing how quickly these little fur balls can capture our hearts. I don't have any input on your kittens apparent condition, but just wanted to give my condolences.
 

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I'm glad you don't feel bad about mourning your baby anymore... heck, I even cry over pictures of animals in shelters that have been put to sleep...
 
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