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Discussion Starter #1
So my 9.5 week old shelter kitten stopped eating yesterday morning. I gave her different flavored canned food to see if she just didn't like one flavor. She had been sneezing for the past few days. So yesterday afternoon off to the vet we went.
So while I was at the vets, they were able to get her to eat with some warmed up A/D. They didn't give me any antibiotics since most URI's are viral and she didn't have a fever and wasn't too congested yet.
Well I can't get her to eat anymore. I have heated up A/D for her. I"ve given her different flavored canned foods heated up. I have put it in her mouth for her in case she just can't smell it. She is getting more and more snuffly. Her nose is not crusy and her eyes look good. It's obvious she doesn't feel well. She's sleeping most of the time.

If she doesn't eat by tomorrow morning, I'll be bringing her back. But I was wondering does anyone have any other suggestions for getting a young kitten to eat while not feeling well.

Thanks Deirdre
 

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You can try meat baby food, sometimes they'll go for that when they won't eat anything else.

But definitely she needs to go back to the vet for treatment. Kittens have no reserve and can get dehydrated quickly if they aren't eating.

Let us know how she does!

Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well things took a turn for the worst.

she spiked a fever of 106. She's currently in the hospital. They're baffled because her symptoms don't seem bad enough to warrant her having a fever of 106. They're going to take rads and run blood work. She's probably in isolation too since she hasn't had all her shots due to her age. Thank god I'm a vet student because this is turning out to be an expensive ordeal. I just want the best for her. She is the sweetest kitten.

Now I'm praying that whatever she has, my cat won't come down with too.

I hated leaving her. I feel so empty and I've only had her a week. She's my baby. :(
 

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Calicivirus can be pretty vicious; high fevers are typical. Good that she's getting treatment. Being a vet student *does* have a few advantages, doesn't it? :wink: Of course, you *will* pay for it ultimately, maybe not in money but definitely in 18 hour days, nights on call, no sleep, and very sore feet!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well things aren't any better today. Her fever had dropped and they were going to let her go home on antibiotics and fluids but then her fever spiked back to 106. :(

Her white cell count is very low. There could be many reasons for this and they're unsure which it is. So they've added a second antibiotic on. She has to spend tonight and probably tomorrow night in the hospital again. She looks so sad and pathetic.

I am praying that she gets to come home tomorrow night. I'm off to skim my vet text books to see what I can learn. The worst was the vet called at the most inopportune time so I didn't get to ask her all the questions I wanted to ask. So I'm writing them down for when they call me tomorrow to give me an update.

I am such a nervous nelly when my babies are in the hospital.
 

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I'm so sorry for all of the heartache and worry you're experiencing! Having a new kitten should be a time for joy and celebration...but it's hard when those feelings are cut short by a sudden illness that separates you both with a hospital stay.

Ripley was 8 weeks old when I brought her home, and she too, had a pretty severe upper respiratory infection...she coughed, sneezed, didn't eat much, and had blackish brown crusties around her nasal openings. My vet put her on Clavamox, and a gave it to her with a dropper twice a day. I fed her turkey baby food (try to find a variety with no garlic or onion powder). She had plenty of water to drink, and I also used about a 50/50 solution of plain Pedialyte (yes, the stuff we use for human children) to help with the dehydration. I kept her in the bathroom (my other cat was 9 months old at the time, and they had not been formerly introduced yet...plus I needed to kick Ripley's URI first), and ran a HOT shower twice a day for about 15 minutes each to kind of steam up the bathroom...I think that really helped. After about 8 weeks, the infection was completely gone, and I slowly began to introduce her to more dry kitten food, and replaced the baby food with a kitten canned variety instead.

She'll be okay...I'll be praying for both of you. She will become a very healthy and energetic kitty once she can kick this!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I just got back from visiting her in the hospital. The doctor said that if I really wanted since I was a student I could bring her home but it was really recommended that I leave her. I decided that I would leave her and give her another night of 24 hour treatment. She's still not eating but I was able to syringe feed her some food while I was there. We think she's not eating because she can't smell her food. So the techs are going to keep syringe feeding her every few hours.

I finally got to see the CBC for myself. Wow was that scary. She had almost no white cells. I had always thought of panleukopenia virus having GI signs associated with it. But it doesn't have to and there's a strong possibility that she has this and the URI is secondary to that. Right now she's on gentamycin and another antibiotic which I forgot to check which one. They have her in an incubator just to keep her isolated from the other animals in the ward. They didn't want to put her in isolation since people are only checking there every hour. In the intermediate ward people are always around. It helps that she's an adorable kitten :)

I feel so horrible leaving her there. She took a nap in my arms after eating. I cried all the way home. I just know that it was fate that she came home with me. For some reason I have never been a fan of black kittens but this little kitten stole my heart that day and has kept it ever since. I emailed the shelter just to let them know about her condition since there had been so many other kittens there that day. Including other littermates of my girl. Well I've gabbed enough. I just wanted to update you guys on my poor baby. :(
 

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I was afraid of that when you mentioned the low white count. But nowadays with proper support, these little distemper kitties have a very good chance of surviving.

If it really is panleukopenia, she won't need distemper vaccines in the future; she'll have her own natural (and far more powerful) immunity after this little episode!

Black cats are absolutely the best--we'll all pray that we keep this one around!

Hugs,
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well I have good news, her white cell count is up in the normal range. She was 0.5 on Saturday and is 7.5 today :) Woohooo

But she is still in the hosptial because her bilirubin is high and they're scared she is septic. So another night of IV anitbiotics and fluids. All the techs say she looks much better tonight. She still looks pretty depressed.

I spoke with the shelter vet today. She didn't seem too concerned about a white cell count of 0.5 unlike the vets at Tufts. Apparently they had panleukopenia last year and it's taken up shop at the shelter though no kittens lately have been sick. I also found out that she had only been at the shelter itself 2 days before I adopted her. 2 days before I adopted her she had been spayed, vaccinated and dewormed. That's quite a bit to happen in one day.

So here's to hoping she comes home tmw.
 
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