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Discussion Starter #1
I know this is lengthy but please stay with me. Need advice!
My husband ignored that I was calling him Chachi and started calling him Rudafus. o_O Lol. So I call him Rudy.
So Rudy started out with watery eyes. Seriously, in a matter of a day or two had junk in his eyes, runny nose and wouldn't eat. It happened crazy fast.
Well, I said he wouldn't eat... He actually wouldn't take anything from ME. No formula, no wet food, dry food, or even the last day - water! He still tried nursing from his mom, but I think she must have been drying up because he was losing weight.
It terrified me. I took him to the vet. She didn't tell me what was wrong exactly, just said it was an infection or virus. She said he was dehydrated. He also had fleas. He was absolutely pitiful. She gave him fluids (that process was horrible and I nearly cried)! And then she gave him flea medicine. Then prescribed drops for his eyes, antibiotic for his "cold" (it seems worse than just a little cold), gave me special food for him (that I'm almost out of now) and a gel - NutriCal. So I've been doing all of this for him since Thursday. I've not gotten a good night's sleep since. I'm exhausted. I have to take care of him every few hours, between everything.
But he's still lethargic. He still sleeps a lot. He's still not really playing. He used to be so extremely playful.
But he DOES fight me when I'm having to force feed him now. He wasn't doing that previous to today. I mean, he was but not really. Now it's really a challenge to feed him. And I noticed him sipping some water a few times all on his own! I got really excited.
But then.. one of the things I was really afraid of happened, I even expressed this concern to the vet. He has some diarrhea now! I know that a cold or diarrhea to a kitten can be really bad, even fatal sometimes.
The Vet ignored my question the first time I asked her, she asked me what I meant... :fust I was like, "well, he's not been eating right. and he's never taken solid food. he could get diarrhea couldn't he? what do i do if he does?" She didn't answer me right away. Finally before we left she said if he gets diarrhea then just bring him back and she'd give him more fluids.
I'm just worried. I've been putting my whole heart into this baby. I got so hopeful and excited thinking he would be ok. Now, I'm back to freaking out again.
He's not gaining as much weight back as I wanted him to yet. His eyes and nose have both cleared up some. And like I said, he drank water on his own again a few times. But now he has diarrhea too?!
When we were leaving, she (the vet) told me not to blame myself if, despite my efforts, he didn't make it. Which scared me. :(

Basically, I'm asking if anyone has any ideas? Home remedies for him? For his diarrhea??
And to maybe speed up his recovery or something, so I can do something besides just give him the antibiotic?
Or am I doing everything I can already?
My husband told me to skip one feeding, since we feed him every four hours and give him the Nutri-Cal. Like, if I'm asleep and it's time to feed him, I get up and feed him. If I'm asleep and it's time for his gel, I get up and give it to him. Etc. Etc. But he was wondering if maybe it's too much for his stomach? He said maybe I should skip one feeding and see if it helps. But I'm worried that will make his other symptoms flare up or something. And I told him, as far as I know, mommy kitties don't skip feedings. They feed their babies every few hours. But again, it's not this solid food. Man!!
So I REALLY don't know. And of course tomorrow is Sunday so I can't take him in or even call them.

ANY advice or suggestions please! Thank you!:sad2
 

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Poor Rachel. You're doing fine.I do have a few suggestions for you, but the most important is to take a few deep, cleansing breaths; close your eyes; and enjoy a few minutes of peace. Re-center yourself. You're overwrought and panicking, and that really isn't what you or Rudy needs right now. He's getting feistier, which is a good sign, so you're likely on the upswing now.

Most antibiotics can cause diarrhea, as can a rapid dietary change, so I'm not at all surprised that the little guy's stool is loose. Go to a pet store or health food store and pick up some probiotic. You can use either a probiotic formulated for pets or one for humans. I generally use acidophilus I pick up at a health food store. I sprinkle a bit into one meal a day for as long as I am giving the antibiotic and continuing for a week afterward. This helps repopulate the good gut bacteria that the antibiotic has killed off, which then helps normalize the stool.

It can also be helpful to add a bit of fiber to the food mix, either in the form of canned pumpkin or mashed peas (about 1/2 tsp daily) OR about 1/16 tsp of psyllium husk (Metamucil). BTW, you can mix the Nutrical right into his food mix, as well, so that you don't have to administer it separately.

Felines won't generally eat what they can't smell, so if Rudy is still congested, that may be part or all of why he's not wanting to eat on his own. Try putting him in a steamy bathroom for 15-30 mins immediately before you feed him to help clear his sinuses so that he can smell the food. Warming the food slightly can also be very helpful, as it will bring out the aroma strongly.

Assuming that Rudy is suffering from a herpesvirus infection (perhaps the most common feline URI, and one which typically affects either or both the airway and the eyes), it can also be quite helpful to give 250 mg of L-lysine daily as long as he's showing symptoms. L-lysine is an amino acid that inhibits the replication of the herpesvirus, making it easier for the kitten's own immune system to beat back the infection. Even if Rudy doesn't have herpes, L-lysine won't hurt him. You can buy L-lysine anywhere vitamins are sold. I buy 500 mg tablets, cut them in half for young kittens, crush it, and mix it into canned food.

Keep feeding Rudy every 4 hrs as you're doing now, and don't worry about his lethargy. I'm plenty lethargic when I'm sick, too. Rudy may even be a bit anemic from the fleas, but he should recover from that, as well, now that you've eliminated that problem.

If the diarrhea persists, take him back to the vet for more fluids tomorrow. You don't want such a youngun dehydrating.

Now, break's over. Get back in the trenches, Nurse Mom. You're doing great!

Laurie
 

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Bless you!

Thank you so much for your response. I saw that I had like 50 views, and only 1 answer so far. So thank you so much for all of your suggestions!

The L-lysine and probiotic won't interfere with his other drops and antibiotic will it?

Earlier he actually walked into my room to me! :) Then, I was giving him his drops, antibiotic and the Nutri-Cal and he started trying to play with a napkin I had sitting next to us! I mean, it was pretty light, but he was still trying to play with it none-the-less! Until that, the only "play" I could get out of him was holding my finger or reaching out at my face.
Before getting sick, napkins were like his own personal catnip or something. He'd attack one at any given chance. :D
I'm trying not to get too excited about it and get my hopes up too much but.. I can't help but feel really good about that!
I actually thought he was about to jump on my side for a second, like he used to always do, instead he opted for a less strenuous method and just kind of hopped/climbed onto my lap. But, its activity. :)

Again, thank you for taking the time to write out such a helpful response.
I really appreciate it. :)
 

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Thank you so much for your response
.

You're so welcome.

The L-lysine and probiotic won't interfere with his other drops and antibiotic will it?
No, they shouldn't interfere with his other meds at all. BTW, if he does have herpesvirus, the antibiotics won't do anything to combat it. He'll just have to beat that back on his own, which it appears that he's doing quite nicely. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed to help avoid a secondary bacterial infection from setting in.

Earlier he actually walked into my room to me! :) Then, I was giving him his drops, antibiotic and the Nutri-Cal and he started trying to play with a napkin I had sitting next to us!
That sounds like very positive progress.

Keep up the great nursing care!

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I had one more question for you or anyone willing to help me out.
I have looked and looked for canned kitten food and all I can find is adult canned food.
I did see one kind of kitten food - Fancy Feast. Which, I've never used. Is it good? I bought it for him but I've not given it to him yet.
Can you or someone suggest a really good canned kitten food?
 

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Fancy Feast isn't great, but it'll certainly do until you can find something better. Pet stores generally offer higher quality foods than anything you'll find in a grocery store. Look for foods that are either designated for kittens or "all stages". Some of the best quality foods are EVO. Wellness, and several others that I can't remember. I'm sure other folks will come along with more canned kitten food recommendations for you.

Laurie
 

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Laurie has done a great job of answering your questions! I have a few things that may help too.

It's highly likely that it is the herpes virus, which means that any other cats you have could have either contracted it from him, or given it to him. You mentioned that you have him mother, right? Rudy probably got it from her.

I'd suggest buying lysine and treating all of them for a while. Preventative dose for an adult cat is 250mg/day, that's the max dose I'd give a kitten under 6 months as well.

As far as food goes it's really important to feed him grain free food. The carbohydrates in grains actually feed the herpes virus, so it could actually make him worse.

I've recently joined a great yahoogroup for people with cats that have herpes. There's a lot of very specific info, and tons of great tips on how to help your kitty feel better :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Laurie has done a great job of answering your questions! I have a few things that may help too.

It's highly likely that it is the herpes virus, which means that any other cats you have could have either contracted it from him, or given it to him. You mentioned that you have him mother, right? Rudy probably got it from her.

I'd suggest buying lysine and treating all of them for a while. Preventative dose for an adult cat is 250mg/day, that's the max dose I'd give a kitten under 6 months as well.

As far as food goes it's really important to feed him grain free food. The carbohydrates in grains actually feed the herpes virus, so it could actually make him worse.

I've recently joined a great yahoogroup for people with cats that have herpes. There's a lot of very specific info, and tons of great tips on how to help your kitty feel better :)

Thank you. Could you suggest a certain brand of kitty food that would be good/grain free? Do you think I should switch my other cats to a grain free food, as well? A couple of them have been sneezing a little just every now and then.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh and to update you... He's been just a little more playful today and drinking water on his own more frequently than he was. His nose and mouth, which were more white than pink, are now starting to get a little pink coloring back in them!
 

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Good! Drinking water is especially important since dehydration is such a risk for kittens.

There are quite a few good ones out there. EVO and Wellness CORE are two...since I feed my cats raw I'm not as knowledgable about that as some other people here, but there are lots of threads about that question. I'm sure you could find lots by doing a quick search. :)
 

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Of the regular grocery or walmart type foods Fancy Feast is probably a good choice until you can transition your kitten to a quality kittens food. Keep your kitten on a soft food. Free feed your kitten.
 
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