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Unread 11-17-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Respiratory infection in 2 week old foster kitten

I am new to this forum and grateful that you guys are here. I am fostering a mama cat and her 4 kittens. They came to me when the kittens were 3 days old, they are now 2 weeks old. Mama was dx with a URI about 8 days ago - I took her to the vet because she was sneezing, no discharge, her appetite was good, she was feeding her kitties and they basically told me to keep an eye on her and if she started having trouble breathing (which she does not), or if she stops eating to bring her back in. They rx'd Lysine to put in her food 2X a day.

We have been weighing the kittens every other day and the larges kittens are 7 oz the smallest is 5. The smallest kitten started having SX of an URI this past weekend. I took her into the ER Sunday nite, she was sneezing, she had yellow discharge from her nose. They RX'd a form of Amoxicillin for her. I had already been steaming her in the bath (they are in the master bath so this easy), she stopped nursing I think because she can't breathe so they wanted me to supplement which I have been with KMR.

Tonite she will have been antibiotics for 48 hours, she is not doing any better, she is mouth breathing and lethargic. I am having a hard time getting her to take her KMR - she is supposed to have approximately 40 ml a day, however she is taking in about 18 ml's. I can't get any more in - when I feed her I have to use a syringe and she starts mouth breathing too much to continue so I have to stop. Her eyes are half open, the other kitties are fully opened. It seems as if her 3rd eyelid is the only thing that you can see when her eyes are open.

Her momma is licking her alot and does not push her away per se. However today when momma was out of the box of kittens I tried to have the kitten (who is a girl and her name is Midnight) nurse, she nursed for about 4 minutes and then the mom just got up and walked away and jumped in the box to nurse the other kittens who were meowing.

Any advice insights? Anyone have experience with this? I feel like this cat is critical and I am providing supportive care to the best of my abilities. She put on 1/2 ounce between yesterday and today.

I don't know if the kitten is nursing at all during the night althought Monday a.m. (yesterday) I woke up at 6 and she was actively nursing - that is the last I saw her nurse. I am afraid I am overfeeding her (because it says everwhere not to overfeed) because I don't know if she is nursing when I am not around.

Does this kitty have a chance or am I prolonging the inevitable? I just finished caring for 2 family members who were in hospice and subsequently died so I would like to have realistic expectations about this situation. However, I don't have ANY experience with kittens this young - this is my first time fostering a mama cat and kittens, I usually do dogs !. I am not ready to give up - but on the other hand I don't want to keep a cat on "life support" forever either - does that make sense?

Any advice from you experienced folks would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Unread 11-18-2009   #2 (permalink)
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I would take her back to the vet's first of all, although it does seem like she isn't going to make it, I think that I would still get her to the vets just to give her a fighting chance of survival, please let us know what you decide to do and the outcome, it is hard to let go of kittens, but if she has a chance then you should give it to her!
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Unread 11-18-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Last night she nursed 2x

Well last night she nursed two times. When the momma kitten was out of the nest and no competition, she nursed. Then I fed her and she did well, relatively speaking with KMR. She hasn't lost any weight.

Last night the momma kitten moved a different kitten out of the nest (who looks like midnight) then she moved midnight out of the nest. This a.m. midnight was in the cabinet out of the nest but mom was sitting with her. Not sure if she is rejecting or trying to move her kitties since I have been handling the sick one much and feeding her. This a.m. midnight ate a lot - compared to other feedings she took in 6 ml without a problem.

Not sure what to think or do. I will talk to the rescue group today about it.
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Unread 11-18-2009   #4 (permalink)
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She may well be upset at you handling the kitten, which is why she is behaving this way, it maybe neccessary to hand rear this kitten which is very hard and I understand that a lot of kittens don't thrive, having said that a lot do. I would definintly talk the rescue group to get as much advice as possible, good luck with whatever you decide!
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Unread 11-20-2009   #5 (permalink)
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Default Another kitten is dying

My sick little gal that I originally wrote about is gravely ill. I don't expect her last the night.
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Unread 11-23-2009   #6 (permalink)
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I am so sorry, have you taken her to the vet's yet, just in case something can be done for her?
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