2 wk kitten open mouth breathing

bee9212

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Hi friends,

I took in a mom and 3 one week old babies last week from our county shelter. I am only one of two kitten fosters and the county has extremely limited resources. We had to euthanize one kitten last week. She was losing weight and gasping despite my intensive care attempts. Her urine was very diluted even though I know she was dehydrated, so I’m thinking something internally was wrong too.

now I have this guy who is breathing almost the same. I’ll link a YouTube video of him here. He is 2 weeks old and 273 grams. He has been unable to gain weight. He sounds like he’s sneezing or coughing at times. Mom did have a URI that she has overcame, but I’ve never seen this type of neonate breathing and a lack of nasal/eye discharge to signal it’s a URI. I’m running a humidifier in their room, giving him tobrimycin drops twice a day, and syringe feeding him. His lungs are clear. He’s fading on me, I’m desperately trying to save him but I don’t have a good feeling and will re-assess his quality of life throughout today. Please let me know what you think of his breathing.

 
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StefanZ

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You could try to strenghen him up be smearing some glucose / karo on his gum... But if he is dying it will prob just prolong his sufferings... Unless you believe the antibiotic will kick in soon... Im no expert on the medical aspects but I agree with you, it sound no good...
 

Sarthur2

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This is so sad. Poor little guy. I would try an antibiotic like clavamox, and possibly a steroid in a tiny dose, before choosing euthanasia. Ask your vet about these options. I will pray that he improves!

B bee9212
 

StefanZ

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Hi friends,

I took in a mom and 3 one week old babies last week from our county shelter. I am only one of two kitten fosters and the county has extremely limited resources. We had to euthanize one kitten last week. She was losing weight and gasping despite my intensive care attempts. Her urine was very diluted even though I know she was dehydrated, so I’m thinking something internally was wrong too.

now I have this guy who is breathing almost the same. I’ll link a YouTube video of him here. He is 2 weeks old and 273 grams. He has been unable to gain weight. He sounds like he’s sneezing or coughing at times. Mom did have a URI that she has overcame, but I’ve never seen this type of neonate breathing and a lack of nasal/eye discharge to signal it’s a URI. I’m running a humidifier in their room, giving him tobrimycin drops twice a day, and syringe feeding him. His lungs are clear. He’s fading on me, I’m desperately trying to save him but I don’t have a good feeling and will re-assess his quality of life throughout today. Please let me know what you think of his breathing.

Agree with above.
Further, if you want to fight on, give him raw goats milk instead of kmr, and raw honey instead of the more usual karo. Both have some antibiotic properties, and raw goats milk, aside of being excellent nourishment, is sometimes used as a remedy by itself...

I dont think these will suffice by itself; but may be the straw making the scale good.
 
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bee9212

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You could try to strenghen him up be smearing some glucose / karo on his gum... But if he is dying it will prob just prolong his sufferings... Unless you believe the antibiotic will kick in soon... Im no expert on the medical aspects but I agree with you, it sound no good...
thank you for the advice. I’ll try some Karo today. He was meowing very loudly and moving around the nest, I’m still fighting as long as he is!
 
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bee9212

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This is so sad. Poor little guy. I would try an antibiotic like clavamox, and possibly a steroid in a tiny dose, before choosing euthanasia. Ask your vet about these options. I will pray that he improves!

B bee9212
I will definitely ask the shelter vet about these tomorrow. We are very limited on what we can do as it’s just a county shelter but they are really good people and fight really hard to do as much as they can to save these little ones. Keep fingers crossed for us!
 
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bee9212

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Agree with above.
Further, if you want to fight on, give him raw goats milk instead of kmr, and raw honey instead of the more usual karo. Both have some antibiotic properties, and raw goats milk, aside of being excellent nourishment, is sometimes used as a remedy by itself...

I dont think these will suffice by itself; but may be the straw making the scale good.
Im familiar with the raw goats milk and honey remedy and definitely agree with you! Iprefer goats milk over KMR any day. He was meowing loudly and moving about earlier so he’s definitely still fighting. I will fight right along with him. Thanks again
 

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Im familiar with the raw goats milk and honey remedy and definitely agree with you! Iprefer goats milk over KMR any day. He was meowing loudly and moving about earlier so he’s definitely still fighting. I will fight right along with him. Thanks again
Raw goat milk is ok for temporary supplementation, but given his lack of growth it's critical he get the proper nutrients, which only KMR can provide. Protein is 75 g/L in cat milk vs 35 g/L in goat milk; fat is 85 g/L cat vs 38 g/L goat; energy is 1210 Kcal/L cat vs 690 Kcal/L goat; calcium is 1.8 g/L cat vs 1.3 g/L goat.
 
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bee9212

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Raw goat milk is ok for temporary supplementation, but given his lack of growth it's critical he get the proper nutrients, which only KMR can provide. Protein is 75 g/L in cat milk vs 35 g/L in goat milk; fat is 85 g/L cat vs 38 g/L goat; energy is 1210 Kcal/L cat vs 690 Kcal/L goat; calcium is 1.8 g/L cat vs 1.3 g/L goat.
that’s a very great point. I’ve sent my husband to get some KMR for the little guy. Thank you so much.
 
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Look who’s still hanging in there! We’ve had to begin tube feeding because he wasn’t swallowing anything by syringe. He was also started on Clavamox to cover all our bases. He’s gaining nicely now that I’m tube feeding him but his nose congestion is so bad. He has a lot of mucus in the back of his throat which makes breathing hard for him. His breathing improves when I prop his mouth open, but he can’t seem to figure out how to keep it open himself. I’ve had him on Afrin one drop twice a day. Any other ideas I could try for his congestion or do we just need to ride this out? I’m doing steamy bathroom multiple times a day.
7D14E43E-0C27-4E46-9C75-94268CD5D7AB.jpeg
 
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So glad he is hanging in there!

Did the vet say it was okay to use Afrin? How many days has he been on the clavamox? He may need to be on it for a good couple of weeks.

A tiny dose of prednisolone for 3 days might help break up the mucus.

I think this will take time.
 
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bee9212

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So glad he is hanging in there!

Did the vet say it was okay to use Afrin? How many days has he been on the clavamox? He may need to be on it for a good couple of weeks.

A tiny dose of prednisolone for 3 days might help break up the mucus.

I think this will take time.
No, the shelter vet is only in on tuesdays unfortunately. I’d have to wait until next week to get him seen. The shelter manager manages everything in between then. He’s been on a dilution of 1:10 Afrin:water drop for 3 days. I don’t plan on using it more than 3 days total. We started the clavamox on Monday night, so really only 2 full days so far. I’m not sure if I can get prednisone but I’ll ask tomorrow. I have Budesonide here for my own IBD cat, but I’m guessing it probably doesn’t work the same?
 

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Excellent you can do tube feeding. Could you do it since before, or has someone learned you how to do?

Its very useful in many situations to know, but risky to do by someone whom dont know exactly how to do it...

I have sorrowfully noticed not all vets are knowleable in this... So an experienced rescuer is often the best bet.
 
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bee9212

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Excellent you can do tube feeding. Could you do it since before, or has someone learned you how to do?

Its very useful in many situations to know, but risky to do by someone whom dont know exactly how to do it...

I have sorrowfully noticed not all vets are knowleable in this... So an experienced rescuer is often the best bet.
I learned on my own but I’m sure it helps that I’ve done it on people as well (I’m a human nurse 😄). I’ve been fostering for 12 years now and I agree with you that not enough vets know how to care for tiny kittens
 

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I looked up Budesonide and it says it helps asthmatics with breathing if it is inhaled. I was thinking pred because it is given to children who have asthma, and I give it in liquid form to one of my cats. It would need to be a literal drop for a kitten this tiny, but it may help more than the Afrin to thin the mucus.
 
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bee9212

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Ugh. I think “Amos” the kitten is fading on me again. I honestly think the only thing keeping him here is tube feeding at this point. His eyes began to weep and were swollen shut yesterday. Today, whenever I put the terramycin gel I’m able to see his eyes a little better and they are very dry. His mouth is so dry, his tongue sticks to the roof of his mouth and makes breathing even harder. I have propped up a miracle nipple just to keep his mouth open a little. Ugh the URI is just wreaking havoc on his tiny body. We’re doing all we can for him but I think his body is just tired. I’m bringing him to the shelter tomorrow to be looked at by the manager but the vet won’t be able to see him until Tuesday.
 

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Give him drops of sugar or honey water in his mouth so his mouth gets moisture. It’s miserable to have a dry mouth. The sugar may perk him up a bit also. Use a syringe. Poor baby. I hope he makes it!

B bee9212
 
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