I still don't quite get it.
I have a Netatmo Healthy Home Coach on the floor next to where his box is, and it was reporting 52-53% humidity tops, so less than recommended.
The humidifier was 2m away from him, because I wanted to make sure he doesn't get sprayed with that mist or anything.
And yet somehow it was still too much? I'm very confused.
But I don't have to understand it, I just have to keep it off.
Each feeding? Seems like a lot, but if that's what it takes to get good poop...
An online vet I talked to a while ago said sunflower oil is slightly better because it doesn't have as much taste as olive oil, in case the kitten is fussy, though both should be ok. I just forgot how often they said to add it (if they mentioned it at all)
So he was constipated, and I started adding oil to each feeding. I actually switched to olive oil, since it was fresher than my sunflower.
He actually pooped, was weird transitional poo where one end was a bit hard, and the other end was trending towards diarrhea.
So we stopped the oil, but still diluted the formula, 5:12.5ml instead of 5:10.
He was feeling great and put on 16g on Tuesday!
He went back to not pooping 24h
Today we started adding oil again. He pooped first a really hard pellet, then 2 more softer pellets. Still waiting for the main show.
He also started sneezing. Called a vet, said to just keep at it if there's no discharge and he's still eating.
Now he started eating less and he seems a bit less active, though he has bouts of drinking like 10ml in one go, and then not wanting more than 1-2ml the next feeding.
Bottle feeding every 2h is the easy part so far, the really hard part is the constant worry, not sure if I'm doing something wrong, not sure if I should call the vet yet again when not much changed, etc.
Is it the constipation that's bothering him? The potential URI? Maybe he's too warm, he seems to always be sleeping as far away as possible from the Snuggle Safe? Maybe it's the record low humidity we're having today? Though I don't dare put on the humidifier again, and it should get higher again soon. Maybe I'm just feeding too often, as he's almost 2 weeks old, so I should switch to every 3h instead of 2, let him get more rest?
Yup plan is to keep using oil from now on, I don't want to put him through having to pass hard stool again. Not gonna stop unless I get diarrhea for 2 poops in a row or something.
I also bought him a playpen, just washed it yesterday and it's dry now. I wonder if I should switch him to that, instead of his current box. It's bigger, so it would give him the option to move farther away from the heat source if he'd like.
I was thinking of putting the pen in the room with the gals, so they get used to him, see if momma wants to have anything to do with him now that she's better, though I worry he may catch something from them, since they aren't vaccinated yet. I guess that's unlikely unless they get in physical contact?
At least the gals are doing better. Sis kept hissing at Momma, but I ended up cracking a door open and feeding them on opposite sides of that door, so they can see/smell each other but not hurt each other, and seems they accept each other again now.
And Momma is surprisingly braver and less afraid of us now!
His poo is getting softer, big log once a day. Not quite perfect toothpaste but close.
He seems to be sneezing less.
He is very active and meowy when picked up, and sleeping peacefully in-between feedings, with the occasional moving about.
But... he is eating too little!
He's being extra fussy about latching, and when he does latch, he only drinks 1-2ml, with the rarer 4-5ml. This is particularly worrisome, since he's been latching great since day 1, and Saturday he actually drank the whole bottle dry, 15ml in one go!
We usually try feeding him several times per session, as he often drinks a bit more after fussing over him a bit, but it's still just 4-5ml total per session (8 times a day)
He's only put on 4g yesterday, a record low.
I have no idea what's going on this time. Any ideas on what we could be doing wrong?
Including cute pics of eyes opening and new setup.
Wow! He is only 2 weeks old and already weighs 9.8 ounces. He only needs to weigh 8 ounces at 2 weeks, and 12 ounces at 3 weeks. So he is doing just fine, and is likely not hungry.
Kittens have little growth spurts and eat more, then plateau and eat less. He looks great and sounds fine. They do not have to gain as much each day. It’s important to look at the overall picture. He’s not behind at all.
Give him fewer chances at each feeding and he’ll be hungrier at the next.
Try not to worry — he sounds like he’s flourishing!
Seems the breathing issues were just hypovolemic shock, he was very dehydrated from not drinking. He is stable now.
Still need to figure out what was wrong that got him to not drink. Aspiration is a possibility. Waiting on xray to see if there is something in his lungs. We’ll also get to see if there is more to the constipation issue, though he pood this morning and actually pooped himself before we came out here.
Poor thing! So glad they found the culprit and that his lungs are clear. That’s always the first thing that comes to mind with tiny kittens. He should turn the corner in a couple of days and begin to feel better with the antibiotics. Wise on your part to rush to the vet!
He was discharged to come home. They actually can't legally give him antibiotics in the hospital in this country, since none are officially approved for neonate kittens. They can only offer some off label to owners to use on their own risk.
He was actually perking up on the car ride home. He was alert and meowing a bit.
We gave him antibiotics and syringe fed him, while video chatting with an online vet to ensure we were doing it right, drop by drop and waiting to feel a swallow every time, so he didn't aspirate.
We came back to feed him more after an hour. He was licking the syringe and swallowing!
But he started open mouth breeding. A few minutes later, he took one deep breath and then there was no heartbeat. I tried CPR, but there was nothing.
I still don't know what happened. Was it a negative reaction to the antibiotic? Was it sepsis? Was it organ damage from the earlier hypovolemic shock? His sibling had a weak heart, could he have had heart issues that the IV fluids made worse?
I don't even know for sure if he really was a he. I asked at the hospital, but it was still too hard to tell for sure.
We keep going over everything to figure out what we could have done differently, since we intend to foster kittens in the future, in his honor, to make something good come out of it if possible, with how much we learned from him. Though there really isn't much that would have likely made a difference.
Thank you Sarthur2 and everyone for all the info and reassurances. It helps to know we at least haven't done anything too horribly wrong.