Aspiration pneumonia in bottle baby-- lost cause?

texasrose

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I have two approx. 8 day old kittens. The mama cat left them in a chicken coop where they were in danger of getting pecked severely.  She did not come back for them after they were moved near the coop, but no longer in the nest.   I've been bottle feeding them for 2 days.  The smallest has not learned to use the bottle and chews on the nipple and attempts to pull it very deep into his mouth.  He has developed pneumonia. Our vet started him on Amoxicillian and I've switched to 100% syringe feeding so I have control of what goes into his mouth. Does he have any chance at all?  No fever, just wheezy sounding. 

The bigger kitty is eating fine, but I cannot get him to poop despite stimulation. I've used cotton balls, gauze, cotton rounds, paper towels with no luck.  Any suggestions?  Thank you for your time.
 

StefanZ

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I have two approx. 8 day old kittens. The mama cat left them in a chicken coop where they were in danger of getting pecked severely.  She did not come back for them after they were moved near the coop, but no longer in the nest.   I've been bottle feeding them for 2 days.  The smallest has not learned to use the bottle and chews on the nipple and attempts to pull it very deep into his mouth.  He has developed pneumonia. Our vet started him on Amoxicillian and I've switched to 100% syringe feeding so I have control of what goes into his mouth. Does he have any chance at all?  No fever, just wheezy sounding. 

The bigger kitty is eating fine, but I cannot get him to poop despite stimulation. I've used cotton balls, gauze, cotton rounds, paper towels with no luck.  Any suggestions?  Thank you for your time.
With nr 1, as he isnt dead yet,  AND also got the antibiotica, there is apparently some chance.  Not big, but more than nil.

Having pneumonia they often go downhill literally  in a few hours.   OK in the evening, and dead and cold in the morning.  This had not happened here, so my guess and hope is he does have some chance, yes.   Just to fight on, be sure he is warm and cozy, (perhaps even carried at your chest?   well hydrated, pray - and hope.  The victory is fully possible.

Re nr 2.   Are you sure he isnt really somewhat constipated?   This is a common cause they dont eliminate poo.   The easiest try to remedy this is to hydrate well, either by giving some extra water between the feedings, or dilute the kmr some more than usually.  -  THAT trick is very common.

There are also other tricks - come back if you need them.

Ok, re the stimulating itself.   One tip may be to just tap with your forefinger, soft but yet vigorously, on the private parts.  Alike mom would do when licking.  (it was something @catwoman707 wrote which gave me this though - Im not sure if she meant exactly THIS, but it was my interpretation.)

Otherwise, there is the old running warm water trick, where Catwoman HAD her essential improvement with tapping...

Ok, you make sure the room is warm and cozy, no draugh.

You let warm water run.  Not hot, but a shade warmer than the cats body temp - it shall feel nice and comfortable for the kitten.

You place the kitten on your hand, back down, head to you, rear end out. 

If necessary, held the kitten with a fabric cloth, so the kittens doesnt slip out...

AND, with the forefinger of the other hand, you tap softly but yet decisive and vigorously on the private parts...

Works like a charm,  and there are no sores after intensive elimination attempts, which otherwise easily occurs.

Works both by the massage the warm water gives,  the warm water makes them also to relax the muscle tension,  AND the tapping.

Of course, be sure you dry off the kitten thoroughly afterwards, and lay it down in a bed with a nice heating pad.  You dont want take any risk to get the kitten chilled out.

Btw, the same rules if you by any reason are forced to bathe them over bigger parts of the body - for example if they got heavily flea infested.

You CAN bathe if alternatives are worse, but do your outmost they dont get chilled out.
 
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texasrose

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Thank you for the quick reply.  Sick kitty seems a smidge better.  Less wheezy but still sneezy.  He ate well at the 3 am feeding.  He just doesn't suckle correctly, but I am getting some KMR down him.  We'll see what the next few hours bring.  He's been on antibiotics almost 24 hours now.  Kitty2 pooped a little bit with the tapping.  I'll do the water in the morning and see if we can get more out of him.  He is much harder to get to urinate as well.  He loves to eat though, so I know he needs to go.  Thanks again.,
 

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Thank you for the quick reply.  Sick kitty seems a smidge better.  Less wheezy but still sneezy.  He ate well at the 3 am feeding.  He just doesn't suckle correctly, but I am getting some KMR down him.  We'll see what the next few hours bring.  He's been on antibiotics almost 24 hours now.  Kitty2 pooped a little bit with the tapping.  I'll do the water in the morning and see if we can get more out of him.  He is much harder to get to urinate as well.  He loves to eat though, so I know he needs to go.  Thanks again.,
How was the consistence?  Exactly?

I suspect he is somewhat dehydrated, if he has also difficult to urinate...
 
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texasrose

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The tapping is working great to get the bigger kitty to pee and completely empty his bladder. His small amount of poop last night was firm and normal color.  He is probably constipated.  I am already diluting the KMR some, but I can dilute more.  The water trick did not work, but I'll try again next feeding.  He struggles and screams when he is on his back, so I will try holding him on his tummy and maybe he'll relax.

Sick kitty is hanging in there.  Eating 2 or 3 ml at each feeding. 

Thanks again for your time.  Much appreciated and I work with these wee ones.
 
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texasrose

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Quick update-- sick kitty is still alive.  I can't believe it.  Still has a rattling chest, but eating well, eyes have opened.  Bigger kitty won't poop.  We now have  a third-- it was also left in the chicken coop. It was hungry and dirty when we got it today. 
 
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texasrose

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I forgot to add, the water trick worked instantly on our new charge.   Any other ideas for the constipated one? 
 

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Try adding a few drops of mineral oil to the formula. It helps with constipation. Hope sick kitty makes it! How's the third one doing?
 
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texasrose

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I just added the drops of oil for the next bottle.  The newest one is doing well.  He learned the suckle almost instantly. He was pretty dirty and will need a bath at some point. 

Sick kitty just has a terrible suck/swallow pattern.  I am trying, but am just not sure he'll make it. Thanks again.  If no poop by 2nd morning feeding, I'll ask for more ideas. 
 

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You can buy glycerin suppositories for babies, and shave off a very tiny piece, and insert. It will usually bring on a poop if he remains constipated. And continue to use the mineral oil in each bottle until he gets regular. I'll say a prayer for sick kitty.
 
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texasrose

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I'll pick up some suppositories tomorrow if big kitty  hasn't pooped by then.  Question for you all-- what do you think of thickening the sick kitty's  formula with baby rice cereal? Let me tell you what I am thinking-- I am a feeding specialist for people with swallowing disorders.  When a person is aspirating on liquids, one of the first things you try is too thicken the liquid and see if they can handle it.  Of course, with people I have a modified barium swallow  x-ray to see if they are aspirating, but I wonder if thickening is worth trying.  I think he aspirated a little tonight.  He just does not suck/swallow normally.  Would a pinch of rice cereal hurt him?
 

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I use Gerber rice cereal mixed into the formula also. Kittens love it and it adds a little bulk and has good vitamins in it. And you can make it as thick or thin as you need to. I think it's worth a try. Let's hope it helps! I'm feeling badly for this little kitten struggling so much. Thank goodness you are a feeding specialist. Let us know how it goes after the next feeding.
 
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texasrose

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Rice cereal worked great! I got nearly 5 ml down him instead of 2.   He is still alive :)   The  newest guy is so frantic for feeding that he almost can't latch on and growls at the bottle.  Wow, feeding three takes nearly an hour.  I'd love suggestions on your routine for  middle of the night feedings to make things quicker. 
 

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Relieved to hear the rice cereal helped this baby!

I know no tricks other than wrapping the kittens tightly in a towel like a burrito to stop wiggling during feedings. It's just plain time-consuming until they get bigger. And if he was that desperate for his bottle he either needs more formula or more formula more frequently. He may be growing a tad faster. How much do they weigh and how much do they get at each feeding?
 
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texasrose

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Newest guy settled down some.  I think he was just hungry from not being fed enough by mama cat.  Sick kitty is still alive and doing better on thickened feeds.
 

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This is good news! I'm rooting for sick kitty to make it! :)
 
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texasrose

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Trying the suppository, no luck so far.  I've read elsewhere to try molasses or Karo syrup. What are your thoughts?  We started feeding him on Tuesday night, it is now Saturday night.  No poop at all.
 
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texasrose

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Suppository did not work.  Now what?  How worrying is this?
 

Sarthur2

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Try another one. It won't hurt. No poop suggests he may be a little dehydrated as well. Can you give him drops of water between feedings? And you're using the oil too, right?
 
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