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tortiesandtabbies

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Hi, apologies in advance for the long story and wall of text.

Originally this female stray cat and decided on our place to raise her babies but not long after, the babies went missing and she went on heat, more babies on the way.

After the initial litter and she started crying for her babies, I started feeding her and she began to trust me after a few weeks. She doesn't stay too long and wanders off only to come back for food (ha). But as her pregnancy went on, she stayed around longer. That's good.

When she finally gave birth, there were 4 kittens. 2 boys and 2 girls and about 1 and a half month in, something was slowly looking wrong, she didn't really want to eat, puked and probably had blood in her urine. She walked off and hasn't been seen since.

Which leaves me to care for her kittens*. Thankfully, they're able to eat on their own but at one point they had diarrhea, vomit and bloody stools (I first switched foods which improved but turns out it's probably just worms). 2 kittens in particular was sickly but improved after some medication and deworming.

*I had to learn how to handle the litter box, train them from staying away from the veggies (gardening) and basically everything that comes with. Everything was new to me. Also trying not to tear my hair out for the past 1 and half months.

It was on Monday (July 19) that I got them dewormed (Pyrantel Pamoate). Due to my lack of experience, I fed them kitten milk (prior to deworming) and too much liquids (after deworming) which is why their stool was still loose after 2 vet visits. (Will be resuming the activated charcoal liquid as given by the vet.)

I stopped that yesterday and the stool has some improvement BUT It came to my attention that one of the male kittens isn't very active (snoozes a lot, doesn't eat much and lets me hold him when he usually just squirms off to play. It was initially just the girls that were sick (1st vet visit) and the boys were fine.

I try to feed by hand and he eats a little but stops. I see him drinking some water and don't think there's anything weird (no vomit, bloody stools) in the litter box yet.

Covid cases are surging drastically in my area and my turn for the vaccine has yet to come (at time of writing) but is it normal behaviour after deworming?

Or is it tapeworms, heartworms that wasn't covered by pyrantel pamoate that might be the issue?
They also have ear mites and I'll be dealing with that soon when this settles down. Seeing either of them eat less worries me and will turn to assist feeding if it keeps up.
 

Norachan

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Hi T tortiesandtabbies Welcome to TCS.

Are you keeping the kittens indoors now? Outdoor cats have a very short life expectancy and sick kitten don't stand much chance at all outside, so please keep them indoors.

Have they been blood tested and vaccinated? I understand that it is difficult to get regular vet appointments at the moment, but kittens are vulnerable to a whole host of diseases, so getting them vaccinated would be your next step to keeping them healthy. Lethargy and diarrhea are the symptoms of a lot of cat diseases, so it might not be caused by the worms or the worming medicine.

Ear mites are treated with a topical ointment that won't affect their stomachs. You can get this from your vet. Ask the vet to show you how to clean out their ears and apply the cream, as they sometimes need several doses
 
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tortiesandtabbies

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Hi T tortiesandtabbies Welcome to TCS.

Are you keeping the kittens indoors now? Outdoor cats have a very short life expectancy and sick kitten don't stand much chance at all outside, so please keep them indoors.

Have they been blood tested and vaccinated? I understand that it is difficult to get regular vet appointments at the moment, but kittens are vulnerable to a whole host of diseases, so getting them vaccinated would be your next step to keeping them healthy. Lethargy and diarrhea are the symptoms of a lot of cat diseases, so it might not be caused by the worms or the worming medicine.

Ear mites are treated with a topical ointment that won't affect their stomachs. You can get this from your vet. Ask the vet to show you how to clean out their ears and apply the cream, as they sometimes need several doses
They're technically outdoors but are only out in an enclosed space (garden) under supervision but not exposed to the elements, no exposure to other cats but each other. I plan for them to be vaccinated and fixed (in due time) but have been refraining from leaving home.

Noted the ear mites meds, will reach out to the vet clinic. I have been cleaning them out before there was the need for the 1st vet visit but stopped because of the necessity of syringe feeding 2 kittens which leaves me quite exhausted.
 
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tortiesandtabbies

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Morning progress: The male kitten that wasn't willing to eat is back to eating again. Introduced new wet food yesterday, however, their stool is grey (even after feeding activated charcoal) and is firmer now. No overly strong smell from their stool.
 

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They're technically outdoors but are only out in an enclosed space (garden) under supervision but not exposed to the elements, no exposure to other cats but each other.
That sounds like a good set up. Do they have a house they can get into as well? I use converted dog kennels for my outdoor mainly/only cats.

Albert59.jpg

If they are going to be outdoor cats you could try using food grade Diatomaceous earth in their enclosure. This keeps fleas, lice and other insects away. As a general rule it's a good idea to get them vaccinated when they reach 600 grams, second vaccine a few weeks after that and then spayed and neutered at the 5 month mark. A lot of mine are former ferals and can be hard to handle, but fortunately only a few of them have needed extra vet care after their initial vaccines and surgeries

FelineLiving.net


The male kitten that wasn't willing to eat is back to eating again.
:woo:

That's great news! I hope the little guy keeps fighting. We'd love to see some pictures if you have any.
 
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tortiesandtabbies

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That sounds like a good set up. Do they have a house they can get into as well? I use converted dog kennels for my outdoor mainly/only cats.

View attachment 388827
If they are going to be outdoor cats you could try using food grade Diatomaceous earth in their enclosure. This keeps fleas, lice and other insects away. As a general rule it's a good idea to get them vaccinated when they reach 600 grams, second vaccine a few weeks after that and then spayed and neutered at the 5 month mark. A lot of mine are former ferals and can be hard to handle, but fortunately only a few of them have needed extra vet care after their initial vaccines and surgeries

FelineLiving.net




:woo:

That's great news! I hope the little guy keeps fighting. We'd love to see some pictures if you have any.
I'd describe it as an expanded cage (has several floors) but I do cover the outsides at night in case it gets chilly. Thank you for the general rule, due to situations out of my influence, I definitely missed a lot of things and currently reaping what I sow 😢

Now it's one of the girls that doesn't have an appetite but will see how that goes (got another dewormer, same goes to the male kitten who didn't want to eat. He's better now!).
 
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tortiesandtabbies

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Update: It's been hectic with seemingly more to come. They were good for a few weeks despite the need for additional deworming, then their appetite comes back right after. - were on wet food until I went back to their usual dry kibble.
Their stool was grey or even clay-coloured when they were on (this particular brand of) wet food. The texture was normal however and they were fine. If I added some dry food, the stool would look almost normal-coloured.

However, I'm back to seeing pile-like and liquid stools (some had blood too but not now as far as I can see) again. I clear out the litter box twice a day, wash the box itself with soap and bleach every time there's some stain on it (which is almost every day now), likewise for their living space.

Went to the vet after they started to look lethargic and were given a jab + meds and probiotics.
The vet said to me they're running a temp and has some stomach discomfort so I'm not sure what I'm dealing with here.

Looked better for a bit (noon) and then lethargic (evening/now). Am I missing anything important while caring for them, being unwell on and off like this?

It's no fun for them and me plus the constant cleaning 💀 Taking everything I have to not give in to despair:thud: :dizzy:
 
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tortiesandtabbies

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Another update: A few days after they came off their meds, their stool is as good as sausage-like already. But in the past few days, there's a very strong whiff of urine and I have no idea how and why that happened > leading to washing their living space in and out several times. (I suppose this is 'peeing outside the litter box'.)

For a moment, I'm wondering if one of the kittens is unwell again, despite the amount of poo being about the same (at least no major reduction, not too sure about pee).
Then I noticed that the back legs of one of the male kittens smelled like pee this morning. Search results around the internet led me to wonder if the problem is the overly full litter box (overnight) so I added another. So we'll see.

The vet also gave me the green light for their (first?) vaccination a week after their follow-up if their weight increases steadily, fingers crossed that I don't jinx it.
 

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I hope it's nothing serious.

:crossfingers:

Medication can effect their poop. What does your vet think is wrong? Have they been blood tested and stool tested yet? Young kittens pick up all kinds of things so it's really difficult to know what the problem is.
 
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tortiesandtabbies

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I hope it's nothing serious.

:crossfingers:

Medication can effect their poop. What does your vet think is wrong? Have they been blood tested and stool tested yet? Young kittens pick up all kinds of things so it's really difficult to know what the problem is.
They didn't mention anything besides having a fever and tummy trouble and no, they didn't offer that but thankfully all of them got their 1st vaccination. But ever since, their appetite is at a minimal and 2 has a temperature so I plan to take the affected ones to the vet.

The label for their vaccine lists Feline Rhinotracheitis (Feline Herpesvirus)-Calici-Panleukopenia Chlamydia Psittaci - going back at the end of the month.

Should I just try to keep them hydrated for now?
 

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Yes, hydration with unflavored pedialyte is good, or even water with a bit of honey mixed in. They may feel puny for a few days after getting their vaccines also.

Sounds like they’ve had a virus perhaps. Have they been given any metronidazole for parasites? Metronidazole also clears intestinal bacteria.

The fever is worrisome. Let us know what the vet says tomorrow. Poor babies have dealt with a lot so far.
 
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tortiesandtabbies

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Yes, hydration with unflavored pedialyte is good, or even water with a bit of honey mixed in. They may feel puny for a few days after getting their vaccines also.

Sounds like they’ve had a virus perhaps. Have they been given any metronidazole for parasites? Metronidazole also clears intestinal bacteria.

The fever is worrisome. Let us know what the vet says tomorrow. Poor babies have dealt with a lot so far.
Thank you, keeping them well-hydrated and hope to add a little honey to their water.
I don't think I was given metronidazole and the vet didn't have much to explain.
This is incredibly painful for me to watch and frustrating to top it off.

And only 3 of the 4 kitten has a fever, 1 is still fine (temperature-wise).
Got another injection and some meds (antibiotics, anti-inflammatory/fever and a tablet for appetite).

Already 3 rounds into the meds and the fever(ish state) continues. Their appetite is still comparatively lacklustre and prefer wet food over dry at the moment.
1 male kitten simply has no desire to eat on their own so am feeding with a syringe as much as I can but he's fighting me on this + higher than normal temp which I'm worried about most.

No vomiting or diarrhoea at the moment, which is probably a good thing compared to previous rounds.

The next vaccination shot is about 20 days away but they asked me to come back in for a follow-up this coming Monday.
 

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It sounds like the kittens may be suffering from feline panleukopenia. The cure is hydration and general supportive care. It can be fatal in tiny kittens. Read about it here:

Feline panleukopenia

I would not use the liver recipe, nor would I vaccinate or deworm further until the kittens are fully healthy again.

T tortiesandtabbies
 
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tortiesandtabbies

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It sounds like the kittens may be suffering from feline panleukopenia. The cure is hydration and general supportive care. It can be fatal in tiny kittens. Read about it here:

Feline panleukopenia

I would not use the liver recipe, nor would I vaccinate or deworm further until the kittens are fully healthy again.

T tortiesandtabbies
Thank you, will keep them hydrated and if anything else crops up.
I will let the vet clinic know on Monday about their condition and asking to reschedule the vaccination.

About cleaning the areas, I'm looking at accelerated hydrogen peroxide but am unsure if it needs to be at a particular dilution rate.
 
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tortiesandtabbies

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Update: Not much changes with 3 of the 4 kittens: still eating wet food, very occasional dry food but I syringe-feed the water instead. (Wet food can's label states about 85% moisture but wanted to be sure anyway.)

The 1 male kitten is a little more receptive to my syringe-feeding today (I feed glucose + a little salt and kitten food that easily goes into the syringe, thank goodness for that.)
But I noticed him 'hik hik hik' (sounds like hacking) today and the nostrils look damp/almost sniffly or a little dripping? Don't think I saw this before.
 

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Do you think he aspirated fluid into his lungs? If so, get him going on antibiotics as soon as possible to avoid pneumonia.

Be very careful syringing. They need small amounts, time to swallow and breathe, then go again.

I’m delighted to hear they are all hanging in there. Keep us posted.
 
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