Rescued kitten with diarrhea - on meds - but now not eating and very quiet! Help!

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kylier

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Hi everyone.

Hoping someone might be able to help/give some advice. I rescued three feral kittens a few weeks ago - they are at best guess now around 10 weeks old. They spent 2 weeks with a local rescue group as I was away and unable to foster them, however I have since taken two of the least adjusted back to assist with socialization etc. The first few days they were fine health-wise and one of the kittens 'Spotty' came around very quickly - to the point of falling asleep easily on my/our laps and wondering around our apartment. Late Tuesday or early Wednesday (can't remember which day), both kittens started having softer stools which by Thursday morning were watery-like. Spotty also vomited once that same morning. I had in the previous 24 hours taken them off their regular food and fed them only fresh cooked chicken hoping they might just be a little stressed/change of diet etc. Spotty was particularly 'off colour' so I took both kitties to the local vet yesterday (Thursday). She said they seemed in good overall health, had no fever or dehydration and she suspected some kind of GI parasite or bug. Meds were prescribed (and administered initially at the clinic) - Flagyl antibiotics and Panacur to treat worms. Both kittens ate some dinner last night - Royal Canin Sensitivity pouches.

This morning 'Stripey' aka kitten #2 seemed a lot brighter and wolfed down breakfast - complete with foul-tasting meds (sigh of relief as she is the more timid/scared of the two). Spotty wasn't having a bar of his concoction so I tried just feeding him regular food without the meds. He still wouldn't eat and eventually my husband and I gave him his meds orally via syringe. He drank some water straight after (a little) and I have since tried around six different types of food today and he at best might lick or take a nibble, but nothing more than that. He is drinking a small amount of water, but not much of that either. As far as mood goes, he is very lethargic and has pretty much slept all day, curled up in a ball in a corner of the room. Even when I move him to the couch, he eventually goes back to his 'corner'.

I should also add that on Tuesday afternoon he (Spotty) managed to find a bit of food wrapped in plastic Glad Wrap and nibbled through it - eating some of the wrap. He ate that night and the next day fine, though had the diarrhea. I informed the vet of this but she thinks this is not the problem and the plastic would have passed by now.

I'm beside myself at the moment - I know how quickly kittens can deteriorate. Do you think he's off his food and sleeping so much because he is just generally feeling yuck (and could the meds make him feel unwell or possible allergy to the Flagyl)? Or could it be something more serious? Am waiting for vet to call me back but I'm seriously concerned and would appreciate any advice/suggestions.

Thanks so much.
 

physicsgal981

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I hope he is okay.  As you said - kittens can deteriorate quickly.  If you don't hear from you vet shortly, I'd recommend an emergency vet. 

Positive thoughts to you and your kittens. 
 

StefanZ

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Let Spotty be in his corner. He apparently feels it as his safety corner. Let him have a nice cushion.

Do get home dextrose (glucose sugar). Othewise white caro syrup or honey may be ok.

If he seems going down, it MAY be partly because of low blood sugar. You can help this with having some wet dextrose on his gum.

Do they still have watery diarrhea?

I will now give two different receips for home made, working pedialytes.  Both useful with diarrhea, stoppers and giving back some electrolytes. And dont hurting otherwise as extra water for a cat or child who cant eat.

1,5-2 soup spoon (15-18g) dextrose or other sugar in you dont have dextrose

1 tea spoon (3g) kitchen salt

1 litre of water.  Stir up  boiling. cool down to body temp, use.  If necessary with syringe or dropper.

Dont spare too long, better to make new every day.

OR

1 litre of  rice water (ie water after a well boiled rice)

1 tea spoon (3g) kitchen salt...

If you use lesser water, count down also the salt and dextrose.   :)

Good luck!
 
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kylier

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Thanks for the advice StefanZ - much appreciated. Kitten #2 (Stripey) is doing really well (eating, solid stools and very active) but her brother Spotty still had watery BM this morning but none since. He still won't eat - the vet finally called and suggested I force feed with an eye-dropper/syringe. I have given him some kitten formula and some kitten food mixed with baby food that I made into a paste for the eye-dropper - he hasn't had a large quantity but some is better than none I suppose. He is also drinking some more water. Should I add some honey/sugar to the kitten formula or do you think the nutrients are sufficient as they are? I also have some Royal Canin Convalescence mix as well that I haven't tried.

I did some more research on the meds. Flagyl can have side-effects in cats including loss of appetite (anorexia), lethargy etc. amongst other things. I am wondering if that has made him worse. I have not dosed his second dose tonight and will see if he improves overnight without the dose of Flagyl and 4-hourly force feed.

Keeping everything crossed he is okay...such a sweet little boy and so patient even whilst being force fed. He's come such a long way from being a scared little feral kitten...I will be devastated if he doesn't pull through.
 
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kylier

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Thank you for the positive vibes Physicsgal981! x
 
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kylier

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An update on Spotty...things are looking very bad. I took him back to the vet as there was no improvement - his gums were very pale so the vet did some blood work which showed low RBC and low WBC - plus some other discouraging results. Her diagnosis was FIP...with an almost 100% fatality rate. She also suggested perhaps FPV but said the test wasn't all that reliable? She said we could try conservative treatment, rehydration etc or opt for a blood transfusion for the anemia. I wasn't confident in her diagnosis so sent the test results to another vet (the vet who first treated Spotty). She called to say she thought it was definitely FPV and that the survival rate for kittens was very low. Our only option was IV fluids to try and stabilize then go from there - if he makes it through the worst of it. I took Spotty to the animal hospital yesterday afternoon my time - his temperature was high and mucous membranes very pale. When I called this morning, he still had a fever and pale mucous membranes. I am just beside myself and don't know what else to do now... I'm hoping against hope he can fight this but I don't think he's strong enough to hang on. If anyone has ANY ideas at all or suggestions that it could be something other than FPV please let me know. BTW...his litter mate (sister) also came down with diarrhea at the same time but she has bounced back brilliantly - eating and drinking normally, normal BM and very active.

Thanks everyone.
 
 

taxido

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Very sorry to her about Spotty. Do you mean FIP? I cannot find anything about FPV.
 
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ondine

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Because you said he got hold of a piece of plastic, I am wondering if he has a blockage. Did you mention that to the vet? It's certainly info he could use ...
 
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kylier

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Thank you everyone...and you are correct jcat - FPV is the feline equivalent of the Parvo virus (or feline distemper). I visited Spotty today at the animal hospital - they managed to get his fever down with anti-inflams which will also hopefully help control or limit his diarrhea but after more blood work, his WBC and RBC are lower again (the RBC partially because he is now more hydrated, thus diluting his blood). Particularly worrying is the extremely low WBC as he has almost nothing left to fight with. The vet is trying a very expensive medication that is similar to that used in people having chemo - it helps stimulate WBC production. She also mentioned that possibly his condition could be from a severe parasite infection but whatever the cause, he is certainly not even close to being out of the woods and his condition is critical. I did mention the glad wrap he ingested but each vet has pretty much passed that over - I don't know if intestinal blockage would cause such bad anemia and low WBC? I'm just hoping like crazy he is a fighter and can get through the worst of it so we can find out what's really going on then try and fix it. It was so, so heartbreaking to see him at the animal hospital...looking so lifeless and scared. He started purring as soon as I started patting him and I was able to hold him for about 20 minutes - I believe this is a crucial part of the treatment process - to have some contact and good old fashioned TLC.

There are a lot of people in my life who think I'm crazy for caring so much (and spending a fortune) on a foster (the animal rescue group can't afford his care/treatment so it is coming out of my own pocket) but I don't differentiate...he doesn't deserve any less of a chance because he's only been with me a short time. I rescued him and his siblings...I feel very responsible for what happens to all of them. I couldn't live with myself if I didn't try everything in my power to get him better - so thank you all for your kind words and good thoughts. At least I know most people here won't think I'm too crazy..!

 
 
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kylier

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I just wanted to let you all know that I had to let beautiful little Spotty go this afternoon. His deterioration had continued to the point that when I visited today he could barely hold up his own head let alone walk. He looked so pitiful and I don't think he would have made it through the night - regardless of everyone's best efforts and enormous amount of medical support. I simply couldn't bare to see him suffer any longer and feel that maybe I somehow did the wrong thing somewhere. I spent an hour nursing him before he went so that he knew he was special and loved - even if only for the briefest of times...I couldn't let him leave on his own and held him while he was put to sleep. I'm just devastated...what a dreadful foster mum I turned out to be - someone forgot to tell me the part about not getting attached. I fear I've definitely failed in that respect and that there is no cure for bonding with each and every kitty I come into contact with.

No one (i.e. vets) could give a definitive answer as to what Spotty was suffering from. The consensus is still Feline Distemper (FPV) - but it's only an educated/clinical guess. Even after insisting they check for the pathogen/s, I was told finding out would be difficult - though I suspect perhaps more a case of the "too hard basket". I'm now faced with not being able to have any cats or kittens in my apartment for some time and having to be extra careful when I go home to Australia to visit my own four furbabies who are currently having an extended "sleepover" at nana and pop's place, whilst I am based in Hong Kong. I've read that the virus is very hard to kill (particularly 'hardy') and can remain active for over a year - in furniture, on clothing and shoes etc. What a terrible disease. Please, please make sure your babies are all vaccinated - even when you're fostering. I should have pushed the point with the rescue group to get he and his littermates done straight away.

Anyway, I truly wanted to thank you all for your very kind support and best wishes for little Spotty. I am attaching a photo of him and his sister (he's the little black and white baby...) RIP Spotty - playing over the Rainbow Bridge with Jenkins, Pancho, Smokey #1, Tonto, Misty, Sooty, Soxy, Tara, Felix, Elvis, Smokey #2, Max, Tigerlily and Sammi, Dakota & Cosmo dogs - our much loved and never forgotten, furbabies. x

 

jcat

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Oh, no. I'm very sorry to hear that poor little Spotty didn't make it and wish to extend the condolences of the TCS team. RIP, sweetie.

When you feel up to it, you can post about him in the Crossing the Bridge forum.
 
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mrsgreenjeens

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I am SO SORRY that little Spotty didn't make it. You are by NO MEANS a failure.  You tried so very hard to save him
  My heart is breaking right along with yours
 

jdukes

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I am very sorry about Spotty. You did everything that you could. I know that my Buddy is there playing with him right now, showing him where all the best toys are.
 
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