Underweight 3 week old kittens don’t want to eat

Eloise613

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Hello!! I brought home 2 kittens from the shelter. They are estimated to be around 3 weeks but they definitely look 4 weeks old. They only weigh 328g and 296g and I’ve been trying to syringe feed them with a mix of KMR and high quality wet food. They don’t seem lethargic or sick but they have zero interest in the food. They never act hungry and they will turn their heads or clothes their mouths. I can get like 6ml in at a time. I don’t know what to do to get them interested. Any advice will be welcome. Should I give nutrical?
Thank you
 

Sarthur2

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Based on their weights, they are 3 weeks old as the one is nearly 12 ounces and the other is about 10.5 ounces.

Have they cut their baby teeth yet? Baby teeth come in between 3-4 weeks.

6mLs is not bad. Feed them every 4 hours but do not force feed. They WILL eat when they are hungry.

You can also try Gerber turkey or chicken baby food on your finger to see if they will lick it.

Give them time. They should come around soon!
 
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Eloise613

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Thank you!!! They do have their little baby teeth!! I feed them until they refuse so maybe it’ll just take some time. Thank you!!!
 
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Eloise613

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The kittens rapidly went downhill. They have been gaining and losing in the last few days but had no other symptoms whatsoever until today. It’s been a rollercoaster. Yesterday the shelter vet told me they were perfect but gave me a dewormer to give for the next few days, just in case. But today I found the little boy on the verge of death, laying in a pile of his own diarrhea. It smelled FOUL like coccidia but his symptoms were different than I’ve usually seen with coccidia. When he tried to walk he would lose his balance and fall on his side 😭 The weird thing is he didn’t have diarrhea until they started the dewormer. Google tells me it could be panleukopenia but I hope not. I gave him homemade pedialyte and he perked up thank god.
The little girl gets super excited about the syringe but has no desire to eat off the plate. I am force feeding the boy. He had diarrhea tonight again. I’m torn because I want them to gain weight but I don’t want to overfeed him since he’s having diarrhea, so I’m giving small amounts at a time. It’s a delicate balance. The shelter says they can’t do much more than I’m already doing.

any advice is welcome. I’ve been crying off and on. I am determined to save these babies!! My mom suggested anti diarrhea meds but I don’t know how sage that is for a 3 year old kitten. I have been mixing KMR with royal canin babycat

days like today make me second guess my abilities as a foster and test my emotions but we survived and I hope to get us through the next few days
 

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I have seen kittens fail after deworming. Definitely keep up with unflavored Pedialyte and clean water (filtered, bottled or good well water so the chemicals in tap water don't irritate healing gut tissues). You can rub a bit of white karo syrup on the gums to assist keeping the blood sugar up. Also, keep them near a heat source - on or next to a heat pad or heated rice-or-cornmeal sock. If the baby is lethargic, the Pedialyte & karo is easier on the digestion. Some shelters add antibiotics and ponazuril.
Austin Pets Alive! works with Maddie's University which offers free information. You might find these links useful, especially if funding is an issue:
A Protocoled Response to Diarrhea

Critical Care of the Sick Neonatal Kitten
 
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