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skin and bones!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
We found a kitty in our backyard today who is SO skinny that we can feel all her bones! I can FEEL my fingers through her body when I lay them on either side of her spine!! We saw her out there about a week ago, but just thought she was a neighborhood cat. After seeing her a few more times I decided to go see if she had a collar. She is so small (maybe just a few lbs) and I asume she is a few months old because of her teeth. My husband got some high fat food from the vet, with a syringe and some pedialite to help with her dehydration. She was able to take a few sips, but is so weak she cannot even hold her head up long enough to drink. It is the saddest thing I've ever seen.
What else can we do for her?
We have a Lab and 2 adult cats in the home, but have never cared for a very sick little kitty.
Her eyes are clear, as well as her nose and ears. To me she just looks VERY malnutritioned and dehydrated.
please someone post t o help!!
post #2 of 15
Poor kitty! I'm so glad you took her in. Can you get her in to the vet, or at least take a fecal sample? She might have a bad case of worms (this was the case in a super-skinny kitten my parents rescued). Or there might be another problem that makes her unable or unwilling to eat as much or digest properly. And please get her tested for diseases before introducing her to your own pets.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
thank you! she is too weak to even pee or poop. I don't even think she will make it through the night. I just want to make her comfortable. We cannot afford a vet bill right now, so I am wondering if there are rescues services taht could help us?
post #4 of 15
That's possible. Try calling local shelters and rescue groups. If nothing else, they might be able to find a foster person who's experienced with ill kitties.
post #5 of 15
Keep her warm. Use a hotwater bottle wrapped in towel, and place her on it.

Also bring her to the vet for intravenous hydration ONLY. This won't cost you much at all and it will take about 1/2 hour to do, an dyou can go home with kitty afterwards. Explain what you need and why. The vet will assist.

If the cat cannot be saved, the vet will humanely put it down.. or give it back to you.

... I understand the cost issue, but the vet may be inclined to work a payment program out... or take him/her in themselves...

Best of luck with the little one. I will say a prayer to St. Francis for your little kitty rescue to survive.

Lastly, there
post #6 of 15
More info on hydrating a cat:

Dehydration is excess loss of body fluids. Usually it involves loss of both water and electrolytes (which are minerals such as sodium, chloride, potassium). During illness, dehydration may be due to an inadequate fluid intake. Fever increases the loss of water. This becomes significant if the cat does not drink enough to offset it. Other common causes of dehydration are prolonged vomiting and diarrhea.

One sign of dehydration is loss of skin elasticity. When the skin along the back is picked up into a fold, it should spring back into place. In dehydration, the skin stays up in a ridge. Another sign is dryness of the mouth. The gums, which should be wet and glistening, are dry and tacky to the touch. The saliva is thick and tenacious. Late signs are sunken eyeballs and circulatory collapse (shock).

Treatment: A cat that is noticeably dehydrated should receive prompt veterinary attention. Treatment is directed at replacing fluids and preventing further losses.

In mild cases without vomiting, fluids can be given by mouth. If the cat won't drink, give an electrolyte solution by bottle or syringe into the cheek pouch (see DRUGS AND MEDICATIONS).

Balanced electrolyte solutions for treating dehydration in children are available at drugstores. Ringer's lactate with 5 percent Dextrose in water and a solution called Pedialyte are suitable for cats. They are given at the rate of two to four millileters per pound body weight per hour, depending on the severity of the dehydration (or as directed by your veterinarian).
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
That was VERY helpful!
She is taking in the fluids w/ a syringe. I have been mixing A/D food with the Pedialyte and giving her a Tablespoon every hour. I have a warm fleece blanket on her, but will get a my bean bag that i can warm up in the microwave.
We noticed that her poor little pads on her feet are in very bad shape. They have open sores and are worn down. The vet is closed now, so should I try to treat with something topical?
also...she is de-clawed, and the skin around her neck is worn telling us she had an owner at one time.
Bones....(the kids call her Dominoe)
post #8 of 15
Keep feeding the liquids. If there is anyone on the board, near you, that has a CRF cat, they could easily give her fluids for you - they would have the saline and the needles needed. It is a VERY easy thing to do... if you've the
right equipment and the saline solution.

Based on her weight, she would not need much fluids at all to hydrate. You don't want too much using IV... the vet would know.

Meantime, keep up the pedialyte and fluids. Mixing a little food in is okay, but if she's been without food, for long the danger of hepatic lipidosis is strong.

God bless you. Who would throw out a cat with no claws and
who would leave her to struggle with survival. You are SUCH a good
person to talk her in. I really AM praying for her to St. Francis for a miracle.

Please DO get her to the vet ASAP for hydration Monday. It won't take long, won't cost an arm and leg if you explain your need and that you don't want to pay boarding fees. They will do they hydration, give you the advice you need, and then ... its best for the little tyke to be with you.

Personally, I am hoping a CRF person can help you out (kitty with kidney failure - they get fluids given to them every few days to help kidneys function better... and they would know how to do at home.) If you were anywhere near me, I could do it for you (have the needles and the fluids for my oldster's constipation...)

Hugs and prayers and lots of loving. Stay with the kitten stroke her, let her know there's love around her. That might be the thing that pulls her through this...

post #9 of 15
What about KMR? Its a cat milk replacement. You could get a tiny bottle (they are sold in pet stores) and nurse her? I had a kitten near death once and saved it by nursing it with cat milk replacement. I'm not saying she shouldn't see a vet, perhaps there is a an emergency vet clinic you can take her to?
post #10 of 15
When I got my boys they were little skeletons. I fed them egg yolk and goat milk through a syringe and they really enjoyed it. Do check her for fleas - it is possible she has flea anaemia, and is literally being eaten alive by them. Rub a warm wet washcloth over her and if it comes away red it is flea dirt that is full of her blood. That can kill a small malnourished cat very quickly.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
I will do the warm wash cloth asap. I will take her to Humane Society in the morning for fluids. I did try to look for fleas...did not find any running around on her body. I got up with jer at 1:00a.m and was greeted with a meow. My husband got up with her at 4 a.m, and my daughter found her next to the dog pillow at about 8 am this morning. She may have bben trying to pee, since her blanket was wet when I saw her this a.m. I put some baby pads under her, and bring up a small litter box, although she is still too weak to make it. I'm just so mad I did not take her in sooner when I saw her a few days earlier!
Thanks SO much for the support!! Dominoe is a fighter!
post #12 of 15
how is bones doing?? I hope good!! Your so good to have brought her in- Dont be upset u didnt bring her in earlier- u didnt know! BUt im glad you have her now- I hope shes ok!
post #13 of 15
Any update on Dominoe, aka "skin and bones" kitty? Did she make it??
We would all love to know, we are all rooting for her/you...
post #14 of 15
How is Dominoe?
post #15 of 15
What a wonderful, wonderful thing you are doing!

I'm hoping and praying that Dominoe made it through the night. But if not, please know you have done a wonderful, wonderful thing. To provide comfort, love, warmth and respect no matter what the circumstances is something that deserves the utmost respect.

If you need help finding an organization that can help, you can try http://www.pets911.com. Type in your zipcode and click on shelters/orgs button on the left... and let your fingers do the walking. The best arrangement to make, if you want to continue to care for the kitty, is to arrange with a rescue org to be foster parents to the kitty. Often this means the org will be able to pay for her visit to a vet and meds.

If you decide later that you are able to keep her with your dog and other cats, let the org know as soon as possible. Otherwise, fostering her until she is adopted out to a new family is such a needed service!!!!!

I really hope she made it. I'm really looking forward to an update.

All my best wishes,


P.S. If she did survive, it is important to get a fecal sample to a vet. If the problem isn't fleas, she is very likely riddled with parasites. PLEASE do not use over the counter meds you can purchase at a pet store! These only cause the cat to expel the parasites - it does not kill them. It leaves all your animals open to infestation. The only effective meds can be obtained from a vet, and as they only kill the adult parasites, they need to be administered again after three weeks (to account for the lifecycle of the parasites).

If she does have fleas, a bath in the sink with warm water and a little bit of dawn dish soap, then using a flea comb, should do the trick. You can buy flea collars from the supermarket - but do NOT put them on the cat!!!!!! They can kill cats (regulation of stuff for animals is NOT the same as for people!!!!). But they are GREAT to cut up and put in the vacuum cleaner bag in order to kill any fleas/eggs that may have come off of her.

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