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Please help me!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi there,
I am desperately worried about my new kitten. I adopted him and his brother from the SPCA a week ago and things were going beautifully until three days ago when both came down with cat flu.

They're nine weeks old and one of them is incredibly small and skinny but had a good appetite until the flu struck. Since then I haven't been able to get him to eat or drink anything at all (I've tried pretty much every food under the sun) and I'm really worried about how skinny he is.

My partner and I have force-fed him water and a tiny bit of food but he gets so stressed and so exhausted by the process that it almost seems to do him more harm than good.

I've taken him to two vets who both seemed not to care one way or the other about him not eating but I'm wondering how long I should leave it before I take him in there and try to get him put on a drip or something.

I would be so grateful for any help anybody can give me.
post #2 of 21
The first thing I'd do is find a new vet. In fact, if he hasn't been eating and is that skinny at that young an age, I'd be taking him to the nearest emergency vet clinic. If you wait you could lose him.
post #3 of 21
There are lots of things vets can do-- subcutaneous fluids, anti-nausea medicine, special food... I agree with Yosemite, you need a vet right now, emergency hospital if necessary.

Or call the SPCA if it has only been a week maybe their vet will look at him.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
I took him to the emergency vet last night who gave him subcutaneous fluids and some cream for his eye infection but wasn't too concerned about him not eating. They're the only emergency vet in the area so I can't really take him back there again now (it's after hours in New Zealand). It was the SPCA vet that I took him to a couple of days ago and they gave me the vibravet or whatever that anti cat-flu medicine is called. I also called them this morning and they said that if he doesn't eat anything today i can take him in tomorrow. We've managed to get about twenty millilitres of water into him so far today - do you think that will be enough to get him through to the morning? I'm going to give him more water later and also try and steam his little nostrils in the bathroom when the hot water is running as yesterday that seemed to produce some good sneezes. Is there anything else I can do before the morning, do you think?
post #5 of 21
getting and keeping his nostrils clean should help perk up his appetite. Can you tell if he is dehydrated? do the skin test. Gently pull the skin up at the nape of his neck and see how long it takes to return to place.

If he is not dehydrated or only mildly so, make a really good slurry of wet food and water. He needs the calories as well as the fluids. You don't want him getting hypoglycemic because he will become comatose pretty quickly.

At the vets tomorrow, ask them to show you how to give Sub-Q fluids and make sure you bring home the supplies. this way you can keep on top of his hydration without having to go back to the vet or wait for a vet to open.

Valium and cyproheptadine both are appetite stimulants in cats. They are contraindicated in some instances but it is worth asking the vet about them. Also see if the vet has any Nutri Cal (not sure if it is called that in NZ) This is a very high calorie gel that only a couple teaspoons will provide enought nutriton for him. So you wouldn't need to force feed much of it to keep his caloric needs met.

Thanks for adopting and caring for this little sick guy.

ETA: if he is sluggish, try putting a drop of Karo ( high fructiose corn syrup) under his tongue. this will help reverse mild hypoglycemia.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
I've done the skin test and he's not dehydrated. The emergency vet last night gave him a really good dose of subcutaneous fluid and I've managed to get some fluids into him this morning and will do so again tonight. I thought the best thing to do after that would be let him sleep all day so I've been hiding in my study and he's had complete quiet.

It makes me so mad that the vets won't admit him and hook him up to a drip or something! I think in a way he's his own worst enemy as, after lying in one spot all day yesterday, he got a new lease of life the moment I put him in the carry-box to go to the emergency vet and was tearing round like a lunatic once we got to there. So she thought there was absolutely nothing wrong with his energy levels!
I will try and get hold of that corn syrup and will ask about the nutri-cal as anything that shortens the battle-time of force-feeding him would be very, very welcome.
Do you think wrapping him in a towel is a good way to do it? I've read lots of contradictory advice.
post #7 of 21
If he struggles a lot then most definitely do the "burrito wrap". You don't want him expending more energy than necessary. I am not a fan of feeding them "upside down" like you would feed a human infant. I like to sort of squat on the uncooperative ones, have them gently between my legs, then try and get the food/water in the cheek pocket. this way I don't have to pry open their mouths and it also reduces the risk of aspiration.

Withe the nutrical you can give him just a little bit three times a day and that should keep him pretty well nourished until he starts eating on his own.

I am glad he got a good dose of fluids yesterday. that will help him make it through the night.

Good luck tomorrow and please keep us posted.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
He's definitely uncooperative. I tried squirting into his cheek pocket and he managed to shake it everywhere. Even though I'd rubbed his throat. And blown gently into his nose.

I'm wondering how much liquid food I should force-feed him? Even getting a tiny bit in is a huge production but I'm happy to do it as long as the stress on him doesn't outweigh the benefits of the food.

Oh, and if I have corn syrup would it be ok to give him more than a drop or would that be bad for him? Thank you SO much for your advice, it's really helped.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
I managed to get hold of another after hours vet last night and she was absolutely superb. She was horrified that the emergency vet I saw last night didn't admit him and she suggested i get over there ASAP. Which I did! Her and her assistant were so great with him and gave him cuddles and kept chatting to him etc and they've put him on a drip and started a good course of treatment. I feel a lot better knowing he's with them and am hoping for the best. They seem pretty optimistic! So thanks for your mesages and I'll update you in a few days.
post #10 of 21
I am so glad that you were able to find someone willing to help. It sounds like he is in good hands now. Good for you for not giving up. Please keep us updated.
post #11 of 21
Wonderful! Now this is a good vet Please keep us updated on the little guy.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
He's still at the emergency vet. They said he's stabilised now andd they're giving him fluids every few hours and a wee bit of food but unfortunately his veins are too small for a drip. I have to move him to another vet tomorrow as the after hours one will be closing so if you know of any good ones in Auckland, New Zealand let me know!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks so much.
post #13 of 21
Well thats good that he's stabilized and eating a little. I am sending many prayers and vibes for the little one
post #14 of 21
I am so glad to read that you got the little guy to a vet that is willing to treat him. Ask the emergency vet who they would recommend. They will pretty much have had contact with all the local vets and know which ones will help you give the little guy the care he needs to pull through.

The fact that he is eating a little bit, means he is perking up. I am going to be the first to request pictures when he is feeling better

Lots of healing vibes coming your way.
post #15 of 21
I agree, ask the emergency vet who they would recommend. They will know.

I second the photo request! Sending lots of healing happy vibes to your little one
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your help and support, everyone.
My little boy is now at a wonderful, cat-only vet and has started eating by himself. And when I say eating, I mean eating! He seems to be trying to make up for lost time, which is fantastic. He's a lot brighter and the vet seems to think he'll be able to come home in a few days. I am SO relieved! And now I have a great vet as well that I can keep going back to.

I'm sure all your good vibes helped him so thank you very, very much! I'll post pictures of him as soon as he gets home and the blue spraypaint that the spca put in his ears to indicate he'd been neutered has faded away!
post #17 of 21
Yay! This is such great news We really wouldn't mind seeing the spray paint though. We just want to see this little one we've been hearing about
post #18 of 21
I just found this thread; I'm so glad your little man is feeling better. I was disgusted reading about the first vets you took him to .
Sending loads of (((positive vibes))) to your baby, and a (((BIG HUG))) to you for taking such good care of him.
BTW, what's the little guy's name? And his brother's, too?
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
His name is Lester and his brother's name is Omar. I will get some pictures out soon as I get him home!
post #20 of 21

This is wonderful news about Lester! He is very lucky to have you as purr parent. It is great that you now have a vet that you can trust as well.

I love good endings!! Can't wait to see pictures of the little guys.
post #21 of 21
Any updates on Lester? I am hoping he is home again, growing and playing with Omar.
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