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Kitty chokes, vomits: Birth defect legs and ?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
We have a litter of kitties about 5 weeks old. One of them has birth defects: malformed front legs. It's like one of the lower joints are the wrong way on both legs. She walks on her "elbows" sometimes. Prior to two weeks ago, it appeared she was OK, and would just walk with difficulty. She seemed happy enough.

Now it seems to have a digestion problem. When she eats solid food, at some point later, she cries in pain and seems to be choking. White foam is coming out of her mouth and her body seems to convulse. While that's happening, her breathing is rough and loud, possibly because she's breathing through mucus?

She vomits mucus and chunks of solid food. One guess is that she's not chewing properly, another is that there's a blockage somewhere.

She does eat liter sometimes. She is still nursing as well. She does urinate, but we don't know if she defecates.

Does anyone have any ideas? Her sisters are getting bigger and look much better. She does look under nourished, yet still runs and plays sometimes.
post #2 of 15
I would definitely have the kitten checked out by a vet ASAP.
post #3 of 15
I agree...
your kitty needs to be checked out by a vet immediately, she might be suffering and need treatment.
Good luck, please let us know what you find out.
post #4 of 15
I would guess that her digestive tract isn't formed properly- there can sometimes be a flap over either the stomach entrance or exit, or in the oesophagus, which could cause the symptoms you describe - it prevents all the food from going one way so it comes back up and usually becomes apparent when they start weaning. Get her to the vet asap, and try feeding her small amounts of liquidised food or KMR frequently as smaller liquid amounts may be easier for her to handle.

But do get her to a vet as soon as possible, my suggestion is only one possibility and there are lots of other things it could be including some sort of infection. She's not getting as much nutrition as she should be if she's bringing some back up and at that age could begin to fail fast.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
We aren't going to spend more money on the vet at this point. We're not too keen on the vet as he had no clue about the radial agenesis and $70 got us absolutely nothing. It's a low income house (my ex) and she isn't interested in spending more.

She seems OK when she doesn't eat. Big problem obviously as she'll deterorate with out food. But we going to try to feed her formula for a while. We're hoping she grows out of the digestion issue.

She handles her legs OK for the most part. I think the legs will be manageable assuming the digestion gets under control. It's not a severe case. She has strength in her front paws and plays with her litter mates albeit somewhat diminished

If the situation isn't ameliorated by the kitty formula and the kitty declines more we'll reconsider.
post #6 of 15
Even if you dont want to spend the extra cash try the formula! I would also sujest taking her to the vet and if thats not in the cards maybe give her to someone that can. If that stuff isn't fixed it wont be good.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
She is going to try the formula.

I doubt the vet will be able to do anything, so there's no point unless the kitty gets serious. Now it appears undernourished, but if we control her access to food and give her formula, she'll have a chance. She's not particularly suffering unless she eats.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jivago View Post
She is going to try the formula.

I doubt the vet will be able to do anything, so there's no point unless the kitty gets serious. Now it appears undernourished, but if we control her access to food and give her formula, she'll have a chance. She's not particularly suffering unless she eats.
Please give this kitten to someone who can take it to a vet and perhaps save its life. Even fully grown, healthy cats that don't eat in 48 hours can go into liver failure so this little one is in grave danger. Cats are masters at not showing pain or suffering so don't assume she isn't suffering.

My heart aches for this little creature.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jivago View Post
She is going to try the formula.

I doubt the vet will be able to do anything, so there's no point unless the kitty gets serious. Now it appears undernourished, but if we control her access to food and give her formula, she'll have a chance. She's not particularly suffering unless she eats.
That's not correct - cats with physical disabilities can lead happy lives if they are in the right environment, and the digestive problem can probably be fixed. You have brought a kitten into the world, and now you are responsible for getting it the appropriate veterinary care. Please take it to a vet, or give it to someone who will!
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
That's not correct - cats with physical disabilities can lead happy lives if they are in the right environment, and the digestive problem can probably be fixed. You have brought a kitten into the world, and now you are responsible for getting it the appropriate veterinary care. Please take it to a vet, or give it to someone who will!
Epona is right, just like digestive abnormalities in humans can be fixed, they can be fixed in cats too. If it's the stomach flap issue, it's a relatively common birth defect in humans, and that is generally easily surgically correctable. She's much like a colicky infant that can't keep formula down right now, and it has a physoligical basis. A cat isn't going to show you the pain that they are in until they're holding on by a thread that's fraying with each passing second.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
... Please take it to a vet, or give it to someone who will!
Seriously, bleeding heart aside: Who is going to take a kitty who need hundreds of dollars of surgery for her digestion issue? It belongs to my ex who has indeterminable reasons for not getting the mother spayed (not $$). Maybe now she will.

I understand that disabled cats can lead reasonable lives. Her leg condition would be a death sentence out in the world, but she'll be fine as a house cat. It's not as extreme as the "Squittens" or "Cabbits" on the internet, she'll be fine. The $70 do nothing vet didn't even know what radial hypoplasia was.

As for the eating issue, the ex is going to feed it kitty formula to give it strength and we'll see what happens. If the kitty declines, then she'll have to reconsider the vet. A different vet for sure.

It would surprise me that a vet would give the same advice (formula and wait), but for $70.
post #12 of 15
i have to disagree - lots of people out there in rescue organizations will take a kitten who needs surgery. many organizations will take her. if your ex is unwilling to take her to the vet, at least TRY to find someone or some organization who will take her. also just because you went to a bad vet at first doesn't mean that another vet will "do nothing." as many others have mentioned, a good vet can figure out what exactly is wrong (i doubt a vet will tell you to give formula and wait and see if the kitten is in such distress every time she eats, perhaps a vet would say wait and see if she spits up a little, but i doubt a vet would say wait and see if she's choking up mucus and food and having a hard time breathing, that's just too severe for wait and see...). a good vet would likely recommend x-rays to see what's going on inside and what needs to be done to get the kitten fixed up inside. you really should go find another vet. i understand that this is not your cat and the decisions ultimately lie with your ex and it probably feels like we're all attacking you and it's not that, i know you're just trying to help by looking for info for your ex on line and you're not really a part of this situation, but it's just the idea of someone bringing a kitten into the world (indeterminable reasons for not getting her spayed? if the reasons are indeterminable, then she doesn't even know what her reasons are and therefore really has no reason not to get her spayed) and then refusing it adequate care or at least a diagnosis is kind of shocking.
post #13 of 15
I agree with the others, please, if you can't give this baby the medical attention she needs, please find someone else who can. I have to say,I completely dissagree with the statement of who will take her when she needs so much medical attention.I currrently have 4 cats, 3 are special needs, they are the ones no one else wanted becasue of their vet bills. I would take another in a heartbeat, and I know a lot of other perople would too. I know it might be hard to spend the money, but please tell your ex that since she took the responsibility of bringing this baby into the world, she needs to be responsible and give it the medical attention it so desperatly needs. It could become, if not already, a matter of life or death and this baby needs a chance to live. It is just not fair to this poor baby.
Also, is the litter she is eating clay?? That really concerns me. If she is eating clay litter, that could be adding to her problems. She REALLY needs a vet, please take her to one. She is depending on you for her life.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoran22 View Post
...i doubt a vet will tell you to give formula and wait and see
Actually he did. When they went to get the formula. Casual conversation in the lobby.

Look, I get the passionate responses on this. My point on the original question was to see if the the legs and digestion issue were part of a known syndrome. The legs seem to be a fairly well known phenomena. I hoped that someone might know if there were a common set of issues associated together. Down syndrome has a cluster of common issues for example.

Doctors: I work in a top academic medical institution with world-renowned MDs and research scientists. And....? They ain't all they're cracked up to be. I'll skip the detail. The kitten's condition was leaning well towards alarming, but seems to be doing OK now. It's not gone by any stretch, but she's strong and having less attacks.

If I had to guess, the valve at the top of the stomach isn't closing properly. When my overly exuberant scion tips the kitty's head down it shows symptoms.

We'll continue to evaluate her condition.
post #15 of 15
Honestly, if I had a vet that was so cavalier about a kitten this tiny having these problems and not eating for days, I'd already have a new vet that actually cared whether this kitten lived or died.

As for those medical folks you work with that aren't all they're cracked up to be - well I think vet medicine and human medicine may have a lot of differences so I'm not sure one can be comparing the two. Being a brain surgeon doesn't necessarily make one capable of intricate heart surgery.
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