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Sick kitten - how to help?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I should start by saying that Noah is seeing the vet daily - I'm just wondering if there's anything i can do to help him get over this.

Yesterday my 10 week old kitten Noah started acting really lethargic, he just wanted to sleep all day and he's usually quite active. He had no interest in food, and started shivering and panting. So I brought him into the vet, they did a blood test for lukemia and aids - both negative (thank God) and the vet said it was probably an infection. He had a temp of 103.5 they gave him an antibiotic shot and prescribed some liquid amoxocillin. A few hours after the shot Noah was doing much better - eating and playing, but still not 100%.

This morning he was lethargic again. I gave him the medication as directed, and he just slept all day. I took him back to the vet, his temp was still high, so the vet gave him another antibiotic shot and said to bring him back in tomorrow for another one. He said that hopefully this will get his temp under control, and then we can find another antibiotic liquid medication that will work.

So, my question is: while he's going through this, is there anything I can do to help him get better faster? I'm letting him sleep as much as he wants, offering food and water all the time, and have given him some KMR to fight off dehydration. Since he has a fever, should I keep the temperature in my apartment down? Or should I make sure he's warm since he's been shivering?

Thanks for reading through this. Any help is really appreciated. I'm worried about him because he's so tiny and I just want him to get better.
Also, my other cat, Moses, is doing great - no signs of sickness.
post #2 of 12
Just one quick reply for you...
Antibiotics do not work instantly...or overnight. From my experience with my cats, it has taken longer for them to appear to respond to an antibiotic than it takes for me to start feeling better after I begin a course of antibiotic.

My cats seem to take several days - 4-6 - before their behaviour starts getting back to normal.

With those symptoms in my cats, I keep them in a quiet, warm place. Make sure there's fresh water.

Noah won't have any interest in food......possibly because HE CAN'T SMELL IT. Sick or not, cats have to eat. You may have to resort to assist-feeding him. I would first try Gerbers baby foods - a meat variety, and make sure their is NO onion or garlic in it. If you can't get him to eat that - even by putting it in his mouth with your finger - you may have to try watering down (and maybe blending) his regular wet food and use a large syringe (less the needle) to get little amounts into the corner of his mouth. You could do the same with the Gerbers. BE CAREFUL when syringing the food, it's very easy for a cat to aspirate - to inhale the food into his lungs....you don't want that.

Relax, observe, be patient!
post #3 of 12
Originally Posted by BLAISE View Post
Noah won't have any interest in food......possibly because HE CAN'T SMELL IT.
Why wouldn't he be able to smell? She never said the kitten had an URI. It could be intestinal for all the vet knows (if other blood tests weren't done).

Have any other blood tests been done? If this persists tonight and tomorrow it might be best to have that done sometime tomorrow and tell the vet that he isn't wanting to eat or drink - they may decide to give him some fluids(with electrolytes) since he's had a fever. What about a fecal to test for bacteria overgrowth or parasites?
post #4 of 12
Antibiotics may take up to three days to begin helping - you do not want to keep your home so cool the kitty shivers because shivering increases body heat - is Noah drinking any fluids? I would ask the vet about the dehydration seeing you have an appointment today. KMR - is that like a kitten formula?

Is your kitten using the litter pan?

I would let your baby sleep quietly except to offer liquids / food every three or four hours

Separate the sick kitty from your healthy one if you haven't already - this allows the sick baby to get much needed rest and it also helps to prevent transmission of contagious illnesses . I usually keep my sick babies in their carrier and cover all but the front with a dark towel

Please note my cats sleep in their carriers - one even prefers to eat in her carrier - for my cats they are not places of fear - The reason I keep sick kittens/cats in their carrier/or other form of comfortable containment is to prevent them from hiding - I have found sick animals have a habit of hiding.
post #5 of 12
Originally Posted by BLAISE View Post
Noah won't have any interest in food......possibly because HE CAN'T SMELL IT.
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Why wouldn't he be able to smell?...
I think you overlooked the word "possibly".........

Main message: the cat needs to eat!
post #6 of 12
Originally Posted by BLAISE View Post
I think you overlooked the word "possibly".........
The addition of capitalized words and an exclamation mark changed the meaning of your sentence from being a passive suggestion to being a statement (a rather assertive one) - also by adding emphasis on the capitalized words. Read it out loud to yourself adding emotion and tone changes and you'll surely understand how your message was misread. (Yes, text can portray tone, sometimes the wrong one if the person adds caps ) A good thing for all to remember who don't want to be misunderstood.

That aside...Ashley45 is doing well by offering the KMR. This is a nutritionally balanced formula made for kittens and will help prevent some dehydration (with added vitamins and electrolytes). Baby food is not and should only be used if something better can't be used. For the night and morning the KMR will work just fine, especially since it was already late when she posted her question. A finer pureed food can be bought at the vet's office tomorrow if the kitten must be force fed. Hill's A\\D, I do believe? (I'm not very good at remembering the specific letters).
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies!

Update: he slept well last night and has been acting more perky this morning. He had some KMR (yes, this is kitten formula) and seemed to really enjoy that. Last night he was also ate some of his kitten kibble (Royal Canin) and big brother's kibble (also Royal Canin) as well as some Hills A/D wet from the vet. He also drank a bit of water.

He's been using the box just fine - in fact, when he was super lethargic yesterday and the day before, the only thing he'd wake up for is to use the box...I'm thankful for that!

I think my vet's concern with the antibiotics is that after the first shot, he perked up and was doing well, and then slipped right back into the same "sickly state" and the liquid antibiotics didn't seem to do anything. So, since he's so young, the vet said that at this point, the focus is on damage control with these shots - getting that temperature to stay down and have him feeling better, then we'll try to figure out what's going on (vet's not sure) and find a medication he responds to.

He's doing MUCH better this morning, and we have a vet app today for another shot and to see where we go from here. The vet did seem to think that it was an intestinal infection, he didn't mention anything about URI. Whatever it is, my other cat seems just fine.

So, i'll make sure he's warm, away from any pestering and keep offering KMR, the Hills A/D, and obviously water and kibble.
post #8 of 12
Ashley45 - great to hear good news today. I feel better that YOU are feeling better about Noah's condition. It can be very scary when you've tried everything and nothing seems to be working - more especially with such a little one.

I'm also relieved...I was I was a little worried that you might have been reluctant to post further, if you were thinking that your post had started the outbreak of WW3! I have seen some people back away from posting - or even leave forum communities - if they perceive themselves as having inadvertently causing "conflict". I do want to apologize, though, for my part in that disturbance.

And, to strange_wings - I feel very badly that I caused you to be so upset. I was simply trying to clarify where "our" misunderstanding could have originated.

strange_wings mentioned something that might be of benefit to anyone reading here: "force feeding". Those of us who regularly have to proactively deal with inappetence (and who can be found here http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/F...isted-Feeding/ ), refer to the process as "assist-feeding. While the difference might seem semantic, the messages sent to the caregiver by those two terms can be very different. "Force feeding" tends to imply conflict...conflict tends to cause stress and, if the caregiver is stressed, the cat will certainly sense it and react negatively. "Assist feeding", while itself a positive and proactive term, is also more technically correct. It refers to a process that helps the cat return to its natural behaviour as quickly as possible.

On that note, I thought I would mention that I have been able to train my cats to actually look forward to the process - while they are healthy. It's a little like getting them used to tooth brushing or nail clipping. It's a bit-by-bit, step by step learning process. Might be food for thought...
post #9 of 12
Originally Posted by BLAISE View Post
And, to strange_wings - I feel very badly that I caused you to be so upset. I was simply trying to clarify where "our" misunderstanding could have originated.
Oh don't feel bad! I wasn't upset, I just wanted to make sure things were clear too. Either way, dealt with, settled, matter closed.

Ashley45, did the vet say whether that antibiotic shot had a little bit of steroid in it? Some do... and a common steroid side effect in humans is well - perkiness/buzzed/speeding feeling for a short while. (Some people are sensitive enough that they'll come home and clean their whole home, then end up with insomnia for a bit )

Another suggestion, especially if it is an intestinal infection, is to get a probiotic. Because your kitten is so young and this is a lot of antibiotics, you may want to look for a probiotic gel called Bene-Bac. It's made by the same company that makes KMR so you may be able to find it in some of the same stores that sell the formula or ask the vet about it. This will help replace the good bacteria that accidentally gets killed along with the bad and keeping the good bacteria balanced will help keep the bad in check.

I hope your little one is better soon.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
No worries! I wasn't offended or worried about causing conflict. I just want to help my little guy out and figured you were very emphatic about your all caps advice. Ha ha.

I don't think we'll have any issues with eating - he's back to his piggy little self. Doing much better this afternoon - we'll start the medication again tomorrow morning. I'm glad to have my spunky kitten back!

I'm not sure if the shot has steriods or not. He wasn't at all hyper afterward. or even close to his usual activity level, just awake and eating and thinking about playing. He's doing much better this afternoon though.

The probiotic is a good idea. I've seen this at PetSmart, but figured it was for orphaned baby kitties. (But i guess KMR is too, and I bought that...) I'll pick some up.
post #11 of 12
Originally Posted by Ashley45 View Post
The probiotic is a good idea. I've seen this at PetSmart, but figured it was for orphaned baby kitties. (But i guess KMR is too, and I bought that...) I'll pick some up.
i used the Bene-Bac for my Java. she was a stray with incredibly bad gas that progressed to major diarrhea! took 2 rounds of antibiotics to kill the bacterial overgrowth [vet's diagnosis'] in her intestinal tract. she still had really soft stools, tho, so i got her the Bene-Bac, used it as directed, & her stools firmed right up!
post #12 of 12
So glad your young man is feeling better! If you're still concerned about him staying hydrated, you can always add a teaspoon or so of water to his canned food.

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