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Help Kittens Dying for No Reason

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi, my cat had six kittens on Monday July 14th. All of the kittens appeared to be healthy. They all were making weight gains and nursing all week. I went to check on them last night at about midnight. They were all fine. I woke up this morning to two dead. They were two of the biggest in the litter. I rushed the rest and the mom straight to the vet. The vet could find no cause for why the others had died. She said that the mother is healthy and the kittens all had strong hearts. She said that she couldnt see any cause for why they had died. We could do an autopsy but it would take weeks. There was one kiten that over the last 2 days seemed to be not gaining properly. She didnt seem to concered about him. Tonight I came home and he was dead. So I have lost three kittens out of six in the last 24 hours. I dont know why they are dying and neither does the vet.
Also, I am a siamese breeder. I have had quite a few litters over the last few years and I have never seen anything like this. The mom has always produced healthy kittens. I used a new father for stud service from a different breeder that I had never used before.
Can anyone give me any advice to what might be killing the kittens and how I can help them?
post #2 of 21
There is an excellent article on Fading Kitten Syndrome here.

I am sorry you are losing babies. I know that has to be hard and very saddening to experience.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
I just dont understand. The kittens that died during the night did not appear to be "fading" they were large kittens I would say over 150 grams. They had made quite a bit of gains since birth. I saw them last night nursing. Have you ever heard of it happening five days in without any indication of problems. The vet had absolutely no answers.
post #4 of 21
It would have to be fading kitten syndrome. I do recall reading that there seemed to be kittens that were sometimes incompatible with their mothers. The other thing I read is that sometimes breeders use antibiotics in the Queen and that this kills good bacteria in the kitten's tummies causing them to die.

Whatever the reason I am so sorry. That is really rough and difficult.
post #5 of 21
With a new stud, its possible that it was incompatable blood type - that's the only thing I can think of for the mystery deaths. Siamese are prone to cardiomyophthy too.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well, we have made it now almost 24 hours since any deaths. I hope we are out of the woods. The three remaining kittens all seem healthy. They are all making weight gains. They move and cry, absolutely no sign of fading. (Though two that died did not show any symptoms eigher) The runt did show signs of failure before but, the vet said his heart was good and he was getting enough to eat. I could tell because I saw a decrease in his behavior.
I was talking to my husband about the situation. He grew up on a farm.He said that perhaps she accidently smothered two of them by laying down on them. Then the runt just died of birth defects.
It had come across my mind about the incompatible blood types. My only hope with that is maybe the mother was with multiple fathers during her stay at the breeders house. She had alot of cats that werent caged. Maybe the three living were fathered by a different cat.
I will keep everyone posted.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by megmar6853 View Post
Well, we have made it now almost 24 hours since any deaths. I hope we are out of the woods. The three remaining kittens all seem healthy. They are all making weight gains. They move and cry, absolutely no sign of fading. (Though two that died did not show any symptoms eigher) The runt did show signs of failure before but, the vet said his heart was good and he was getting enough to eat. I could tell because I saw a decrease in his behavior.
I was talking to my husband about the situation. He grew up on a farm.He said that perhaps she accidently smothered two of them by laying down on them. Then the runt just died of birth defects.
It had come across my mind about the incompatible blood types. My only hope with that is maybe the mother was with multiple fathers during her stay at the breeders house. She had alot of cats that werent caged. Maybe the three living were fathered by a different cat.
I will keep everyone posted.
I am glad to hear that the three remaining kittens have ... well, remained. *smile* Hopefully, everything will be OK from now on with them.

I must admit that the part about ... "My only hope with that is maybe the mother was with multiple fathers during her stay at the breeders house. She had alot of cats that werent caged. Maybe the three living were fathered by a different cat." has me really concerned for a lot of reasons.

1) Most breeders offering outside stud service do so only by contract to ONE stud - allowing multiple studs to mate with one queen during the same service would be a registration nightmare!! How in the world could anyone register these kittens honestly and with accurate information???

2) Did you not ask how your queen would be handled during her stay for service? If not, then in the future, ASK!!! Will your queen be caged with the stud or will she be kept in a separate room with him? If there are other free-roaming cats, will those cats be allowed access to your girl? The health implications alone are frightening here!
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Oh, she kept them in a seperate room. Sarah and her male Black Pharoah were suppose to be in a seperate bedroom the whole stay. I was just saying that it was possible that Sarah escaped and ran downstairs to where the other male was. You know it can only take a second for an accident to happen. The breeder never said there was an accident I am just sermizing.
I had my own male that I have used for the past three years. This is my first time with this breeder for stud service. I can guarantee you this is the last time using this breeder.
post #9 of 21
Hope everything turns out ok. I too am a bit concerned about the possibility of multiple fathers (at least 2) - because then you really might have wrong pedigrees.

I would just pet out all the remaining kittens neuter/spayed) since the pedigree cannot be verified for certain. Hopefully the next litter will be a better one.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your help. We have made it almost two days without a kitten dying. They are one week old today. I think the other three are going to make it. I am a little concered about my little girl though. She still has her umbilical cord attached. Usually they fall off by a week old. Also they are big kittens but only one has started to open his eyes a little. All of my other kittens have been faster developers.
post #11 of 21
Some of my kittens had cords on longer then a week with no problems. And it could be that the surviving kittens are a little younger then the other ones if she mated at different times. Most of mine opened at 5-6 days - some were a few days older - no problems.
post #12 of 21
Did you have both parents blood-typed prior to conception? If the parents are different blood group, then some of the kittens can be born with a different bloodtype to the mother - they then can get antibodies to kill their bloodcells from the mother's colostrum which she produces for around the first 48 hours of nursing. This can kill the kittens if they are not the same blood group as the mother - in breeds where more than one blood group exists, testing should be done before mating, whereas in some breeds it is rarely an issue because some breeds are overwhelmingly one blood group. Siamese tbh are usually ok with this because mostly they are blood group A- but nevertheless blood testing is a simple procedure that would eliminate any doubt in cases such as this.

But there are lots of reasons why kittens may die, cats are evolved to give birth to frequent large litters where only the strongest and healthiest kittens survive - it's just nature when that happens, harsh as it is there's little that can be done about it.

You should also check with your dam's breeder (or whoever bred your foundation cat, and whoever bred the sire it has been mated with) to make sure there are no known problems with fertility, carrying a litter to term, or high kitten mortality - genetic problems can have a huge impact on a queen's ability to carry a litter to term and deliver healthy kittens, although the reasons for this are not always scientifically known if there have been problems with her mother or grandmother then you need to know. I have learned that some lines of Siamese and OSH are prone to high kitten mortality rates for reasons unfortunately as yet unknown.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well we have made it through three days without a death. I think it is safe to say that the crisis if past. The kittens are eight days old today. All of them are beginning to open their eyes. Thank you for all of your imput.
post #14 of 21
I am so glad to hear it may be over. I could only imagine how heart breaking and frustrating it has been.
post #15 of 21
sounds simaler to fadding kitten syndrome but it could also be a genetic thing. you said you used a different breeder and stud then the regular you used before for this litter so perhaps there is a problems with the litters genetics.
post #16 of 21
I'm sure the poster will appreciate your comment, but just so you know, they might not reply if they don't have notifications turned on. this thread is from 7 months ago
post #17 of 21

i'm having the same problem and this is what i found.

 

 

http://www.fabcats.org/breeders/infosheets/kitten_health/fading_kittens.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #18 of 21

That is a great article you found, Valisa. It explains nicely at least two common problems.

1. The weak kitten gets too little sugar in the blood. This explains why the common trick to have some -white caro syrup, Dextrose or honey, - on their gum, works so nicely. It is really not a "energy boost" but it is what thay desperately need at this moment.    Dextrose (=glucose sugar) is best, but  other sugar sources works also.

 

2.  Second, it explains well the factum many had observed: you go with this dying kitten to a vet, vet does examination, gives perhaps a fluid injection, and says, "I dont see anything wrong, he is fine. You can go home with it"....   It is NOT grave incompetence, it is simply it is often very difficult to see on a kitten what they are sick from.  You see better the cause afterwards, after opening up the body and doing post mortem, there you see the bodyly deficiences, or the inflammation source...

 

Of course, a really good vet could try with tube feeding, or showed you how to do tube feeding properly.  Tube feeing is a very good help in many situations with weak kittens, the problem is it is difficult and very dangerous for a new be...  It seems quite a few vets dont themselves know how to do it.

 

I think I will try to make a thread on this article when I have time. The finds in this here article are too good to drown in an old thread.

post #19 of 21

Just wanted every one to know . all though we lost a total of 5 kittens total betrween my 2 litters of kittnes mom's are doing great and we are holding at 2 left from charolttes litter and 4 from nightsky's litter looking good hope ot stays that way thanks for all the help and saport it means a lot to me.

post #20 of 21

kittens can die fromm faded kitten sydrum al the way up till there weaned.

post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by valisa71 View Post

Just wanted every one to know . all though we lost a total of 5 kittens total betrween my 2 litters of kittnes mom's are doing great and we are holding at 2 left from charolttes litter and 4 from nightsky's litter looking good hope ot stays that way thanks for all the help and saport it means a lot to me.


Tx for the report, Valisa. Im very happy both moms and 6 kittens are healthy and well.

Keeping thumbs!

 

Good luck!

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