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Very Sick Barn Cat (not my cat...yet)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Last night we went to go see how our calves were doing at the next barn they go to after they leave the calf barn, and while there i noticed a very sick looking cat. I think its a boy and he's a black and white cat. He was very friendly, and i was able to actually get a look at him. He has yellowish snot all over by his nose so he can barely breathe and you can feel every single one of his bones. If you pull up his skin like i did to see if he was dehydrated, it went down really slowly.

I asked last night if i could take him and they said yes. Apparently they were going to put him down (aka shoot him) but the weather got really nice and they are having to try get corn planted now.

What can i do for him? I am going to go pick him up as soon as i can this morning. I have fluids that he can have, a large syringe to feed him with, large raccoon cage that i can have, lots of random brands of wet food, and cottonballs that i will get wet and try wipe off his nose with.

I think that it is a bacteria infection that he has because the snot is coming out of both his nostrils. I looked up his symptoms in one of the books i have and all i could find was feline respitory disease and from what i noticed he has almost the exact same signs as it says. Penicillin - is that for bacteria infections? Would lysine help at all if i could mix some in with wet food and he ate it?

Sorry for being kinda vague with what he looks like but I didn't get a really good look at him - and a saint bernard dog kept trying to go between me and the cat.

the "raccoon cage" is just a really large cage that my cousin used for his pet raccoon he had a few years ago. yes pet raccoon, accidently killed the mother while clearing brush. its maybe 8 foot by 6 foot, and about four feet high.

I can't take this guy to the vet, they don't want to me to pay anything for taking care of him, and i honestly don't have the money. If/when i take him back they don't want to have to pay me anything.

I was thinking i would give him a 2 ounces shot of fluids as soon as i got him home, clean up his nose with a moist cotton ball, and see if he would eat wet food or not. If he won't i'd mush it up and syringe feed him. I was also going to give him a shot of penicillen - probably 2.5 cc's. But what else? I'm really worried about him, poor guy.

I really want to do TNR at that barn, there are a few cats i saw and all have kittens. Though again they don't want to pay the $5 per cat.

post #2 of 9
I'm pretty sure everyone here is going to suggest you take him to the vet, I am too. You do need to keep his nose clean in the mean time, if he can't smell he can't eat. The lysine would be a good idea to strengthen his immune system in the mean time too. He can do 500 mg, you can mix it with yogurt or soft food.
post #3 of 9
Wow it's really great to see someone with some knowledge of veterinary medicine taking care of the lil guy. I would run any treatment by a vet just to be on the safe side.

I don't have much advice that you haven't already touched on - it seems like you're going in the right direction. My only comment really would be a decent quality canned kitten food, maybe dry mixed with some KMR to give him a nutritional and caloric boost. The canned food and the KMR will help with the hydration issue.

Good luck and lots of
post #4 of 9
L-Lysine may not help but it won't hurt to try to boost his immune system with it. The dose for the average sized adult cat is 500mg per day for preventative, and you can boost that up to 2000mg a day while sick. However if he is that thin, he's clearly not a normal sized cat. Try to get an approximate weight (even if that means picking him up and comparing his weight to another one of your cats where you know that weight), and consult with your vet for recommended dosage.

If it's a virus based infection, then penicillin won't help, but most vets will prescribe that to ward off opportunistic bacterial infections that often hit when a cat is sick with a virus. A single shot may not do it, but again, call your vet to see if they can prescribe something to you.

If this barn is full of unfixed cats then I would worry about what his real health issues might be. The combination of symptoms can often be a sign of a life threatening illness such as FeLV - most often transmitted between cats that mate. It may not be that, but that is always my gut feeling when I hear stories like this. If you get him over this hump and return him unaltered and he has FeLV, he will most likely spread it to the other cats.

I hope that you can talk the owners of the barn cats to have them TNR'd. You will most likely be preventing others from getting sick. And it sounds like you have a working relationship with your vet which means they at least can provide some advice. You know we are not vets and can only speculate on what is happening with this cat. A call to your vet might be your best bet to confirm what you think and the advice you receive here.

Sending major vibes to this boy.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm going to go send him to Creature's Comfort once he is better, they take cats down to NOAH were they are S/N for free.

I went and took him this morning, and he is a he. Gave him a can of wet food first thing with 500mg of lysine mixed in and even though he ate it slowly (has trouble eating because of having a hard time breathing) he finished off a whole three ounce can. I could tell he was really enjoying getting to eat. The wet food i have is the By Nature Organics 95% meat. It is for all life stages so that is good.

I just gave him another can since it has been 7 hours since the last one. I think he is at least over a year old, so probably is father to a few kittens...
post #6 of 9
Aww poor kitty! although I would be very careful to keep him from any of your other pets. He may have distemper.


please get him out of the Raccoon cage Raccoons carry round worms (Baylisascaris procyonis).. And the only way to get rid of them is to burn them. They can live for years. Bleach doesnt even kill them. All Raccoons carry them. And it can be fatal to this cat and you. It can cause a disease called visceral larva migrans in humans and other animals, as well as ocular larva migrans and neural larva migrans. If ingested by an abnormal host, the eggs penetrate the small intestine and undergo an aberrant migration through the body. The eggs hatch, and the larvae migrate to the brain, eyes and other organs. The parasite has been implicated in cases of serious eye disease or central nervous system disorders and infection can cause death or paralysis depending on the location in the body and number of worms...

I know this b/c I Rehab and once a cage is used for coons it can either only be used for coons or it needs to be distroyed.

Ty for saving this baby...

post #7 of 9
Any update on this kitty ?
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
sorry for not updating sooner.

He appears to be doing much better already, his nose is still snuffly but not nearly as bad. If you pull up his skin to see if he is dehydrated it goes down almost right away. He has also gained weight and you already can't feel as many bones as before.

He LOVES wet food doesn't even touch any dry. smart cat

thing he is having problems with is covering up after going to the bathroom...but hey he has no clue what this litterbox is supposed to be used for, at least he uses it. I was using clumping litter for the first day until i discovered he got THAT stuck around his nose too, now i am using wood pellets, cheap and works really well.

he is VERY friendly, and loves to get belly rubs. I also took him out for a walk and he will follow me like he is a dog.

Hope he is good enough to go to Creature's Comfort a week from today, I am going to be gone so he has to go down there...they also will take him down to NOAH to get nuetered if he is healthy enough, else will just keep him until he is better so he can go get neutered.

I am thinking that i may just go take a few cats from the barn he came from and go get them fixed sometime this summer. If they too would go to creature's comfort for a few days it is only $5, the actually getting them fixed is free at noah for feral cats. Probably start with females first then eventually males.
post #9 of 9
Sounds good....I use wood pellets as well....and mine for whatever reason don't bury/cover it either...they used to cover it with the scoopable stuff but I switched to wood pellets several years back and they don't cover anymore...I just scoop everyday now...Always happy to hear good new updates
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