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Current Concerns....

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I could not think of an appropriate title for this.

Disclaimer: I've talked to my vet about my other cats, and he has said, if they were going to catch the virus that start Pax's illness, then they will. But hopefully their immune systems can handle it and fight it off.

As most of you know, Pax died on June 24th after a brief but debilitating illness, which was discovered on June 23 to be bronchial pnemonia. There was NOTHING that could have been done differently than what the vet and I tried. Bronchial pnemonia has an extremely high mortality rate in kittens.

Assumption: It was viral

Causes: caused by the same herpes and caliciviruses that produce the feline viral respiratory disease complex.

Thoughts: Kizzy had/has ongoing URI issues. 2 major viral groups are (80-90%) responsible for the majority of URI's in cats. (herpesvirus group and calicivirus group)

Assumption: Pax had a bite scab on his ear approx 1wk prior to falling ill. I believe it might have been Kizzy who bit him. (possible transmission)

Assumption: Kizzy may possibly be a chronic carrier of FVR (calicivirus, not herpesvirus.... he has not been tested for either, but prior examinations by my vet lead to the belief that his URI's were NOT from herpesvirus, in addition, he does not respond to Lysine therepy)

Kizzy's vaccines were not given at the proper time... He came to me at almost 5mos old with no vaccines, URI, and ringworm. He was unable to be vaccinated due to illness. His first shots were in Jan. 2nd in May, 3rd in June.

Assumption: Pax was infected with calicivirus. (no way to check now) He had only had one set of vaccines, which according to my vet, the first shots don't always "work" hence the nessecity of 3 x's.

Assumption: Pax's pneumonia originated from transmission of the calicivirus.

Issue: Protecting my Kizzy and Kitchi without turning overly paranoid (already borderline there).

Actions: I disinfected what I could in the room where the kittens were staying, but some things I could not do. Again, this I'm not too terribly concerned because as my vet said, the other two cats have been exposed already to whatever Pax had. I disinfected the food/water bowls, the litter box, removed a couple blankets, disinfected the carriers, and steam cleaned 2/3rds of the carpet (the rest is under a bed).

Questions: Is there anything else I can do now?

I thought about seeking out a young kitten, similiar age to Kitchi, to help him through the process of missing his brother. But I put a big red X on that one, based on my assumptions above. Even if its a fully vaccinated kitten, the vaccines are not 100% effective against Calicivirus. So me bringing in another kitten, would be irresponsible on my part.

There is no sense in stopping Kizzy and Kitchi from interacting, as they've both been exposed.

I am keeping a close eye on both cats....it is so hard because the symptoms Pax had appeared so rapidly. I keep trying to go back in memory to pick out any little thing that might have been a sign, and there was none. He was fine on Friday, ok on Sat. downhill starting Sat. night/Sunday morning. By Monday he was 2lbs. He didn't lose any more weight between Monday and Tuesday, I don't think there was any left to lose.

I am keeping an eye on their weights, as well as eating and any behavioural changes. All are somewhat difficult.

Both had slightly less of an appetite due to the hot weather we had. Plus their appetites vary based on whether they are in growth spurts or not.

Weight: Kitchi is easier, because he's 14wks today, I know he should be growing each week, if not each day. I need to find a different scale. I have a postal scale that goes up to 7lbs but I found that putting Kitchi into something, then on the scale, when Kitchi moves, the scale's reading does as well. (sometimes by a few hundred grams). So either I need to put Kitchi in something he can't move around in, or get a scale with a bigger platform (leaning towards this one, providing I can find one).

Kizzy's growth has finally slowed. May 21 he was 10.9lbs at the vet, June 23 he was 11.4lbs. (he will be one year next month). So all I can do really is watch for a weight loss.

(I can bring both cats into the vets for a weekly weigh in)

Behavioural: hard to see, because their behaviour has changed due to Pax not being here anymore. Kitchi cries for him (it is getting better now) and is more affectionate to me. Kizzy is way more affectionate to me.

I will rest slightly easier once Kitchi gets his last shots next month.

I don't know if there's really any answers to this post, because it is based on assumptions. Pax's pneumonia could have been due to my assumptions, or he could have had bacteria already there, and something stressed him enough to let it take hold, or it could have been something else.... the only thing I do know is that he was FelV/FIV negative and so is Kitchi. We couldn't test kizzy without sedating him.

Really, truth of the matter is that I am paranoid at the moment, especially knowing Kitchi is stressed right now.
post #2 of 8
the only thing that comes to my mind, and I'm not saying you should do this, but i'm thinking separating Kizzy and Kitchi might help until Kitchi gets all of his shots. After all shots are done there should be less to worry about.
I dunno how exposure works though, if you are 100% sure Kitchi has been exposed to this already then doing that would be pointless. Maybe you could ask your vet about what to do if you haven't already.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut0pia View Post
the only thing that comes to my mind, and I'm not saying you should do this, but i'm thinking separating Kizzy and Kitchi might help until Kitchi gets all of his shots. After all shots are done there should be less to worry about.
I dunno how exposure works though, if you are 100% sure Kitchi has been exposed to this already then doing that would be pointless. Maybe you could ask your vet about what to do if you haven't already.
Thanks Mariya, The vet has said not to change anything, as the cats are already exposed. If by chance Kizzy is the "source", Kitchi has already been exposed and has had his 2nd shots on time. If they are going to "catch" anything, its already too late. That much I can say with 100% certainty.... everything else is speculation.

One main reason I don't want to keep Kizzy and Kitchi apart (they are not together, except for a couple periods a day... Kitchi is still in one room, Kizzy has roam of the house) is because of how sad Kitchi is. I don't want him getting stressed, and having it lower his immune system enough to allow "something" to take hold of him too. Playing with Kizzy helps ease Kitchi's loss.
post #4 of 8
I nearly lost a kitten to rhino one time. The entire household (7 at the time) came down with it, and poor Bogart (about 10 weeks at the time) got it the worst. He was the one that landed at the vets in an oxygen tent on IV's for a week to keep him alive. I talked to my vet (the 1 vet that I've trusted more than any other vet I've ever dealt with) and agreed that we would put Boris (age roughly 6 weeks) in the tent with him at the same time. It wasn't that Boris needed it, it was to keep Bogart as stress free as possible. The theory that we had is that stress, on top of an illness, would cause more harm. Bogart pulled through and we'll honestly never know whether or not Boris's presence helped to keep him alive.

I was confused by the fact that all of my cats got the rhino since they were all vaccinated for it. As the vet put it - the vaccinations will not prevent the disease, it will just give them enough immunity so that it doesn't kill them. Both Boris and Bogart had 1 round of shots. Bogart nearly died, and Boris wasn't any worse than the rest of the cats (we lost Boris to FIP at 18 months old, so his immunity was compromised in the first place). The way the disease hits is a crap shoot.

My personal belief is to keep stress as low as possible, and let their bodies fight off the disease.
post #5 of 8
Chris, it really sounds to me like you've taken every precaution you can at this point. My guess is that little Pax had a weaker immune system. Because Kizzy and Kitchi have both been exposed already, there's no point (IMO) in changing the way they interact with each other. If being with Kizzy helps Kitchi, then let them play. I am SO with Amy on this - whatever will help reduce any stress is what is best for them at this point.

The only thing I'd do in addition to what you've done is locate an emergency vet. If your vet doesn't have weekend hours or doesn't have an answering service that calls you back quickly if you leave a message during off hours (the local vet here calls from home if you leave a message at night or on the weekends, and if it's an emergency, he'll meet people at the practice), then I would find one, just to have the number handy and know where it is. Even if the closest one is 30 minutes or even an hour away (ours is 45 minutes) - on a night or weekend, it's closer than 12, 24, or 48 hours away.



Laurie
post #6 of 8
Hi honey - Incubation for calicivirus, if I am not mistaken, is 1 to 6 days, which means they should be pretty much safe by now ...
I am with the others... The least amount of stress, the better...
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Hi honey - Incubation for calicivirus, if I am not mistaken, is 1 to 6 days, which means they should be pretty much safe by now ...
I am with the others... The least amount of stress, the better...
yes, but if I am right, and it was/is/Kizzy is a chronic carrier of calicivirus, it is shed during times of stress (weakened immunity) and also can be shed continously. So realistically, any time Kizzy is with Kitchi, the potential is there.

But indeed, I am trying to keep stress levels at a minimum. I bought Kitchi some new toys (trying to distract him) and am spending alot of time with him, but trying not to spend too much time that he becomes dependant on my company.

Amy: thanks for sharing, and explaining more on vaccines...It makes complete sense, and now that you mentioned it, I questioned a health practitioner once because a friend of mine got the mumps...She was vaccinated for it, and up to date fully on the vaccinations. The way they explained it was that strains can mutate sometimes, so the vaccination strain may be slightly different than the infected strain... which also can explain why vaccines don't always work.

Laurie: Thanks for bringing the e-vet up.... I will definately give my vet a call and see who/where they recommend.
post #8 of 8
Chris, I know what you are going through. After I lost Nutkin and Harry to FIP within weeks of each other I became paranoid about the others, especially the two foster kittens that lived on the same side of the house as the sick ones. They had been exposed to that horrible disease and tested positive, though I know that means nothing. Even after all the washing, scrubbing and disinfecting I felt I had not done enough.

So I concentrated on boosting their immune systems. I talked with my vet and we gave them a week of interferon followed by Transfer Factor, which they are still taking daily though they have now moved to my daughter's place in England. I thought it would help them through the stress of travelling and moving, and the vet agreed. Interferon is terribly expensive, but Transfer Factor is not, and is obtainable online. I don't know whether it worked but so far they are happy healthy cats, and I felt it could do no harm. Keep your courage up, we are all concerned for you and the little ones.
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