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Please help - 5 week old kitten died

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am new here and we have two older cats of our own. Just recently, my mother is a real estate agent and found a kitten in a basement window well. My wife and I decided to adopt it into our family. The kitten - Albie was taken to the vet in Thursday enveing and was dewormed, had Felocell CVR (intranasal) vaccine and had feline Leuk/AIDS/Heartworm SNA done. The vet said that the kitten was in good health. We picked up Albie from my parents home on Friday enveing. At this point Albie would not eat solids and was urinating outside of the litter box. We provided a small heating pad, toys, blankets, an entire buffet of different foods/water, litter box and a decent size cage. Albie would still not eat, nor play or really move around like a normal kitten would. We fed him a mixture of purried food (tried differen brands) through an eye dropper and he wasn't really interested. I called the vet and they told us that he was like this due to an adjustment period. On Monday evening he started breathing very rapidly, lethargic and meowing. We rushed him to the emergency clinic where they performed a battery of tests and concluded that it was FIP. Several hours later he was non responsive and we made the decesion based on the vet's advice to put him down.

The questions I have is my wife and I are extremely upset for the past couple of days becase we feel that we could have done more or something different. We also feel that it may have not been FIP, but possibly the vaccines. Also, he wasn't around our other cats much just to smell each other a few times. They were not sharing litter boxes or food bowls and there wasn't any direct contact such as grooming or playing - so were wondering what the potential impact on our cats is/was. They are both normal as of today.

My wife and I are besides ourselves. It's amazing that a little creature that was in our lives for such a short period of time can have such a big impact.

Thank you,
Paul
post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 
Also, we were told the Albie was 6-7 weeks old.
post #3 of 19
It could have been the number of vacs and something underlying wrong with the kitten that the vet missed.

Did the kitten vomit or have diarrhea? I wonder if it could have possibly been distemper, it can kill kittens fast.
post #4 of 19
Oh, I'm so sorry - maybe call the vet and ask again, especially with regard to possible effect on your other pets, but Albie had a tough start in life, until your family gave him love and warmth for his too short time here. I think you did everything anyone could do, by giving him love and attention, and release from pain. Again, I'm so sorry, but bless you and your wife for trying so hard.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
With regard to the vaccines, I asked a number of different vets as well as the e.r. vet and they all said that the vaccines shouldn't have killed him.

There was no diareah and only one instance of vommiting.

Also, Albie had his own room and was seperated from our other cats. He was in a cage the entire time - other than him laying on my chest all weekend. When he was around my other cats there was not contact - my cats were not interested in him at all.

We paid the e.r. $850.00 to run every test possible in the hopes that they would find something that could be fixed. I believe this is why they concluded that it was FIP as there is no test directly for it.

My wife and I really fell in love with Albie and feel terrible.
post #6 of 19
Treat it as something infectious just in case. Clean hard surfaces with a bleach water solution, vacuum, and keep the other cats out of there for a while.

And of course vets don't want admit the vaccinations could have done anything. Look at the shear number of threads here about vaccination reactions - not all cats handle them well, despite what any vet will say.
Again, if he was already ill at the time it wasn't really anyone's fault, though.

You tried, and please do not blame yourself at all.
post #7 of 19
First off, I am so sorry that you lost this kitten. Second, I would leave this vet in the dust and find one that is better with cats and or kittens. Ideally, a feline specialist. The vets don't learn about the young ones. In school they "learn" on 6 months and up. FIP has become a convienence cause for some vets. If they don't know, they say it is FIP- but it could really have been anything all the vet needed to do was a CBC and a few tests.

FIP is a relatively new disease in cats, therefore, few vets understand the disease. It was thought to be very contagious, but has been discovered that this is not so. They don't know why it appeared suddenly in the late 1960's they just know that they can't get a handle on it to control it.Ironically, they have linked it to the swine flu. It is not known to occur in kittens until they reach 6 months of age (when the virus matures) so it is doubtful your kitten had this disease. The abdomen of the kitten becomes so distended because the virus mutates and creates these sausage like links of tissue that are full of this vile yellow fluid. It is quite painful for the kitten and heartbreaking for the owner. The virus then spreads to the brain, the kitten then dies.

How do I know all of this? Sadly from experience. Last year, one of our kittens died from FIP it had spread to her brain. Even though she was one of the rare cases where she didn't swell in her belly it was her brain that was swelling. It's a horrible disease and I hope someday the vet community can catch up and find an innoculation that stops it.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the kind words.

It's just frustrating, becasue my wife and I don't believe that it was FIP either. It's just too easy for the vets to use as an excuse as their is no direct test for it. It's sad that people rely on vets for answers - if they don't know or not sure about something than just say that. I would rather hear that than some excuse.

We scrubbed the entire house and disposed of anything that could have been contaminated. So far both my cats are acting as usual - eating, using the litter box and performing acrobatics in every room in the house.

Also, I believe that the vets drive business for the vaccine compnaies so I do agree that they promote them.

The other thing I learned is that there were a few more kittens and this one was the last one in the window well. I think maybe the mother realized that something was wrong and left him there to die.

Thank you..

Paul
post #9 of 19
are to be commended for taking this little one in. He passed in an atmosphere of love. You did your best for him. I think there is a special place in Heaven for people like you ( and us). God Speed.
post #10 of 19
I was pretty sure that FIP took a while. I've simply never heard of it being a young kitten disease, anyways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcarpe View Post
Also, I believe that the vets drive business for the vaccine compnaies so I do agree that they promote them.
Of course, medicine is a big business. More vets could speak up in communities and let the cities and counties know that rabies doesn't need to be boostered yearly - that there are 3 years schedules that work fine. FeLV vacs aren't really needed for adult indoor cats in a stable home, but my vet pushes them and everything else.

It falls on the owner to be educated and very involved in their pet's health. Though that's not such a bad thing, ultimately.

It's good you already cleaned up, too! I'm sure your adult cats will be fine. If you had any other kittens in the house hold there could be some worry - also if you have any senior cats, keep a close eye on them, too.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
No other kittens in the house.

I am still not certain that is was FIP. I am going to contact the e.r later just to get Albie's records/test, I may as well..I paid for them.

Albie was kept in a cage in a seperate room with the door closed. We only brought him out a few times and my other two cats had no interest. They just smelled a little, backed away and went about their business.

In any event, I agree that FIP is completey misunderstood as I spoke with another vet (where my mom brought him) and it didn't seem like he was really aware of the illness and transmission risks/factors - he just new "of" the disease.

Also, I will add that Albie purred all the way up until we brought him to the e.r. It breaks our heart.

Anyway, we will wait a few months and adopt/find another one. My/our thoughts have always been to give a cat/kitten a home that is in real need, such as the kill shelters and on the street. We don't believe in "buying" animals when there are soooo many that need good homes. I wish people would realize that they supoprt the deplorable conditions that these animals live in when they purchase from mills/pet stores - sorry for the rant, it's just something I feel strongly about.

Regards,
Paul
post #12 of 19
Did you ask them to perform an autopsy for the kitten? It would propably give a more accurate answer of the cause of death.
I'm sorry for your loss, hopefully you and your wife will have better luck next time.
post #13 of 19
Without a necropsy, no one can be sure what killed the kitten. However, it's very possible it was injured or ill when you found it. Kittens are masters at hiding their weaknesses. Your guess that the mom abandoned him may be accurate.

We're having a second kitten season at the shelter this fall. We transferred 10 cats and kittens (and 13 dogs) to the Dallas SPCA, who is short on animals right now.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcarpe View Post
Anyway, we will wait a few months and adopt/find another one. My/our thoughts have always been to give a cat/kitten a home that is in real need, such as the kill shelters and on the street. We don't believe in "buying" animals when there are soooo many that need good homes. I wish people would realize that they supoprt the deplorable conditions that these animals live in when they purchase from mills/pet stores - sorry for the rant, it's just something I feel strongly about.
I hope you can find an answer or at least find some peace soon. Please do stick around... we have a couple other guys on the forum, so you won't be the only one. Plus these very views you shared here are much the same as what many on here hold - so you would be in good company.
post #15 of 19
I lost a cat to a shot before and I now some other people that have also.
Its not your fault that he died.
My brother i on this site and so are some other guys.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the kind words.

I looked at the E.R. invoice and it states a CBC was performed, so I plan to call them later to get the results.

My wife and I have been saving these creatures for several years now and finding homes. We have saved abondoned cats from several places - one of our cats - Izzy, we found roaming a junk yard. The other - Oliver we got as a kitten. He's big and clumsy, he sounds like a parade of elephants when he runs down the stairs.

It makes me VERY angry that people just abondon these animals, I cannot understand it. Additionally, one does not have to be a "cat person" to have compassion for an animal. Anyway, my $.02.

Regards,
Paul
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcarpe View Post
Additionally, one does not have to be a "cat person" to have compassion for an animal. Anyway, my $.02.
I wish it were true. But typically unless a person specifically loves a certain type of animal or is a true animal lover they can justify some pretty cruel stuff in their minds. Most people that claim to love animals are afraid of snakes - they can justify in their minds beating them to death and other cruel things because they're afraid. Around where I live if an animal is considered a pest people shoot it or poison it - cats, birds, coyotes, a neighbor's dog. Cats tend to always be viewed as lesser animals except by cat lovers. People are rotten. Aside from the precious few who decide to help.

Keep doing what you can. People like you are needed.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yes you are right, it a matter or perception. Even still, it doesn't make it right that someone would have say, a pet gator and one day decide they no longer want it and release near a local mall. There are some animals I wouldn't dare have as pets as I would never want an animal in my home that I would be scared of. However, I would never go out of my way to harm a snake or any other potentially dangerous animal just because they are dangerous.

I think here in NYS, cats have a raw deal as they are allowed to roam free by law which makes it easier for people to have the abondon mentality.

my $.02,

Paul
post #19 of 19
Paul, my sincere condolences to you and your wife. At least you can lean on each other in this difficult time. I am very sorry for your loss. Someone had mentioned the kitten "passing away in a loving atmosphere", and I totally agree. That's so important, in my opinion.

I am happy to see you share my same views on neglect and abuse of animals, the same views as sooo many people on this forum. We each do our little part to protect those who are innocent, to speak out for those who cannot.

Someday another furry little face will capture your hearts and you will welcome him/her into your family. I feel that three cats is a great number, personally.

People need to educate themselves about pet health, do some research, ask some questions. I don't trust everything a vet says, just like I don't think my own doctor knows everything under the sun (even though I think he is a very good doctor). Several minds are always better than one.

HUGS to you and your wife, ... Tell her she is welcome to join us, too!
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