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Constipated 3 week olds

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have 2 orphaned kittens, I've had them for 3 days now. They're about 3 weeks old. One boy is 13 oz, the other boy is 12 oz. They seem to be healthy, and quite content with their new mom (me)...they eat very well, play with eachother and are little purr bugs. The only problem is, though I can stimulate them to urinate, they have not given me any poops. I have tried stimulating them with cotton balls, a washrag, and paper towels. I use very warm water. I massage their bellies...which they love, but it doesn't help them to poop!
I originally was feeding them formula mixed with a little bit of baby food because the bigger baby has attempted to eat on his own off a plate (even though he snorts as much up his nose as he actually eats), the smaller one gets his food syringed...neither wanted to be bothered with a bottle. I also give them 1 cc of Nutrical everyday. I called up the vet today hoping to bring them in but I was told that I should stop with the baby food and just feed them straight formula for a few more days. They also told me that it's a shock to the babies system to have this new diet but that they will give me poops eventually.
I know that the babies are quite irritated about being constipated. Everytime I pet them, they roll over on their backs and stick their rear legs in the air...almost to tell me that I need to do my job and get them pooping already! When I raised a litter of 5 day old kittens, they were constipated but the vet taught me how to give them enemas on my own. I'm very tempted to do the enemas with these babies but...I don't know. It has been atleast 3 days since they last pooped and I don't know how much longer they can go before running into some problems.
Does any one have any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 8
Please do not do kitty enemas, unless you are a professional you can really do some major damage to these little ones. The easiest way that I have found to help a little one eliminate, is to run a fine trickle of warm water in your sink, and stick the baby's rear end into the stream and then stimulate the bums and tummy. The kitty should let loose right away. If not then get these babies to the vet for them to do the enemas. I hope you are not giving them regular milk but rather KRM and the baby food will also constipate them as well unless you make it into a liquidy gruel.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestion but unfortunately...I didn't have any luck with it. They screamed at the top of their lungs when I was letting the water drip on their rears, but that was the extent of it.
After I'd talked to the vet earlier today, I stopped with the baby food but when I was mixing it with the formula, I only used about 1/2 tsp just to make the formula consistency a little bit thicker. I've had them on KMR powdered formula the past 2 days...for some reason, they didn't like the liquid and were spitting it out.
Well, I'm definitely calling my other vet first thing in the morning to get these kittens seen. Thanks again...
post #4 of 8
I have never had luck with the powdered and always just get the liquid- Good luck at the vets, I hope they will be okay.
post #5 of 8
Sending feel-better-kittens vibes to you. Please keep us posted!
post #6 of 8
My 10 day orphans didn't start BMs until they were about 3 weeks old, and then it was sporadic at first - sometimes every few days or so. Once they were about 4-1/2 weeks old, it was every day. If you have just changed their food (from mom to formula), I would expect their systems to be a little out of whack for a while. How are they doing (3 days later)?
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
I apologize for my delayed response, these little ones are wearing me out...but I couldn't be happier!
As ridiculous as this may sound, I called back the vet on Friday and Sunday (the 5th day of no poops) and they insisted that as long as the babies were still eating and not acting sick, that I should be patient and the poops will come. They told me to do the same thing that Hissy suggested but I told them I already tried that. The vet also suggested maybe they were pooping somewhere else and I don't see it. The babies are 3 weeks old...they do walk on their own and play but they don't really cover much territory yet, they were not pooping elsewhere. But, the vet finally said he'd see the kittens early Monday morning. As it turned out, the bigger baby pooped for me late Sunday night...he screamed as if he was being killed while doing it! He has since given me another poop! The little one still hadn't done anything.
So I took them both to the vet this morning (6th day of no poops from the little one). He gave them both a clean bill of health...which was a wonderful relief since the last orphaned kitten I raised, left me way too soon (he had been sick when I found him). He felt the smaller baby's abdomen and said that he didn't really feel any poops inside him. He told me to wait until tomorrow and if there were still no poops to give him an enema, I was hoping the vet would do it himself right there. My scale must be way off...at the vet's, they weighed 9 oz and 7 oz.
I decided to go ahead and do the enema a few hours after I bought them home from the vet's. The baby really didn't poop that much (not compared to the load his brother let out the day before!) but...he finally went! I don't know why there wasn't more though, I checked all over the room and certainly didn't see any poops anywhere at all. But anyway...their constipation saga is over.
Here are pictures of them that I took yesterday. I've named the chocolate one Medaglia D'Oro, the black and white is Ooglie. Medaglia is the more mature one who is first to explore, watches everything that goes on around him, and he also screams at the top of his lungs nonstop when he's hungry or has to go to the bathroom. Ooglie is a little doll, he has such a gentle soul. He's more of a momma's boy, he comes running to me as soon as I come into the room, constantly purrs (even in his sleep) and never wants to leave my side. Even though he's the smaller one, he beats up his brother when they playfight!



Anyway, I'm sorry I rambled so much but I'm just so relieved...I can finally enjoy the babies without any worrying!
post #8 of 8
Oh, they are too cute!! Glad to hear they're making it through ok, and pooping ok. You are certainly a good observant parent, and a good person for taking this on. Are you fostering, or did you find them? Sorry if it was already covered in another thread.
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