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kittens and URI

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I foster for the local shelter here, and a major problem is URI. Its next to impossible to keep the kittens from being exposed, and once they have it, its so hard to watch them suffer through it. What do you recommend for kittens that have it, in terms of medications, and what do you recommend to help unclog their noses so they can breath a little easier and smell their food so they'll eat to keep up their strength?
post #2 of 8
Poor little things.

A couple of years ago I had the cutest little Meezer mix (truth is, I still do *g*). This little guy had the worst URI I have ever seen in a kitten who survived. The vet gave him Amoxicillin, which did no good. I went ahead and put him on Clavamox. Give just one drop if he's little bitty (a couple of weeks old). I give a six week old about a 1/10th of a cc. One vet said, "Just wave the dropper in front of him."

If he's really stopped up or mouth-breathing I also buy drops of straight saline nasal drops (no decongestant additives of any kind). Now you get to find out just how strong a 14 oz. kitten really is. Buy a dropper with a little bitty tip and if you can do it, put a drop in each nostril. Stand back because the snot is going to fly. (I hope that's not too crude for yall.) This is one of the most difficult things a foster can do, cuz they're fighting for their lives. They don't want that stuff up their nose.

I also set up a vaporizer and put Vick's vaporizer liquid in the moat. I don't know why vets don't recommend this more often. The moisture really helps loosen things up.

Keep his little nose wiped and clean. That mucus is caustic and you don't want his skin getting irritated on top of everything else.

If they're weaned and not interested in eating, we have a few forced meals of a/d. I always keep some on hand in case of an emergency.

Keep em warm.

Anyone have anything else to add?
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Do you feel that Clavamox is stronger than Amoxicillin?
post #4 of 8
I don't know if it's actually "stronger", but I do think some bugs respond better to Clavamox. My vets usually prescribe it for bites and oral infections. But I believe amoxicillin may be over prescribed, thus becoming less effective.

Has anyone else had this experience?
post #5 of 8
It has been my experience that kitties with sensitive stomachs fare better with clavamox then amoxy drops.
post #6 of 8
Last year I had a mom cat with a litter of two-week old cuties. She caught a terrible URI. The vet (not my personal vet) prescribed Clavamox (a good thing) and told me that I needed to bottle feed a litter of five kittens (a stupid thing) because the Clavamox would be detrimental to them. I didn't believe it would hurt them. I called a breeder who told me to leave the kittens with mom and give her the adult dose of medicine. The kittens had already been exposed and they would receive a kitten-sized dose in the milk. They never got sick, but I bet they would have had I not followed my instinct and asked the breeder instead of that idiot vet. (If she can't diagnose something, then it suddenly develops her default diagnosis: FIP.)
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
That's interesting, cause originally we would use clavamox first, then go to amoxicillin. The local vet has highly recommended skipping over clavamox and goes right to doxy or zithromax.

I do like your suggestion of the saline drops for the nose. And I have heard of the humidfier, but not the recommendation to add vicks. This was really what I was looking for, as I don't have much choice in medications, as I have to use what the shelter gives me.. its the over the counter stuff that I can do to help that Im interested in.
post #8 of 8
Sadly, we have to teach each other because the vets just don't know anything about these kittens. I spoke with a friend of mine last night and she said post natal kitten were never even mentioned in vet school.
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