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Animal Shelter health concerns..

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello.. I just recently came across this wonderful website and thought that I would ask the cat experts their opinion.. I recently just adopted 2 kittens from an animal shelter.. However, they each had a respiratory infection when I decided on them.. They were on antibiotics at the shelter, I have brought them to my personal vet and he has given them a shot of something to help and a different liquid antibiotic.. Well its been 3 weeks now and neither one are any better.. They still have the rattling sound and sneeze all the time.. The vet is not terribly concerned because they are still eating and drinking.. Does anyone have any experience with animal shelter acquired respiratory infections? How long does it last for? Any special tricks to help get rid of it! I feel so bad for them!!!

Also when I went to pet Basil the other day I noticed he had a small patch of white, dry scaly scab on top of his head.. After looking closer at it I noticed it had spread to above his eyes, to his belly and the tip of his tail... I brought him into the vet once again... and the vet had to do a bacterial scraping and a fungal scraping of it.. Well it wasnt bacterial, so he is treating as fungal until I get the results back.. So I have to put this medicine on each spot... THe vet technician said it could possibly be ring worm...

Does anyone have any experience with either of these health issues.. I would greatly appreciate any feedback, experiences, and so forth... I have only had them 3 weeks and I have been to the vet 3 times!! Its getting very expensive... Lucky I am on the kitty plan!
Thanks again!!

A new mommy,
post #2 of 6
Hi Cheryl,

Uri's are very common, sometimes they may need a combination of medications to completely clear up. If you are not happy with your vet's assessment, please visit another vet for their diagnosis.

Ringworm is a fungel infection of the skin. This too is common, though contagious to humans as well. The cream is good, you can also place them on "Program" as this flea preventitive is thought to help clear up ringworm as well. A lyme sulfer dip is also needed to clear faster and stop the spread.

I purchase most of my meds online unless my vet will meet the prices. I save tons of money this way.
post #3 of 6
I volunteer at an animal shelter, and I'm sad to say this is a common thing that happens at our shelter all the time.

The kittens are still adapting to a new home, and that puts a lot of stress on them, no matter how much love you give them. That alone will cause them to be sick for a longer period of time. Stay in contact with your vet, and make sure to report on their condition, and to call him right away if they seem to become more ill.

I hate to say it, but it probably is ringworm. About 75% of the cats at my shelter have it right now. It's one of those diseases that spreads like wildfire once introduced into a shelter environment. If one has it, it's a good bet the other has it to (if it's a dark cat it's really hard to notice) or if it doesn't have symptoms, then it still has the fungus on it. You'll need to treat both cats at the same time, or they could pass the infection back and forth. (I'm sure your vet has/will talk to you about this.) It's not a serious thing, but you should take a few preventative measures to keep from getting it yourself. Make sure you wash up very well after handling your kittens, and if you have any cuts or scraps, make sure they're covered. (That's how I got ringworm for the first time. Cleaning up after infected cats with a cut on my arm. It's easily treated with Lamisil AT, and a call to the doctor.)

When I fostered L.S., he had a horrid cold and I could hear him wheezing through two doors. We gave him a lot of attention, and some warmed canned kitten food, and a little homemade chicken soup (without onion). He was better in a week, and started to rule our house. (We ended up adopting him.)

I wish that shelters had enough volunteers and had enough room to take care of the cats that end up there. There are rules in place to stop the spread of things like respiratory infections and ringworm, but the rules get thrown out when there's not enough manpower to get all the cats taken care of, and when the shelters are overcrowded. I think you're a wonderful person to take care of these kittens, Cheryl! Most people would have brought them back to the shelter.
post #4 of 6
I agree with what was written above and will add a few things. Some URI's do last longer than others, and some can even be chronic (feline herpes being an example of a URI that can recurr), but it is probably premature to worry about that.

Other than antibiotics to prevent seconadry bacterial infections, eye cream if the eyes are affected, and supportive therapies to keep their nasel passages open, and appetites healthy, there really isn't much more you can do. They should remain on antibiotics until its all cleared up which hopefully will be in another week or two.

Stress can aggravate URI's in cats so do everything you can to lower the stress level, if relevant. Provide lots of food. Consider taking the kittens into the bathroom for and turning it into a steam room to help loosen their phlem etc. You can also talk to your vet about using Little Noses, a saline spray for their noses.

Agreed, the bald spots are almost certainly ringworm. Anti-fungal creams, and possibly using Program as mentioned above are useful. How contagious it is to oother cats and to humans is highly variable. You may never get it or you might, but what you're watching for in humans is roundish red welts, "dime" size or larger, that appear out of no where. They may itch a bit or they may not. They also respond to antifungal creams.
post #5 of 6
I, too, have recently adopted two kittens from a shelter. they sent me home with antibiotics, and within two weeks one cat started sneezing, then the other.

the second cat got over the sneezing, but the first cat hasn't been able to shake it. otherwise, the sneezy cat is totally normal -- running, jumping, eating, pooping. oh, and his temperature is normal, too.

my vet, who I trust completely from his dealing with my dearly departed kitty, said he's not concerned about the sneezing if the cat is still behaving normally. he said the infection is most likely viral and that more antibiotics won't really help. he said to wait it out and that the kitten will most likely get better on his own. and, he said that this is common/normal with shelter cats.

so, if he's not worried, I'm not worried. he did tell me that if the kitty's behavior changes, to call him right away.

as for the rash, I'm afraid I don't have any experience with that!

good luck!
post #6 of 6
You are wonderful for adopting 2 kittens together from a shelter!! I also volunteer for a Humane Society that does entirely in home fostering and I can tell you that they still are prone to URI's and ringworm. Anytime you bring a lot of cats together, even if only for a few hours for weekend adoptions, they can spread these types of diseases. Add to that the stress they are under for being rehomed (either in a shelter or foster home), then rehomed again at the point of adoption and you further increase their level of stress.

In my household, I've had URI's last a week and others last a few months. A lot depends on the health and stress level of the cat. Kittens are simply more succeptible (due to their age).

For ringworm, follow your vet's treatment program to the letter. Successfully fighting off the fungus also depends a lot on the animals health and stress level. The healthier the animal, the faster it seems to work thru them (our dog caught it on his nose over the summer and we rid it in about 2 weeks which is very quick for ringworm).

Keep loving on your babies and make them as comfortable as you can. Vaporizors or bringing them with you in the bathroom for a steamy shower works wonders.
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