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Nepheline may have a URI

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I'm newly registered to the group but have been reading for a while. I have a grey and white 12 week old kitten named Nepheline who I got from the Humane Society 4 weeks ago. She has sneezed since I got her but both times I've had her at the vet, there were no other symptoms of anything. Two days ago I noticed that she was sleeping more than usual and yesterday she was very lethargic, hot the the touch and not eating. She doesn't have any eye or nose discharge that I can see. Maybe a tiny bit around the nose. I took her to the vet and they kept her for 5 hours, gave her subcutaneous fluids and anti-inflammatories. My vet thinks that she has an upper respiratory infection. She heard "something" in her chest. She was tested for feline leukemia and FIV and both tests were negative. She came home feeling much better and was moving around a bit and more aware. I have to give her antibiotics for the next two weeks. Now, 4 in the morning, she is lethargic again, feels hot and her breathing is louder than normal. Plus I can't get her to eat anything. I'm really worried about her. I've called the after-hours vet and am taking her in again in the morning. I don't know how to deal with this, I'm really upset. I'm really afraid that she is not going to make it. The vet said that she doesn't know for sure that it is an URI. What if it is something worse? Has anyone had experience with URI's that they could tell me about? What about other possibilities? The only other thing I can think of is FIP. How are the symptoms different? Thanks so much for your help.
post #2 of 3
Hi Tourmaline,

I hope you have had a chance to take Nephaline back to the vets now. Little kittens - and she is still a little kitten - are very susceptible to Upper Respiratory Tract infections and that does cause fever, lethargy and anorexia. The most important thing is to keep her eating because once her nose gets clogged she won't smell food and won't want to eat. Please do not go worrying yourself about 'something worse'. A URI in a young kitten can be pretty bad and is the most likely of all conditions. It does take some time for the antibiotics to take affect, and if it is viral instead of bacterial, then the antibiotics will only prevent a secondary bacterial infection but won't help the virus. It is like having a really bad cold. Since she feels warm and isn't eating, I would definitely take her back to the vet for a follow up visit. It could be that a different antibiotic is required, or, as I mentioned, it could be viral. Your vet will be able to evaluate how high her temperature is, if she is dehydrated and if there is another type of medicine that would be helpful. He can also advise you on how to syringe feed her, if necessary.

Also, get food that has a really 'good' strong smell, like tuna. You could try putting some of the food on your finger and into her mouth so that once she realizes what it is she may start to eat. Remember how you feel when you are sick? Sometimes you also have no appetite, so your job as nurse is to keep her eating and keep her hydrated and drinking. You can also pick up plain pedialyte at the drug store (unflavoured) and use a syringe to syringe that into her mouth as well. You can pick up a feeding syringe at petstores and in the baby section of pharmacies. Pedialyte contains electrolytes that will help her to feel better as well as help keep her hydrated.

Good luck with her and I hope that she starts to feel better soon.

PS - Kingston is my home town.:-)

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your advice. Nepheline is back at the vet and will probably stay there overnight. She is having more blood work done to rule out other possibilities such as liver problems etc. I'm really hoping that she will be ok. Again, thanks for your message.
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