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Orphan kitten passed away-confused

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, I have been hand-raising 2 preemies(doing great) and then 8 other orphaned kittens(I am with a local cat rescue). I had a very sad incident that occured this afternoon with one of my baby kittens that has left me confused and without any answers even after I spoke with my vet. At 12 noon I fed all the kittens their KMR formula, cleaned and stimulated them and they all went to sleep. (The kitten I am confused about was approx 10 days old, eyes just opened, I got him 4 days ago with his siblings). I have hand reared many kittens and can easily say they all ate well, none of them aspirated any milk or had any unusual symptoms or behaviors. At 12:30 I heard very loud mewing, one kitten was in severe distress, screaming and gasping for air. I tried to clear his lungs incase there was anything in them(nothing came out), I checked his throat for a blockage..nothing, he was gone in about a minute or less after I heard the first kitten screams, he turned blue so fast that I know something was happening with his lungs, became unconcious then his heart which was going SO FAST just stopped, I tried cpr but he was way too small. My vet thought he could have had a pulmonary something or another or collapsed lungs from an infection or fluid but he was so tiny she couldn't tell much else. He was totally fine all day and since I got him 4 days ago he had been the strongest of the bunch. Any clues on what could have happened that would kill a kitten so fast? The other kittens seem just fine, knock on wood.
post #2 of 5
I don't have an answer for you, but I offer my sympathy. That must have been awful....just reading that made me sad. I guess you can't always win.
post #3 of 5
It's hard to say, the only way would be to do a necropsy on the kitten to find out. It could have been genetic, if there are other cats (older) than the kitten and they got in with the babies, could they have crushed one? Again, it is hard to say what happened. I would keep an eye on the rest of the kittens though, because sometimes it doesn't stop with just one-
post #4 of 5
*sigh* Kittens are born without a fully-developed heart ... many have audible heart murmurs and some die of heart-related developmental issues. From what you are describing, it sounds like this might have been the case with this little one. Rest assured that there was absolutely nothing you could have done in the way of prevention if this was the cause.

A necropsy on a kitten this young basically tells us nothing. It would be a waste of money and resources that you could better place with your other charges.

My heart goes out to you.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your thoughts on what may have happened with little Chubbs. His sisters seem ok today, I occasionally see them breathing fast but it is when they are sleeping so I think that may just be normal. I am having them looked at this afternoon by the vet, even though they are so small maybe she can hear if there is something wrong with their hearts. It was a very sad thing that happened and so quick, I will be watching the rest of them very closely. They are all seperated from any of our other cats, we have a nursery area for kittens and then a mobile "nest" that I keep at home when I am caring for the really little ones. Thanks again, I feel a bit better knowing there was probably not much else I could do for him.
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