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Flat Chested Kitten Syndrome

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Does anyone here have any experience with flat chested kitten syndrome? I have a litter of siamese and I believe that one has this. The kittens are 4 and one half weeks old. I am going to wait until they go for their first round at 6 weeks to have it confirmed by a vet.
I dont think that the kitten has a severe case because it does not have trouble breating. It plays that same as the others.
post #2 of 13
You could wait until they are 6 weeks, but I'd get it to the as early as possible. Your vet will might tell you that it will round out with time, which is entirely possible.
Tell you there are ways of correcting the condition (provided it's a candidate for such), that would involve casting of the chest and the addition of sutures to draw out the chest. I do have to say though, that this is ussualy done for severe pectus, not for flat chested kittens. It's probably not as severe to need such a treatment, and your vet may not even know about it.

Given my experience with kittens in general, it is highly possible that it will correct itself, but again I'm not a vet, so please ask yours.

Please let me know what your vet says and keep us updated.
post #3 of 13
You posted about this previously in the Health and Nutrition area...did you read the article Hissy gave you a link to? It is a very good one.

As I said, I had one kitten with this (and just one in 13 years of breeding), she went on to have a normal life (and was just beautiful!). Best wishes if your little kitten does have this, for it to be a mild case.
post #4 of 13
I have a little rescued Tuxedo boy with this condition, 5 months old. In his case, the depressed sternum pushed his heart to the Left side of his chest -- when you listen to the right side with a stethoscope, he has no heartbeat at all! The left is strong as can be, no murmur thankfully.
My vet says his prognosis is "50-50". Hopefully he'll continue to be healthy and live a normal life span.
He's going to a new home tomorrow -- with one of the vets at the clinic where I've gone for over 25 years
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
I really think that the kitten will be fine. He is developing normally and I can feel his heartbeat on the right side.
I have a vet appointment on Aug. 3rd. I will tell you what the vet says then.
post #6 of 13
Yes, DO keep us posted on what you find out! Good luck!
post #7 of 13
I don't know how helpful this will be, but I will share my experience.

This spring, I had a feral mother give birth to a litter of 6. By all appearances, the kittens were sired by two different toms - the mother was a shorthaired tabby, the litter included three shorthaired tabbies, one shorthaired black, and two longhaired gray who based on appearance and temperament seem to be Persian mixes.

Two of the kittens - the black kitten and one of the longhaired gray kittens, both female - had FCK. I first noticed it in the black kitten because she was much smaller than her siblings. I didn't notice the gray kitten's chest until about a week later because she was actually the biggest of the litter and since the mom cat was feral, I tried to avoid disturbing the nest unless it looked like there was a problem.

I took them to the vet who told me that their hearts and lungs seemed fine. She said that if they survive to 4 weeks old then their prognosis for long-term survival is excellent. If they don't have any trouble learning to walk, then they can be expected to have normal lives with the flat chest mostly just a cosmetic problem. The only difficulties they might face to in the long term were related to possibly decreased lung capacity. What this meant was that they had to be more carefully monitored when they had to be anesthetized, and if they got an upper respiratory infection it would be important to put them on antibiotics right away because their lungs won't be as efficient and they would be more likely to get pneumonia. But otherwise, they were likely to live normal lives without major problems.

Both kittens learned to walk right along with their littermates and their chests gradually took on a more normal shape as they got older, without splinting or corrective surgery of any kind. The black kitten, who had been alarmingly small at two weeks of age, quickly caught up with her siblings. They were spayed at 9 weeks of age using gas anesthesia. Both handled the anesthesia without any problems and were bouncing around the same evening as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

The kittens are now 4 months old and it is impossible to tell that there was ever a problem. Their rib cages are totally normal shaped and they are thriving.

My understanding is that the prognosis is different based on whether the kittens have flat chested kitten syndrome (with a flat rib cage and dip in the spine) or pectus excavatum (with a depression in the sternum). FCK kittens normally do well. Pectus excavatum can interfere with heart and lung development so sometimes these kittens don't make it.

Hopefully your experience will be like mine was. I was scared to death when I first discovered their condition but in the end it turned out to be no big deal.
post #8 of 13
No experiences here, sorry

Do let us know
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, my kitten is now 8 weeks old and doing great. He is just as wild and naughty as the others. They are going for their first round of shots on August 3rd (wednesday). He has not been checked by a vet yet, but I do not see any reason why he would die from FCK. I have done some reseach and 99.9% of the kittens that die from it, die before 3 weeks of age. So I feel confident that he is out of the woods.
post #10 of 13
Glad to hear that he is doing well!
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, he went to the vet. The bottom line is the vet does not know. The really good news is that his heart sounds fine ( there are no audible problems). The only thing that vet was concerned about was his respiration is a little higher than the others and he weighs 4 oz less. He weighs 2lbs and the other 2 weigh 2lbs 4 oz.
Does anyone know if 2lbs is too light for a kitten that turned 9 weeks today?
post #12 of 13
Originally Posted by megmar6853
Does anyone know if 2lbs is too light for a kitten that turned 9 weeks today?
Not in my opinion! Glad to hear it was a fairly good vet report for this little one.
post #13 of 13
I totally agree - 2 lbs is very normal for 9 weeks. He may be smaller than his brothers and sisters but there's no way a 2 lb 9-week-old is in any way failing to thrive.

The higher respiration rate isn't all that surprising since his lungs don't have as much room to expand. As I mentioned earlier, the only problems my vet said Molly and Cindy were likely to have were related to their possible inability to take really deep breaths.

From the sounds of it, I think your guy is going to do just fine.
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