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Opinions over cause of kitties death

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
As you may have read on other of my posts, my soooo expected first litter turned out to be a disaster since all the kities died.

I am trying to find out now possible reasons for it to happen.
I will tell you the events as they happened and maybe you can tell me what do you think may have gone wrong.

Molly is a 2 year old British Shorthair. We selected an excellent Tom cat for her to mate and hopefully get point kittens. Molly stayed with the Tom cat for 5 days.

During her pregnancy there were no problems or at least that we were aware of.

She starting with labor on her 65 day early in the morning. The fist kitten was born dead. He/she was completly pink , with no hair at all. The second one came within the next 15 mins. It was a beautiful point, but very small. Molly didnt even removed the placenta from him and didnt show any interest. She just went to a corner and lay down curled up.
I look after the kitten. Remove the placenta and dry it. The baby started breathing immediatly and after I cleaned him and cut the umbilicum I put him over a warm water bag covered with a towel and cover the kitten too.

Molly kept on having contractions every now and then for the next 6 or 7 hours and then we dediced to take her to the vet.
During that time I placed the newborn kitten close to her mother and she seemed to accept him. The baby started looking for a nipple inmediatly but didnt seem to get a grip on any of them.

In the vet Molly had an inyection to induce contractions and since it failed, she had a C section done.
That is how the third and last baby was born.

The secont kitten was 46 grams at birth and the third was 58 grams. The vet gaves us a kittens milk replacement and showed me how to feed the kittens.
She fed the kitten so much that milk bubbles came out his little nose. ( could this have caused problems in the little ones lungs? )

With the 2 kittens and Molly we went back home and we feed the kittens every 2 hours ever since.
They survived their first and second night with us. Molly was cleaning them both and answering to their cryes so it was all normal.

They both put on weight on the first day ( 6 and 10 grams )

The disaster started during the second night. Molly started ignoring the point one. She would accept him when I put him besides her but she wouldnt lick him anymore. She sniff his little head and then pay attention to the other kitten. I also noticed that his feeding became weaker and his swallowing was veeeeeery slow so I started feeding him very little doses every hour.

By the third mornig the kitten had his little mouth open all the time as was hardy responding to my touches and hardly eating. we tryed with dextrosa too but it made not much difference.

After a couple of hours breathing became a real struggle there was a wistling sound eveytime he took air and breaths were more and more separate untill eventually he died.

With one kitten gone we center all out attention to the surviving one.

He was nursing well and climbing on her mother and moving towards her and crying when she was gone so it seem pretty normal. We were so sure this one would make it..... She even nursed a bit from Mollys nipples !! ) Not much for she felt weird and walked up shortly after the baby started sucking )

I feed her before going to bed and she really ate a lot and with an apetite. What worried me a bit is that Molly was not licking her, but I thought it was bec I moved the nest to a different room and she was not comfortable there.

Kept feeding her during the night every 2 hours and by 5 am alarm went on.

Kittie was not crying for food and Molly was not attending her anymore.

So I tried to feed her and keep her warm myself but it didnt help.
She ate a bit but she looked so still... not responding to my touches at all.

Both poohed and peed normally when stimulated. But in the last hours of live of this little one I could see a orange/redish color in her pee ( wich I though
it was due to the antibiotics the mother had received).

Couple of hours later and she got the same symthoms that her little brother. She went still, wouldnt eat anymore and started keeping her moth open to breath. I could see the rythem of her brithing becoming slower and slower.

Eventually she died too.

Out fokker suggested it could be a lung inflamation but I have also been suggested it could be hypoglucemia.

I need to know what could have gone wrong.
We will get another queen in the future and I would like to prevent this to happen again or to be ready to react in order to save the little ones

sorry for the long post and thanks for your opinions

Gisela
post #2 of 15
Honestly, I think the best course of action would be to autopsy (I know there is a correct term) the kittens to find out what went wrong, especially if you plan on breeding the queen again. It may be too late for that now, though.

I will insert my totally useless (lol) laymans guess that the momma cat knew they were sick and rejected them because of it. Also, from what I have read, respiratory infections can kill kittens very easily...and going from preemie human infants, their respiratory systems are usually weak to begin with. If they were preemies, they would have trouble sucking and could have taken milk into their lungs very easily.

If she became impregnanted at the end of those 5 days, they could have been premature. Sounds like it from the weights and appearance you posted.

I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that you find out what went wrong and have success if there is a next time. I imagine this is very tough for you. It's so hard when our furry family members don't make it. Especially when we try really hard to save them and we don't know why. {{{HUGS}}}

ETA...I am sorry, I totally forgot that your queen was spayed during the c-section. I guess the only thing you can do is ask your vet for advice. And it would probably help to get a queen that had already delivered healthy kittens.
post #3 of 15
I am very sorry to hear of your loss...*wipes tear* you and your queen will be in my thoughts. I hope that you find out what was the cause of this.
post #4 of 15
Gisela...I would suggest you PM Gayef and also PM other breeders. Surely they would have thoughts on what happened and what to do differently next time. I am sorry for your loss.

Katie
post #5 of 15
I will insert my totally useless (lol) laymans guess that the momma cat knew they were sick and rejected them because of it. Also, from what I have read, respiratory infections can kill kittens very easily...and going from preemie human infants, their respiratory systems are usually weak to begin with. If they were preemies, they would have trouble sucking and could have taken milk into their lungs very easily.

I agree with Poohandwendy's reply. I have brought in many a newborn (hours old) abandoned from a feral mothers. When those momma cat's leave those babies, I find myself saying it outloud "Houston we have a problem". Although you have an indoor and I am referring to an outdoor stray/feral...they react the same when it comes to sensing an illness or a sickness of some-sort with those babies.

I'm very sorry for you loss. It's always so heart-breaking and you always retrace your steps thinking...could have done this & should have done that...but somehow "nature" has a bigger plan & plot than we do.
post #6 of 15
I am afraid that once they start open mouth breathing it is all over for them. It could have been anything, congentital, heridatary it's hard to say. You would have had to keep the kitten on ice till you could get it in for a necropsy to find out the cause of death, and even then, you may not know. I would, deeply consider getting momcat spayed after this tragedy.

I am sorry for your loss
post #7 of 15
Just my 2 cents worth: I fostered a girl who gave birth to her 3rd litter on May 21 of this year. She had 5 kittens. One died at 3 days old. Momma seemed to be taking good care of the rest of the litter, but by week 6 one more sweet kitten died, and at week 7 another died. These were mongrel (moggy) cats, momma had been left outside so the father was unknown, but still, to lose 3 of 5! And they all appeared strong and healthy before their deaths!

I took the last kitten's body (on ice) to the vet for a necropsy. Nothing was found. At the time, I needed an answer. But now I have come to accept that tragedies happen. My foster girl was definitely allowed to breed too often. I don't know what the initial problem was with your delivery, but once a Mommacat has to have a c-section, I wonder if it impairs the ability of Momma to care for the babies?


I am sorry for your losses. You are a stronger person than I am if you can keep trying! Best of luck to you!
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your answers.
After it all happened I had the urge to know why it happened.
I have been reading lots and lots about newborn kittens care and causes of death and I am finally getting to accept that 'it happens'.
Molly got netutralized during the C section ( which I do regret now I must say)
We were planing to breed points in a low scale ( not to make myself reach out of it)
I think that in a while I will get myself a nother queen and will try again

Many thanks

G.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiera
Thanks for your answers.
After it all happened I had the urge to know why it happened.
I have been reading lots and lots about newborn kittens care and causes of death and I am finally getting to accept that 'it happens'.
Molly got netutralized during the C section ( which I do regret now I must say)
We were planing to breed points in a low scale ( not to make myself reach out of it)
I think that in a while I will get myself a nother queen and will try again

Many thanks

G.
I had a similar experience with my cat. I starting fostering a pregnant cat a few years ago. My roomate and I were really excited about taking care of kittens and watching them grow. THe cat was very young, they told us she got pregnant in her first heat. She was also pretty skinny. About a week into her stay I noticed some blood...but not much. I didn't know anything about queening, and the woman who gave her to us told us not to worry about anything...so I didn't even think for a second that something was wrong. A few days later a tiny grey kitten was born. The next day an orange one, a bit bigger than the first. Mama cat wasn't paying a lot of attention to them, and I noticed that they weren't really feeding (I hadn't seen it once!) The next day the grey kitten died. A few days later I heard the orange kitten mewing like crazy. I went to look and saw that Mama cat was licking the kitten...then I realised that she had had another, also orange. THEN i realised that she wasn't licking it at all...but she was eating it. I freaked out (and she left the head. EWWWW) ABout 15-20 minutes later she had another...this one was definetly dead...it didn't seem to have a sack or anything. no after birth either. I noticed that there was still one thing moving around inside Mama cat...so I brought her and the tiny orange kitten to the vet. They did a c-section on Mama to get the baby out, and spayed her at the same time. A few days later ther orange kitty died. Mama cat was depressed for a few weeks. The happy ending is that I still have her and love her very much!
post #10 of 15
LaTrixie..thank you for sharing your story..sorry about the kittens. Welcome to TCS.

Katie
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Latrixie, That is a sad story too. I am sorry that you also lost your kittens but once more I am happy we still have our mommies.
Molly is back to her normal behavior. I guess for her is like nothing happened which I am happy she has not a trauma after all she went thru.
Many thanks for sharing.

Regards

Gisela
post #12 of 15
Wow....I'm sorry.

My first guess would be that some sort of trauma happened during the birthing process, and the effects weren't immediately evident. It sometimes happens if the queen is too young, too small, inexperienced, or nervous.

The fact that they had KMR coming out of their noses suggests that it could also have been aspiration pneumonia.

-Qit
post #13 of 15
Why on earth would a cat eat her babies??????? Anyone?
post #14 of 15
I've heard nervousness and confusion listed as causes.

-Qit
post #15 of 15
Hmmm, I foster and I really dont like to do pregnant cats, so many things can go wrong, after hearing this, I think I will definately stick to the orphans.....
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