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Help me please, kittens found

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

I am brand new to the forum and I am every so grateful that I found this site. I found 2 orphaned kittens, in a box, in a department store parking lot. One is female, Baker, and the other is male, Bumpa. They are too cute for words. Anyway, I took them home and brought them to the vet right away. Their estimated age is 3 weeks, and each weighed in at approximately 14.5 oz. I have been bottle feeding them every 3 hours or so, based on the vets recommendation and using the KMR replacement formula. Urination has not been an issue with stimulation, however, they are not pooping. I am beginning to worry slightly. We have had them since Wednesday afternoon and it is now Saturday morning. I have rubbed their tummy, used wet cotton balls after each feeding, and even rinsed their behinds under the sink with warm water, all to no avail. Am I doing something wrong or am I not doing something I should be? I asked the vet about it and she says it's normal, but I'm not sure.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you so much
Sherry
post #2 of 24
Hi and welcome to the site. You can add more water to their formula. You can also add canned pumpkin- just take a tiny bit of canned pumpkin and dissolve it in boiling water. Stir it well, let it cool down and add it to the kitten's formula-


www.kitten-rescue.com will help you with other questions.

I have been doing bottle babies for years, and honestly, with the ones that don't go immediately, I ditch the cotton and just use my finger for stimulation- small circles near the rectum not touching it but off to the side, very gently. Then long, gentle but firm strokes down the belly.

I stimulate before, and after feeding and always wash my hands between kittens- good luck!
post #3 of 24
Welcome to TCS and good luck with your orphans - we will be rooting for you every step of the way.
post #4 of 24
Sherry, these little ones probably went without food for up to a day before you found them. Sometimes it's normal for them to go 3 days without pooping. On the kitten rescue website hissy gave you, there is a section at the bottom of the page addressing kitten constipation here: http://www.kitten-rescue.com/vomitti...stipation.html
post #5 of 24
I wouldn't worry as long as they are eating and not acting uncomfortable. A kitten with a tummyache will pretty much let you know.

However, a dose of Strongid dewormer is in order for kittens this age anyway, and that would probably get things moving pretty quickly. So it's something to consider.
post #6 of 24
It is not prudent to worm a kitten at three weeks old unless your vet has specifically instructed you to do so and given you the proper dose of worming medicine as well. Generally, it is six weeks old before a kitten is wormed and if the kitten is health compromised the vet may hold off worming it until the health levels out. Please consult your vet first before attempting to deworm such a young kitten and be sure he is the one who gives you whatever medicine you need in whatever dose your kitten can tolerate.
post #7 of 24
What exactly happens when they are "wormed"?
Is it some kind of check for worms or treatment medicine?
post #8 of 24
There is a fecal done to determine if the kitten has worms, and if so what type. Then if the kitten is old enough, weighs enough, is healthy enough the vet will give you the medicine. This dose is based on the kitten's weight and health at that time- so buying over the counter wormers and dosing them yourself just never works, and sometimes will even harm a kitten.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all of your wonderful advice. They finally did a poopie!! Of course, the method used was a little weird, but I checked with the vet and she said that it was fine.

You see, I also have 2 shelties, one male and one female. The female is a little skittish around the kittens, but she is no longer hiding in my closet when they are out and about. She has now adjusted enough to sit on the couch and watch them from a distance. My male sheltie however, took to them like a mommy cat would. It's really weird. When I place them on the rug to walk around a bit after a feeding, he walks circles around them to keep them from wandering, and he licks their little faces clean. After the face, he proceeds to lick and clean their bodies and genital area. He has stimulated urination after each feeding and between feedings, and he is the one who successfully stimulated a bowel movement from each of them. He is such a good daddy. I was concerned because I wasn't sure if this was healthy for the kittens or my pup, but the vet said it was no problem. She said he just has good instincts.

I do have another question though. One of the kittens, the male, walks all over the place, he is even starting to "run", very funny to watch. However, the female, seems to be having a hard time. She is very wobbly when she is standing there and doesn't seem to have much balance when attempting to walk. I say attempting because she is generally taking about 2-3 steps and then falls over, usually head first and her bum flips over the top causing her to end up on her back. She rolls back over, gets on all fours and wobbles from side to side while sitting there. Again she tries to walk, only to have the same thing happen again. Is she still learning to walk or is this something I should be concerned with. I will be happy to bring her back to the vet if you all think I should.

Thanks again for all of the help.
Sherry
post #10 of 24
3 week olds should be just starting to walk. They aren't usually all that good at it until around 5 weeks, and even then they can be pretty clumsy.

From the sound of it, it seems like the male is advanced for 3 weeks and the female is pretty much average. As long as she is walking at all, there is no need to be concerned.
post #11 of 24
Keep a close eye on her. A kitten that is very wobbly may have a calcium deficiency or inner ear problem. If she has not improved in a few days, a vet visit would be a good thing.
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ok, my news is not good. I brought Baker to the vet to have her checked because she is sooooo wobbly and cannot walk well. I have been told by the vet she has cerebellar hypoplasia. She stated it is a disease that caused the cerebral portion of her brain to not develop. This apparently controls her motor skills and ability to walk. She said if this proves to be exactly what she has, there is a good chance she will survive, but she will never be able to walk or stand normally, but will learn to adapt. Any advice would be appreciated if you know anything about this disease.

Thank you
Sherry
post #13 of 24
I know of at least one member here who has had experience with Cerebellar Hypoplasia. Start a new thread (probably in Health and Nutrition?) and entitle it "Cerebellar Hypoplasia" and you'll probably get some help. Poor little baby.
post #14 of 24
Some information on Cerebellar Hypoplasia:

Here

Here

And here.

Hope that helps.
post #15 of 24
Just to add, if he does have CH, he should do well, albeit being a special needs kitty. He will learn to compensate as he grows.
post #16 of 24
Thanks Kumbulu! Duh! I could've Googled it if I'd thought of it.
post #17 of 24
Hi .. I am new here but I am very familiar with cerebellar hypoplasia kitties. I have one Taz was one of my first foster kittens .. the shelter that I was fostering for wanted to put him down. I actually took off with him .. he is the love of my life!!

One thing with CH kittens make sure you wipe her face after she eats .. if she is anything like Taz she will suckle her food .. the food can cause mild burns to the skin and cause their hair to fall out Taz has compensated for his balance issues by using his tail as a rutter. I swear his tail is the strongest part of his body. You might have to watch out when she jumps up on things as she will fall until she learns how to balance her weight.

I can not stress this statement enough ... MAKE SURE PRIOR TO GIVING YOUR CH KITTY ANY MEDICATIONS THAT NONE OF THE SIDE EFFECTS CAN OR POSSIBLY AFFECT THEIR NEUROLOGICAL FUNCTIONING!!!!!!! THIS INCLUDES SOME DEWORMING MEDICATION COMMONLY GIVEN TO TREAT COCSIDIA. Any type of medication that has this as a side affect can cause further nurological impairment. I have learned this first hand and was totally devistated with the thought he may never walk again.

My little man is now 17 years old. If I had followed the advise of the shelter and allowed them to put him down .. I would have missed out on finding my best friend.

There are a few CH support sites that are good .. the one that comes to mind is http://www.chkittyclub.com/pages/home.html Check out the site .. tons of info and great people.

Laura
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbarstow
Ok, my news is not good. I brought Baker to the vet to have her checked because she is sooooo wobbly and cannot walk well. I have been told by the vet she has cerebellar hypoplasia. She stated it is a disease that caused the cerebral portion of her brain to not develop. This apparently controls her motor skills and ability to walk. She said if this proves to be exactly what she has, there is a good chance she will survive, but she will never be able to walk or stand normally, but will learn to adapt. Any advice would be appreciated if you know anything about this disease.

Thank you
Sherry
Your news isn't so bad. Cerebellar hypoplasia is sort of like cerebral palsy. It's a disability that affects balance and coordination to some extent, sometimes mildly, sometimes very severely, and usually somewhere in between. That's it. It's not an illness, it never gets worse, and it doesn't affect anything else about the cat.

If she is walking now then she probably has a pretty mild case. She may never stand or walk "normally" in that she will always look different from other cats, but she will stand and walk just fine. She'll fall sometimes and may never really jump, but she will probably be able to get on furniture by digging her claws into the upholstery and pulling herself up, and she will become very strong from this because she will essentially be doing a bunch of chin ups every day. She will probably learn to climb stairs. Running is hard for CH cats because they can't coordinate their front and back legs to work together very well, but they usually figure out another means of fast locomotion and usually it's pretty darned comical. Roger alternates between a "flop" that sends his back legs and front legs flying in completely different directions and a "hop" that looks sort of like Pepe LePew (you know, the cartoon skunk). Both look utterly ridiculous but both get him where he's going and fast!

Medically, the only real thing to know is that when it's time for her to be spayed, she should not have ketamine based anesthetics. CH cats do not tolerate this well at all. Gas anesthesia (isofluorane or sevofluorane) is very safe and surgery with these anesthetics can be expected to be uneventful. I have not heard of interactions with other drugs. Roger took lots of Albon as a kitten and definitely had no problems with it. His vet is a pharmacology specialist and looks up everything before prescribing to make sure it's safe, so I trust information from her. I did elect not to vaccinate him but I do not have any information to indicate that any vaccines are specifically risky for CH cats.

The most important thing to remember is that she is a totally normal kitten with a physical disability. Cognitively and socially, she is just like any other kitten her age. She will benefit from interacting with her brother because she will want to keep up with him and will learn to compensate for her disability better because of it, plus she has the same social needs as any kitten and her brother will help fulfill those needs. CH cats have a normal range of intelligence and many are very bright. She will surprise you with the tricks she comes up with so she can do the things she wants!

In general, though, the basic rule is to give her the accommodations she needs (e.g. a litterbox with lower sides will probably be easier for her) and let her figure out things on her own. It will be hard to watch her struggle but it is the only way she will learn. She'll probably help you here because CH cats tend to be smart and independent and the CH temper is legendary! If there's one thing they hate, it's being patronized. Just imagine a toddler who is in the "I do it!" phase and you'll have a good idea of what to expect!

You're in for an amazing experience with Baker. She has a lot to teach you. But more than that, she has a wonderful life waiting for her. Watching her discover it will be a daily joy.
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your tips, advice and words of kindness. I knew keeping her and not putting her down was the right thing to do. Now like any other parent, I need to learn about the disability and learn how to care for her the best I can.

Once again, from the bottom of my heart, Thank you

Sherry
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goomba
My little man is now 17 years old. If I had followed the advise of the shelter and allowed them to put him down .. I would have missed out on finding my best friend.
Laura, what a beautiful story - and how wonderful you didnt listen to the shelter all those years a go - he is one lucky kitty to have you in his life thankyou for sharing your story with us. I hope this can help others know that a special needs kitty surely is special and worth all that extra effort!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbarstow
Thank you all for your tips, advice and words of kindness. I knew keeping her and not putting her down was the right thing to do. Now like any other parent, I need to learn about the disability and learn how to care for her the best I can.

Once again, from the bottom of my heart, Thank you

Sherry
Sherry - GOOD LUCK and BLESS YOU!!! your a wonderful person for not letting her go - how lucky she is that you found her in that box that day
please keep us updated how it all goes - I unfortunatly can not offer alot of advise but I sure can offer a shoulder to lean on or someone to talk to
post #21 of 24
Hi everyone,
Searching the web, I came across this board & signed up. I have this almost exact same scenario. I found an orphan feral runt kitten in my backyard in August. He was out in the rain and sounded so pitiful! I brought him in the house and jumped on the web to find out anything I could about raising orphan kittens.
Well, he seems to be really thriving (I took him to the vet on 9/19 and he weighed .6 of a lb. and he had doubled his weight from when I found him!) but I noticed he was a "wobbly" kitten. I thought at first it was just him learning to walk, but I realized it wasn't getting any better and I'm pretty sure it's a cerebellar problem. He also has a hard time judging distance when jumping. I appreciate all the info here, esp. about getting vaccinations & neutering. I will definately tell the vet of my suspicions on his next appt. so nothing happens to my baby. The board looks good and I'll be looking around to get some more tips. Thanks!

As a baby:


Last week:
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi there,
Welcome to the group! I know you will love it here as much as I do. One of the posters there, provided me with this information that you may find helpful:

Cerebellar hypoplasia is a condition caused by a mother cat contracting distemper (panleukopenia) while pregnant. Depending on what stage in the pregnancy she is affected, the kittens may be aborted, stillborn, or cerebellar babies at birth. The developing fetuses cerebellum (which controls balance) is affected by the virus that the unvaccinated mother contracts. Many adult cats are capable of fighting off the panleukopenia virus, and are immune for life after. The kittens however are not immune to the virus and need proper vaccines to prevent panleukopenia, and upper respiratory viruses that can be deadly. This is also known as an F.V.R.C.P vaccine. They are not in any way contagious to other cats in the household, as they don't have the virus, but have been affected via the mother cat. Cerebellar kitties live a normal long life but need to be protected from dangers outside as they lack the coordination normal cats have. They can't run from cars and dogs like other cats, and should never be allowed outside. Also cerebellar kitties should never be declawed (or any other cat for that matter) as they depend on their claws to help pull themselves up things such as stairs. A nail trim of only the sharp nail tip is fine. They are very determined little cats, and often as they get older, they learn more about what they are capable of, and are quite surprising! Cerebellar hypoplasia is very similar to muscular dystrophy in humans as CH kitties tend to walk like they have fly-paper stuck to their feet, and many have head tremors. They have the capability of winning over many hearts of people who adopt these special kitties and are a joy to have. Thank you for adopting a special needs kitty as these are often the last ones to get homes, and many are euthanised needlessly all over the world. Congratulations you will have that little paw firmly wrapped around your hearts in no time! (caretaker and doting slave to several cerebellar cats)

This site has extremely caring and wonderful people who post. Ask any question and I am sure you will find an answer.

Sherry
post #23 of 24
Thanks for the info! I have never raised an orphan kitten before, so I'm sure I will be back with more questions. I am going to check out the CH board you wrote about...thanks again.
post #24 of 24
Hi Topcat and welcome
How wonderful of you to rescue this precious little kitty - and a cute black one at that!! hehe I am quite partial to black kitties and your one is simply adorable!!!
Thankyou for all your doing.

If you have further questions its a good idea to start your own thread in the relevant area so that then your queries can be looked at individually.

We are so glad that you joined us though and we hope that all your questions can be answered as by our members and that we can help you all you need - whats your kitties name btw?
your kitty is lucky that you brought him in from the cold that day !!
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