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Injured kitten, seeking advice

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My girlfriend recently discovered a box of 5 probably 6 week old kittens on the side of the road and brought them back to her house to find good homes. The kittens were outside with their adopted mother when one of the kittens was shook up very roughly by one of my girlfriend's dogs.

We were afraid at first that the kitten was going to die because it was not moving, was breathing very slowly and painfully, and was really just not doing too well. My girlfriend took the kitten into her own personal care, and needless to say after a day of cutting it close, has found itself again.

The problem now is that the kitten is definitely acting strangely. The first indication was that after it was able to stand, it is unable to stand for very long and when walking, tended to walk in a small circle.

After about 2 days now, the kitten has improved dramatically, but still isn't out of the woods. We now find that it appears it is unable to see. It's right eye generally appears focused, but doesn't appear to ever lock on to anything and is generally squinted. It's left eye is more dialated, and is never really squinted, either being open or closed. I believe it to be able to detect differences in light, but not able to see fully.

The kitten also appears to have a problem completely controlling it's right legs. This causes it to move in a slight circle when walking. It has adapted well by listening and moving where it hears you calling it, but it is sad to see it struggling so. It is a very loving cat and purrs constantly. When it is alone on the floor, it will sit for a few minutes and listen intently for the sound of someone. If it is unable to hear anyone, it cries a few times.

He has started to eat again, which I am greatful for as he has lost weight. He has urinated several times, but he has yet to poop, but I read elsewhere on the site that this is normal after going a day or so without food while he was recovering. We have set up a box with a bed and a nice amount of room for him to run in, along with a frisbee that works great as a food dish as it is hard for him to stand and eat and the frisbee gives him room to splay out. We haven't come up with a good way to give him water yet without keeping him from spilling the dish. We have one of the water bottles with the metal ball in the end commonly used for rabbit cages and hampsters, but he has yet to pick up on the concept, if he ever will. We definitely need a solution for this problem.

I've tried to detail you my situation here, hopefully someone will have advice for us as we desperately need it. If anyone has any ideas as to the extent of the kittens damages, please let me know! I believe it to be some kind of spinal/brain injury due to being shaken, I just hope that it is not all permanent. Thank you very much for reading, and I pray you never have the same problem.
post #2 of 8
Why wasn't this kitten taken to the vet immediately after the attack? Please make an appointment and quickly, at that age you can lose them in a heartbeat.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
The reason for that is due to my girlfriend's parents not feeling that the kitten was going to live very long at all. During the week I live and work around 3 hours away and was not there when the attack occured. Her parents were not willing to pay for the vet visit. Now my concern is whether or not a vet visit could be beneficial at all. I'm not too knowledgeable in these matters and am seeking some advice as to whether a visit would result in paying money for the vet to tell me what I already know.

*edit: I can assure that if I had been there, this problem would not need asking as the kittens would not have been left unsupervised long enough for this to have happened.
post #4 of 8
Hi and welcome to TCS. It sounds like there may be more going on with the kitten than is visible from the outside. He may have damage to his internal organs or brain damage, as well as problems with his eyes. He is most likely in pain and suffering and it is very important to take him to a vet, even if the news is not good.
post #5 of 8
Kittens purr when they are in pain and need comfort, as well as when they are happy. If he is blind he may be purring to reassure himself. I agree that this poor little one needs a vet right away to assess the damage. The shaking may have caused a brain haemorrhage which is causing both hte blindness and shaky movement.
post #6 of 8
Yes, something is very wrong with this poor kitten and he absolutely must see a vet.
About the rest of the cats: is there any way you can influence your friend to move them to a safer place? Kittens and mother cats should not be around dogs at all. I am sure your friend wants to help them, and maybe her parents just don't understand very much about cats. Please try to get them moved to a safer place.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm currently at my work week housing so my internet is slow, so that's the reason my reply has been so long and why it will probably be longer before my next update.

The kitten is being taken to the vet, I'll update on that when I can. It's condition has thankfully not worsened, though I wish it was improving. Hopefully the vet will help us with that.

As for the other kittens, they have been moved inside and the dog has been chained to prevent this from happening again.

Reading the posts, if some of these problems do exist with the kitten (brain hemmhorage, etc.) what could the vet do? I'm not too experienced with the vets in our area, but being in a rural setting they seem to be less on the surgical side. The vet the kitten will be taken to does seem to be very knowledgable, but I am unsure of his abilities in this area.

Can someone shed some light on the possible outcomes, give me some hope?
post #8 of 8
It depends on how bad the kitten was shaken. But there are drugs that the vet can prescribe as the kitten grows up if there are behavior modifications to make. Sometimes brain injuries can make mellow cats aggressive, or they can bump into walls, or get spooked for no apparent reason. The vet will be your best guide in this as to what to do. Good luck!
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