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Sick Kitten

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I just got back from the vet with Apollo, and she said that he's not doing well. I knew this of course as he is still tiny, only 1 pound (hasn't gained any weight in 2 weeks) at 12 weeks old. He just isn't growing. I am going to talk to the breeder today, but what do you guys think I should do? I am not sure I can handle the heartache of waking up and finding Apollo dead, which is what the vet said could happen. Nor do I want to spend thousands of dollars (though money isn't an issure) to diganose what is wrong, but then again, I just want him to be healthy. What my hesitation on bringing him back is, is the fact that I won't know what will happen to him after he's out of my care. I am sitting here crying because I just don't know what to do and because all I wanted was a healthy happy kitten. Should I just bring him back? Or should I keep him and try to diagnose and get him better, even if it could be a lost cause? Thanks for any input.
post #2 of 24
Not sure on advice but wanted to give you ((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))) I could not imagine!
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks, any sort of encouragment helps Anyways I just called the breeder, and he said to "Just give it time." I GAVE it two weeks, and no improvement in weight just isn't normal. So I'm making the vet call him. Ugh.
post #4 of 24
Oh my... did the vet have any idea what could be wrong? I would definitely tell the breeder about it, even if you decide to keep him. He/she needs to know that they didn't do the best job of raising and taking care of them, and that they sold a sick kitten.

Poor Apollo... keep us posted.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
The vet said it could be so many things that it would cost a LOT to do tests to diagnose what is wrong. Though she said it could be something like his liver isn't functioning properly. She was actually scared to give him his 12 week vaccinations because he was so weak. She was the one who advised me to call the breeder. The breeder wasn't much help though, but he did say he would try to work it out with me if there is something really wrong, so at least he's not denying that Apollo could be sick, but he was reluctant to say that he was. This is all so confusing, getting a kitten should be a happy time, not a stressful (well a little stressful) and sad time right?
post #6 of 24
That stinks royally. It should be a happy time! They should come to you either healthy or at least they should be sure that they know what is wrong so that you can accomadate him. At this point, I hope the breeder would offer to take him back.

You should post pics, though... I'm wanting to see this little baby! Give him hugs and kisses for me...
post #7 of 24
From what you are describing, I would also be quite concerned about your kitten's health. I am usually one who strongly believes that a cat is with you for life. However, a 12 week old kitten that weighs 1 pound is extremely abnormal. My 5 week old kittens weigh well over that! Small emaciated kittens unfortunately will go into new homes on a daily basis. However, with lots of food, space, healthy living environments, vet care, etc the vast majority will gain weight and make improvements. The fact that with all this care the kitten still has not improved would make me very concerned that he has a serious illness. This is under the assumption that he does not have a severe case of intestinal parasites, upper respiratory or other acute viral infection, etc. If he had one of those conditions, at least you may have an explanation. Without those illnesses, the serious things would creep into my mind.

A few questions I would want to know are about the current health and size of his littermates? Has this cattery had a problem with FIP infection, genetic diseases, or other viral illnesses? How is the kitten's appetite? Is he eating? How much is he eating? Diarrhea? Is he active and mischievious or lethargic? However, if your kitten truly weighs 1lb and not more, there is something very seriously wrong with him.

I understand your concerns about taking him back. Likely, your breeder will not give him the care he needs and he will most likely not do well there.

However, you need to ask yourself do you have the financial means to undergo extensive diagnostic testing when it may not improve him quantity or quality of life. You have already likely spent significant amounts of money on him and his care. Are you emotionally able to handle his possible illnesses? Having a very sick kitten with little hope is very hard to watch. If he doesn't pull through this would you rather know that he was loved and cherished with you? On the upside of things, if he does pull through his illnesses you would be the one who gave him the chance that most others would not have.

I have been in a similar situation before. I had a mother with 4 babies that I rescued from a cage in a no-kill shelter. The mother was very ill when she had her babies and all became sick. Knowing that their chances at survival were so small was very depressing. All my hard work could go for nothing. It would be easier to take another litter from the shelter who were not ill and had a chance. Why waste the opportunity of a foster home on these doomed kittens? In the end, they all died, one by one. I know that I offered them love for the 1-3 weeks that they were alive. The 3 weeks I had them were the hardest emotionally that I have ever been through with any foster. I am not sure that I could go through such an emotional rollercoaster again. I am conforted in knowing that at least they were loved and given every opportunity a kitten could have to get better. They wouldn't have had that opportunity at the shelter. I definitely understand and do not envy your current situation.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks scoomoo for your time and your advice. I am indeed quite worried about Apollo, he IS eating, a lot actually, and he has already been tested for FIP/FELV. His only real symptom is he isn't gaining weight. He was just dewormed 2 weeks ago, and then again today. The vet said he has/had round worms, and that she thinks that something else is definitley going on. The breeder advised me to give him some chicken legs (boiled or whatever), and in 3 days to call him. He was actually quite understanding after the vet talked to him. He said that if there is no improvement in 3 days, that he would work something out with me. Well we shall see. I personally think that it's not that he's not "getting enough food" because he eats all the food he wants, and that there is something seriously wrong. And scoomoo, I really want to thank you because you pointed out the fact that I am caring for him, even if others would not have (they probably would have brought him back 2 weeks ago), so I think I will continue to care for him until the end, whatever that may be.
post #9 of 24
Also keep in mind that the FIP test is horribly inaccurate. FIP is a hard diagnosis to make. While it does not sound like he has all of the classic FIP symptoms, I do not know that it can be ruled out entirely. I agree though that "not enough food" also seems an unlikely answer in a home with all the food he wants! I agree that it sounds like something else is going on. Roundworms can cause some difficulty with weight gain, but not to the degree you are describing. Besides, the first worming two weeks ago should have helped with that. Try nutrical, KMR, and other high calorie supplements. Make sure he has kitten food available that is higher fat than adult food. And keep up what you are doing. He is a very lucky boy to have someone as dedicated and concerned as you. Best of luck.
post #10 of 24
I have no advice - I just wanted to wish you and your kitty good luck on getting well.
post #11 of 24
I hope that the kitten improves. The test is actually FIV/Felv for feline aids or leukemia. The ELISA test is quite accurate for determining negative results, but can be tricky in false positives. The only way to determine if a kitten/cat actually has FIP, which is Feline Infectious Peritonitis, is through necropsy, there is no other way to diagnose.
I would also recommend the Nutri-Cal, sold at Petsmart or Petco, to supplement the diet and help with weight gain.
In some cases of roundworm, and other parasites, more than one deworming treatment is needed, and in a severe case, could be the reasoning in his lack of weight gain. Has he also been checked for giardia and coccidia? Does he have loose stool?
IMO, at this age, the KMR is not going to help with weight gain. He needs to begin getting on a dry kibble, even if it is moistened. Even good quality canned foods are going to have a lot of water and may not fill him up sooner and not give as much nutrients as he needs. This is only my opinion, it is best to go with what your vet advises.
Good luck, we all hope he is gaining soon.
post #12 of 24
I would also recommend Nutri-cal (high calorie supplement). I assume your vet has checked, but it could be an intestinal disorder like coccidia or giardia (as mentioned above). Also, what food are you feeding? I assume it's a kitten formula (just in case).

Best wishes to you and Apollo!!! I hope everything works out!

PS-I commend you on you taking care of this kitten despite its illness; such a good mom!
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your support everyone, I will pick up some nutri-cal tomorrow. My mom actually uses that stuff for her cat (she was always very small, but perfectly healthy). I realized something tonight. Before I was mainly just caring for Apollo because he was sick and I felt bad for him, but tonight I was just really thinking how upset I would be if he were gone. I became attached to him while caring for him, funny how things work. If something does end up happening to him, I don't think I'd be able to get another kitten for a while. It's been a very sad/stressful day for me, I'm just praying that everything will work out okay for Apollo. Again, thanks everyone.
post #14 of 24
I knew you'd get attached... at first I was a little concerned by your lack of "attachment" but when I saw how persistent you were (and are) in finding out what was wrong with him, I knew that you just couldn't quite admit it yet.

I am really hoping for the best for your kitty... of course, I hope nothing is wrong and he is just malnourished or behind in development for some strange reason, but if not, I hope it's something easily managed. *hugs*

I still want to see pics! 1 lb or not, I know he's cute...
post #15 of 24
Sending lots of big sloppy kisses to the little boy.

Yes, please send us some pictures, id love to see the little boy.

post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Well actually Godiva, I was trying not to get attached to him because I knew something was wrong. But eh he worked his way into my heart. Anyway I took some picture for you guys, let's see if this works. Oh and PS, don't mind the messiness, I have just moved recentley. The other cat in the pictures is my male Siamese named Kit.

post #17 of 24
Awl, he's so cute! He does look underweight, not just small. Good call by you and the vet... I sure hope everything ends up okay. Bless you for taking care of him.

Your Siamese is very pretty, too.
post #18 of 24
How is little Apollo doing?
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
He seems to be a lot more active, chasing things....acting like a normal kitten. He also seems to be heavier, and his belly is round, I don't know if this is good or bad, as the vet said he has worms....so I'm taking him on Monday for a checkup. But he seems to be acting healither, running around and stuff, before he wasn't. Hopefully all will turn out alright.
post #20 of 24
Glad to hear he's doing better... I hope his belly is round because you fed him good food, not due to the worms.
post #21 of 24
Just a note of caution. I would get those electrical cords wrapped up and put away. Kittens are famous for chewing on straps, cords, string etc and you could end up with a hefty vet bill or worse.
post #22 of 24
That's true! The guy who installed (whom I saw several times before it got staightened out ) our alarm system said he had a kitten they named "Sparky" because he had chomped down on a plugged in cord and blew out a few teeth and part of his tongue! He made it and was fine, but the vet wasn't sure if he would be, with his tongue injury!

Your kitten is a cute one ! I hope he rallies really well! Did you and your vet discuss food allergies? If he is allergic to something, it may be fouling up his absorbtion of his nutrients. It took me 6 years to figure out that fish was giving 1 of my cats her bladder problems- neither of my vets mentioned it as a possiblity.
post #23 of 24
Feel his hipbones and shoulder blades. When I had some kittens who were doing poorly due to severe worms, in addition to weighing them on a scale, I could tell they had turned the corner when the bones in the shoulders and hips seemed more padded!

The breeder working something out with you is a concern to me. I don't know what the breeder can do to correct the situation, but I would like them to give you something in writing. Whether refunding half the purchase price if you keep him, to help cover the extra vet expense, or some other compensation. Maybe you shouldn't tell them you plan to keep him...until they come up with a solution that works for you.
post #24 of 24
Just thought I'd ask how your little cutie is doing? Is everything AOK??

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