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Kitten with litter impacted in back paws

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
The last two groups of kittens I've picked up at the vet (for foster care) have been dirty, with gunk all over them, no idea what it is, but they all need baths.

I just tried getting a little kitten clean and cannot. After his bath, with extra time soaking his back paws, they still have litter in between the toes and everywhere.

He was just too cold, I had to stop working on him and dried most of him off and am now warming him.

Any idea how to handle this area of a kitten? Will I hurt him to just start picking this stuff out of his paws?

What a mess. They were coated in litter, hardened on litter. Almost like a couple of casts!
post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 
Look at this! This is after getting a lot of it OFF him. At least one other kitten has some form of this in their paws....Grrrrr....

post #3 of 27
Coat the pads with crisco shortening (lard) let it stay on about 10 minutes, then wipe off with a warmed towel- it should slide right off. Wipe gently or you will hurt the kitten.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
What a mess. The crisco/warm towel thing worked somewhat, enough that I could get the biggest clumps off. I had to do this three times, the basic process you suggested above, and when he was adopted out the mom and dad were watching me give it a go the third time, so I could show them how to get the remaining pieces off.

I'm sure it must've hurt the kitten but these were quite large and really stuck?

Does this happen often because I've not seen it before and I can only assume it's from having wet paws then stepping into the magical, ever-so-fascinating-litter...

So I didn't have time to complete the project but there is a sister who's just been spayed who has a similar problem...I'm a little more concerned about handling her (only weighs 1 pound 7 oz
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Oh lovely people! I am in tears over this.

Do you think this is going to cause infection or something. It is like CEMENT, bonded to the kittens fur if not their skin.

At least one other kitten has it bad. I've been working on her all morning; when she was snoozing it wasn't so bad but she's had it. It was on all four of her paws. I got most off the front paws but her back ones are plaguing me.

The stuff is so hard the lard only helps get off the tiny little pieces. The big ones I have to cut into with a round tip scissor. I have to apply significant pressure just to break a piece up, I can't imagine pulling it off the paws. I think it will hurt the kittens!!!

I am calling the vet tomorrow to yell and find out why the last two litters I got were filthy and now this group with cement paws!
post #6 of 27
Aw your poor poor kitties! I feel so bad for them and wish I had some better ideas for you! I take it that it's not possible to trim out the foot hair Whoever's watching them before you must not be cleaning out the litter box regularly enough so there's enough peepee in the bottom to wet their paws and get the litter stuck in them.... I can't imagine walking around with that gunk in my toes! I really wish I could like come and help you! It's a shame it couldn't have been taken care of while the kitties were under to be fixed....
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the supportive words. I need to ask why this happened. And maybe the kittens need to be with me before AND after their surgery since this vet, on this side of town, doesn't really show the kittens like the other one does. They weren't dirty the three weeks prior to a couple weeks ago, they looked good.

It's a torturous process and I just can't get the black one to sit for as long as I need him. I can't let him go either. If it's this tough for me I can't trust another person will do it right so it doesn't get infected.

Another pair of hands would be helpful. I'll think of your kind offer as I'm doing this!
post #8 of 27
It happened because clumping litter was used. Kittens typically walk in their urine, the clumping urine gathers under their pads and causes these clumps. Switch to clay litter, keep using the shortening, leave it on longer if you have to so it can soften the clumps. Don't get the feet wet, that will make it worse.
post #9 of 27
Those poor kittens!

I'm wondering if the vet has a small practice where the kittens are kept in carriers with small litter pans while there? If that's the case then being in such a small area, the litter pan is the only place the kittens would have to retreat as they try to hide.

I know my regular vet has a setup like tht and that is one of the things that I'm not comfortable with for her as a regular. I encountered the litter in the tail with my Nugent picking him up after his neuter. All my cats were adult and I used the Tidy Cats clumping at the time.

I had a heck of a time getting that litter cleaned out of his tail so I can only imagine the problems with the kittens.

I now use chicken feed and it's not such a problem as the sandy clumping.

Good luck with getting those poor kittens cleaned up.
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks to you both. Yes, they arrived to me with this in their feet. It may have even been the person who had them before the vet, that's why I will be calling him. Plus, someone has worms.

This stuff is hard as cement, I swear. Only the little tiny pieces are coming off with the shortning. For some reason the first one wasn't as bad as this black one I am dealing with now who had it on all four of her paws.

Two days working on her and she still isn't done...

They're coming to me with gunk all over them. When I wipe them down with a white damp cloth you can see how dirty they are. But I don't want to bathe these three since they all have some level of this in their paws.

I mean, I had the shortning on the black one today for about an hour, in two half hour sessions, and that just "started" to get things moving!

What a nightmare! This is why I must call the vet and warn him of it. I just don't want it to happen again...
post #11 of 27
Have you tried soaking their paws in warm soapy water and manipulating the cemented stuff between your fingers while in the water? Also, maybe mineral oil would be better than shortening because it's a liquid whereas shortening is a solid and not easily absorbed.

You might also return to the vet and ask them to deal with the problem, which might involve having the use general anesthesia. And because the vet is the one responsible for this happening, it shouldn't cost you anything.
post #12 of 27
get some wire cutters or needle point plyers and crack the pieces off. careful though! we had some kittens come in with that and that's what we finally had to do after lots of other washing and oiling methods. only do this if it's attached to the hair not the actual pads of the paw.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Believe me I want to return this kitten to the vet for anethesia. One is really giving me a problem.

I've got to call him first thing TOMORROW morning, because the woman I work for will not take any more kittens into the program until we know why this happened and that it won't happen again.

We cannot adopt kittens like this out, not until they are all cleaned up. Certainly not. Sigh.

Between this and the other problem I had (posted in the health forum here), I am exhausted. And I still have clorox cleaning to do...

I'lll try the oil method--anything is worth a try, and cutting is absolutely necessary, but stressful for both me and the kitten.

Thanks again!
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Have you tried soaking their paws in warm soapy water and manipulating the cemented stuff between your fingers while in the water? Also, maybe mineral oil would be better than shortening because it's a liquid whereas shortening is a solid and not easily absorbed.

You might also return to the vet and ask them to deal with the problem, which might involve having the use general anesthesia. And because the vet is the one responsible for this happening, it shouldn't cost you anything.
If it were my kittens, I don't think I could let that vet near them. I would certainly want to know why and how something so awful could have happened to those babies. For the sake of those kittens, I would get another opinion.

Shanynne
post #15 of 27
Any liquid will cause the litter to swell not dissolve. That is the danger of clumping litter- it activates in anything wet.
post #16 of 27
Yeah, I agree that the vet is definitely responsible for this... vets main goal should be the good health and well being of the animals they treat (unfortunately, many of them are blinded by money) and therefore, this vet should solve this problem and prevent it from happening again.... I know when I was a kennel nurse, we used shredded newspaper sometimes in the litter boxes for those that tended to play in their boxes.... clumping litter should definitely be avoided... please let us know what the vet's response is, and I'd say if they're not willing to help fix this problem, you should seek out another vet for these poor babies!
post #17 of 27
clumping litter shouldn't be used in a vets to begin with. only hypoallergenic litter, Yesterday's News and Catsan are the only ones i know of. reasons being when a cat comes out of surgery or kittens are born or if a cat comes in with an injury you cant have the litter sticking to everything or all over the floor!! the litter pan should be dumped and sprayed with disinfectant and refreshed with new litter every time they wee or poo (AM/PM normally) not left for the poor things to walk through!
post #18 of 27
Oh no, I'm so sorry! Poor kittens. Thank you for putting in so much effort to help them!! It sounds sooo frustrating.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat_steph View Post
clumping litter shouldn't be used in a vets to begin with. only hypoallergenic litter, Yesterday's News and Catsan are the only ones i know of. reasons being when a cat comes out of surgery or kittens are born or if a cat comes in with an injury you cant have the litter sticking to everything or all over the floor!! the litter pan should be dumped and sprayed with disinfectant and refreshed with new litter every time they wee or poo (AM/PM normally) not left for the poor things to walk through!
Exactly!
I used to be kennel nurse at our vet and also worked in a shelter... I'd come in in the morning and collect all the pans and throw in new ones (we had the fresh ones all set up and ready to go) and then dump all the old ones and clean them all in bleach solution and let them thoroughly dry... then of course they got changed out throughout the day as the kitties went more.... someone in this situation isn't doing things right
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzbyJLC10 View Post
Exactly!
I used to be kennel nurse at our vet and also worked in a shelter... I'd come in in the morning and collect all the pans and throw in new ones (we had the fresh ones all set up and ready to go) and then dump all the old ones and clean them all in bleach solution and let them thoroughly dry... then of course they got changed out throughout the day as the kitties went more.... someone in this situation isn't doing things right
i know it's so sad good for Vik for taking care of these poor kittens!
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Oh boy. I still have to work on these kittens. I've been in tears and exhausted anyway, but needed to start taking some steroids again...that helps so today I am feeling better--and I'm off to torture the black kitten again today...

I spoke with the vet's office. Whoa, I was met with some hositility. See, this vet works with the program I work for, and the woman who runs it has been doing this for almost 50 years. They have a history and she irritates them, I guess.

I was told they are a clinic and the last thing they need to concern themselves with is kittens paws. I calmed down and told her to calm down.

I told her to understand that this isn't just a case of nitpicking about dirty kittens. They do a fine job; I've never gotten a litter with this stuff in their paws before. I want to HELP. I will do some fundraising; will they please think about what would make their jobs easier and enable them to continue to spay/neuter kittens, or even more kittens for the program.

They don't want money, they don't want to show kittens, like a pet store.

So, I am going to start picking them up earlier after their surgery, so they can maybe take more during the week, and bring them home with me. Sigh.

Somehow I think the long conversation WILL help; it called attention to the problem, and I will be dropping off some non clumping litter. I will go look for the brands suggested above later today, maybe tonight. I hope I can find something.

My biggest need as a foster is kitty litter. It is expensive. The cheap brands stink, literally. I just threw a whole 25 pound bag away it was so awful. Somehow in three days I got maggots in my litter trash can. And I don't have flies in my house. SO, I am thinking on how to revamp my house to clean out another room for more kittens...

I live on a fixed income, though, and I need to do some fundraising.
post #22 of 27
You should contact your local media (news papers, local tv news) about what you do People love heart warming stories about animal rescues and those who work hard to save these helpless animals using their own money. You can mention that it's difficult to do on a fixed income, but you do what you can. Maybe the story can generate some donations of supplies for you?
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
That's a good idea. I started working on that way back and need to be more assertive with the media.

But to make matters worse, I just learned that the woman I just had a long talk with at the vet clinic doesn't believe me. Thinks I am making this up.



I wish I had taken more pictures!

What a way to treat volunteers....

On a positive note, the last of the stuff is out of the black kitten's paws. She slept through it which was the only way it was going to happen today. When I removed the chunks, her fur is still stuck to the stuff, so I basically ripped her fur out with it the gunk. Maybe I should bring that in to the vet clinic.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik61 View Post
Oh boy. I still have to work on these kittens. I've been in tears and exhausted anyway, but needed to start taking some steroids again...that helps so today I am feeling better--and I'm off to torture the black kitten again today...

I spoke with the vet's office. Whoa, I was met with some hositility. See, this vet works with the program I work for, and the woman who runs it has been doing this for almost 50 years. They have a history and she irritates them, I guess.

I was told they are a clinic and the last thing they need to concern themselves with is kittens paws. I calmed down and told her to calm down.

I told her to understand that this isn't just a case of nitpicking about dirty kittens. They do a fine job; I've never gotten a litter with this stuff in their paws before. I want to HELP. I will do some fundraising; will they please think about what would make their jobs easier and enable them to continue to spay/neuter kittens, or even more kittens for the program.

They don't want money, they don't want to show kittens, like a pet store.

So, I am going to start picking them up earlier after their surgery, so they can maybe take more during the week, and bring them home with me. Sigh.

Somehow I think the long conversation WILL help; it called attention to the problem, and I will be dropping off some non clumping litter. I will go look for the brands suggested above later today, maybe tonight. I hope I can find something.

My biggest need as a foster is kitty litter. It is expensive. The cheap brands stink, literally. I just threw a whole 25 pound bag away it was so awful. Somehow in three days I got maggots in my litter trash can. And I don't have flies in my house. SO, I am thinking on how to revamp my house to clean out another room for more kittens...

I live on a fixed income, though, and I need to do some fundraising.

I would report them to the ASPCA and even the police! At least the police could put you in touch with the proper authorities and/or intervene themselves. If this lady couldn't be "bothered" about kittens paws, she has been there for far too long. How many other helpless babies have suffered because of this negligence. I would even call my local TV station and have them do a story. I would raise hell.

And even if it was an "accident" she should have been concerned for the kittens when you reported it and also for the remaining kittens that were in their care.

Sorry, but this kind of thing just makes so angry! Shanynne
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik61 View Post
Oh boy. I still have to work on these kittens. I've been in tears and exhausted anyway, but needed to start taking some steroids again...that helps so today I am feeling better--and I'm off to torture the black kitten again today...

I spoke with the vet's office. Whoa, I was met with some hositility. See, this vet works with the program I work for, and the woman who runs it has been doing this for almost 50 years. They have a history and she irritates them, I guess.

I was told they are a clinic and the last thing they need to concern themselves with is kittens paws. I calmed down and told her to calm down.

I told her to understand that this isn't just a case of nitpicking about dirty kittens. They do a fine job; I've never gotten a litter with this stuff in their paws before. I want to HELP. I will do some fundraising; will they please think about what would make their jobs easier and enable them to continue to spay/neuter kittens, or even more kittens for the program.

They don't want money, they don't want to show kittens, like a pet store.

So, I am going to start picking them up earlier after their surgery, so they can maybe take more during the week, and bring them home with me. Sigh.

Somehow I think the long conversation WILL help; it called attention to the problem, and I will be dropping off some non clumping litter. I will go look for the brands suggested above later today, maybe tonight. I hope I can find something.

My biggest need as a foster is kitty litter. It is expensive. The cheap brands stink, literally. I just threw a whole 25 pound bag away it was so awful. Somehow in three days I got maggots in my litter trash can. And I don't have flies in my house. SO, I am thinking on how to revamp my house to clean out another room for more kittens...

I live on a fixed income, though, and I need to do some fundraising.
try contacting the litter and food manufatures and see if you can get discounted damaged bags of litter and food they are just as good usually and much cheaper. great for volunteer work. let them know you are a carer!
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
\\This is to Shanynne's post:

And here I thought I was overreacting...

I am looking for another vet to work with. Wish me luck. The woman who runs this program has been disrespected by the people in this clinic for many years. It would be THE thing to turn me off to helping the kittens, but I'll be damned if I do that.

The woman is 73 years of age and doing this for fifty years. She is afraid to lose the vet's services. If the relationship dies completely we have nobody to spay/neuter the kittens and continue our work.
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat_steph View Post
try contacting the litter and food manufatures and see if you can get discounted damaged bags of litter and food they are just as good usually and much cheaper. great for volunteer work. let them know you are a carer!
Yeah? This sounds like a good idea! I will get on it in the morning; thanks so much!
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