Sick kitten

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 07:43 PM GMT

Question

I recently adopted a kitten from an animal shelter. She was eating great, drinking great, and very playful. She was gaining weight and looking great. The last two days she has been lethergic and losing weight rapidly. She no longer has a round belly and I can feel her bones. Her ouput remains the same, although she did throw up twice in the last few days. I work 12 hours shifts at the hospital and can't get her to the vet until monday (three days away) what may be wrong with her?

Answer

There are many things that a kitten can have, fading kitten syndrome being one of them. She is most likely suffering from an overload of roundworms, which are very common in kittens and puppies. Otherwise she might have a blockage of some sort, and again, worms could be a problem here. You haven't mentioned her age so I can't tell you what she should weigh but a rule of thumb is a pound per month. So a four month old kitten should weigh 4 lbs. She needs to be seen asap but until then get some fluids into her with a syringe and slowly squirt some pedialyte into the corner of her mouth, tilting her head so she swallows. Do this slowly so she doesn't choke and inhale any fluids. Is she still eating? If not get some canned food into her the same way, mix it with water and get her to swallow some slowly. She needs to be tested for leukemia, FIP and whatever else the vet thinks, but FELV for sure. It is really hard to say from here what is going on, so I can only give you the above ideas.Kittens go down hill very quickly to the point of no return so if you can get someone to take her in for you that would be much better than waiting until Monday. Most Vet's are open on Saturdays too.

I hope she does well.Let me know what they find out.


Question

We have a kitten that is almost 7 months old. She is an outdoor kitten, has been sick got sick yesterday. She vomits when she eats and isn't taking fluids. We are using an eyedropper to give her Pedilyte every hour. She isn't really taking that very well. We have brought her in and she's in a box with blankets and towels. What can we do for her?

Answer

Your kitten needs to see a vet ASAP - young cats can quickly become dehydrated when they do not eat/drink. They can also develop a type of liver failure called hepatic lipidosis. Your kitten may have something as simple as an upper respiratory infection - cats won't eat food they cannot smell, or something as serious as feline leukemia virus, FIV, or a virus called FIP. Your cat needs to be seen by the vet to be tested for these conditions and to be given fluid under the skin to help re-hydrate her.

Please keep her separate from any other cats you may have, as she is likely to be contagious to them.

Best of luck to you and your kitty,

Dr. Jen

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