15 August, 2012 at 3:12 am #52504
Hello, I am in great need of help!
As you can tell from my username, I am a first time foster mommy, so I could use some advice:
My friend found two kittens abandoned in a car in her neighborhood, fresh umbilical cords chewed short, and clean (No blood or birth fluid). Because she works, she couldn’t be responsible for the 24/7 care needed, so the job fell to me. my dad, who has raised kittens before, says they were only a day old.
6 days along, it looks like I have a boy and a girl, still pretty ambiguous at this point, but for the sake of distinction I will use supposed gender. They are both still blind and deaf, but extremely strong and energetic, eat, pee, and sleep well, climb up and down my shirt and hands as if I’m a jungle gym, and yowl very loudly when turned over or are having the potty-cloth used on them. They purr, suck on my hand, and nurse out of rubber-nipple bottles. I saw only one flea on one of them, on their first day, and I picked it off and killed it. No fleas since then.
After their mother’s milk was out of their system, and were only on kitten formula (first “Just born” and now “KMR”), they got constipated, only giving me hamster poop sized bowel movements, and rarely. I started giving them on ML of flavorless Pedialyte with every feeding, and instead of every two hours, I’m feeding them on the hour, except for during the night, then it’s every two hours. The little girl took well to these changes, pooping like a little champ, but the boy has now not pooped since the day before yesterday.
I have been rubbing his belly (and sides), which is very big, but not hard or sensitive. I have used the triangle method, have used vasiline on a thermometer gently in his anus, rubbed vasiline on his anus with my finger, used both softer and rougher materials for the potty-cloth, ran warm water over his backside, everything I can think of besides a enema (which I am not comfortable doing) or laxatives (which I get conflicted messages about, and am never given the information on where to buy). I called my vet today, told them everything I’ve told you, and they said they had no other suggestions.
So I have come to you all for help. Can you give me some solid advice about massage technique, laxatives, or any methods that have worked for you? Is it possible he just doesn’t poop that often?
P.S.: I know very well that it is extremely difficult to keep kittens of this age alive, so I don’t need to hear it again. I know it’s only a 20% chance, but having this information reiterated to me constantly just upsets me, and does the kittens no good. Give me “Should do”s, I’ve seen the majority of “shouldn’t do”s. I’m not trying to be mean or rude, but I’ve only gotten 6 hours of sleep a night since last Wednesday, and time is of the essence.
I am eternally grateful for any advice, thank you, thank you, thank you!15 August, 2012 at 3:15 am #744708
Yes, it’s very possible he doesn’t poop that often, every other day is fine for kittens on formula. There are three things you can try, dilute his formula, add a couple of drops of vegetable (eg canola or soy or rice bran or olive etc) oil or mineral oil to his formula, or plain cooked pumpkin (not pie filling as that has additives). Chaos gives great advice on this thread: http://www.dailykitten.com/chat/topic/44077
(pumpkin can help with constipation as well as diarrhoea). Also check out the pink tags ‘poop’ and ‘constipation’ for more threads on this subject, it’s a perpetual worry with kittens on powdered formula, as it does seem to constipate them. Other things you can try — sieving the formula before you give it to him, or switching to kitten glop or goats’ milk. The Messybeast kitten site: http://www.messybeast.com/handrear.htm
is a godsend for problems with kittens, and has a good section on constipation. Best of luck.15 August, 2012 at 3:35 am #744709
Thank you, this is good info! Would you happen to know the proportion of oil to formula? Should the pumpkin be added to the formula, mixed with water, fed straight? Again, only six days old, so he’s not really on solid food…15 August, 2012 at 5:32 am #744710
Aww you make me blush Jcat. Add a couple of drops to the formula. What I did was I filled up the bottle with regular formula to 45, then I diluted the rest with water and a couple of drops of oil. For the pumpkin you can give him 1cc/mL of pumpkin pureed and mixed into his formula. The fiber in pumpkin is good to help diarrhea too, but don’t give too much to a constipated kitten because it can make the stool harder. I find that younger kittens will poop every two days. If it takes longer than that I would recommend a vet visit, but call ahead to make sure they know what they are doing with very young kittens. Also, don’t ever deworm a kitten under 5-6 weeks. Because the kitten is so young, dilute the formula to 20mL of water and the rest formula. As he gets bigger use less water so he gets more nutrients.15 August, 2012 at 5:46 am #744711
Is it better to do them together or apart?15 August, 2012 at 5:47 am #744712
Thank you soooo much, by the way!15 August, 2012 at 6:14 am #744713
I would hold off on pumpkin, just see if the extra water and oil help. If it’s not working by tomorrow night I would go see a vet so they can make sure baby has a potty hole (:
Just to be clear (sometimes I make no sense)
Add 20mL of water into bottle
Fill to last line with formula
Add a couple of drops of oil.
Good luck with baby! Keep us updated. We love to hear that kittens are pooping.15 August, 2012 at 6:56 am #744714
Sorry, I’m still a little confused (Really don’t do well intellectually when sleep deprived). Again, not trying to be rude, just clear and careful. 🙂
Am I correct in believing I am making a batch of formula, which is (going by directions on the can) one table spoon of the powdered formula to two tablespoons (which is thirty milliliters, ml), and adding two or so drops of oil? I then feed them their normal amount?15 August, 2012 at 6:58 am #744715
And how long should I hold off on the pumpkin? I might have jumped the gun and added a tiny amount to their formula already. Have I damaged the kittens? If so, how do I repair?15 August, 2012 at 7:02 am #744716
Add just one more table spoon of water to their normal batch along with the oil and you are good to go (: If you can’t even get a small amount of poop when stimulating him, add more water. I ended up doing one tablespoon of the powder and 4 water when I had problems with my kittens pooping. Then if tomorrow he hasn’t pooped, go ahead and mix up 1mL of puree pumpkin and warm water and feed that to him through a needle-less syringe. I know how sleep deprivation goes. It has been 3 months since I have gotten a full night of sleep hah.
I will try to clarify cause I don’t know if I am making sense to myself @_@:
1 tablespoon of powder
3-4 tablespoons of water
3-4 drops of oil
And you have done no damage to the kittens. You can add 1mL of pumpkin every other batch. You might have made your pooping kitten a poop machine haha. Just don’t go overboard, we need to make sure the water is getting through his system.15 August, 2012 at 7:07 am #744717
Basically constipation happens when the intestines absorb too much water (or because there wasn’t enough water) and makes the stool hard, which is why we can only give them more water and lubrication to help them out. Pumpkin is fiber, which helps poop form into a solidified mass. More water will make sure he stays well hydrated and his stools have enough water to keep softer. Oil will help with that too, as well as adding a little bit of lubrication. If this all doesn’t work in the next two days, call your vet and ask about laxatives that are used for younger kittens. It is either that or try and give him an enema. I have done this once and it isn’t too scary. I hope the baby poops soon (:15 August, 2012 at 7:30 am #744718
Oh gracious, thank you so much for clarifying, you have no idea how you’ve eased my mind. Everywhere else is like “DOOM! CONSTIPATION IS DOOOOOOM!” and I’ve been near tears and confused as to what to do all day.
We also know the water is getting through his system, at least a little bit, because he’s peeing very well. I’ll let you folks know how it goes.
Thank you all again!
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