Three week-old kitty is losing weight

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Sweetling Sweetling 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #859783
    Profile photo of Sweetling
    Sweetling
    Participant

    Hi, all.

    Despite our vet saying that she’s doing fine, my three week-old kitten Sweetling appears to be dropping weight. She was 210 grams when we got her, 200 grams the next time we weighed her, 190 grams a few days ago, and 160 grams today.

    She’s battling an upper respiratory infection and recently finished one of her medicines, but is still on Piriton syrup. We give her a gruel of goat’s milk and Whiskas tuna at least four times a day and she pees and poops normally. Of course, we’re taking her to the vet again to ask about the weight dropping problem, but I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this and has an idea about why it’s happening?

    #859788
    Profile photo of Kincaid
    Kincaid
    Participant

    The only rescue I had with a URI died not long after his first visit, due to a prior heavy parasite load and other issues…

    Before your vet appt, I would gently suggest trying to up her food intake wherever possible if she’s hungry. She’s only three weeks, and they usually eat around every two hours. Four times a day is much less, and she’s already ill.

    A specially formulated kitten pate, like Royal Canin for kittens, Nutro, Nutri-Source, and others, with a named meat as the first or second ingredient if the first is “Enough water for processing.” A 1:1, or 2:1 ratio of Pate to Water is a good goal, and if you’re using teaspoons, the second ration comes out exactly to a Tablespoon; helpful for measuring kitty’s intake.

    I would try to up her intake to once every three-four hours at the most, since she’s so young. It might be that she’s experiencing other problems than just the URI, but a more likely circumstance in my limited opinion, is that she’s simply not eating often enough.

    #859789
    Profile photo of Sweetling
    Sweetling
    Participant

    Thank you so much for your imput! I should’ve checked with my mother before posting – she has been feeding the little squeaker every three to four hours with an exception of three in the morning for sleep, not four times a day. 😳 I’m terribly sorry for accidentally giving the wrong info!

    Sweetling’s been given vitamins and a new prescription for eyedrops because her eyes are quite swollen and reddened and itchy. I feel so bad for her…

    I gave her a dab of honey on the gums this morning and it really gave her an energy boost. She accepted a hearty helping of food afterwards! Does anyone know how many times a day we can safely give her a dab of honey?

    #859790
    Profile photo of Kincaid
    Kincaid
    Participant

    oh alright, that definitely changes some things. :/

    I’m not sure about the honey, someone with more experience would probably be more helpful. I WILL say though, that if you’re very concerned, perhaps some Nutri-cal gel for kittens? It’s a meat-based gel with a high calorie content that can help perk up a kitten or adult cat if they’re feeling off.

    Other than that, my only concern is that perhaps she has worms along with the URI?

    #859791
    Profile photo of Kincaid
    Kincaid
    Participant

    Nutri Cal for Kittens Here’s a link for Chewy.Com, for the Nutri-Cal kitten formula. Best of luck to you and your wee one!

    #859794
    Profile photo of Sweetling
    Sweetling
    Participant

    Thank you for your kind wishes. That Nutri-cal gel would definitely help, but sadly they don’t ship to my country. Nothing really does – either they don’t at all or they do and the shipping cost is 100$+ and it’ll take at least a month to reach us đŸ˜„ I wasn’t so worried before but now that I’ve had a closer look, Sweetling really does appear bony and weak.

    She hasn’t been put on any more antibiotics, the vet says it’s because what she has is viral and all we can do is wait it out. We asked about worms twice, both times told that she doesn’t look like she has them.

    I’m so scared she’s not going to make it…

    #859797
    Profile photo of Kittyzee
    Kittyzee
    Participant

    Kincaid gave you the same advice that I would have. I do think that she has worms…and you sometimes can’t tell by saying ‘they don’t look like they have them’! For heaven’s sakes, MOST kittens have them, they got them from their mothers. The vet needs to prescribe some worm medication and let you give it to her. Then in about 3 weeks, you administer it again to kill any that were in the egg stage the first time.

    She is getting plenty of food, SHE just isn’t getting the nutrition, the WORMS are!

    #859799
    Profile photo of Sweetling
    Sweetling
    Participant

    Aye, aye, captian! *salutes*
    It’s not that I don’t want to give her dewormer, it’s that the vet seems to think she doesn’t need it. Me thinks we need to find a new vet, or ask for it anyway. Can we have some prayers over on this end? I think we’ll need it…

    Thank you so much for your help, both of you. 🙂

    #859800
    Profile photo of pussigato
    pussigato
    Participant

    Here’s a recipe for a homemade high calorie supplement

    Kitty Glop, a Tempting Food for Young Kittens or Convalescent Cats

    Kitty Glop is made from supermarket ingredients and it can be mixed up quickly. Most kittens and cats go crazy for it! It can also take the place of such products as KMR or KittyLac when they are not available. Feed small frequent servings. Here is a recipe to make at home:

    Ingredients: (NOTE: you can easily double this recipe!)
    1 packet Unflavored Knox Gelatin
    2 Egg yolks (ONLY the yolks)
    2 Tbsp. Full fat Plain Yogurt(not low fat)
    1 Tbsp Mayonnaise(not low fat)
    1 tsp Light Karo Syrup (light meaning in color-not the dark Karo syrup) OPTIONAL
    1 can Evaporated milk (not condensed milk), evaporated Goat Milk or 2 cups fresh Goat’s Milk (my preference)
    8 oz (one cup) Boiling water
    Instructions:
    Mix unflavored Knox Gelatin with boiling water. Set aside.
    Mix together egg yolks, yogurt, mayonnaise, Karo syrup and evaporated or goat’s milk. Combine with gelatin mixture and mix well by hand or in a blender. If you mix in a blender, be careful when blending hot liquids!
    Keep in the refrigerator for seven days or pour into ice cube trays lightly coated with cooking spray and freeze. After freezing, put into freezer-safe ziplock bags. These will keep for months.
    Please note: When refrigerated, the Glop will solidify. It will return to the liquid state if heated slightly in the microwave.

    #859803
    Profile photo of Kincaid
    Kincaid
    Participant

    Thank you for the homemade recipe, PG!!!

    @sweetling, I’m sorry you’re experiencing this heartache, right now. You have all the well wishes and positive vibes being sent your way possible. Stay strong for baby!

    #859807
    Profile photo of Kittyzee
    Kittyzee
    Participant

    Sweetling, I know that it’s not about you not wanting to give a dewormer, but the vet that is dragging his feet or whatever it is he is doing. I suppose I sounded harsh, but it wasn’t directed at you. For all I know, since I’m not a vet, maybe she DOESN’T have worms. I know that some kittens do ‘look’ wormy–poor patchy coat, round distended tummy, eating like they are starving–and most do not look like that. If you have access to another vet, then by all means, give them a try. The over the counter worms meds aren’t really a good option as they usually don’t do a thorough job and miss the parasite that you want to get rid of.

    #859816
    Profile photo of Sweetling
    Sweetling
    Participant

    Thank you all so much for the love and support! And especially for the Kitty Glop recipe, pussigato. We’ll definitely be giving it a try if I can find someplace that sells gelatin.

    We sneakily went to an old vet of ours whom we had to drop because of money expenses. The first thing out of her mouth when she saw Sweetling was basically “why didn’t you deworm her yet?”

    Sweetling is one day away from turning four weeks old now. She’s been given her first dose of dewormer (hoorah!) and some new antibiotics. The vet injected the first dose, but the rest is to be taken orally. The eye drops were actually making it worse for her, so she’s been taken off that as well. Turns out the old vet forgot to tell us that the medications were supposed to be given after meals! I’m sad about that misunderstanding – poor little Sweetling must’ve had a rough time of it whenever we gave her medications.

    She’s at home and asleep. We’ve also been given instructions to mix a certain kind of biscuit with her milk for extra calories.

    Kittyzee, I completely understand your frustrations. The vet who we took Sweetling to today owns nine healthy dogs and a gorgeous calico cat – she has much more experience with hand-rearing animals than the previous one did. Thank you so much for that comment about deworming her, or we may never have gone to a different vet and gotten proper help for the little squeakling! She’d still be on eye drops she didn’t need, no antibiotic, and her remaining medicine given incorrectly!

    #859821
    Profile photo of Kittyzee
    Kittyzee
    Participant

    Oh what a relief! You have no idea how much I have thought about you and your kitten, and if I gave the wrong advice. Thank you for relieving me of that worry!!

    And she has reached the four week old milestone–YAY!! At this point, you can relax a little about the frequent feedings, and she will benefit from the wet food now that the worms will be killed off! She will feel better and have more energy too!

    #859827
    Profile photo of pussigato
    pussigato
    Participant

    If you can’t find gelatin, you can use cornstarch which is commonly used to thicken sauces. Anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch are added to 1 cup of fluid. The mixture must be boiled to activate the cornstarch. When a recipe uses cornstarch in this way, you can often substitute one of xanthan gum, pectin, agar, or gelatin.

    #859833
    Profile photo of Sweetling
    Sweetling
    Participant

    Thank you for thinking of us – and you’re welcome! Sweetling’s appetite has increased drastically since this morning, she woke up an hour earlier than normal and demanded a whole helping when she normally only polishes off half! She’s all weak skin and bones at the moment, but now that she’s had the dewormer and she’s on a better diet, I have my fingers crossed that the weather vane will turn in our favour…

    Pussigato, thank you again! Corn starch is something I can definitely find. I’m off to the shops as soon as possible~! If the right kind of karo syrup isn’t available, can it be substituted for honey? Or would that be a tad too rich for her stomach?

    Sweetling is a strong little fighter. One moment we’re sure she’s only tumbling closer to death, and the next she’s dug her tiny (sharp!) claws into the mountainside and crawling back up!

    #859845
    Profile photo of Kittyzee
    Kittyzee
    Participant

    That’s the thing about cats…they can be so sick without showing signs of illness that they can be near death without us even knowing. In older cats it can be harder to see–you only notice that your friend isn’t doing what they normally do or is holding themselves in a strange way–but with kittens, one of the first things that is administered is a dewormer. I did make Peso’s appointment for next week! He will get a good once over, see if he’s old enough for his vaccinations, dewormed, and anything else the doc recommends. I don’t know at what age this vet likes to neuter, but I think the earlier the better. He has such a sweet disposition, and I’d like to keep it that way!

    #859849
    Profile photo of Sweetling
    Sweetling
    Participant

    I know that all too well… My feline companion of six years completely hid any sign that something was wrong until he started howling in pain as he started dying. He was poisoned by something – we suspect he ate poisoned rat. Losing one of my two best friends, the other being my dachsund, in a single day really threw me for a loop and I fear I’ll never stop wondering what it would be like if he were still alive. Celebrating Christmas without him felt like Christmas without Santa. Hopefully, we’ll have Sweetling this year to fill in the empty stocking!

    (Quite literally, if she stays the way she is now! :-P)

    I’m happy for you! I hope everything goes wonderfully. I’m determined to have Sweetling spayed when she’s old enough, but in order to do so safely I’m going to have to find a proper animal hospital – one that doesn’t have a bunch of reviews warning that the people there are uncaring trainees who killed their pets!

    Sweetling has a wheeze going on for her now. Steam inhalation helped quieten it down dramatically, but I can still hear it when I put my head near her nose.

    #859854
    Profile photo of pussigato
    pussigato
    Participant

    Sure you can use honey. I’m glad your girl has perked up. A belly full of worms would make me sick too.

    #859885
    Profile photo of Sweetling
    Sweetling
    Participant

    That’s good to hear! We’re going to hold off on it for a little while – Sweetling had a constipation issue yesterday that led to a visit to the new vet at ten PM (not an emergency, the vet just has odd after morning hours). What came out was actually quite… impressive, for a kitten of her size. She’s having only light foods for the next few days, mainly milk and a tiny bit of biscuit.

    Being still the size of a runty two week old kitten, she was too weak to push out poop by herself even though she’s a month old, the vet thinks. Since she’s been pooping out ringworms today after stimulation by us (for the first time), suffice to say that dewormer may have saved her life. Don’t worry, my mother is taking all sanitary precautions about keeping the worms and their eggs away from all pets in the household.

    This vet also said something that made me decide I never wanted to go back to the old one. The topic of my late cat came up and simply from hearing our description of his early symptoms, she diagnosed that he’d gotten bitten by a cobra (not rat poison) and showed us the tiny bottle of antivenom that could’ve saved his life.

    #859886
    Profile photo of Sweetling
    Sweetling
    Participant

    *and keeping the worms away from us!

    #859890
    Profile photo of Kittyzee
    Kittyzee
    Participant

    Oh no, how sad about your late cat… đŸ˜„

    A lot of times too, when kittens have a large worm burden, they do have trouble passing all those dead and dying worms at once. You are doing the right thing by keeping a close eye on her and getting her to the (good) vet when you feel she needs to go. You have good instincts….always go with them!

    #859933
    Profile photo of Sweetling
    Sweetling
    Participant

    Now that I know, at least there’s a chance I can prevent it from happening in the future. đŸ˜„

    Sure enough, Sweetling got constipated again last night. But today she’s been having the opposite problem, if you know what I mean. The goat’s milk seems to be helping tremendously in soothing her tummy and keeping her from losing too much fluid. She’s not dehydrated yet, thankfully.

    But she has gained weight! She’s now just below 200 grams, and it’s only been a few days. And although she occasionally starts sneezing profusely, it’s not nearly as bad as it was before. Things are really looking up, and I’m so grateful for it!

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