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  #1  
Old 06-25-2008, 06:05 PM
VunderBob VunderBob is offline
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Orphaned kitten with diarrhea

Paging Vetbridge and any other cat savvy Dopers.

We are fostering a 7 week old kitten, and it has diarrhea in a bad way. How do we treat it?

The poor thing has been weaned, and is eating dry kitten food and canned cat food.

Can I give it Imodium? I know I can for a dog... Will I have to resort to driving a cork into it's ass with a hammer?
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2008, 06:42 PM
Duck Duck Goose Duck Duck Goose is offline
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Googling "kitten diarrhea" turns up the info that (A) there are about 20 different causes for diarrhea in kittens and cats, (B) thus you need to consult a vet in order to rule out various horrifying things that it hopefully isn't, (C) the biggest danger is dehydration whilst waiting to see the vet, and (D) I wouldn't give Kitteh any Imodium without a vet's express say-so; the biggest problem is figuring out the dosage. It's not approved by the FDA for use in animals, but some vets will prescribe it.

To rehydrate a kitten, use Pedialyte and squirt tiny amounts of it into her cheek pouch with one of those plastic eyedropper thingies they use to give liquid meds to toddlers.
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2008, 07:23 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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Are you giving it any kind of milk? Most kittens lose their ability to process milk fairly soon after they're weaned. I know that kittens and cats love milk, but it's not the best thing for them. I don't know that this kitten would be sensitive to milk at this young age, though.

All I can say is that dehydration is pretty serious, and kittens don't have a lot of reserves. Get it to the vet in the morning.
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2008, 07:52 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is online now
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Until one of those experts comes along, some palliative suggestions.

1. Make sure it gets enough liquid to replace what it is losing. Plenty of water; even squirting eyedroppers of it into it's mouth if it isn't drinking frequently.

If it was a feral kitten, this may just be a reaction to a much better diet than it is used to. And this is a common side effect of giving a good dose of wormer to a rescued kitten. Either of those will go away soon -- just make sure the kitten gets enough fluids while this is happening.

2. Cheese often helps with diarrhea, and many cats like cheese. Try feeding it some little pieces of cheese.
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  #5  
Old 06-26-2008, 07:25 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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The change in diet may have caused an upset stomach.

Have you had this kitten tested for parasites and given any dewormers? Intestinal parasites are very common in young animals, and easily treated. Take it to the vet, to see what type of parasite it is and get the appropiate medication (sometimes it is as simple as one pill).

While you're there, they may also give you a kitten talk and give you more information about vaccines, since a 7 weeks old kitten can be old enough to have its first set of shots.

Offer it water, and take it to the vet.
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  #6  
Old 06-26-2008, 07:32 AM
VunderBob VunderBob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGrenze
The change in diet may have caused an upset stomach.

Have you had this kitten tested for parasites and given any dewormers? Intestinal parasites are very common in young animals, and easily treated. Take it to the vet, to see what type of parasite it is and get the appropiate medication (sometimes it is as simple as one pill).

While you're there, they may also give you a kitten talk and give you more information about vaccines, since a 7 weeks old kitten can be old enough to have its first set of shots.

Offer it water, and take it to the vet.
The kitten was recently wormed, and her diet has been consistent for a while. She's getting all the water she wants, and is as active as the rest of the composite litter, with the only difference being the brownwater firehose.

FWIW, we are fostering for the local shelter, not keeping the kittens.
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Old 06-26-2008, 07:44 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Ask the shelter to contact the vet they use, many times they give discounts to fosters.

There are different types of parasites, it may be that the dewormer got rid of some but not of others.

Again, give it water and take it to vet (specially if you are foster and the group gets a discount).
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  #8  
Old 06-26-2008, 10:59 AM
vetbridge vetbridge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VunderBob
The kitten was recently wormed, and her diet has been consistent for a while. She's getting all the water she wants, and is as active as the rest of the composite litter, with the only difference being the brownwater firehose.

FWIW, we are fostering for the local shelter, not keeping the kittens.
I do veterinary work for several shelters. In a case like yours, hydration is key. Kittens can die fairly quickly (as can human infants) from the dehydration caused by diarrhea. I would have the shelter contact their vet, who will likely want to rule out coccidiosis via a fecal sample, and hydrate the kitten with subcutaneous/intravenous/intraosseous fluids. Immodium is a big no/no in my experience, although pepto/kaopectate are often used.
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  #9  
Old 06-26-2008, 11:14 AM
VunderBob VunderBob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetbridge
I do veterinary work for several shelters. In a case like yours, hydration is key. Kittens can die fairly quickly (as can human infants) from the dehydration caused by diarrhea. I would have the shelter contact their vet, who will likely want to rule out coccidiosis via a fecal sample, and hydrate the kitten with subcutaneous/intravenous/intraosseous fluids. Immodium is a big no/no in my experience, although pepto/kaopectate are often used.
How much Pepto? We have 3 and 10 ml syringes w/o needles on hand so we can be reasonably sure of how much to give. I also have sterile water in my trauma bag and a couple of 3 ml with needles so we can do subcutaneous fluid easily.

ETA: We're on our own WRT shelter and vets until Tuesday because their fiscal year starts on that day, and they have no money for this type of thing until then. If we take her back now, she gets juiced.

Last edited by VunderBob; 06-26-2008 at 11:17 AM..
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  #10  
Old 06-26-2008, 11:27 AM
The Walking Dude The Walking Dude is offline
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We had a similar problem with our last two kittens. It was a type of parasite that only causes diarrhea in younger cats. The vet tested the kittens' feces and gave us a liquid medicine that cleared everything up in a few days. So, yeah, probably your best bet is to keep the little one well hydrated and get it to the vet as soon as possible.
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  #11  
Old 06-26-2008, 11:30 AM
bufftabby bufftabby is offline
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The last cat I brought into my fold was a stray, and he had the same issue. It turned out he had coccidiosis, and it was fairly inexpensive to treat. The worst part was actually *giving him* his meds. Word of warning: avoid squeezing the cat's belly *at all costs* when trying to get antibiotics down its throat. Trust me.

Poor kitty. I hope she feels better soon.
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  #12  
Old 06-26-2008, 11:45 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VunderBob
How much Pepto? We have 3 and 10 ml syringes w/o needles on hand so we can be reasonably sure of how much to give. I also have sterile water in my trauma bag and a couple of 3 ml with needles so we can do subcutaneous fluid easily.

ETA: We're on our own WRT shelter and vets until Tuesday because their fiscal year starts on that day, and they have no money for this type of thing until then. If we take her back now, she gets juiced.
Use the 3 cc syringes to give some more water to the kitten. Do it as you would give liquid meds to other animals. Offer it more kitten wet food than dry, at least for now.

If you know how to give subcutaneous fluids, you can try that with the 10ccs... How big are the needles? Really tiny small bore (22g or higher) would be slower/harder to give.

Whatever it is, do you already have it separate from the other kittens? You may want to do that, or else (if you haven't already) the rest of the litter may get diarrhea too.
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2008, 11:47 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Also, contact the shelter to give you the name of the veterinarian, and see if you can contact the vet yourself and explain what's up. Treatment for parasites is inexpensive (if that is what it is), and there is no reason to let the poor kitten get dehydrated and suffer diarrhea for an extra week if it can be treated.
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2008, 11:59 AM
vetbridge vetbridge is offline
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DO NOT attempt to inject "sterile water" subcutaneously, as it is hypotonic. Assuming the kitten is around 1 kg, you can give 2 cc pepto as a single dose. Give tap water or pedialyte orally.
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  #15  
Old 06-26-2008, 12:17 PM
VunderBob VunderBob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetbridge
DO NOT attempt to inject "sterile water" subcutaneously, as it is hypotonic. Assuming the kitten is around 1 kg, you can give 2 cc pepto as a single dose. Give tap water or pedialyte orally.
Stopping by Wally*World for Kaopectate and Pedialyte on the way home.
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  #16  
Old 06-26-2008, 12:32 PM
vetbridge vetbridge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGrenze
Also, contact the shelter to give you the name of the veterinarian, and see if you can contact the vet yourself and explain what's up. Treatment for parasites is inexpensive (if that is what it is), and there is no reason to let the poor kitten get dehydrated and suffer diarrhea for an extra week if it can be treated.
However, keep in mind that the veterinarian may be unable to dispense to you if the relationship is between him/her and the shelter. Although many anthelmentics are inexpensive, many are prescription drugs that some states only allow to be dispensed in the face of a valid vet-client relationship. If that is the case, (s)he will only dispense after an exam.
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2008, 12:40 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetbridge
However, keep in mind that the veterinarian may be unable to dispense to you if the relationship is between him/her and the shelter. Although many anthelmentics are inexpensive, many are prescription drugs that some states only allow to be dispensed in the face of a valid vet-client relationship. If that is the case, (s)he will only dispense after an exam.
True, I was thinking the vet could circumvent the shelter and do the exam and therefore establish the vet-client relationship with Vunderbob, so the kitten didn't have to wait a week of bureocracy to get treatment.
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  #18  
Old 06-26-2008, 12:45 PM
VunderBob VunderBob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGrenze
True, I was thinking the vet could circumvent the shelter and do the exam and therefore establish the vet-client relationship with Vunderbob, so the kitten didn't have to wait a week of bureocracy to get treatment.
We may have the drug at home for treating coccidiosis, because it showed up in some fosters we had last year. ::shhhhh::
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  #19  
Old 06-26-2008, 12:49 PM
vetbridge vetbridge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGrenze
True, I was thinking the vet could circumvent the shelter and do the exam and therefore establish the vet-client relationship with Vunderbob, so the kitten didn't have to wait a week of bureocracy to get treatment.
I understood, but it would (likely) be cheaper for VunderBob to have the shelter schedule everything and VunderBob give them (the shelter) the $$ to pay, since most veterinarians extend discounts to shelters.
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  #20  
Old 06-26-2008, 02:31 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VunderBob
ETA: We're on our own WRT shelter and vets until Tuesday because their fiscal year starts on that day, and they have no money for this type of thing until then. If we take her back now, she gets juiced.
In my sisters office, they occasionally did the treatment and then delayed sending the billing until in the next fiscal period. The shelter vet might do that for you.
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  #21  
Old 06-27-2008, 06:41 AM
VunderBob VunderBob is offline
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It's all academic now.

I got Pedialyte and Pepto on the way home from work. The kitten was in rough shape when I got home. I gave it a bunch of Pedialyte, and it perked up a bit, but died sometime in the night.

I'll have to bury it when I get home. , and I don't even like cats...
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  #22  
Old 06-27-2008, 05:26 PM
rocking chair rocking chair is offline
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awwww, poor little one, and poor vunderbob. i'm sorry the outcome wasn't better.
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  #23  
Old 06-27-2008, 07:22 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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I'm sorry... Hope the other ones remain unaffected.
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  #24  
Old 06-28-2008, 02:25 PM
VunderBob VunderBob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGrenze
I'm sorry... Hope the other ones remain unaffected.
The 2 boys are sassy and unaffected.

Last edited by VunderBob; 06-28-2008 at 02:25 PM..
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  #25  
Old 06-28-2008, 11:04 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VunderBob
The 2 boys are sassy and unaffected.
OK, so where are the pictures?
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