Just watched my friend's kitten die

I was at my friend’s house tonight playing cards with a couple of guys. He noticed one of his kittens(only two weeks old) had blood on its whiskers. He picked it up and it went limp in his arms, so he grabbed a dish of milk, and then we rushed to the emergency vet clinic. Over the fifteen minutes it took for us to get ready and get to the clinic it kept seeming to fade in and out of consciousness. When we got to the clinic, he rushed to fill out the forms and have them try everything. They took the kitten into the back and tried CPR. The vet told us that the kitten was gone less than five minutes later. She said it was because fleas had drinken most of its blood.

Time to deflea the littermates.

Sorry you had that sad experience.

Spay and neuter, folks.

Aww :frowning: - sorry

That’s really sad. Your friend needs some help with the rest of the kittens, they may be close to the same fate. They’re too small for flea treatment, but the adult animals in the house need to get it, asap, pronto, now, all of them. The little ones can be bathed - gently, in lukewarm water - with Original Dawn Dishwashing Liquid. The stuff they use for wildlife in oil spills.

Then, de-flea-ing the rest of the house is in order. Sounds bad.

What did the vet suggest? They may need some extra food (formula), blankets (for warmth, if they’re low on blood, and just bathed, even if you dry them).

She suggested that he treat the mother cat with flea medicine and comb all the kittens every day. He will be getting some Frontline today.

Fleas can suck a kitten dry???

What sad circumstances. Although, I had heard of the possibility, I had not heard of it actually happening.

Not exactly suck them dry per se, but deplete the blood cells to a level where they aren’t being replaced fast enough and the kitten starts becoming oxygen starved - “flea anemia.” It might not kill a healthy adult cat ( though it will surely badly compromise its health ), but young kittens and geriatric cats are more vulnerable. I know somebody who works with ferals and she has seen kittens succumb before.

It’s one of the reasons I’ve never romanticized the whole “live wild and free” thing. A lot of wild animals live in a quiet hell of external and internal parasites.

That is so sad. :frowning: Any update on how the other kittens are?

Fleas can cause severe anemia enough to kill full grown cats and dogs. The largest dog I saw with flea anemia was a Husky, it takes a lot of fleas or other blood-sucking parasites but it’s possible. Ticks and hookworms can also cause anemia. Parasite control is pretty important if you have pets.

Apparently none of the other kittens made it. I was with this friend again tonight, and he was telling me all of these stories about how he kept finding the kittens dead. :frowning:
I feel so bad for him. I think there was a litter of 6, now all of them are dead.

That’s really sad. So sad for all the kittens. I really hope your friend has done something to prevent more. Maybe a flea problem could be prevented in the future, but if the issue was viral, no other litters will have a chance.

Had a similar problem with my chihuahua rescue. Fortunately, she lived. But even now that she has the flea stuff on her, she has about the normal number of fleas for a dog. Girl seems to be a flea magnet.

Yes they can especially very young kittens.

Fucking fleas. I hate them. My fiancee thinks it’s creepy I like to put them in water and watch them drown, but frankly even that is too kind for them.

There’s no such thing as a “normal amount of fleas.” What you’re using is plain not working. It’s either because you’re using an inferior product or because fleas in your region have become resistant to what you’re using. The solution is to use what your veterinarian carries, as they’re usually using the next generation flea product that the population isn’t resistant to yet. Usually.

I think the “normal amount of fleas” is about as close to zero as possible. My wife and I have had 7 dogs over 44 years and none had any detectable fleas.

This. I’m afraid I’m thinking that it wasn’t fleas that killed those kittens, it was your friend’s criminal ignorant negligence.