I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to discuss your question about your cat.
I'm so sorry she's having trouble, but glad you're looking for the information you need.
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That way we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided.
You are very correct to be worried about her. These are serious symptoms.
I'm quite concerned this could be an emergency, especially since she so recently had kittens.
It's possible this could be a condition called hypocalcemia.
Some people call it puerperal tetany.
OK, what is it best to do?
She really, really needs to be seen by a vet on an emergency basis. That's what I'd want if she were my patient.
Peurperal tetany is life threatening, and immediate treatment is necessary.
OH ok! thanks I will seek help from the vet nearby.
I can't say for certain that's what it is in her case, but I'm worried about the possibility.
Wonderful! I'm so glad you'll be able to get her the help she needs. These are very alarming symptoms.
Do the kittens seem to be doing well?
she is with her kittens now and purring. yes kittens are fine and feeding right now
Good. They need a healthy momma.
The root cause of peurperal tetany is nursing. It depletes the calcium supply, leaving the mom quite ill.
So she is not hyperventilating right now?
If she is completely normal at times, I would NOT expect this to be peurperal tetany. That's a big relief, if so.
With that in mind, I need to let you know that cats can pant just like a dog when they are super stressed out.
That would be very temporary, however, just a few minutes, then back to normal once the situation settles down.
So, it's also possible this is not a terribly serious concern.
That would be good news.
In regards ***** ***** use of the litterbox, if she is eating and drinking, she has to be producing waste of some sort. It could be possible that she's cleaning it up herself as she cleans and cares for the kittens.
Are you still there?
yes sorry was calling the vet!
Good. Whew. I was worried for a moment.
we are looking after her. she is purring now and feeding her kittens.
We will take her to the vet
she seems ok as normal now... but better to check!
Good plan, yes.
If the worst thing that can happen is you take her in and find out she is doing okay, that's a good problem to have.
Do you have any additional questions for me at this time?
no thank you that is helpful!
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This is likely to be a busy and exciting time in your household.
How many kittens does she have?
ok thank you again. she
she has 2
As a side note, the small litter size also makes peuperal tetany less likely.
Because she doesn't have to produce as much milk.
oh thats good!
Is this her first litter?
That helps support the idea that she could have been panting as a result of stress.
Has she been eating and drinking okay?
ok could constipation be a cause? she hasn't been to the toilets much...
Constipation can occur after delivery, yes.
She eats less for a day or two, loses fluid with delivery and nursing, and constipation can result.
Constipation usually fixes itself, however, once she returns to normal eating and drinking.
Sometimes there are problems with a kitten remaining inside, too. So it's good you're having her checked out.
she seems to eat and drink ok, at least in last few days
Good. That's a huge relief.
thats what my vet said on the phone too. it's reassuring!
Overall, my level of concern is significantly lower now. As long as she is no longer panting and continues to eat and drink okay, the chances are good that everything is going to be okay.
She's not panting now, right?
no she's not but still miaowing
Well, I'm somewhat reassured by that because it takes a good oxygen supply to meow! :-)
Do you have a thermometer you could use to check her temperature rectally?
that's right! we are talking to her. hmm no we haven't
No worries. It can be a useful tool for screening. Many patients with tetany will have a fever over 103F.
I'll be hopeful that she'll settle down and get some rest soon. Cats with tetany remain agitated.
Is there anything else I can help you with today
no thanks again
It's my pleasure.
I'll be thinking of your new little litter and your momma cat. What's her name?