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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 3078
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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I have just rescued a kitten brought to vet said it was ok

Customer Question

i have just rescued a kitten brought to vet said it was ok but underweight so feeding it through a syrindge , i have had it since fri night and it has not passed water or moved its bowels , she gave me a worming tablet but said to hold off for a week till its a bit stronger , what should i do , its eating and drinking a little milk
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about your rescue kitten. I'm so sorry it isn't doing well, but glad you're looking for the information you need.
You may join the conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY. That way we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided.
Can you please answer the following for me...
1. How old is this kitten (approximately)?
2. Do you have experience with syringe-feeding/bottle-raising kittens?
3. If you gently pinch up then release the skin over the kitten's shoulders or on top of its head, does it stay pinched up for a little bit or snap right down back into place?
Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes ive grown up with cats and dogs all my life , have two cats and two dogs . its feeding ok now from a spoon , im not sure how old is the kitten maybe 8 or nine weeks old, its hard to tell about the skin its a long haired kitten its very thin

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your response. I apologize for my brief answer. I lost internet service.
I'm really worried that the most likely reason this kitten isn't urinating or defecating is because it is dehydrated. If you were my client, I'd want to see you back in the clinic today so we could give the kitten some fluids under the skin. An experienced owner like you could easily learn to do this at home so it could be continued.
Also, just double checking... when you say she is drinking some "milk" what kind of milk do you mean?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
I bring that up because cow's milk (from the grocery store) tends to cause digestive issues and dehydration in young kittens. It's best to avoid it an use a commercial kitten milk replacer.
At 8-9 weeks of age, this kitten would do better on water or oral electrolyte solution. Cow's milk is likely to make things worse.
While fluid therapy is likely to be necessary to nurse a kitten like this along, I'm still worried about the possibility of some kind of underlying problem. I know you said you took her to the vet and she checked out okay, but it's possible there's something going on that didn't show up at that time. This kitten could have a virus, for example, and there's no way your vet would have known unless blood work was done.
Another thought... it wouldn't hurt to rub the kitten's genital area with a moist towel or cotton ball to stimulate urination/defecation the same way you would for a newborn.
So... in summary...
-It's very likely this kitten isn't urinating or defecating because she's dehydrated. Fluid therapy is needed to correct that.
-The chances are good that this kitten is dehydrated and underweight because she is suffering from some underlying illness that wasn't detected during her first veterinary visit. That underlying illness could be something as serious and life-threatening as distemper (panleukopenia). Medical care is most definitely warranted.
I hope this information addresses your question. Again, I apologize for the interruption I experienced early.
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Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Just checking in to ask if you have any further questions after reading over what I wrote above.
How's the little kitten doing now?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Just a final check to ask how your little kitten is doing. I've been hopeful things are going better.
Please do take a moment to send an update when you can. I've been worried.
Please also do take a moment to accept my answer and rate my response so I may receive credit for helping you.
Thank you.