HELP! Sudden Kitten Death!
by Elisa Black-Taylor
Lilo when we rescued her
I don't know if I've titled this correctly, but I certainly need help. Let me explain what's going on.
We adopted little Lilo on June 6th. Here's the full story on her rescue. As you can see, she was a very sick kitten. I took her straight from the shelter to the vet where she was prescribed liquid Clavamox.
Garfield and Stitch were also seen by the vet and put on the same antibiotic. They were diagnosed with URI's. Lilo and Stitch had been so ill they were lucky to have lived long enough to be rescued.
Lilo appeared to be all better after completing the round of antibiotics. Then very early Tuesday morning (June 20) her nose stuffed up and her eye looked irritated. We started her on another round of Clavamox. She wasn't strong enough to survive whatever this is and died Wednesday night.
One of the feral kittens, Sugar, looked healthy yet died early Thursday morning. She suddenly got the snotty dried up nose thing. I'm very shocked at her death as she looked perfectly healthy a few days before.
Garfield had completed his round of antibiotics and looked as though he was about to relapse, so we started him on Zeniquin 25 mg half a pill a day. He is now completely well.
After learning Sugar had died, I scooped Vine up and rushed her to the vet. Vine was getting the nose caked up thing and I didn't want to take any chances. The vet diagnosed a URI and I was given a lot of Zeniquin to treat the sick kittens.
This is only affecting the kittens. Very few of our adults have come down with this. Jane had to see the vet last week and Furby has a bit of a cold but that's just how he is.
I'm really worried because whatever this is hits fast and hard. It's immune to the Clavamox, at least for the round given, as it comes back when the treatment is over. The cats have no diarrhea, no vomiting, no strange behavior. At the very end they seem to have trouble getting their breath and begin gasping. Then their body temperature plunges and they die.
The vet feels certain we're treating something bacterial. I agree as bacterial infections hit hard and fast whereas viral infections come on more slowly. A lot of people don't realize this when a vet asks how long a pet has been sick. And the color of the secretions coming out of their little noses points to bacterial.
I'm very worried about Bella and Vine. They both looked a little "off" earlier in the day. Just hoping the antibiotic will save them. Poor Lilo. It was impossible to get whatever was around her mouth to come clean. She always looked as though she'd just surfaced from putting her head in a plate of food.
The day I rescued the ferals there had been a few unexpected deaths in the same room Vine was being housed. With over 100 cats and kittens (perhaps more) and only one sick room I'm not surprised by a few deaths.
I've heard from two of my fellow rescuers who also have lost kittens from this shelter. My friend Anna went to bed the other night and when she woke up she found a foster kitten dead.
I don't know what I'm really wanting an answer to here. Your thoughts on this would be appreciated. We're hopeful the new antibiotic will do the trick as it saved Garfield. I feel he would have died if we hadn't switched meds on him. I also purchased saline nose drops to help them breathe.
I'm extremely tense in writing this as I fear I'll hear of more kittens from the shelter dying while in foster care or rescue. This is beginning to sound like a Robin Cook medical mystery. I don't want it to stop people from pulling from the shelter but I'm really nervous at this point. We're not going to pull any more until we figure this out.
HELP! Reader's and Michael both! HELP!