A Reader’s Forum article published by Laura Morrison on November 6, 2019
THIS IS SOME BAD STUFF IF YOU DON’T CATCH IT IN TIME. Beasley and Francisco just got diagnosed.
( sharing some of my experience. You have a higher chance to save them if you act early.)
I found early on that kittens can have a variety of medical conditions and you just have to learn what to look for And the rest of it is just intuition when things don’t seem right. Being a mom doesn’t hurt.
Both of these babies came in within 24 hours of each other and is always important to isolate for at least two weeks which we did. I noticed within a weeks time that the kittens were very whiny and had stopped eating and drinking without assistance from me.
One of them had very bad diarrhea and although the vet tested them and they were positive for coccidia I knew something else was wrong… just a gut feeling. I took them to the vet twice, and the vet kept telling me everything was fine they were just a little underweight but I was still bothered by their constant whining and not wanting to eat.
Yesterday they both began acting very lethargic and I noticed when they opened their mouth to cry that their tongues were getting red like a red pencil. I knew immediately what it was and I knew that we had to spring into action or we were going to lose the kittens.
I was panicking at that point and took them to the vet a third time and told my Vet I’m getting very upset because something is very wrong and I’m not leaving until we fix this. I told her I had every suspicion that they had the beginnings of Calicivirus and she re-examined and said “you’re right.” “This is early stage.”
I had already been giving the kittens sub q fluids but now they are on antibiotics and pain medicine and and being syringe fed. We have saved tons of kittens with this virus and a lot of it is keeping them hydrated and fed on a regular schedule throughout the day.
This is a very serious virus and you cannot leave these kittens alone for hours at a time or even hope that they will eat on their own, they’re not going to. Calici kills kittens every year and you have to be on your A game. Redness or swelling in the tongue or any reluctance to eat could be a problem. Blisters or sores is a huge cue.
If you know how to give sub Q fluids, this is something that is a lifesaver. Kittens with calici don’t always show signs of fever or malaise, there are other signs though that you can look for. This is tough stuff and contagious to other kittens.
I was at my breaking point because the vets would not listen to me but I forced my vet to hear me out yesterday and Beasley and Francisco have a chance now…
Note from Elisa: When I read the Facebook post by Laura, I knew it needed to me turned into a Reader’s Forum article to show readers the danger of calicivirus. Our cat, Jubilee, almost died from the virus in 2014. She couldn’t walk and she wouldn’t eat. Even after diagnosis and treatment it took several days for her body to fight off the virus. And don’t think a cat can’t become infected with calici if they’ve been vaccinated. Sometimes it slips through. Don’t be afraid to speak your suspicions to your personal vet because vets aren’t perfect and they do make mistakes.