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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4695
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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I have a 4 wk old kitten, will not eat wet food, legtharic,

Customer Question

I have a 4 wk old kitten , will not eat wet food , legtharic , will eat solid food . Diaharrea . Have tried formula it's working a little bit .
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.
Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.
I'm quite worried about little Chanel. So young to have these issues. Good job trying to get some formula into her. The most important you can do at home is to keep her eating and keep her warm. If she is getting progressively less responsive and more lethargic, then this has become a medical emergency. She has no reserves at this point and could die from dehydration secondary to the diarrhea, which it sounds like has been tough to keep up with since she is not eating well.
As a side note, if she is only 4 weeks, then she would really not be old enough for solid cat food. She should be eating kitten formula (not dog formula or cow milk or goat milk). Some kittens at 4.5-5 weeks may start to nibble real cat food, but it can lead to diarrhea due to the stomach/intestines not quite ready to deal with it.
As far as the cause of this diarrhea and lethargy, I could not guess. At this age we can see viral problem, rarely parasitic, sometimes food-related (diet changes) or sometimes congenital problem (organ failure, etc). But the best for her would be to be seen on emergency by your veterinarian for an exam and then some rescue fluid therapy, if needed to get her electrolytes and blood sugar elevated, get her warmed up and then try to figure out the cause.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Been keeping her warm , and using kitten formula . Will try. Pedialite , I believe she is just dehydrated , constipated due to her eating the hard food.
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.

Then the use of Pedialyte (non flavored for infants) and the milk replacer is excellent. But if she is declining (unable to suckle) or you see any respiratory issues at all (big risk if force feeding for pneumonia) then please have her seen immediately. I too hope this is just dehydration. However, if she is this severely dehydrated, then the absolute best plan is subcutaneous or intravenous fluid therapy as done by her vet, which would probably be done if she worsens.

Please keep me posted. I am always happy to answer followup questions. You can reply to this question at any time to submit a followup. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. If there’s anything else I can do, let me know – it’s been a pleasure working with you and I hope to assist you again soon! Kindly submit a rating as you exit our chat.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is still suckling . . So that is a good sign . No eye goo , or nasal drip . Breathing isn't labored .
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.

These are excellent signs. :)

As long as she looks this good, then it might take a day or so to get her digestive tract moving. If she does not defecate within 24 hours, then your veterinarian may need to perform an enema on her.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have been doing a sub q drip . As I am practicing nurse :). Will activated charcoal help get her system moving , as it works for poisons and digestive issues ?
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.

No. There is no indication for activated charcoal. We only use that in toxicity situations. You can, however, start a probiotic supplement such as Proviable or Benebac. Or, you could give 0.25 to 0.5 ml of plain yogurt once daily. I prefer the prepared probiotics to the yogurt, though.

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Joey
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She passed away tues afternoon while I was at work
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.
Oh, I am so very sad to hear this. The worst is to lose one when so little. There may have been a congenital problem going on such as an organ malformation. But it does not help how sad this is when you wen to great lengths to help her. Please know my thoughts are with you.