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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16303
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I took in a kitten that someone was trying to rehome today.

Customer Question

I took in a kitten that someone was trying to rehome today. Their reasoning was that it became suddenly I'll and they couldn't afford a vet visit. However when I picked it up, I noticed a strong smell. When I got him home and unwrapped the towel, I found dried blood and stool on his tail, feet, and behind. Gave him a warm, quick bath to clean him up, then tried to feed him. He refuses kitten formula but lapped a bit at the water in the sink. He still refuses to eat, but now I see bloody stool and discharge. How sicknis he and how do I help him?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is also terribly thin. I can feel every bone and point part on him. But, he's somewhat active and loud when he's unhappy.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

How old does he look?

Did you offer canned food as well as the formula?

How much blood are you seeing in the stool? Streaks in diarrhea or all blood?

Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, sorry I didn't respond sooner. I've been napping between attempted feedings and I'm exhausted! Lol. The original owner said 6.5 weeks but ke looks closer to 5 to me.I have not tried canned food yet because I wasn't sure he was ready for it. The stool is streaked with blood. His gums have a pink tone from what he'll let me see.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
All he wants to do is cuddle in the fuzzy blanket on my chest.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

No worries, that is completely understandable.

You certainly have your hands full and this poor soul has so much bombarding him. And that is why he will be so weak. So, its not unexpected that he just wants to be kept warm and isn't up to much. The anemia will severe limit activity on top of feeling rotten with flu, mange, diarrhea, and the fleas.

Now since he refused the formula but lapped water, it'd be ideal to try him with some canned kitten food. Or we could even use a calorie rich diet like Hills A/D or Royal Canin Recovery diet. All can be watered down as a gruel to feed or syringe feed as needed. As well, you may actually find a liquid diet (ie Clinicare) of use here since he can lap. And while not a long term option, I did just want to note that you can rub a small amount of a sugar based syrup (ie karo syrup, glucose syrup, pancake syrup, honey, etc) on his gums to give him a sugar boost here with his being so weak.... (I will send this along as I continue to type my thoughts for him)...

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just FYI, I haven't seen any evidence of mange or fleas.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again.

My apologies, there is actually another kitten I have been discussing with someone in a similar state to this poor lad that has mange and fleas. It seems a terrible day for little kittens.

Anyway, with this little lad, his GI signs are a real worry here. The bloody streaks may be due to a hemorrhagic diarrhea agent but if this has been going on a while, then it could be a side effect (secondary colitis or irritation of the gut from all the diarrhea he may have been passing). As well, the weight loss will be partly due to all his losses via stool as well as that lack of appetite.

Now further to the pushing food to get nutrition into him, we do need to tackle this for him as quickly as possible. This is because that wasting away appearance he has tells us that this has been going on too long already and is taking a toll on his body.

Therefore, it'd be ideal to have him seen urgently. Your local vet can examine him and test a stool sample to diagnose the root cause (bacterial, viral, protozoal, parasitic) so that we can start effective treatment to clear this. As well, they can give him some fluids under his skin to help get him hydrated, since diarrhea often will cause dehydration in these wee ones.

If there is any delay in having him seen, it'd be worth keeping up on the foods we discussed already and worming him with Panacur. This is a wormer but also works against worms (very common in young cats) and some of our protozoal concerns. That way we are at least ruling out some agents that could be playing a role here. Finally, if the stool is very runny, then you may want to try a cat safe anti-diarrheal treatment. They won't address infectious agents but can slow his losses from this. Ones with kaolin and probiotics (ie Propectalin, Fast Balance, Protexin Prokolin) tend to be good options in these cases.

Overall, this little one sounds to be in a precarious position here. He sounds to have had diarrhea that has been left long enough to drain the body of its resources. It will be what is causing his weakness, his likely inability to keep himself warm (which is why he needs to snuggle up and needs warmth supplementation), his wasted appearance. Therefore, we need to get him eating, wormed, and it'd be best to have him checked so that we can get treatment to settle this for him on board as quickly as possible.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I grabbed a can of wet food I had stashes in the cupboard for emergencies. For some juice on my finger and taoped his nose a couple times. He is now up and chowing down noisily. Well as noisily as someone that small can. Should I limit his intake, or let him self regulate?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

That is great news, I am very glad to hear that he is eating for us. Since he hasn't been eating well (and we may have a shrunken stomach), I would offer a small meal now, give him a 30 minute break and then offer another and so on until you have fed an adequate volume. That way we are giving the stomach time to digest and avoiding overfilling (which can lead to vomiting).

Keep up the good work,

Dr. B.