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Dr B
Dr B, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1124
Experience:  DVM
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Hi, we have a 3 week old kitten which we just bottle fed. At

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Hi, we have a 3 week old kitten which we just bottle fed. At the end of the feeding (she drinks rapid) we heard a weird sound in her breathing. It lasted about 30 seconds. Can you tell me if this is because fluids came into her lungs?

Dr. J. :

Hi, that is great that you are trying to help this little kitty. Sometimes they do drink very rapidly and they can aspirate liquid which can be dangerous. If it was only a very small amount then she will probably be ok but it does put her at risk for the development of pneumonia. Make sure when you are feeding her that you do not hold her all the way back on her back the way human babies are held. So, hold her at about a 45 degree angle from totally upright that way she will not be likely to aspirate.Also make sure the hole in the bottle is not so big that she can suck out too much at one time but big enough that she is getting fed. She should be fed every 4-6 hours. If the weird sound is now gone hopefully she cleared the excess fluid out. If this ever happens again you can turn her upside down and sometimes that will help them clear. Just be very careful when handling her. Please let me know if you have any other questions I can answer about your new little kitten. Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX will wait until you read this to let me know if you need any other questions answered.

Customer:

She drinks indeed very rapidly, she can only drink for herself since today. She "climbs" onto the bottle and is so eager to drink. We fed her with a tube (learned from the vet) before. She is miauwing at the moment and seems fine.

How can you know how much fluids the are in her lungs?

Should I go to an emergency vet?

Customer:

I am afraid to go to bed, can she become stuffy (if i say this correctly)? and in what time-span?

Dr. J. :

There is no way to know without doing an xray of her lungs. Ideally, yes it would be best to have her seen to make sure she did not aspirate. If it does look like she did then they could find a safe antibiotic to give her based on her weight and age.

Dr. J. :

Since this just happened, an xray wold be the best possible way to know.

Customer:

It is night in Holland, should it be ok to go tomorrow morning?

Dr. J. :

Yes, as long as her breathing is ok now and she is stable now that should be fine. It is night here too. 9:30 PM here. I sure hope your little kitty will be ok. Can I answer any other questions for you?

Customer:

ok, also late. Can you describe the perfect size to make a hole in the bottle? because I am afraid it will happen again and like to have the correct size.

Dr. J. :

This is hard to describe but I would say about the size of an ink pen tip. Does that help?

Customer:

If she becomes stuffy, I will call an emergency vet. But what can I do in the meantime?

Customer:

Yes that does help, thanks.

Customer:

She now drinks about 18 ml in about 8-9 seconds, is that extremely fast?

Dr. J. :

Really the most important thing when feeding is to hold her at a 45 degree angle from upright instead of laying her way back...that helps prevent aspiration. Keep her warm. I usually use a card board box and fill it full of warm felt blankets so the kitty can make a little nest to keep warm.You can also put a heating pad on LOW UNDER the card board box. It can never be in contact with the kitten as this can cause very severe horrible burns. Also in bottom of box need at least 4 layers of blankets and then 1 light blanket she can snuggle under.You can also cover top of box with towel to keep heat in.

Customer:

I fed her in that degree, but i am afraid that when i pulled the bottle away, I pulled it up high....

Dr. J. :

Gotcha, I understand. Don't be too hard on yourself as this happens to us professionals sometimes too. Do you have any other questions for me or is there any other way I can be of assistance to you?

Customer:

Only one, and then I will leave you to your evening .
She now drinks about 18 ml in about 8-9 seconds, is that extremely fast?

Dr. J. :

That seems about right because that is a little over a half an ounce.....I would just pull the bottle away when she gets too crazy. Just be careful when you do that. Don't worry about how many questions you ask. I am here to help you until you feel totally comfortable.

Customer:

Thank you very much, I appreciate your answers and hopefully it will not happen again and she will get better.

Dr. J. :

Best of luck to you and I hope your kitty has a very long and healthy life with you. :)) Let me know if you ever need any other advice. Just ask for DrJ.......I love kitties!

Customer:

Okay I will do :) because I try to help orphanage kittens and place them with new owners.Thank you!

Dr. J. :

I do rescue also......always have. You should see my house. with my kitties! Cheers!

Customer:

Haha, same here, I have 6 kittie srunning around and some older cats :) Best of luck to you too!!

Dr B and 3 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Hi, just wanted to check in on your little kitty and see how she is doing. I hope she is great! DRJ