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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10370
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Deb. I am in dire need of professional help! I found a tiny

Customer Question

Hi Dr. Deb. I am in dire need of professional help! I found a tiny kitten that appears to have an injury to her head it is swollen on both jaw areas & one eye has swelling under the eye ball! She has been walking, moving, is drinking & eating, also, rather well considering her injury. She is no more than 6wks old & also is flea infested! I need to know how can I help her?! Can I give her a penicillin injection? If so, what type of penicillin, how much & how often? And how can I rid of the fleas too?? Please help!! Sincerely, Anieka.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.

Hello Anieka, I'm Dr. Deb.

Thanks for requesting me. I'd would be more than happy to help you and this kitten you've found but, unfortunately, I have to step away from my computer for a bit to help a neighbor who has significant health issues.

If you don't mind waiting, I can respond back to you in more detail about ways to treat her injury (in terms of the antibiotics) as soon as I return home; if you'd like assistance sooner, let me know and I can opt out so that other experts will be able to answer the question. If you're willing to wait, it would be very helpful if you could post a picture of the kitten. The following LINK walks you through the process.

Additionally, what sort of penicillin do you have access to?

Or do you have access to other antibiotics such as Clavamox?

As for the flea issues, there aren't any products which are going to be safe in a kitten her age, unfortunately. I'd bathe her in baby shampoo which will cause the fleas to stop moving around and take a flea comb and remove as many as you can. Dip the comb into a small amount of alcohol which will kill the fleas, rinse it off and then return to combing her body while it's wet.

You can also use the comb to remove fleas when she's dry but it works better when her fur is wet/damp.

My apologies for the inconvenience but please let me know if you'd like me to opt out. Kind regards, Deb

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also, the injury is not an open injury there are no punctures no open wounds no cut no apparent broken bones...
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.


Thanks for the additional information. I didn't actually think there would be necessarily be open wounds but it might be helpful to see a picture of her face.

From your description, it sounds as if this poor kitten has experienced significant trauma. The fact that she's doing as well as she apparently is doing is nothing short of amazing!!!

As you probably already know, antibiotics will only be helpful if there's a bacterial component or secondary infection present. It's going to be difficult to know if this is the case or not but I would assume there might be. If so, then Penicillin isn't a bad choice although there is a fair amount of resistance to it these days. But it will be safe to give to a kitten this age.

There are a number of different penicillin drugs which are equally effective so much depends on what you have available to you. I'll list several in the hopes that one is what you have or can get.

Penicillin G Sodium or Potassium given every 8 hours

Penicillin G procaine to be given once or twice a day

Penicillin G Benzathine to be given every 5 days

The dose for anyone of these forms would be 20,000 units/kg underneath the skin.

I'm assuming that she weighs about 1.5 lbs, so the dose for a kitten this size would be about 15,000 units. As to how much this would translate into cc's or ml's depends on the concentration of the vial you use....units per ml or cc in other words. So, I'll need the concentration of whatever you use to determine the exact amount to be given in a syringe.

Penicillin V Potassium is an oral form although it doesn't appear to be readily available these days. The dose would be 10 mg/kg three times a day which means the dose for a 1.5 kitten would be about 10 mg which isn't going to be very practical since if you have tablets but would be fine if you have liquid at a concentration of 25 mg/ml. Then her dose would be 0.4 cc's or mls at one time.

Most patients tolerate Penicillins very well (especially if given as an injection) but gi signs such as vomiting, anorexia or diarrhea might be seen if given orally.

There won't be any other drugs which I would suggest at this point since any over the counter ones may cause more harm...the last thing I'd want to do.

If I was certain that infection wasn't a factor, then I might consider steroids especially if there's significant inflammation but to do so in the presence of an infection wouldn't be prudent or wise.

I hope this helps and that you'll continue to keep me updated about her progress. Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.


I'm just following up on our conversation about your kitten. How are things going? Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Deb