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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28543
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have a kitten who yesterday stopped breathing. Somehow it

Customer Question

Hi, I have a kitten who yesterday stopped breathing. Somehow it started up again and it has been ok for a few hours. About an hour ago it started meowing loud and throwing its head back super far like it's back was going to break. Now it's unable to move its back leg and will have super slow breaths then lots of very quick breaths.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Meow. How old is he, please? His neck hyperextension as you described is usually an end-stage symptom of encephalopathy (brain disorder). Paralysis of the back legs and such breathing are supportive evidence of brain disease either congenital (present at birth) or infectious (toxoplasmosis, FIP virus, e.g.) in such a young kitten. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that Meow will survive even with the attention of a vet but a vet should take a look at him if only to euthanize him should it appear that he's suffering.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is about 5 weeks. He was left in a basket on my doorstep. He is just now starting to get teeth
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. It's best that you have him attended to by a vet at your earliest convenience. I'm afraid that such a patient can't be managed with home care alone. Supportive care in the form of supplemental fluids and electrolytes as well as glucose administered subcutaneously and orally can be attempted and a few drops of blood should be taken for feline leukemia (FeLV) and kitty AIDS virus (FIV) testing. Please continue our conversation if you wish.