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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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We've been bottle feedingA baby kitten approx 5 weeks old He

Customer Question

We've been bottle feedingA baby kitten approx 5 weeks old He was doin great until about 2 hours ago. He suddenly threw up and now appears to be dying. What could take him so fast?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Good morning - I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with cats and dogs. I'm so sorry to hear that your kitten is so ill - I'll do my best to help. Please know that there will be a delay of 5-10 minutes as I type. Feel free to update me by typing text into the box while you are waiting.

Thanks for your patience

~Dr. Sara

Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Again, I'm so sorry that your kitty is so sick. When I see teeny babies who appear out of it, I do suggest placing some karo or corn syrup on their gums in case they are hypoglycemic (low blood sugar). Sometimes just the act of vomiting can get them in a negative energy balance and they need help to maintain their blood sugar. It's also important to make sure that they are plenty warm and monitor a rectal temperature, adjusting the heat support as necessary to keep them above 99, and not allowing them to overheat beyond about 102. If emergency care is an option, I would seek it out immediately. If not, I'd call your family veterinarian as soon as they open.

In little kittens, especially bottle raised ones, my biggest suspicion for any sudden death or illness related to GI problems (vomiting, diarrhea, severe dehydration) is the panleukopenia virus. Panleukopenia is a virus that attacks rapidly diving cells in the gut, causing severe GI distress including vomiting, diarrhea, severe dehydration, sepsis, and death. The treatment is basically supportive care but most need IV fluids or at least subcutaneous fluids to pull though. If they are severely dehydrated or obtunded (flat out/comatose) then the prognosis is quite poor, unfortunately. It's a bad disease. Normally kittens who are nursing from mom would get some passive antibody transfer in the milk from mom, who has plenty of antibodies in her milk if she's been vaccinated. Bottle babies are a bit more susceptible to illnesses of all variety because they don't have the benefit of these antibodies. Other potential culprits could include sepsis (overwhelming whole-body infection) with any sort of bacteria, or feline leukemia or FIV, which can manifest with pretty much any symptom under the sun. Leukemia and FIV attack the immune system and weaken it, so kittens with these diseases will succumb to other infections that their body cannot fight off.

Please let me know what he's doing now and if I can answer any other questions for you

~Dr. Sara


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