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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29746
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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We have a litter of 5 5 week old kittens. One suddenly

Customer Question

We have a litter of 5 5 week old kittens. One suddenly meowed loudly and went unconscious. He seems to try to wake up but then goes back to mostly limp and unresponsive. Each time he wake up he is a little more.alert but then goes out again. We don't.have an after hours vet. What might be wrong and is there anything we can do to help him?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: No.obvious problems or wound. He was playing hard.and normal just before this started. He also had a.spontaneous bowel movement right when it started.
JA: What is the kitten's name?
Customer: Dim, according to my daughter.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Dim?
Customer: 5 weeks old. Totally normal until this started. His siblings are.completely fine.and.normal.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Dim is exhibiting seizure disorder or perhaps syncopal (fainting) episodes of congenital heart disease. My initial thought in these kittens is hypoglycemia but such sudden and repetitive behavior isn't consistent with hypoglycemia. I understand your logistical constraints. You can only treat what you can and so it would be prudent to see how 1 mL (1/5 of a measuring teaspoon) per pound of body weight of a sucrose solution (Karo syrup, e.g.) affects Dim. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately no response. In fact he seems to have gone deeper unconscious. He tries to rally with his mom, but she just walks away when he tries to latch on. Is it possible he can survive until we.get him to a vet tomorrow?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry for the delay. I had to leave my computer for the night. May I have an update on Dim, please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dim has basically been asleep all night and when we tried to arouse him he opens his eyes for a second or two but then he goes right back out he hasn't eaten all night we tried the Cairo syrup and we didn't get much response but I don't know if it was explained you in the first message he had what I feel was a seizure he started meowing a weird meow and then his limbs drew into his body and he got stiff and then he had a bowel movement while this was happening he has not had that happen since but he is not eating he's not trying to force liquid down his little throat so I don't understand how this could just come on like this I'm not sure what to do for him. What we did think of though is that he has slept more than the other kittens. He will open his eyes if you pick him up and try to rouse him but then his little head just goes back down he goes back to sleep.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Yes, you did describe the possibility of seizure disorder which I mentioned in my initial post. There's little question that his mentation (mental status) is altered which supports encephalopathy (brain disorder) and at his age I would expect to find a congenital (present at birth) brain defect such as hydrocephalus or any number of anatomical defects. Encephalopathies in kittens can be infectious as well - the neurologic form of the FIP virus and toxoplasmosis are important differential diagnoses. These can be difficult to confirm without extensive testing and if found impossible or very difficult, respectively, to treat. You're not going to be able to tend to Dim at home. You'll need the help of your vet who may well recommend having the final kindness performed instead.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin