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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28932
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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What causes swollen limbs in kittens?

Customer Question

what causes swollen limbs in kittens?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

I've seen acute lameness with joint swelling and muscle pain associated with either feline calicivirus vaccine strains or field virus infections. If you're seeing a peripheral edema (fluid accumulating between the skin and subcutaneous tissues) instead, I would need to consider more serious disorders such as congenital (present at birth) heart disease and right sided heart failure or hypoproteinemia (a lack of protein in the bloodstream) due to hypoalbuminemia (a lack of albumin in the bloodstream) due to abnormal kidneys and loss of albumin through the urine, a poorly functioning liver not able to produce enough albumin, or albumin loss through the bowels. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
What can I do to relieve the situation?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The mother was killed by dogs. i brought in and feed with powdered replacement milk.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

The cause of the swelling needs to be clarified by a vet. If there are other signs of calicivirus - respiratory signs, punctate ulcers in the oral cavity, e.g. - or the kitten(s) were just vaccinated against calicivirus nothing needs to be done. The tincture of time (2-3 weeks) should take care of the swelling. If the swelling is truly due to peripheral edema, a vet needs to perform a thorough physical exam paying particular attention to the heart and (at least) check the serum albumin level.

If just one limb is affected, perhaps you're just seeing the cellulitis (inflammation of the tissue) or abscess of a bite wound. Such a finding would need a vet's attention as well.

I have to leave my computer for the night but I promise to reply in the morning if need be.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin