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I have a litter of 4 kittens 17 days old. 3 are starting to

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toddle, can sit up and...
I have a litter of 4 kittens 17 days old. 3 are starting to toddle, can sit up and doing other normal things for this age, but the 4th one although very shakily can raise her back legs as if to stand up, her front legs won't support her weight so she collapses back to laying, she then crawls on her front legs while using her back legs to move her forward. Her legs appear to have strength in them but she can't sit and spends all her time laying. When she rolls over to her side, she struggles to get onto her front and flaps about. she falls to her side like she has no balance. She also has a wobbly head compared to the other 3. She is also unable to get to feed as quickly as the other 3 so gives up and so her weight is remaining stagnant while the others are piling on the pounds. I've started supplementing her feeds with KRF but she fights the bottle. Took her to the vet who could see no obvious reason instead saying she's a slower developer. I am concerned she may have cerebellar hypoplasia. What are your thoughts please?
Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 14 hours by:
7/23/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21,663
Experience: Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but wanted to touch base with you about Bo.

Given her signs especially with the head tremor along with her weakness, this supports cerebellar hypoplasia as you suspect. As you may have read, this is often a birth defect where the kitten has a damaged or underdeveloped cerebellum. Now with that in mind, she will need some special care compared to her siblings. Mildly affected cats can cope but they don't usually become normal. Though thankfully they usually don't get worse either. So, where brain infections or inner ear infections could progress and worsen (hopefully less likely since her vet assessed her); cerebellar hypoplasia kitties just tend to stay as they are.

Still we do again need to help Bo. We want to make sure she is getting proper nursing time with mum. If the siblings make that hard for her, she may need a head start (ie 10-15 min. along with mum) at feeding time. As well, while we cannot really splint those legs with her imbalance issue, we do want to be getting her up as much as possible. We want to help her stand and take steps if we can as building her front leg musculature will help her for the long term. You can use little handkerchiefs slung under her armpits to give support (example with a cat, but for his back end). Or there are sling options (example 1- she'd not necessarily need wheels at this point; or example 2 - though she may be a bit small for this but you could rig up something similar) that you could make getting her up and mobile easier. But again if she can develop muscle strength in her forelegs with help, we may be able to get her to a point where she can at least get around a bit more normally.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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