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I am bottle feeding a 3 week old kitten. She was abandoned…

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Hi. I am bottle feeding...
Hi. I am bottle feeding a 3 week old kitten. She was abandoned by her mom but the two vets who saw her both said that she is quite strong. I was bottle feeding her today and she was struggling a bit (biting the bottle teat, meowing loud, etc.). I managed to make her drink a bit of milk and then we did a small play session. I put her back in her carton box but after a while noticed some milk in her bedding and she was making a gurgling sound and sneezing. Knowing this could be bad I put her upside down and she vomited some milk - actually, more than I fed her in the previous feeding session. She sneezed and some milk came from her nose but only after I put her upside down. After that she played a bit more, and then cuddled. We fed her a bit more, no gurgling sound, no sneezing. Now she is sleeping and I don't know if she is more lethargic than usual or I am imagining it. What do I do? At the moment she has no gurgling sounds nor sneezing, she seems to be breathing OK and there's no rattling sound coming from her.
Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I just checked on her (it's almost time for the next feeding). No weird breathing or rattling sounds, but she is SCREAMING her lungs out for food.
Answered in 49 minutes by:
3/11/2018
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20,006
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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Hello, I'm Dr Gary. I've been practicing veterinary medicine since 2007. I look forward to helping with your questions/ concerns.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

I'm working on your question- it'll just be a couple minutes.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Good job getting her to stop that choking behavior. I think she probably aspirated some milk into the lungs. What you did was appropriate and is really all I'd do. If you had a bulb syringe, then I would use that to suction both nostrils and the mouth. That is the only other thing that I would do in this instance.

If she has any labored breathing, then I would get her seen and started on antibiotics in case of pneumonia. Otherwise, I would continue to feed normally and hopefully you got enough out where she won't have any issues. If she is going to develop aspiration pneumonia, it typically happens within 12-24 hours after the incident.

I would also encourage you to start offering some solid food and get her weaned as soon as you can. These bottle babies can often times be weaned ~ 4-5 weeks of age. I would offer a 2nd step gruel food now and get her used to it.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you. I fed her again this morning at 7am, 11:30am and 1:30pm. Except for the usual loud purring, I could hear no sounds coming from her chest and respiration seems normal. As soon as she saw me she started crying as she normally does.
She is peeing normally and is eating a lot. I gave her 50ml across 6 hours and 3 feedings, because she kept asking for more. After I fed her I put her back in her warmed nest and she went right to sleep. I will monitor her closely in the next few hours.
The problem is that she attacks the bottle and it is becoming too difficult to feed her. How do I wean her to avoid more aspiration? I have some kitten food that I normally give my 5 months old. Do I just put it in a plate and let her lick it? I tried, but she only licks for a couple of seconds and then loses interest.
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Sounds like she’s doing well.To wean, you can get infant cereal and make a gruel with water. Let her play in that and eat it as she wants. Once she gets the hang of it, start trying a canned kitten food. Once eating that well and around 6 wk of age you can offer dry kitten food.
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