I woke up to a dead kitten this morning. He was my favorite from Shivers new litter of 7, born 4 days ago: 06/27/22. I was in shock for about two hours this morning. Then I cried. She now has only 4 kittens left.
They each died a day apart. The first refused to nurse after a day. The second and third were bloated. I’m guessing they were either gassy or constipated, despite my efforts to burp and stimulate them to potty. I continue to ask myself if I accidentally killed them. That’s a deep depressing rabbit hole.
I wish that mom could help.
Shiver had a very difficult birth. She had trouble pushing so I gave her Oxytocin. If you’re not familiar, this drug stimulates contractions. I watched kittens peer their heads out of her vagina, gasping for air, being strangled by her tightness. The ones coming out hind legs first I grabbed and pulled out as she pushed. Thankfully, she delivered all the kittens alive.
However, she retained 3 placentas. It caused her to feel ill, as she went septic inside. She could not tolerate the energy of her kittens so abandoned them.
Hubby and I begin to syringe feed all the kittens every 2 hours. We became zombies very quickly.
I expected Shiver to expel the placentas over night; as several of my other queens have done after birthing. To my surprise, I wake up the next morning to no placentas. Shiver is huddled on our bed, lethargic. I give her subcutaneous fluids , nutrical and more oxytocin. That day she expelled 2 placentas. Woo hoo!
I waited for the third. I hesitate to give her more Oxy because I am told it is very painful, induces excruciating cramps, may cause severe bleeding, a prolapsed uterus, and more. I wait, once again, hoping she passes it over night.
The next morning comes around and no placenta. So I give her her more oxy. She expelled the last placenta. Finally!
It was disgusting – brown, juicy, warm and rotting.
I give her penG that day to try to eliminate any infection starting in her uterus. I also give her a shot of B12 to stimulate appetite. She eats a little and for the first time in almost 2 days sits with her kittens. I begin to think things are on the rebound.
The next day comes around – yesterday – and Shiver is still lethargic, and more so, secreting puss out of her vagina. I realized she had developed Pyometra from the retained placentas.
I continue the PenG and considered adding an oral antibiotic. She wasn’t eating much so I decided not to. I could only imagine the terrible stomach cramps that would proceed an antibiotic on an empty stomach. I wait to see improvement the next day. Meanwhile, we continue hand feeding her babies.
This morning comes around and I find shiver in her nesting area next to a dead kitten. I bury the kitten and return to Shiver. I lift her to find a significant amount of puss coming from her vagina. This means the PenG was not strong enough or the right med to eradicate her infection.
I consult vets and acquire convenia and Baytril to add to her treatment plan. We also gave more fluids and another B12 injection.
She’s feeling a tiny bit better. She ate twice today, albeit tiny amounts, and has selected to lay with her kittens.
However, we must still hand fed. Two of her kittens didn’t imprint to her. They don’t latch to her nipple. They still haven’t had their first meal from her. The lack of colostrum and antibodies always worries me. Sigh.
Shiver isn’t out of the woods but I think she’ll make a full recovery soon. I am soo over kittens dying.
I’ll let you know how Shiver and her kittens are doing in a few days. Big breathes.
Moral of the story, breeding sucks sometimes, know your meds and act in time.
If you think i should have done something different feel free to post your recommendation below.
Needlessly say, I acted with my best knowledge and the cats best interest in mind. However, that doesn’t mean I know everything. I really wish I knew how to burp a kitten. I’ve watched several YouTube videos on the subject but doing it in practice is much harder. Hmm.