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Momma cat with distemper - help for kittens

February 27th, 2006, 04:42 PM
Need you're help again guys and gals !

Brief recap: I have 2 foster families staying with me. 3 kittens left from the first litter and Mrs Norris, a momma with her 3 babies. The 2 families are being kept separate from each other.

A week ago, Bear from the fisrt litter died of distemper. So far her littrmates are doing well BUT ! Mrs Norris looks like she's caught it. Lethargic, vomitting, no fever when I checked her earlier though...

So here's my question: what to do with her kittens ? They are approx 4 weeks old. Mrs Norris has stopped nursing them today as she isn't feeling well. Should I bother separating them or can I safely assume that the damage is done ? :sad: I don't want to harm the kittens and don't want to stress Mrs Norris. When her kittens really "cry" she comes for them so I didn't want to take that away from her - seems that would depress her even more.

Also, why would the kittens, with an obviously weaker immune system, not be showing any symptoms yet ?

Thanks for your help
~I hate panleukopenia~

February 27th, 2006, 05:08 PM
You need to make up some kitten formula to supplement feed them. The recipe I have is as follows:
1 can carnation evaporated milk
2 cans water
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp corn syrup
1/8 tsp mineral oil

Heat to wrist warm temperature a small amount and bottle feed each kitten to help with additional feeding. As for the exposure to distemper, they have been nursing from mom so if she has it they have either built up an immunity to it or they are not showing symptoms of it yet.

Be careful not to cross contaminate the other litter by going back and forth with same clothing and footwear, etc..

Slowly try to encourage the kittens to eat wet food as well... just water it down a bit with the formula so help their digestive systems cope with it.

February 27th, 2006, 07:01 PM
Unfortunately, the kittens cannot NOT have caught it from their mommy... :( Let's hope they'll make it... but they are so small...

Lucky Rescue
February 27th, 2006, 08:18 PM
Kittens that age will not survive distemper.:(

Make sure you keep up with the handwashing and gloves when you care for them.

I'm so very sorry this is happening. I know what it's like to lose little babies you've cared for so carefully. It's really heartbreaking.

These are the times I most curse the people who couldn't be bothered making sure their pets didn't end up this way.:mad:

February 27th, 2006, 09:06 PM
I have fostered a mother cat and 4 kittens, who, after 2 days of having them here at home, became sick with distemper. I rushed to the vet twice with them and 3 of the kittens died. I gave antibiotics to the mother and remaining kitten and they did survive (I still have the mother cat and my friend has the baby, now two years old). I can't remember exactly, but the vet prescribed antibiotics as the distemper caused a secondary infection in their lungs and sinus. It was very heart-breaking to have the kittens die, but one DID survive! The way I gave the mother cat energy was by feeding her Nutri-cal, which is a high calorie dietary supplement that cats love.

Please don't lose all hope. I know who upsetting this is to you and that you must feel awful and helpless. Maybe they will pull through with the help of antibiotics and Nutri-cal:fingerscr

February 28th, 2006, 07:38 AM
As with SusieQ I had a litter w/ distemper. Unfortunately I lost one, but with anti-biotics the others lived. Also advise whoever takes the kittens to have them spayed and neutered as the offspring maybe affected as well. I gave 2 of the kittens (females) to my mom for barn cats, and when they had kittens there were mental/physical disorders in 2 of their kittens...needless to say, all were fixed soon after! Good luck...anti-biotics and alot of TLC!!

February 28th, 2006, 04:43 PM
Dr. Wendell O. Belfield, DVM uses ascorbic acid ( vitamin C) injections( half a gram per pound of body weight, yes, that's correct) given intravenously twice a day for five days. He stressed that once this process was started NOT TO INTERRUPT IT FOR ANY REASON not even if the pet appeared to be feeling better or fully recovered before the five days were up. Because he says " treatment broken off in the middle permits the virus to take the offensive again". He has a website but did not mention this cure there, he mentioned it in his book called How To Have a Healthier Dog . It works for dogs as well as cats. Distemper is distemper, whether a cat has it or a dog. I have read where vitamin C was given orally for a dog who had distemper, when a person lived in a isolated community and was no where near a vet, so there must be something to this cure. Giving it by injection would get it into the bloodstream faster and it would also enter the milk and , at least, provide some of it to the young who are nursing, if they are found to be too young to have this treatment directly(which would be the preferred approach).Please ask your vet about this approach, it appears to be at the earlier stages at this point, so the hope of a cure is very possible. At least it would be worth a try. Dr. Belfield, DVM is very credible and would not say something that did not work. As to the effectiveness of Vitamin C therapy for distemper( it has also had success in the treatment of viral encephalitis), he states this " over the past fifteen years I have successfully treated about two hundred cases of distemper with Vitamin C".

February 28th, 2006, 05:47 PM
Umm, Pretty sure this person is fostering for the SPCA so vet care is minimal at best.. heck they don't even treat for fleas.. so vitamin C injections from a vet definitely would not be happening. Also, these are 4 week old kittens.. not to be experimented with by some research on the internet. No offense but I don't actually see how this helps unless she were taking the kittens to this actual vet.

February 28th, 2006, 06:07 PM
I am so sorry to hear about Mrs. Norris! I hope she makes it- she is older so she just might. Kittens rarely survive it, alas and all onbe can do is supportive and good medical care. Antibotics do not help distemper since it is a VIRUS , not a bacterial infection. I do wish you were less beholden to the SPCA - at least the one where you are (they are all different and I hesitate to place evert single SPCA in the same category) - and could get absolutely wonderful and superb vet care!!!

The kits may not have caught it from mommy but it is sooooo very contagious that one can but hope they do not have it, Your cleaning may have saved them - I reallty hope so, My one experience with it in saving our kittens was I am sure just pyre luck and taking them to the vet immediately where they stayed - and grandparents who were willing to spend whatever amt of money needed. (Mind you, all the $$$ in the world can sometimes not beat distemper, it is such an inciduous disease!) The SPCA you have does not sound like they are prepared to do that - and many I know simply well, let's just say do not treat it and leave it at that.

I am with Lucky on this - it just makes me mad - and makes me think of the horrid chracters who allowed this to happen by not spaying their cat!! Or dumping their cat - humans are so cruel!! Sighhhh!!

I'll say a prayer for them all!! Will the SPCA at least pay for vet care fopr Mrs. Norris? Is there someone who could sponsor her? A kind of benefeactor???