December 4th, 2008, 03:36 PM
Hello there, Just found these boards and love this site! I am a foster parent for kittens from the local shelter. I was given a litter that ended up dying one by one within a period of a week. However, I am guessing it costs too much to autopsy animals or test them so I am truly unsure if it was FeLV or distemper that killed them. I steam cleaned the carpets, bleached the floors and walls where I could, but these kittens were of age (and part feral so hiding when received) to wander about the house freely everywhere. I don't know how long I have to wait until I can foster again now. It's been a month and since it's not kitten season right now I probably won't get the call again for a few months but how do you kill the virus if it could be everywhere technically? Is there a temperature that can kill it? Say open the house in winter and let it get in the teens or crank up the temperature to the 90s inside? I disposed of all bowls, litter boxes, blankets, toys, everything the little sweeties were around and it was a horrible experience to lose them so quickly like that. I found out later that I should not have been given those kittens that someone wasn't around when they came in who would have known they were underweight and odd acting for a reason. Me, I try to save any animal from death but it didn't matter in the long run. They started with the diarrhea, then not eating , but everything I read shows it could have been any of the major kitten diseases and I don't know how long to wait or what to do to make sure every nook and cranny is clean. I would probably have to flip over couches and apply bleach but bleaching my furniture and carpets will ruin them obviously and we aren't positive as to what killed them. I am using the worst case scenario in my head and trying to treat it as distemper but how do I clean everything. Fostering is a part of me and I want to help kittens, all the others have gone on to healthy lives and happy homes. How do I clean furniture of the disease? And can a certain temperature kill it? This was such a heartbreaking experience and I never wish to see it repeated so I want to sterilize correctly and treat it as a worst case scenario.
December 4th, 2008, 03:47 PM
Sorry to hear about the kittens. How come after the first one died, didn't the shelter take them back and then up to vet to stay for observation?
What did the shelter say or thinks what it could be? I know that if a cat/kitten dies, we do test to see what it died from. This is the only way of knowing what it died from and will it effect other animals in the shelter. Some diseases are airborne.
December 4th, 2008, 04:46 PM
They took in the last couple and one little guy hung on the longest (was hoping for a miracle we loved him so) but they never said what it was or that they tested, just that they didn't make it. I know they were quarrantined over there until they died and no other shelter cats got it to my knowledge. I think it would have been helpful to know for sure what it was. I know funding for our shelter is low and they've almost had to close a number of times due to lack of funding and budget cuts so maybe testing wasn't an option? I truly wish I knew. All my adult cats (obviously had shots) never got sick so I am at a loss. I am tempted to steam clean with color safe bleach but if I destroy my furniture and rug I can't replace it so that may not work. I thought I read somewhere that many diseases survive the cold but not heat so I was thinking of making the power company happy and cranking up the temperature as high as the thermostat goes and hope that kills anything that may be in the nook and crannies. But if it isn't going to be high enough then maybe it's not worth the bill.
December 4th, 2008, 04:48 PM
They did say it looked either like parvo or felv but no definite answer. There was no upper resp. problems or eye issues so I am thinking any kitty flu is out. Literally, they were fine and playing one day and boom they weren't. It was the most heartbreaking thing to go through.
December 4th, 2008, 05:03 PM
They did say it looked either like parvo or felv .
All my adult cats (obviously had shots) never got sick so I am at a loss.
Parvo and FeLv (feline lukemia) are both VERY highly contagious to other cats. I know that you have your pets vaccined, but the vaccine are not invinisable. I would take your cats to the vets. As a foster, I would demand that I know..considering that you might have infected your own pets. I know that there are cautions to fostering, but they whould have at least told you to take you own cats to a vet. Were they showing signs of illness at all when you first took them home?
December 5th, 2008, 05:29 PM
They were undernourished and weak when I got them. I was told they were needing more feeding and love. Obviously, they were probably already showing signs of infection because one always had trouble eating and would choke on the food so it was a constant battle. Hindsight both the shelter and myself should not have taken them on. Now to just make sure my house is safe. It's been about 6 weeks and everyone seems healthy. Clorox probably loves my business as well but I just don't want to have this happen again. I learned a lot, that's for sure. I will continue fostering in the future but with more open eyes.
December 5th, 2008, 05:30 PM
Still looking for a temperature that kills the virus though.