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3 month old kitten with failure to thrive

August 23rd, 2009, 09:21 PM
Ugh. Of course! I mean, the sickly animals can just smell me a mile away right?

Anyways, one of Timmy's siblings is doing very poorly now. He had been acting a bit depressed recently but this weekend he is refusing to eat. I've been force feeding him but its too the point where he is refusing to swallow the food. He's gotten very thin recently. I took him to see the shelter vet on Wednesday and we put everyone on Panacur incase any wormies were in there making him sick. He finished that last night and still.. nothing...

His teeth are kind of an odd yellow color... not normal.... his gums are pale. He has sad droopy eyes and they are getting kind of dried out. There really seems to be no reason for this. It's honestly as if he is doing it to himself like to commit suicide!! It's scary! He's just acting very weird and now this weekend he is really going downhill.

I can get him to see a vet only as early as tuesday morning.. no other vets are around tomorrow.. I think he will be okay as I am force feeding him a slurry like with timmy...

Is it possibly that even at a little over 3 months he could just be doing the fading kitten thing? I see it all the time but he is a little old. We are going to pull some blood on him and see if we can see if there is anything wrong that way.

He is still alert... but he honestly is acting like he WANTS to die!! WHY?!?! Does anyone know what I can do!? He's already been seen by the vet and just like with Timmy we can't 'see' anything wrong with him... he just is like.. blahhh...


August 23rd, 2009, 10:58 PM
Yes, I've seen "fading kitten syndrome" before (or called "failure to thrive" in babies), and it's distressing to watch. As you say it's usually with newborn kitten or very young kitten, who after a day or two of suckling shows no interest in latching on to the nipple and keeps crawling away into a corner of the box, no matter how many times you put it back with momcat & litter mates. Feeding doesn't work, and I guess it's nature's way that "something" is drastically wrong. Momcat usually isn't interested in it either, so maybe she knows something we don't? But I agree a 3 mo old kitten showing these symptoms does seem unusual, at least I've never seen one at that age. :shrug: Did u check for a cleft palate?

August 24th, 2009, 12:37 AM
Sending some :goodvibes: :goodvibes: for the wee one

August 24th, 2009, 02:52 AM
He's non-responsive but still breathing... if he makes it any longer we probably will euthanize him later anyways :sad:

August 24th, 2009, 03:37 AM
nevermind.. he didn't make it :sad:

August 24th, 2009, 04:05 AM
OMG How heartbreaking :cry::cry: Poor little thing...must have been something going on there. This is a kitten of a feral cat? It's a wonder any of them make it the way those poor souls have to live :yell:

Bless you for taking care of him and keeping him comfortable... :angel:

RIP little kitten :rip:

August 24th, 2009, 04:22 AM
I've had him since he was a week old. He and his siblings + mom were just my foster kittens from a local shelter. His other brother was the one with the rare congenital heart defect.. and I have no idea what happaned to him :shrug:

I'm SOOO upset though. He was just kind of depressed for the past 2-3 weeks.. but really had no other symptoms. He figured he was just a bit different. I let the shelter know about him pretty much right away that he was a bit depressed. I had him looked at this past Wednesday and there was nothing physically wrong with him other then being kinda skinny and a bit de-hydrated. We started him on meds..

He just.. had NO will to live. It was just like he wanted to kill himself!! I don't know why!!! starting just this weekend he didn't want to eat as much and just yesterday when I got home from work he lost a ton of weight and muscle tone.... he was still alert though. I just checked on him around 1am and he was still okay. He just refused to eat at this point and when I force fed him he wouldn't even swallow it. He had enough energy to fight with us about eating or taking his meds... which i find strange.

He just apparently didn't want to live :sad: I really don't have any way to put it. He had no URI... no major problems at all. He was a perfectly well taken care of kitten. His siblings are just fine too! Even the heart surgery one!

I just feel beyond terrible. I feel like a failure.

August 24th, 2009, 04:32 AM
I just feel beyond terrible. I feel like a failure.

OMG PLEASE Nooooooooo!!!! You must not feel like that, please! This whole litter and the Mama would have died if you had not taken them in.

I have read many many of your postings and failure is not a word that I would use...ANGEL is more accurate!!!! :angel:

S*%T repeat over and over that he lost the will to can't do more than force feed. Poor little soul...he is at peace now. :rip:

I understand you are upset but please don't be too hard on yourself.

His brother would never have made it if you had not gone allthe extra miles to have him operated. The recent pics of him are precious :cloud9:

Please try to get some sleep and concentrate on all you HAVE done. It is repeated often on this site, sad but can't save them all :grouphug::grouphug:

August 24th, 2009, 04:46 AM
Thanks.. it just happened so fast. I had to work all weekend but the vets were all off anyways... i tried getting ahold of a local vets office that had a pager number on their website.

I'm searching online for more about failure to thrive and fading kitten syndrome... i really feel like that's what it was. He just.. he was just perfectly fine. It was just like one day someone flipped a switch and he turned into this sad little kitten who really just wanted to be left alone. I had him looked at and talked to vets.. but I felt like a pain in the butt because I already had one kitten with a really rare condition and now all of a sudden my other kitten is suddenly sick.. i felt like people were going to think I was like that munchausen by proxy thing. But I did start asking questions over a week ago and started giving people a heads up...

It just happened so so quick... I mean earlier this night I figured he would make it to later today to go to a vets office or atleast until tuesday so I could get him back to the shelter.

Here he is from some fairly recent photos-

how does a kitten go from that to a sack of bones that can't even lift his head!?!

August 24th, 2009, 06:48 AM
awww i am so sorry! You have been through the wringer but are truly truly an angel. I have been in your place many times, amazing how much you can love those little guys so fast. You are amazing for what you have done.

August 24th, 2009, 06:58 AM
Awwww, Kathryn, you are not a failure, far from it.

There was something going on, whether it be a virus or bacteria, or even birth defect that may not have been obvious from birth. He may have even been born with a cancer, could be anything, so don't blame yourself :grouphug:.

:rip: sweet kitten :candle:. You are now painfree and running and playing with all the other kittens.

August 24th, 2009, 07:17 AM
Kathryn, it's not your fault. It can happen so quickly. I had a stray with kittens, at three weeks one of them just suddenly started screaming and by the time I took him to the vet, it was too late for them to be able to save him. And the thing was that he went down so fast. I'd been weighing them and they were all gaining weight, fine the night before, and then just gone. It's not that you missed some sign of his problems, you tried to feed him and you gave him vet care. Your tried very hard.

August 24th, 2009, 07:28 AM
I'm heading off to the shelter in a bit.. going to get his siblings looked at and take him with to see if anyone has any ideas what happened to him. Timmy is fine and sees a vet several times a week... the other ones are big and fat and doing great. He just crashed. I feel horrible. It's just like, shock. I can't think of any other way to put it. I'm just like.. horrified...

thanks for everyones thoughts :grouphug:

August 24th, 2009, 07:47 AM
Kathryn, I'm so sorry. Please don't think you are a failure in any way. It is of no comfort to you, but unfortunately, nature is by far something we will really never understand. Things like this happen. He may have had something like a chemical imbalance, or his body just wasn't strong enough to allow him to thrive beyond what he had. :grouphug:

:rip:little one.

August 24th, 2009, 10:07 AM
I took him :rip: over to the shelter to see if anyone had any ideas.. well plenty of ideas but in all honesty you couldn't see anything physically wrong with him. We did like a biopsy thing of his stomach to see if he had any fluid in there.. a bit came out but it was likely just a bit of urine or whatever. The vet wasn't there today but another girl who is pre-vet helped me out alot.. she has a degree in biology so while not a vet she knows her stuff.

So no obvious signs of anything... left a message for Timmys doctor to give me a call back and see what he wants to do. I have some broad spectrum de-wormers to use and see if any of that can help my other fosters.. just as a preventative. I'll try and get a fecal done this week on everyone and see if we can find anything. If it was anything it was likely intestinal because there were no other signs of anything other then the weight loss/lethargy and all my fosters have had some loose stools here and there, but nothing major to concern me.. but they may infact be carrying something we don't know about and it hit him hard.

I'll let you guys know if we find anything out. I highly doubt it though. It could be anything from FIP to a blood disorder or kidney disorder... If it was FIP it was the dry kind.. no idea.. I am hoping to give him a proper burial today or if Timmys vet wants to do a necropsy just incase... then after that. I'm just worried if it's something contagious but I doubt it...

August 24th, 2009, 10:18 AM
I am so very sorry to read the following. This is not your fault at all as without you he would have never known love and devotion. You are good people and never second guess yourself.:grouphug: We can only do what we can. The effort was made and it was not meant to be for whatever reason.

RIP little one.:rip:

August 24th, 2009, 04:11 PM
Kathryn,I am so sorry the little one did not make it,heartbreaking for sure:cry:
But you know,you are a wonderful compassionate young lady,any mother would be very proud of you,I know I would:grouphug:
You did not fail this little one,he was just too sick to fight it,nothing you could have done.:rip:little baby-boy:candle:

August 24th, 2009, 04:26 PM
I'm sorry he didn't make it, kathryn. Sometimes problems don't surface until a certain point in a baby's development--nothing you could have done would likely have made a difference :grouphug:


August 24th, 2009, 04:47 PM
thanks.. i really appreciate all the help everyone gives me on here. It was just rather sudden. I spoke with Timmy's vet on the phone a few minutes ago and he didn't really have any ideas. He said panluek.. but I said he's had all his vaccines and hasn't really been anywhere. He had his intra-nasal and panagen vaccines when he was a baby before i even took the little family home with me. He's had 2 regular distemper vaccines since then.. no exposure to anything or anyone who is sick.. I haven't been around any panluek cats.. I did come in contact with an FIP cat recently, BUT did not touch it.. stayed farrrr away, and completely like, sanitized myself and my shoes before I got home and threw my clothes right in the laundry.. but he had already been acting weird before I even was near the FIP cat.

You would think if anything Timmy would have died... or gotten sick or something. Timmy is like 100% perfect though. He goes everywhere with me and has his vaccines right on schedule with my little dude who passed away.

None of it makes any sense. I just wish I could have done something for him last night but he just in all honesty.. dropped dead. I feel bad I fell asleep and in maybe 2-3 hours.. he went from being kinda lethargic and whatever.. .. to on his side.. labored breathing and unresponsive. It was just horrible.

I put him in my bed on a heating pad.. put eye drops in his eyes (they were stuck open it was horrible) and just tried to comfort him and cover him with a towel. when he started just putting his head back and doing the death cries and the gasping thing ... i just knew.. then he died a short time later. terrible... i deal with dead animals and terrible stuff all the time but when it's your own little kitten... obviously it just is horrible and makes it harder to try and continue to act 'professional' for lack of a better word when I have get on with life and keep doing what I do. Just like how I get a little upset when I see FeLV kittens from what happened last summer...

I wish something could have been done :yell: but there wasn't anything wrong with him!!!

August 24th, 2009, 06:47 PM
Could he have had a congenital heart defect too? Perhaps something that wasn't going to rear it's ugly head until the kitten got to a certain size and then could not properly provide the body with enough blood?

August 24th, 2009, 07:09 PM
:candle::rip: little kitty :candle::sad: run free at the bridge.

August 24th, 2009, 07:24 PM
Could he have had a congenital heart defect too? Perhaps something that wasn't going to rear it's ugly head until the kitten got to a certain size and then could not properly provide the body with enough blood?

The chances are that he and Timmy weren't biologically related. Timmy and the other orange tabby were likely just placed with Maddie and the gang.. so it's be pretty impossible for two technically un-related kittens to both have rare congenital heart defects :shrug: I mean, just to have Timmy already have a serious condition then this one suddenly dying.. pretty horrible.

August 24th, 2009, 09:37 PM
nevermind.. he didn't make it :sad:

Oh no! I'm so very sorry to hear about Timmy's sibling. :grouphug::cry: That is so very sad.


August 24th, 2009, 11:18 PM
Kathryn :2huggers: I'm so sorry :sad:

:rip: sweet :angel2: Baby :candle: He is playing at the Rainbow Bridge ( with those who've gone before :candle:

August 25th, 2009, 12:47 AM
I'm so sorry :sad:. You did all you could and he was lucky to have had love and a chance :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:.

August 25th, 2009, 10:13 AM
Don't beat yourself up. You did everything you could for this sweet little was his time to go. It's always very sad when it happens and so suddenly, but I doubt anything could have saved him. Animals seem to know when it's their time. Recently, a friend had a 5 y.o. cat that was fine, and then suddenly she went off her food....all sorts of blood, urine tests, etc. were done, and medication given to her that vet thought might help, but she refused to eat and wouldn't swallow anything even when she was force fed. My friend is able to communicate with animals and said her cat told her it was her time to go. Cat continued to drink water and this went on for about 10 days until she had used up all her fat and was getting weak. My friend took her to the vet who examined her and kept her for observation for a day. The vet agreed with my friend there was nothing more to be done and she purred for the vet and a vet tech and my friend as she was euthanized. Often that's just the way it is. It was your kitty's time to go. That doesn't make it any easier, I know, it's always very sad. My condolences to you. :cry:

August 25th, 2009, 12:26 PM
Kathryn, do not second guess anything. You never know what a cat has, especially when you have no background, history on him. You will probably never know. His eyes were so sad in the picture. You just wanted to pick him up and cuddle him until the very end.:sad:

August 26th, 2009, 12:31 PM
Hi everyone, just wanted to give a final update that we did a fecal sample on the remaining foster kitties and everything was negative. There are no signs of anything. His official cause of death is just going to be the fading kitten syndrome/failure to thrive. So it's sad but there was nothing we could had done.