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Old August 11th, 2010, 08:06 PM
Fishin4Rainbows Fishin4Rainbows is offline
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Question New kitten: Parasites, parasites, and more

So, July 27th I acquired a cute, spunky little black kitten from someone who provided me with a "medical record" and supposed bill of health. I found the person through a craigslist ad. About 2 hours after bringing her home I found a flea. I freaked out and put her in quarantine (my bathroom, I live in a one bedroom apartment and have another 2 year old cat). I also found that she was having the most foul smelling diarrhea you can imagine. At that point I had made up my mind to return the kitten, as I had realized I was in over my head. The woman I had bought the kitten from was and is no where to be found. Then I thought that I would take her to the humane society, who told me that they had just received 30 cats in that morning and had no room for her--pretty much a guaranteed death sentence--so I sucked it up and brought her back home again. At the humane society they gave her a de-worming treatment, some kind of oral flea medication, and a distemper shot.

The next day I noticed she was scooting her butt all across my bathroom floor, which was the last straw for my "disgusting tolerance" and took her to the vet. The told me that the kitten's "paperwork" was fake and that the kitten was not 4 weeks, but an underweight 6-7 weeker. She did a fecal float test and found "a large number of coccidia." She prescribed her Albon--on for five days, off for five days, and back on for five days. The float test did not find any other parasites, but about a week later I noticed her diarrhea had what looked like white boogers, I looked closer and they started MOVING. Eew! I took the kitten back in and the vet said what I described sounded like tapeworm segments and she gave her a tablet that was supposed to kill them off in one dose.

The kitten is now on day 14 of her 15 day Albon treatment, and as of yesterday her diarrhea had only gotten worse and was becoming streaked with blood. I feel I should also mention that for the first week or so I was scrubbing everything down with a diluted bleach solution daily, as I understand the primary problem with coccidia treatment is reinfection. Then I was browsing around online and read from a few sources that bleach actually does nothing to kill coccidia spores (which is fantastic considering I used the same mop for my kitchen floor as well). I have since switched to the sani-wipes we use in the hospital I work at for cleaning down isolation rooms. They're supposed to be quite strong.

Anywho, yesterday the vet also prescribed me amoxicillin and pro-pectalin to help with her bloody diarrhea and also sold me some low-residue wet food to reduce her "output."

I asked the vet about giving the kitten another general de-worming treatment, just to make sure all the bases are covered, and she pretty much told me that I shouldn't be treating the kitten for worms she doesn't have. My thoughts are that if the fecal float test came up negative before when she had tapeworms, then I really don't put too much stock in the test period. It also costs over $20 a pop and I've spent so much on this poor baby already.

So, if you're still with me after my whole story, what I would like to know is if any of you have dealt with a young kitten with any of these problems, and if so, how were they resolved? Also, when do you think I should consider testing for FIV and FeLV? I just don't see how it will be humane or practical to keep this little girl locked up in my bathroom.

Also, I may be overly anxious about this whole thing, but I am also worried for my own health. Within the past week I've been noticing occasional pain around my lymph nodes and I'm freaking out about having God knows what from this kitten. I have only one bathroom and I have been showering in my bare feet. I made a Dr.'s appointment for myself this friday.

Suggestions anyone?

Last edited by Fishin4Rainbows; August 12th, 2010 at 01:35 AM.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 10:50 PM
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Wow. First off, it's no wonder she has diarrhea. She should not be away from her mom at this age. This person on craigslist told you she was 4 weeks old and you agreed to take her? That is way too young to be away from mom. It is critical kittens stay with mom for the nutrients and antibodies in mom's milk for at least six weeks. That is the absolute bare minimum. Ideally kitty should have been with mom for 8 to 12 weeks as, along with the nutrients kitty is receiving from mom, kitty is being taught how to socialize with the rest of the litter and how to play nice.
Secondly, kitty should have immediately be put "into quarantine" upon arrival at her new home because, until the kitten is health checked, you don't want to have them with your resident cat. That is for the health of both cats. Not just your resident cat. They also need to be properly introduced. Not just put together and hope things work out. Here is a great site for explaining how to do those intros....
http://www.squidoo.com/multi-cat-management
It is not unusual for kittens to have worms. A good, all around medication to get rid of those worms is usually sufficient. Although, if kitty is going to be an indoor/outdoor kitty than worming is something that should be done on a regular basis. I would assume the pill was Drontal? What oral meds did they give for fleas? Once the medication has done it's work as well as the worm meds and the flea meds kitty should be fine. Tapeworms are most likely from the fleas. That is probably why they didn't show in the float test. The vet is right as far as treating for something kitty doesn't have. What's the point besides making you feel better? It's doing nothing for the kitty.
The kitten is being bombarded with a whole whack of meds at a very very young age. Poor sweetie. Try giving her a small amount of plain yogurt, either mixed with her food or on it's own. She will probably lap it up quickly by itself as most cats love the taste of yogurt. She also needs to be on a good quality kitten food. That would mean none of the foods from the vet. If you have a pet store in your area check to see if they sell any grain free, corn free kitten food. Cats need meat, not grains or corn. Wellness for kittens (wet only) is a great food to start the kitten on. It has all the nutrients needed to get her back to good health fast.
As for your health.... I doubt you caught anything from the kitten. Highly unlikely. Please be careful when using bleach, watered down or not, with the kitten around. Do not let the kitten on the floor until it is completely dry. With the grooming cats do it is a simple thing to lick their paws and get very sick from the bleach or other cleaning ingredients.
Good luck to the little sweetie. I bet she turns out to be a wonderful loving kitty. So many black cats do.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 01:42 AM
Fishin4Rainbows Fishin4Rainbows is offline
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Though I do appreciate and even agree with your response, the kitten had no mother when I agreed to take her. She was found as an orphan. I do feel that the person who sold her to me is probably crooked and I shouldn't have paid her a dime, but what is done is done and I don't think this kitten would be getting any of the care she needed had I not taken her home. As you mentioned, I have not introduced the kitten to my adult cat, and do not plan on doing so until I am absolutely sure she is not contagious with anything (even though Irie is brimming with curiosity).

Assuming everything goes well and I am able to nurse the kitten to good health, I can assure you she will never be an outdoor cat. I am just trying to get rid of all the nasties that she has now. On the topic of the worms, which most kittens have, from what I have read de-worming is generally done on more than one occasion due to the fact that the life cycle of roundworms occurs partly outside of the GI tract and therefore are not effected by de-worming treatments until they reach that stage. Consequently, de-worming treatments are given about every two weeks up until a certain age.

As for the yogurt, I have tried that. She wouldn't touch it. I even put a dab on her nose to get her to taste it and it was a no-go. Can I ask why you think the foods my vet suggests are not appropriate? I must admit I have tried a couple different brands with her. The woman that gave her to me was feeding her dry Purina kitten chow, so I started with that. She ate it at first, but then for some reason refused to eat it after the third day. Then I tried wetting it with chicken broth and even Pedialyte, which she ate a little bit of, but not much. Then I tried mixing it with canned Purina kitten food, which worked out pretty well, but she kept having so much diarrhea I felt like more poop was coming out of her than food was going in. Then the vet suggested the low-residue Iams to help fight the diarrhea. She's been eating that for about a day, but I don't plan on using it much more because it is not specially formulated for kittens' needs. I had just bought 10 cans of Science Diet for kittens, but I will look in to this Wellness brand.

As for the sanitation of my bathroom, I can assure you I did not put the kitten on a floor still wet with bleach. That is disgusting and irresponsible. I don't know if you are familiar with coccidia, but it is highly contagious and proper sanitation is a must. My vet advised me to use the diluted bleach daily as well as using baby wipes to clean her paws and hind-end.

I agree that the meds seem like a lot, but she was a very sick kitten from the start and I am not giving her anything my vet has not prescribed.

I really am trying my best.

On a good note, she is still extremely active and playful. She has started this toe-biting thing, which I am not too fond of, but I assume it is probably due in part to all of her pent of energy from being isolated. =/ She also has a very good appetite. Actually, I have to make sure not to give her too much food in one sitting. I made that mistake once and she ate so much she threw it all up, so I feed her about 4 small meals each day.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishin4Rainbows View Post
Though I do appreciate and even agree with your response, the kitten had no mother when I agreed to take her. She was found as an orphan. I do feel that the person who sold her to me is probably crooked and I shouldn't have paid her a dime, but what is done is done and I don't think this kitten would be getting any of the care she needed had I not taken her home. As you mentioned, I have not introduced the kitten to my adult cat, and do not plan on doing so until I am absolutely sure she is not contagious with anything (even though Irie is brimming with curiosity).

The lady lied to you about how old the kitten is, isn't around now when you want to talk to her, and gave you false papers. Are you really going to believe that the kitten was motherless? It was probably more of a case of wanting to get rid of a litter quickly.

Assuming everything goes well and I am able to nurse the kitten to good health, I can assure you she will never be an outdoor cat. I am just trying to get rid of all the nasties that she has now. On the topic of the worms, which most kittens have, from what I have read de-worming is generally done on more than one occasion due to the fact that the life cycle of roundworms occurs partly outside of the GI tract and therefore are not effected by de-worming treatments until they reach that stage. Consequently, de-worming treatments are given about every two weeks up until a certain age.

It's a wonderful thing to hear that she will be an indoor kitty. The "nasties" as you call them are a normal part of kittenhood. Especially one who has had a questionable start in life. You are correct in that worming is generally done more than once. However, when I read your first post it sounded like you wanted to worm the kitten again immediately. Not wait for a while for any parasites to get to the point where the meds were effective. IF the pill was Drontal that is usually sufficient to clear the worms. You can have another fecal done in a couple of weeks to recheck. Treatments do not, in usual cases, need to be done more than twice IME.

As for the yogurt, I have tried that. She wouldn't touch it. I even put a dab on her nose to get her to taste it and it was a no-go. Can I ask why you think the foods my vet suggests are not appropriate? I must admit I have tried a couple different brands with her. The woman that gave her to me was feeding her dry Purina kitten chow, so I started with that. She ate it at first, but then for some reason refused to eat it after the third day. Then I tried wetting it with chicken broth and even Pedialyte, which she ate a little bit of, but not much. Then I tried mixing it with canned Purina kitten food, which worked out pretty well, but she kept having so much diarrhea I felt like more poop was coming out of her than food was going in. Then the vet suggested the low-residue Iams to help fight the diarrhea. She's been eating that for about a day, but I don't plan on using it much more because it is not specially formulated for kittens' needs. I had just bought 10 cans of Science Diet for kittens, but I will look in to this Wellness brand.

The kitten should not be eating any kind of dry food. No cat should. It simply is not good for them. Mixing dry food with water, broth or Pedialyte is not a good idea unless you are lifting the food within 20 minutes or less. It does not take long for fungus to start to grow on wetted down dry food. It is important that the kitten gets her belly flora back to norm as quickly as possible. If she does not like the yogurt by itself you can mix it in with her canned food. Or you can find Acidophilus at most health food stores. A small amount of that (a pinch) can be added to her canned food as well.
Quite simple cats need meat. They do not need grains. They can't digest them properly and they pass uselessly through the cat's system. As for corn, another popular filler, we can't digest it. I don't know why vets think cats can. The byproducts used in cat food are just that. By products of processing an animal. That would be intestines, feathers, hooves, etc. An excellent site to read is: www.catinfo.org


As for the sanitation of my bathroom, I can assure you I did not put the kitten on a floor still wet with bleach. That is disgusting and irresponsible. I don't know if you are familiar with coccidia, but it is highly contagious and proper sanitation is a must. My vet advised me to use the diluted bleach daily as well as using baby wipes to clean her paws and hind-end.

Just thinking about the kitten.

I agree that the meds seem like a lot, but she was a very sick kitten from the start and I am not giving her anything my vet has not prescribed.

I really am trying my best.

On a good note, she is still extremely active and playful. She has started this toe-biting thing, which I am not too fond of, but I assume it is probably due in part to all of her pent of energy from being isolated. =/ She also has a very good appetite. Actually, I have to make sure not to give her too much food in one sitting. I made that mistake once and she ate so much she threw it all up, so I feed her about 4 small meals each day.

I realize you are trying your best. I appreciate that.
The toe biting thing is indeed part of her kitten energy. It is also something that you should discourage gently with a firm no and replace your toes with a toy. That is all part of normal socialization.
Good luck. She is adorable.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 09:02 AM
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Thank you for telling your story of such a sweet litttle kitty. May this be a warning to all to never buy a kitten (or dog) from a website like Cragslist or Kijiji. Better to get one from a reputable rescue organization, humane society or registered breeder where proper vet care has been done and documented.

I think you're doing everything right, and patience is the key now. Kitty sounds like she's coming along just fine if she's eating well and has lots of energy to play. Soon she'll be over her parasite and diarrhea problems. Thanks for all you're doing for her....she's adorable.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 09:06 AM
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Please keep us posted. You probably have saved this kittens life.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 09:11 AM
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Our puppy got coccidia and it is frustrating, but the meds do work, eventually. Good luck, and once the health issues clear up, you will have so much fun with your kitten.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 09:12 AM
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Poor little kitten. It is very nice of you trying to save her. Hope she will get better soon
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Old August 12th, 2010, 11:39 AM
Fishin4Rainbows Fishin4Rainbows is offline
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I have always heard that wet food is better than canned. This is slightly off topic, but since you mention it I have a question about my (nearly) 3 year old, Irie. I've had her since kittenhood as well and from the first day I tried to feed her wet food. I bought all kinds of expensive brands, but she just wouldn't eat any of it until I finally tried dry and now that's all she eats. She won't even eat lunch meat or any other kind of actual meat. Do you have any suggestions on how to get her to eat wet food?
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Old August 12th, 2010, 11:46 AM
Fishin4Rainbows Fishin4Rainbows is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catlover2 View Post
Thank you for telling your story of such a sweet litttle kitty. May this be a warning to all to never buy a kitten (or dog) from a website like Cragslist or Kijiji. Better to get one from a reputable rescue organization, humane society or registered breeder where proper vet care has been done and documented.

I think you're doing everything right, and patience is the key now. Kitty sounds like she's coming along just fine if she's eating well and has lots of energy to play. Soon she'll be over her parasite and diarrhea problems. Thanks for all you're doing for her....she's adorable.
Yeah, I totally agree with you! If there is anything I have learned from this is that a "free" (or mostly free) kitten is anything but! I wish so much I had just adopted one from my vet's office, but I hadn't known about her until after I got the kitten. I didn't go to the humane society to adopt because all the cats and kittens they had already looked sooooo sick. Nearly every one of them had upper respiratory issues and they were all housed together. I just didn't want to bring that home to my resident cat. I guess the joke's on me cause it wouldn't have worked out so differently! Plus it might $100 to adopt a kitten from the vet, but I've spent way more than that on vet bills and medications already.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishin4Rainbows View Post
I have always heard that wet food is better than canned. This is slightly off topic, but since you mention it I have a question about my (nearly) 3 year old, Irie. I've had her since kittenhood as well and from the first day I tried to feed her wet food. I bought all kinds of expensive brands, but she just wouldn't eat any of it until I finally tried dry and now that's all she eats. She won't even eat lunch meat or any other kind of actual meat. Do you have any suggestions on how to get her to eat wet food?
The site that I mentioned earlier, and one that is a favourite of our kitty guru sugarcatmom, also has a section on how to transition kibble addicts to wet. I will give you the link for it below.

http://www.catinfo.org/docs/TipsforT...DF12-18-09.pdf
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Old August 12th, 2010, 02:43 PM
Fishin4Rainbows Fishin4Rainbows is offline
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Thanks for the article. I now feel a little inspired. I think I'll definitely start with the measured portions and scheduled feedings. I don't think Irie knows what it feels like to be hungry, lol, which is of course my fault. I got her fixed a bit late (she was maybe a little over a year old) and until then she was underweight, according to the vet. For some reason since her surgery she keeps getting a little plumper and she now weighs about 11 lbs. Her belly hangs a little bit and it's definitely time to change her feeding habits. We'll see how this goes!
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Old August 12th, 2010, 02:46 PM
Fishin4Rainbows Fishin4Rainbows is offline
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And thanks to all of you for your encouragement! My will power has definitely been tested, but your kind words make it that much easier to "just keep swimming."
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Old August 12th, 2010, 03:44 PM
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If you haven't tried those little cans of "Fancy Feast', give it a try as that stuff is like kitty crack. Pick out a flavor you think she'll enjoy. You might start by mixing a little of it in the kibble.
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