Friday, September 3, 2010

In kitten news...



Every time I go to work, I count myself lucky to love my job as much as I do. It affords me the opportunity to do or see something new every night while helping animals and their owners. It is always a challenge - in more ways than one - and I never get bored. On top of that, I get paid to do it! My 9 days off every 12 days affords me enough time to rest, rejuvenate, visit with friends, and family, and get ready to work again. By the time my first Wednesday rolls around, I am usually raring to get back to the ER.

Unrelated, but I am raising litter number 4 this summer. It is 3 kittens, none related to the others. I picked up the first, a gorgeous orange male tabby on my OFF week, of all times. He showed up at work, and knowing that I'm a sucker for a kitten, the techs called me. He had a nasty, necrotic wound in his armpit that healed up nicely with wound care and antibiotics. He was tiny, so obviously still on the bottle. I hate raising singleton bottle kittens. They're even MORE neurotic than your ordinary bottle babies. As a result, I was on the look-out for another bottle kitten. It was only a few days before a dilute calico with fleas showed up. She was cold and a little thin, but she started to thrive under my care. And of course, a couple of days later, 2 kittens - a boy and girl - were brought to the clinic. The little boy was too weak to save, he died shortly after arriving. The female - a "torbie" (tabby/tortoiseshell) has been growing like a weed.

Unfortunately, the little grey kitten stopped eating about 5 days ago. I couldn't figure out why, but I wound up having to supplement her with oral dextrose and subcutaneous fluids to get her over the hump. Last night, we found out why. She'd formed subcutaneous abscesses on her thorax. They all ruptured last night. I felt terrible for not seeing/feeling them before! Kittens are usually covered in poop and pee, despite diligent bathing, so I probably felt the little crusts and attributed them to kitten poop. My tech was feeding her and found some pus on her fur. Once we got to shaving her, we found 5 small abscesses. She is doing great now, eating, purring, grooming. She's on antibiotics, of course, and is wearing a teeshirt my tech fashioned for her to prevent her wounds from becoming contaminated. She's a fighter.

Bottle raising kittens is a super time-consuming endeavor, and it is expensive, as well. A flat of KMR (kitten milk replacer) costs $44. That will last me about a month. Antibiotics, guaze, dewormer, litter, kitten food...it all adds up rapidly. Thankfully, I have a husband who is patient, kind, and loves kittens. He feeds them when I am working and need to sleep, otherwise, I don't think I could do it. Thank God for good husbands!

4 comments:

Marsha said...

We took in a stray momma cat this summer...She was half starved and filthy. Now she is beautiful and fat with kittens. She had horrible fleas. I am hoping the numerous flea baths and capstar haven't turned her unborn kittens into cyclops. Only time will tell.

Elizabeth said...

I second "thanks God for Good husbands"!

belovedparrot said...

Thank God for good vets!

Nicki said...

I love "torbies" but no, not looking for another!