The “cream puffs” were supposed to join Crush and Jagular at the shelter clinic for their spay/neuter surgeries. A few days before it became clear that Blynken was not going to make weight so I cancelled her appointment. That night she vomited and two of the three had been having diarrhea. Then I came home and found her very subdued and clearly not feeling well. I weighed her and she’d lost 50grams (about 1.75 oz) in one day! I rushed to offer her some food and she ate it, happily, though she was a bit wobbly and walking funny. It was a little early to give her another dose of dewormer but I did it anyway. The other two had also had diarrhea. So I isolated them all again (they’d been in general population but with separate food dishes and litterbox, thank goodness) and watched anxiously.
That night (Tuesday) another foster person was visiting. As we were chatting, suddenly there was a commotion and a thump behind me. Emma came out from under the chair with her paw held up in the air. It looked to be at a weird angle and, frankly, I freaked out. Neither of us saw what happened but we suspect she fell off the window sill and/or got tangled in the curtains. We called to get her into the emergency clinic. By the time we got there, she was using the paw, at least, but it was quite swollen and she was clearly favouring it. The vet had a look and thought perhaps she could have a hairline fracture. We were sent home with the advice that if she was still favouring it the next day she should have an xray. After biting both the vet and me (drawing blood!) during the exam, the vet advised that she’d need sedation for an xray. 😦
Photo courtesy of Brendan O.
When I got home, Blynken was happily purring and eating kibble! The next morning she’d gained a bit and eagerly ate some canned breakfast although now she was holding up one of her paws! Emma seemed fine; still a little swollen and favouring the leg a bit but feisty and climbing around the crate like a monkey.
Wednesday, I arrived home from work to find Blynken holding up a paw, Nod holding up a paw, and Dwight very quiet and clearly in pain when I picked him up. I couldn’t find a specific place that he reacted to but something was clearly wrong. He seemed to want to eat but then wouldn’t. Eventually I got him to eat a bit from my finger and by putting a dish right in front of him so he didn’t have to get up. 😦 Most of the evening was spent emailing my coordinator and our manager, trying to figure out what to do. I was not keen for another trip to emergency but, given his history, I’m a little bit sensitive when it comes to Dwight!! We discussed it and decided that everything pointed to calicivirus. Even though no one had any sores or obvious URI symptoms. We agreed I’d go to one of our regular vets first thing in the morning unless things worsened. Also, it was decided to cancel everyone’s spay/neuter appointments, just in case anyone else came down with symptoms.
Let’s just say it wasn’t one of my most restful nights.
The next morning I thought Dwight was a little improved — he was more responsive and tried harder to eat. The other two were no longer favouring any paws. But I wasn’t taking any chances (the paw favouring by the cream puffs had come and gone for a couple of days). Off we went arriving at the clinic before official opening. They are SO AWESOME that they took us in right away. Poor Dwight had a raging fever and the vet seemed shocked at how sore his poor little elbow was. They gave him meds for the fever, pain meds, fluids, and antibiotics. He is one TOUGH little dude!!! Nod also had a fever, though not as bad. Blynken — who has struggled the most with putting on weight and has had a snotty nose and eye boogers — had no fever. Both of them were put on antibiotics too.
All three came to work with me. An hour-and-a-half later, Dwight was a different kitten! Alert, no limping, eating everything in sight! No matter how many times I see it, I’m am constantly amazed at how fast kittens can bounce back. The improvement in the two cream puffs was not as dramatic, but they weren’t as sick. Dwight dipped again when we got home; I suspect his fever was back up a bit. It took a couple of days for the antibiotics to really kick in and do their job.
Late Friday night, Emma — after two days fine — was strongly favouring her paw again. I suspected that the virus had hit her now. I started her on antibiotics the next morning. By that night she was still low and favouring the paw. Had I jumped to the wrong conclusion? Was it an injury after all? I thought I’d give her 24 hours on the meds and then re-evaluate.
Meanwhile, Crush and Jagular had been sneezing. SIGH. A close look at Crush and, sure enough, runny nose and gunky eyes. So THEY went on antibiotics. I’m mostly annoyed because Jags was making good socialization progress and now I have to shove a pill in him twice a day.
Sunday morning everyone was screaming for food and freedom. Welcome noise! Emma was still slightly favouring her one leg, but it was much better. That night’s weigh-in was fantastic. Little Blynken wins the prize; 110grams (almost 4oz) in two days! I think that’s a record for me.
I need to remember the relief of watching rambunctious kittens after they’ve been sick. I always like watching them play but sometimes the chaos gets to be a bit much. I need to remember the alternative and be grateful for the energy!