Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Kittens are back at the shelter for now
I took the kittens to the shelter yesterday morning. I decreed to myself that unless they were dramatically better that they would be going into the shelter for them to decide what steps they want to take next. I had left some KMR down for them and some food, and while most of the KMR was consumed, the food was not. I didn't give them much of a going over, but the little one was sitting on top of the cube and she licked her nose and her tongue looked white. I didn't need any more information than that, so I scooped her up and put her in the carrier. Her sister wasn't interested in going, so it took me a minute to catch her.
The drive to the shelter is about 20 minutes, but the smell coming off them was nearly eye watering. It was 40 degrees out, so I wasn't comfortable opening the windows all the way, so I opened up the back windows enough to keep the smell from being overwhelming.
Once I got there, I gave the shelter tech the rundown on what I have observed and what my foster coordinator had given me for medication and that we had tested the stool and it was negative. I mentioned my fear of panleuk and the flea dirt and my thought it might be anemia and parasites. I asked if the shelter ever heard of using tamiflu for a kitten that had panleuk (she had not) and put the idea in her head in case it came up (someone on Facebook mentioned that one). I asked about picking them up that evening, because I didn't like the idea of them being there alone over night and I left knowing they would do something for them.
I called in after lunch, and was told they had been able to give them fluids, that they had gotten a bath (YAY), and they were eating some. I was also told that the staff wanted to keep the kittens for the night for observation. I was sad over it, but I know that it is probably best. This way they are there in the AM if the shelter feels they need to get to a vet hospital. The shelter does have a spay clinic on site, and often will have the vet there examine pets if need be, but it is not a full clinic and doesn't have full diagnostics. I have no idea if the vet was there today or not as I was getting my information third hand and since they aren't my responsibility I didn't want to be pushy.
I relayed the day on FB, and someone felt the need to yell at me (yes, when you type in all caps you are yelling regardless if you know it or not) telling me I should have taken them to the vet on my own implying I was negligent for not doing so and told me I should take them to a vet, even after knowing they were at the shelter. I have to tell you this kind of advice is not helpful. In fact is is downright harmful. This woman left me reeling all afternoon and apparently evening - even knowing I did what was right. It reminded me of the time a student vet tech told me I was wrong for having a pregnant cat spayed after she was spayed. At the time the tech had no way of knowing that the staff had found that the kittens with in the mother had passed and were harming her.. but her words burned and to this day nearly ten years later I remember her with such venom for her unkind words (well and a few other interactions with her over her internship). Telling someone what they should do (not suggesting, but telling) after the fact.. that is just mean. Not to mention that after just spending several thousand dollars on my own cats, taking on the full responsibility of these kittens is just not in the cards for me and I didn't see her stepping up to offer to pay for it.. and frankly while I might not like the way the shelter works sometimes (because it isn't the way I would work) I have trust they know what they are doing and will not let them suffer. If they need a vet, they will get one. Every single time I have disagreed with the way this shelter has handled a situation, the kitten or kittens in question have been just fine and gone on to live long healthy lives. I can only hope that people will understand just how harmful their comments can be are when they tell people who are going above and beyond in rescue what they should have done.. Most of us who are in rescue wear our hearts on our sleeves where they are easily damaged. I have seen many in rescue being harmed by the self appointed helpful people.. (and yes I am a little bit bitter, and no, it isn't all because of this one woman. It has happened several times over the years, and I have seen it happen to others, so I am clumping all of that into this paragraph. If the woman in question is here reading this, know I used what happen as a teaching moment and not a chance to rag on you in particular, although I imagine it probably feels that way.)
So right now that is where I am. I will call in around lunch time and check up on them and see what is what. I am hopeful they will come home today, but if not, that is okay too. Happy Bear will wait for them.
So.. questions. There were a few things in the comments yesterday..
I did have to laugh at "Katnip Lounge's" comment about vicks.. yeah, they smelled so bad I can only imagine what stench that would have inflicted on me..
Bernadette asked about coccidia or giardia... we did a stool test before bringing them home and it was negative. We did give a dose of marquis paste to kill coccidia in case we didn't see it, and they were on albon to help soothe the intestines and work on any left behind. Panacur is usually given for giardia, but since we didn't see it, we held off.
Catonsvillecats suggested a blood transfusion. that is a serious possibility. I've seen vets do it in the past, but that would be a vet / shelter call.
SquirrelQueen wonderfully relayed what she does for kittens from the shelter. Yup, they get capstar here too.. which is why I found flea dirt and not fleas. They also get a dose of revolution to take care of additional parasites. I tend to put diarrhea kittens right on raw food, and it helped the bigger kitten and she produced a nice solid stool after coming home. Unfortunately they weren't eating it very well so I tried a few other foods hoping to entice them to eat more.. this caused the elder one to have diarrhea again. Since they weren't eating that either, I gave them raw again. As for KMR it isn't my favorite option.. I much prefer goat milk for older kittens because KMR has a lot of sugar in it.. Because I was told they were older, I initially didn't give them anything, but when they weren't eating well I took a can of premade kmr home and offered it to them. They drank it heartily, and if they were still here I would have gone and gotten them some goat milk for the ease of consuming more calories. Trial and error.. yup, know it well.. I've been doing this since 2002 and my personal protocols have changed quite a bit from when I started.. I've also learned a lot from what other foster homes have done. (she is oh so lucky to have techs and a vet she can text!!)
Alana asked about testing the stool. Yup, it has been done twice now. I do not know the results of the second one, but considering they are keeping them there I am guessing it is negative.
I know you know I'll keep you updated.. cause that is what I do.. but...
I'll let you know what happens next..