Sunday, August 19, 2007

Kitten Update

As I mentioned before, when we first got these cats, they were covered with every possible form of parasite, and we wanted to get them veterinary attention immediately. Our regular vet was pretty booked up, so SodaBoy took them to another practice so we could get the treatments started right away for the fleas and mites and worms. We scheduled an appointment later with the regular vet, since it is conveniently located very close to home.

The first appointment on July 20th was fairly successful. Rhea weighed in at 1.2 pounds and Remus was 1 pound even. SodaBoy brought the cats home with meds for what we thought were all their issues, although we later had to go back and pick up a different worm regimen. For some reason the new vet only treated them for hookworms and roundworms initially, and we had to call back and demand tapeworm pills, too, after they started shedding tapeworm eggs everywhere.


As the weeks passed, we've developed some concerns about Rhea, in particular. She is tiny, obviously, but unnaturally obsessed with food. We couldn't have a meal or even a snack without her screaming in panicked desperation, trying to steal food of every variety. Remus, who was smaller from the start, shows no excessive interest in food, but soon outstripped Rhea in growth, and the size difference between them is now quite striking. Every tiny bone in Rhea's body stuck out. You can see her hip bones jutting out in the photo below.

Luckily, the appointment at the regular vet was Thursday. SodaBoy brought all the paperwork from the stopgap visit, and the vet definitely agreed that Rhea's slow weight gain was cause for concern. She now weighs 1.7 pounds, whereas Reemsy* has reached a hulking 2.4 pounds. Everyone seems to agree that both cats are younger than we were told when we picked them up. Remus was declared healthy and got her first round of immunizations. Rhea was still too small for shots, and too small for much bloodwork either. The vet took two drops, so now we know she is negative for feline leukemia at least.


So now we have more meds for Rhea: an antibiotic to treat a wide range of possible bacterial infections, and a vitamin-mineral supplement. SodaBoy also picked up a case of canned kitten food to make administration of the liquid meds easier. We hate canned pet foods, and have never provided it regularly to any cat or dog in our custody. Even with these bitty kittens, the stopgap vet had indicated they would get all their required nutrition from the dry kitten food. But I think we'll stick with this stanky mush for a while now. This new food and medicine combination has done wonders for Rhea.

In just a few days she seems much healthier, bigger and less bony. She still eats the dry food. In fact, she's eating some right now. But the behavioral issues are improving already, too. Last night I had soup for dinner, and she only tried sticking her head in it a few times, and didn't scream once. After a few times of being set back on the floor, she lost interest and wandered off to play.

Progress all around.

*When we picked out the kittens, we were told that Rhea is a girl and Remus a boy. They were far too small for us to tell either way, so we ran with that. By the time the vet pronounced them both female, their names were pretty well fixed. However, we've taken to calling Remus by the more gender neutral nickname Reemsy more and more now.


Nadine said...

Ah, that explains the mush. We never did circle back to that topic. Rhea is all skin and bones, poor dear.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Such cute kitties, too bad there are so many issues, hope they all clear up sooN!!!!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

We want the babies to be HEALTHY!

Sara said...

They are Teh Adorable ;) I hope littler sis gets healthy and hearty very soon!

My childhood cat was a girl for the first month or two of his life with us. Then someone said "What a beautiful male siamese you have," and we said "Huh?" and we changed his name. Poor cat paid for our mistake by living out his life as The Wart.

BerryBird said...

Oooh, I like the name The Wart. It's more than just a name it's a title, very dignified. Plus it makes me think of plants because of the botanical -wort suffix.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I had to visit kitties again, hi Rhea and Reemsy! XOX

Electronic Goose said...


Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Another peek at the kitties! :-D