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.