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Oscillating Thin 3 Week Old Kitten

Species: cat | Category: medical-surgical | Submitted: 30 May 2007 02:45PM | viewed 6644 times
Q Doug asks:

We have a 3 week old kitten, the smallest of the litter, that is thin, seems to oscillate and seems to be breathing in a rapid and shallow manner. What I mean by oscillate is when the kitten is sitting, his little head and body moves from left to right and back again about once a second or so. He also seems to be breathing in quick shallow breaths. No discernible drainage from nose or eyes, no apparent wheezing or coughing. This kitten can and does mew aggressively when examined but not in a pained way. Other than him being the scrawniest of the litter and the head bobbing from side to side he is apparently in good condition. His eyes are bright and clear and he is quite alert and interested in getting out of the box. We have purchased a small bottle and supplemental formula and my wife is going to start supplementing him today. If he eats well for a while we may bring him on with meat baby food in a few days. Could this kitten have some kind of congenital heart or mental defect that could cause his behavior? Can a vet do anything about this? Ever seen anything like this before?

Q Our vet says: It sounds as if this kitten definitely needs attention. Possibly there is some kind of neurological (nervous) condition going on here, but the rapid shallow breathing is a concern too. Your kitten may even have more than one abnormality. I would say that it is essential that this kitten is seen by a vet since it may be possible to treat whatever condition is causing this. There are many different types of congenital abnormalities and without an accurate diagnosis it is impossible to say what treatment may help or what the long term prognosis would be. If you take your kitten along to your vet they will be able to examine it properly and perhaps perform further tests to help to determine what the problem is and the likely prognosis.

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