Yeah- I was just so angry at the vet this morning. She finally called me back and was very laisse faire about the whole thing, which stung a bit more. I did consider necropsy- but as other's have pointed out it could be so many things that even a necropsy may not tell, and I am on a really tight budget right now, so I opted not too, mostly just because I cant right now.
However- this morning the cat was stepping all over the kittens, including the living ones (when we woke up 3 were gone, and in another hour we lost 2 more) and the vet herself said that was quite unusual as usually the mother cat will push the dead ones away and focus on the remaining kittens.
Causes could be:
Diseases transferred from the mother
Kittens having a different blood type than mom (in which case her colostrum would have attacked their systems, not quite the same as rotten milk- vet expressed and checked the colostrum)
Mom letting the kittens get to cold
Mom refusing to nurse the kittens
Mom killing the kitttens on purpose
A number of other things
Since a necropsy cant determine all that (and the rest can only be ruled out by extensive *and expensive* tests), and I cant afford the vet bills for more, I will just have to keep hand raising the one kitten, and hope for the best.
I guess the reason I was mad at the vet, is cats are my thing, and i also have rescued many kittens and cats alike. I do know what I am doing in the world of cats. I have never had a queening cat before though, and as far as I understood it once I got through the birthing process, which went really well, and got them through the well check (which is supposed to happen within 24 hours after birth, and thats why I went so soon), then I was out of the proverbial woods. All the kittens I have had before, even at a day old, have had no mom. Since this was my first "with mom" experience, as I understood it the mom was supposed to be fine to take care of them. I watched for rejection and the vet asked me about it, but she was quite attentive and nursing them, so I felt fine about it. The vet seemed to share these feelings when I went and she told me they were fine and to let them be and rest. Once I had her ok, I was finally able to "celebrate" them being born, and I wasnt at all prepared to wake up the next morning to all of them gone. Sorry if my first post was harsh. I needed to vent and all you guys are such an awesome sounding board, so you got pre-coffee and pre-nicotine Artemis, in the throws of coping with what was a huge loss for me. I know hindsight is 20/20- but I wish the vet had told me to set my clock and check on them every few hours, then we might not have lost all of them, or even if we still did, I wouldnt feel like there was more I could have done, like I do now. If I ever rescue another stray queen, (which honestly at the moment I am not feeling really positive about doing) then I will definitely be much more paranoid for at least the first week.
To answer question of others- its a neighborhood cat that adopted us and my deck. There are TONS of ferals with litters of kittens that all seem fine, so I halfway wonder if I had just left her out there if more of them would have made it. She did go for a well check before they were born, too, and aside from being a bit skinny the vet said she didnt see any reasons to be concerned. It is not her first litter according to the vet, as she is over a year old based on her dental exam, and if she has been outside this long unspayed this is probably not the second litter, either. She was in our care for 2 weeks indoors on kitten chow (queening cats eat kitten chow for the extra nutrients)and nutri-cal (a grody brown toothpaste looking supplement). Mom isnt doing so good right now, and she is very upset at us. I am not even sure if she realizes they died, I think she thinks we took them away, as she is pointedly mad at US.
Interestingly enough- final kitten is still doing ok, and I am hoping we get through a week, if we can do that I will feel a little better. We buried the rest of the kittens tonight. Loved for a day, at least.
Thanks for writing guys- Ill let you know how the kitten is doing. And I apologize for bashing the vet, even if I am a bit bitter still, I know vet's do good work, and there are no guarantees, I was just.. well.. you know.
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Last edited by Artemis; 08-11-04 at 01:01 AM..