Litter number: 24
Kitten number: 95
was a black kitten who spent almost two months in and out of sick bay at the shelter with URI symptoms before coming to 50K as part of the Cinders litter. By the time we met him, he was sleek and healthy and weighed 2.5 lbs. When I took him to the shelter for his FVRCP booster a week later he weighed almost 3 lbs. Then he stopped eating, despite the absence of visible URI symptoms.
When we noticed he was losing weight and not eating, we started syringe-feeding him baby food mixed with Nutrical, and were gradually able to stabilize his weight back at 2.5 lbs. But it became obvious that Spike was having trouble breathing. We tried to loosen his congestion with a warm vaporizer and shower steam, but his breathing continued to worsen and he began to lose muscle tone.
I took him to the vet, where he got a shot of Cephalexin and a Clindamycin prescription, but a day later he hadn’t improved, so I called the shelter to suggest hospitalization with oxygen. The vet at the hospital told the shelter he thought Spike’s prospects were poor, even with expensive oxygen treatment and an IV, so the shelter decided to EU him and instructed me to return him to the shelter the following morning.
Instead I took Spike to meet an expert kitten-fosterer who had extensive experience with kittens with pneumonia. She thought Spike looked bigger and stronger than other kittens with pneumonia that she’d managed to save, and told us he had a decent chance to recover if treated with a nebulizer, the right meds, and close supervision. She demonstrated the nebulizer and “coupage” on Spike, and he seemed to breathe easier.
I took Spike home and felt good about his prospects until the shelter informed us that we had violated our foster contract by taking Spike to see the expert fosterer without their prior permission, and that the shelter was terminating its relationship with us and wanted all its kittens back immediately. Spike wasn’t given a chance to recover based on the expert fosterer’s knowledge and our care. He was euthanized by the shelter five days after they took him back from us.
Arrival date: 10/7/2009
Departure date: 10/22/2009