Monday, April 16, 2012

Ermine

Note from Christie: Oh no!  The Ermine has an eye infection of some sort.  Yesterday I noticed that his (her - I found out at the vet today!) eyes had gooey stuff on them and I thought at first that milk had dripped on her face and dried.  Then I looked closer and noticed that the gooey stuff was in her eyes and coming out of the eyes themselves.  Poor little Ermine! 

 
I called the vet this morning and I'm taking her in today at 11:15 AM.  I don't want to take in just her because she'll be away from Juvy, but I don't want to traumatize EVERYone in the family by taking them all to the vet.  No one else shows any symptoms of the same problem.

I'm a little scared because they don't even like to be away from Juvy for a whole minute, and this will be at least 45 minutes to get there and home.  She'll tire her little larynx out with mewing!

Will keep you all posted . . .

Update: The vet visit was successful!

Before I left, I covered the guest bathroom floor with puppy pads, washed and filled and brought in the tiny kitten litter box we used for kittens in the past, prepared new food and water, and picked up Juvy's box (with Juvy & kittens inside!) and put it in there. Juvy popped out when the box landed and looked around (purring super extra loud - probably the scared kind of purr) and got some snuggles from me, then went back in the box.  I petted her for a while and then grabbed two kittens and skedaddled before she heard them howling.

I took along the Bear (the biggest and strongest of the babies) so the Ermine would have someone to snuggle with. They didn't actually howl as much as I thought. They mewed loudly for a little while (mostly the Bear), then got tired out and went to sleep. Then woke up and mewed, then went back to sleep. If I kept my hand on them, they didn't mew and they cuddled into it and slept.  

Everyone at the vet's office oohed and aahed and drooled about how cute they are and how they are sturdy and strong and soft and fluffy and advanced for their age (just nine days old!) The Ermine weighs 8.45 ounces! The vet had to pop open the Ermine's eyes because they were crusted shut (ew), and when she did, greeny-yellow pus came bursting out. Poor kitten! The vet flushed out the pus (the poor Ermine screeched and tried to rub her eyes with her little paws) and then put an antibiotic ointment into her eyes. We are supposed to put the ointment in three times per day. 

It's slightly possible other kittens might get the infection from the Ermine, in which case, we can use the same ointment and we can get refills if we need to. If any of them starts sneezing or having diarrhea, we are supposed to take them in to the vet because that means they have an infection that requires oral antibiotics, as well.

We will be keeping them inside because they are vulnerable to many things outside, and the vet mentioned that the infected eyes could get herpes in them. We knew inside was best (and we'll be expecting that everyone who adopts one of these kittens keeps it indoors all the time) but we didn't want to traumatize Juvy right before or right after she had given birth, AND we were a little concerned that if she has a communicable disease, she might pass it to our three indoor cats.  The vet said that Juvy isn't a threat to our cats even if she has FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus - kitty AIDS) or feline leukemia as long as she doesn't share their litter box, water bowl, or food, and if they don't bite each other. We should wash our hands after touching Juvy, but we don't have to change our clothes.  By the way, neither of those virii are communicable to humans or other animals.

I made an vet appointment for Juvy for Saturday morning to test for FIV and leukemia (it will cost around $80 and results come back in 10 minutes), so then at least we know, and the kittens' families will know if their kittens are at risk for either of those two things (vaccinations are available, but not when the kittens are this young). So from now on we're planning to keep everyone inside in the guest bathroom until the kittens go to their new homes (healthy, safe, and disease-free!) then make sure Juvy is spayed and vaccinated and all that good stuff.

P.S. Ermine is a girl, Bear is a boy. Now that I know, I can probably tell what sexes the rest of them are by comparing, but I'm going to leave the kittens alone today and just focus on giving Juvy lots of love as she adapts to her new surroundings.  I think she's happy inside - she's been trying to sneak in when I opened or closed the sliding glass door, and when I'm in the bathroom with her, she just wants to sit on my lap or be right by me.  I love her to pieces!

No comments:

Post a Comment