Finola woke me at 5 am Sunday morning with constant meowing. She was obsessed with grooming an older kitten. I took her to the birthing box and shut the other cats out of the room. I sat on the floor in front of the box stroking her for the next six hours. At 11:15am she began pushing with her contractions. At 11:34 their was a gush of fluid. I was unsure if this was from pressure on her bladder or amniotic fluid. I soaked some of it up in a cloth to smell it. It did not smell of urine. As more and more time passed I became concerned that if this was amniotic the kitten was at risk. Using sterile gloves and k-y jelly I digitally checked to see if the kitten was near and how it was presenting. I felt the tail. After 20 more minutes of contractions and no kitten I checked her again to see if the kittens feet were causing it to be stuck. The tail and one foot was at the vaginal opening and with her next push became visible. The kitten was in it's sack. The fluid was from her bladder. After several more contractions Finola's was showing she was becoming tired and was no longer pushing as hard. I decided to break the sack and assist the delivery of this kitten. With each new contraction, while Finny was pushing, I very very gently applied pressure to the kittens lag and tail. At 1:15pm the first kitten was born followed quickly but its placenta. Finola was very good about cleaning it's face. As she cleaned the kitten her contractions began again. I removed the sack and pinched the cord until no blood was in a section of it. I cut through that section and removed the placenta. This kitten was marked with orange for identification and weighed 3.5 ounces.
At 1:50 there was a second gush of fluid. Not as much as the first time. At 2pm a kitten's nose and mouth were visible with each push but Finola was not able to push it through the opening. The kitten was in its sack. I helped out by applying pressure to the sides of the opening each time Finny pushed. Working together she got the head out. It took several more tries before she was about to deliver the entire kitten followed by the placenta. Kitten 2 was born at 2:24 pm I broke the sack and brought the kitten up to Finny to clean its face. We allowed her to eat this placenta. The placenta is rich with vitamins, etc. that are good for the mother cat. Too many can cause diarrhea. This kitten was marked with blue and weighed 4.375 ounces.
Kitten 3 was born so quickly we noticed no contractions while Finola was cleaning the second kitten. It appeared at 2:28 pm head first with it's placenta. I broke the sack, cut the cord, suctioned its mouth and began rubbing it with terry cloth to stimulate it. It sounded raspy so I suctioned it again and gently swung it head down to move any liquid forward in it's mouth and suctioned it again. I placed kitten three with Finola and allowed her to clean it. It was then marked with green and weighed 3.25 ounces.
Each of the kittens cries made Finola feel very anxious. She looked like she was worried she was hurting them. She would get unsettled looking around and low growling. I reassured her and tried to help the kittens find a nipple.
Finola rested for 15 to 20 minutes before contraction began again. Kitten 4 was born tail first at 2:55 pm. with no problems. Finola was tired and and paid little attention. I broke the sack and wiped its face. The placenta was not expelled. I cut the cord and brought the kitten up to Finola. She licked it a few times and stopped. I rubbed it dry with a terry cloth and placed it back with her. This kitten was marked red and weighed 3.5 ounces.
I could feel one more kitten in her abdomen. We allowed Finola to rest and waited. Our Keva delivered remaining kitten 5 hours after the first half of the litter. We decided to give Finola that same time. Following the advice of a veteran Siamese breeder we gave her 100cc sub-q lactated ringers that I had on hand. This can stimulate contractions when no Oxytocin is on hand. I continued to sit on the floor at the front of the birthing box for the next five hours hoping. The ringers did stimulate contractions but they were week.
We packed Finola and the kittens in a large carrier and took them to Tufts Small Animal Emergency Hospital at 8:00 pm. They also believed she had a kitten remaining. An ultrasound showed the kitten was active and had a heartbeat of 150. Normal heart beats range from 250-150. The Doctor explained that if it dropped below 150 the chances of survival were not good. The kitten was positioned head first and ready for delivery. We decided to try Oxytocin to see if Finola could deliver the kitten herself normally. Oxytocin has an effect on blood calcium levels so her blood was tested and her blood calcium was good. She was started on fluids with calcium and given the first dose of Oxytocin. While it did produce contractions they were not strong enough to move the kitten along. The doctor worked at stimulating her uterus. She could feel the kitten's head and paw but it was too far in for her to offer assistance. After 45 minutes a second dose of Oxytocin was given with similar results. The surgical team was called to come in to do the c-section. The kittens stayed with Finola and nursed until the team was ready. She went into surgery at 1:00 am. We were sent home. The surgeon called at 2:00am to tell us everything went well for Finola but they were unable to help the kitten. It had a weak heart beat, the placenta had ruptured and he had aspirated some fluid. He was given oxygen, oral atropine and stimulated by rubbing. Within 15 minutes his heart had stopped.
We picked Finola and her kittens up at 7:30am and brought her home. She is not on an antibiotic. She is to be kept quiet for the next 10 days.
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