Supplemental Diary Information

March 23rd - Litter birth supplement -

In the photo below are the two nonfunctional pieces of  placenta on the right. The larger piece on the left is maybe a third of a functional kitten placenta that was cut from the placenta of a kitten that was just delivered. The good placenta is a darker almost purple red color because it is engorged with blood. The two placentas on the right were expelled between the birth of the kittens. The one in front has no blood in it. The one in the back has some slight blood vessels . This placenta also has an amniotic sack in the top half there is a small bubble of amniotic fluid.

I think these may be left over portions of placenta from embryos that failed to develop? When something goes wrong early in development the momma's body will resorbe the tissue so the successful embryos can continue to develop. The small size and  lack of blood in this tissue show that they have been non functioning for some time. I see no evidence of a mass of cells or fetus. We had a fully developed non-viable kitten deliver with its placenta in place wrapped around the body of the kitten in Keva's 2008 litter. It was completely white on the surface because it has been separated from the uterus too long before delivery. This was in a very large pregnancy of 9. In that case the cause of the placental abruption was over crowding.

April 13th - Supplement for Lupin

Losing a kitten to failure to thrive is one of the worst things you will go through as a breeder. There is no one cause you can point to that will give you an understanding of why this happened.

Lupin was the largest kitten in this litter, the largest kitten Keva has produced.  He ate well and developed normally in the first two weeks. He was in no way the runt of the litter. At the first sign he had stopped gaining weigh, stopped growing, we took him to see the Vet. She listened to his heart and breathing, felt his organs. There was nothing that stood out as abnormal. We decided to supplement him with Kitten Milk Replacer. Our hope was he wasn't getting enough to eat. 

He did not behave as a hungry kitten would. He drank some KMR but only because I was forcing him to by squirting it into the sides of his mouth... until he clamped up and refused any more. I began checking him to make sure he was still alive and weighed him every four hours and he continued not to grow or gain weight. He would nuzzle up to mom's nipple but I really don't think he was sucking like a healthy kitten. I believe this was more and act of comfort. Most of the time he spent sleeping with his head draped on the nest edge. He didn't seek out Mom or the other kittens to snuggle with. I kept the room between 77 and 80 degrees. His body had an appearance that was stiffer then the healthy kittens...but he wasn't stiff. I don't know how else to describe it. When he started randomly screaming out I contacted the Vet again. We met at the hospital and she checked him over again and could not point to one thing that was abnormal. His heart sounded normal, his breathing was normal. His gums were a normal pink. She could feel both kidneys. He was eliminating and had urine in his bladder. From not eating he had become dehydrated. She tried to feed him some water to see if he acted hungry. He tried to lick it away like he did with me when I fed him milk. She gave me the option of fighting more. I could take with me a needled syringe to give him subcutaneous fluid and gavage feed him every hour. This is force feeding by putting a tube down the throat into the stomach. She said she was willing to give me a sedative I could inject into him if his screaming became constant during the night. This would relax him and could kill him.

I couldn't do it. I just don't have that kind of fight in me anymore. When you first start breeding you will want to do everything possible to not lose a kitten. After losing this fight you learn and realize the fight was for you not the baby. There comes a point where we have to do what is right for the kitten and not prolong the suffering. My Vet and I both felt this was a battle that would not be won. We both felt that there was something congenital that was inherently wrong within Lupin. He hit a plateau his body could not grow beyond. I should have had a necropsy done but I just couldn't. I couldn't let them cut my sweet little boy up.

Some breeders become hardened to loss. With each loss the more removed from it they become and the less it effects them. It is an expected part of breeding. I am not one of those breeders. For me with each loss it has become harder and harder to protect my heart from the pain.


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