Hi guys and girls,
If any of you are anything like me and you LOVE animals more than you love humans this blog is going to make you cry... I am going to tell you about my experience of living with a kitten who is dying of Fading Kitten Syndrome (FKS). I find it nearly impossible to talk about this with friends and family because it literally breaks my heart but I think I need to tell you all what FKS is and what it is like dealing with it, I also feel I need to release. I have been so upset about it all for about 2 weeks now and I haven't wanted to really open up about it too much because I don't like to bore people but I need to get it all out before it's to late. I know Warwick will never read this but I feel if I right it while he is still alive he will know how I feel and maybe be ready to go to Kitty Heaven.
Firstly, This is Warwick...
Warwick was the first born on October 9th 2013 late at night in a liter of 4. Waifer (mum cat) was a stray found nearby and she kind of adopted us, we were unsure if we wanted to keep her but she ended up being pregnant so here we are.
During Labor Warwick was 'half in and half out' still in his sack for about 10 minutes before Waifer managed to push him out. Waifer was in a lot of pain and distress and had no idea what was going on or how to do it. I contacted friends and the vet and all of them said not to intervene in case it caused Waifer to neglect her liter. So we waited. Once Warwick was out Waifer started to clean him but the sack was over his face for some time before it was completely cleaned off.
Warwick suckled on straight away and fed fine while the other 3 kittens where born all really easily and quickly. They were all cleaned quickly and suckled on fine.
The first 5 weeks all the kittens were normal, feeding from mum and growing nicely. When the kittens where 5-6 weeks old Waifer was more reluctant to feed them and would often yelp and get up and walk away. The kittens were beginning to fight over her teats and Warwick would often get pushed out and miss feeds. To me this was Waifer telling me it was becoming painful and it was time to begin weaning the kittens.
We bought some kitten food and kitten milk and Hamish, Dumbledoor and Tinka weaned straight away, scoffing the food down like there was no tomorrow but Warwick just wasn't interested. We forced Waifer to feed Warwick for a couple more days but she hated it and Warwick didn't really suckle for long rather just fall alseep. The other 3 kittens started gaining weight rapidly where as Warwick was losing it. We tried forcing Waifer to feed Warwick as well as trying to encourage weaning but nothing!
I contacted the vet almost 2 weeks ago now and he said "bring him in"...
I took Warwick to the vet last Monday (11.11.13) and he checked his weight, temperature and general all over health and told me it looks like FKS, Let me tell you what I know about FKS..
15 percent to 27 percent of kittens die before they are nine weeks old.
Fading kitten syndrome is not a single entity; rather, it describes a large number of problems and conditions that can cause death in young kittens.
almost all fading kittens exhibit similar symptoms. Profound lethargy, low body temperature, pale gums, low respiratory rate, and failure to root and nurse or eat are nearly universal signs of the syndrome. However, these signs can be caused by a large number of problems. ( Inadequate mothering, Trauma and hypothermia are two causes of fading kitten syndrome that truly come on suddenly. Trauma occurs most frequently when a kitten falls from height or is crushed. Hypothermia occurs when kittens are separated from one another and the mother in a chilly environment. Note that hypothermia can be either a cause or a result of a fading kitten crisis. Almost all fading kittens in crisis will exhibit hypothermia. Infectious organisms are frequent culprits in fading kitten syndrome. Kittens are at risk of sepsis from bacterial infections. Viral infections with organisms such as feline herpesvirus, calicivirus, panleukopenia, FIV/feline AIDS, and feline leukemia virus may trigger the syndrome. Parasitic infestations with roundworms, coccidia, or other organisms may trigger crises. Many of these infections are linked to immune system collapse, which is usually associated with a condition called thymus atrophy. Hereditary defects ranging from heart irregularities to undeveloped immune systems may cause fading kitten syndrome.