Kitten in liver failure :(
I've had cats all my life but learned something new this week so I thought I would pass it on. We have some kittens who all were doing quite well. Sun morning I was out early and noticed that one kitten kept throwing up after nursing. She has been a bit smaller than the rest but not alarmingly so and after seeing her throw up like that it seems more obvious. She started getting a bit listless but still moved around and nursed. That night we were scooping up kittens to make sure they all got in the garage for the night but she was pooping so I waited for her. It was pure white poop. I'm a nurse and I know that in people these are classic signs of liver failure. Mon morning I called our vet and described the symptoms and he agreed with me. For a definitive diagnosis, he would have to draw a fair amount of blood from her and he didn't really recommend that based on her classic symptoms.
He said that many times kittens and especially runts will have portal shunts, or problems with the venous system to the liver. It sometimes isn't immediately evident but as they grow and start to eat real food, etc, the liver can't keep up. Of course there are other reasons, like a toxin or worms but we never keep anything that the cats could get into (we have many cats). On his advice I did pick up some dewormer and give that just in case but I did doubt that as her sibling went to a good home last week and she was clean for worms. He said to give that a few days to work and see if she improved any. She hasn't and I'm sad to say I will probably call him back tomorrow and have her put down. She's very skinny and getting weak and it breaks my heart for her. I don't want her to suffer and I don't know of another humane way to put her out of her misery. I made special food for her but she won't touch it. She still nurses but I feel that is for comfort only. I thought I would pass that on because in all the years I've had cats/kittens, I don't remember ever having this problem. He said it is quite common. Lori