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Kitten Care

Kitten Very Lethargic

by Reader Question Followed By Suggestion From Our Vet

Reader Question: My Kitten Cannot Hold Nutrients and is Very Lethargic


My kitten which is too young, maybe 5-6 weeks was flea, tick, roundworm and ear mite infested. We got all that worked on and for 5 nights he was doing well.

Then the next morning he was lifeless. The vet said he is anemic and has a high white blood count and sometimes glucose levels are low.

It is as if he's on the verge of death. The vet says he cannot hold nutrients. Surely there's something that can be done.

Suggestion From Our Veterinarian on Caring for a Lethargic Kitten

I am sorry to hear about your kitten. I’m afraid that without having the chance to examine him, it’s difficult to say what might be going on and how best to address it.

Has your kitten been tested for feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus? If he has either of these diseases the chances of him recovering would be quite low.

Assuming that your kitten does not have feline leukemia virus or feline immunodeficiency virus, kittens in similar circumstances have sometimes recovered when they have received nutritional support, fluid therapy, glucose supplements, antibiotics, and possibly a blood transfusion if the anemia is bad enough.

If you need more information before deciding how to proceed, you might want to consider getting a second opinion, ideally from a veterinary internal medicine specialist.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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