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Limping kitten.

Species: Cat
Breed: calico cat
Age: Less than 3 mon
I got a kitten on Monday. They said she is about 5 or 6 weeks old. For the first three days, she was active and playful, hopping around, biting at my finger, etc. When I got home from work last night, she was limping on her front left paw, but would still eat. Now she won't eat or drink and is having tyrouble standing. Fell over into her food plate when I tried to feed her?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh dear. It really doesn't sound like Pepper is feeling well.

I can think of a few things that could cause these symptoms but I won't be able to say for certain without seeing Pepper.

It's possible that she has an abscess or infection somewhere on that leg. It could be the result of a bite from one of her littermates. It can take several days for the infection to get bad enough to affect her. Often times there can be infection under the skin and we can't see the original wound. The infection can cause fever which can cause her to have a lack of appetite. The difficulty standing could be because of the pain when she puts weight on that leg.

It's also possible that she has suffered some neurological trauma to that leg. This could happen from having the leg traumatically pulled (i.e. by a young child) or stepped on.

Another possibility is a fracture in that leg. It doesn't take much to fracture a bone for a kitten.

This is unlikely, but did Pepper receive any vaccinations in the last few days? (She's a little young for that, but it's possible.) There is a rare complication related to vaccinations called "limping kitten syndrome."

In any case, this is a situation where Pepper should really see a vet today. I don't like it when kittens don't want to eat. If she has an infection or a serious painful issue like a neurological trauma or a fracture then this needs to be addressed right away!

I really hope she is ok!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.