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Did kitten have heatstroke.

Species: Cat
Breed: very young feral kit
Age: Less than 3 mon
the other day i tried to rescue a stray kitten who was suffering from heat stroke, but unfortunately it died. what could i have done better -- if anything?

when i first saw it, it was dragging itself across a sun beaten sidewalk (no shade in sight of where it was). i picked it up and tried to give it some water. it tried to drink, but not much luck there. i then got it into my air conditioned car to take it to a vet's office (which was less than a 10-minute drive). in the coolness of the car, it seemed to get a little better as it started moving more and fighting to get out my grasp (it was feral, remember). but then it seemed to have some sort of seizure. in the few minutes it took to get to the vet's office, it had gone limp, and i suspect died (or very close to it). the vet took it to the back exam room and in the course of me washing my hands, she came out and told me that the kitten didn't make it.

nyc is going through a bit of heat wave, and in case i ever see this again, what, if anything could i have done better? even though i did the best i could under the circumstances, and the odds are nothing could have been done as i don't know how long the kitten was out in the full sun and heat, i'm a little haunted, wondering if i could have done more.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am so sorry that this happened. Thank you for trying to rescue this little one.

I am wondering if there was something more than just heat stroke going on with this cat. Dont' get me wrong - heat stroke is very serious. However, cats are usually quite good at finding the coolest place possible and not being too active. I don't believe I have ever seen a cat in for heat stroke. It is usually dogs who have been left in the car or taken out for long walks on a hot day.

There is a good chance that this kitten had something else such as a virus, severe parasites or a serious infection.

The seizure doesn't tell us much. Often animals will have a seizure just before they die.

It sounds like you did absolutely everything you could to help this little one. I don't think anyone could have saved him or her.

Rest assured you did a good thing and this was in no way your fault!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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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.