Dog ate chocolate?

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Young cat died after sneezing.

Species: Cat
Breed: DSH
Age: Less than 3 mon
I run a very small rescue. I have about 10 cat cages that I utilize.

I had four kittens in my care, recently just adopted out one kitten. The kitten was very small, about 16 weeks. Had all shots, dewormed, and was free of fleas. 1 week after he was adopted into his new home, the owner called me to tell me that he was dead one morning. He did say a very little amount of sneezing was present.

This kitten was housed with three other kittens I was taking care of. I am worried about them developing a URI if that kitten was incubating the disease or was spreading it. The other kittens were vaccinated the day they came in.

Picture of three remaining kittens here: http://s18.postimg.org/cv5c7ksy1/DSC08545.jpg

Should I go ahead and start antibiotics as a precautionary measure since one of the kitties have sneezed a few times or should I wait until I see more signs that point to disease?

Is there any other things I can do to prepare for an upper respiratory infection and help them survive if they are incubating it? I do have some vet tech experience with giving shots and meds. I am just worried and mad at myself for paring them together, I was just hurting for space at the time.

Thanks much.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry to hear about this poor little kitty.

I am suspicious that there was something other than a respiratory infection that was responsible for this cat's death. While a respiratory infection can be fatal, you would see a lot more than just a little sneezing.

If a young cat dies suddenly I wonder about a heart condition such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This would be something that he would have been born with and there really is nothing that you would want to do with the other cats as it would not be something contagious.

Antibiotics are not necessary for these cats. If there is a respiratory virus, the virus won't be killed by antibiotics. However, if a cat gets a virus and it gets to the point where there is green nasal discharge it may be that there is also a secondary bacterial infection. If that happens then you can talk to a vet about getting some antibiotics.

It is possible that the deceased kitty had a virus that was affecting his immune system such as FIV, FIP or Feline Leukemia virus. If this is the case then it is possible that the other cats have this too. You could have them tested, but there is no cure for these viruses so testing would not change much. However, once again, even with one of these viruses I would not expect a cat to die without seeing severe illness first.

I'm sorry that I don't have an exact answer for you, but the odds are high that this was an isolated event and the other cats should be ok.

They may still get an upper respiratory virus so keep an eye on them. If you are noticing green nasal or eye discharge or reluctance to eat then a vet visit is a good idea.

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.