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    Anemic Kitten HELP
    An_250867 posted:
    I need some help. I have a 12 week old kitten. She has had diarrhea ever since we got her (about 2 weeks ago) and occasional vomiting. We eventually got her eating and playing but only after a scary night where she wouldn't eat or drink and would not get up on her own. I took her to our vet and they drew blood. We found she was anemic and have been giving vitamin supplements daily. She weighs 2.10lbs. We just took her (and her sister, who also has diarrhea but is overall ok) to get her rabies and feline leukemia shots. We brought her home and she had an accident on the carpet (never happens) and when I took her to the litter box I found she had a little blood in her diarrhea. It was an unusual color, very runny and her "bottom" was red and irritated. We love her very much and are frustrated because we don't want her to suffer. Please help!
    Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP responded:
    Anemia comes in two forms: regenerative and non-regenerative. Regenerative means her bone marrow is producing red blood cells (RBC's,) but she's losing them somehow (hemorrhage, destruction of RBC's, etc.) This is usually treatable. Non-regenerative means her bone marrow is not producing RBC's. This is usually not treatable, so the distinction is important. Your veterinarian can perform tests to determine which she has.

    In kittens and young cats, the most common diseases that cause anemia are Feline Leukemia, intestinal parasites, and RBC parasites. While nutrition can play an important role, it's no longer a common cause of anemia as kitten foods have improved over the years.

    Since your kitten has diarrhea and blood in her stool, she (and her sibling) should be checked for intestinal parasites if not done already. Even if she has and found to be negative, stool tests are not very accurate, so it wouldn't hurt to deworm her anyway. It's also important to check her for Feline Leukemia twice, two weeks apart, if she has persistent anemia. RBC parasites are difficult to diagnose but respond to the appropriate antibiotic, so this is sometimes given if RBC parasites are suspected.

    If her anemia persists, a bone marrow biopsy can be performed to determine the cause of her anemia. This is not a particularly difficult procedure, but you may need the services of a board-certified feline or internal medicine specialist to do this. If necessary, your veterinarian can refer you, but make sure to do the above tests and/or treatments first, as long as she's stable.

    Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP
    The Cat Doctor
    Board Certified in Feline Practice
    twobengalkats replied to Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP's response:
    Thank you!!
    I have not had them tested for Feline Leukemia, but they did just get vaccinated for it. I will ask my vet (hopefully today) when they call me back. I tool the stool sample in, and they tested it for worms and it was negative. Because of the continual issue with the diarrhea (yes, she still has it) they sent it for further testing to the Ohio dept. of Agriculture. I was supposed to get a call yesterday with the results but am still waiting to hear back.
    They mentioned that she is producing WBC and RBC, so they do feel it was regenerative and treatable. I have been giving both kittens (just in case) a vitamin supplement with extra iron at my vet's suggestion.
    Her attitude is much better, she is eating regularly (and quite a bit actually) and she is playing with her sister between 4 5 hours a day. She seems to have grown, but not gained much weight. Her sister has significantly gained weight, almost double in 3 weeks.
    I appreciate the information so much, it seems that very little details are available without consulting a vet directly, and to be honest I didn't get half as much info from my vet as you gave me.
    Being a nursing student myself, I understand how sometimes it is easy to forget to explain the full details of a condition to someone, but I am so worried about her health.

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