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Hand reared = weaker immune system?

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Butchie was hand reared because his 5 siblings wouldn't let him get any of mummy's milk. I suppose that makes him the runt of the litter? It was his mum's first litter, but I'm not sure if that made any difference. The woman we got him from was not really a breeder, it was more of a hobby and she might have one litter a year. She noticed he was getting weak and couldn't feed with his siblings, so she hand reared him and grew up a bit separate from the other kittens.

When it finally came to gotcha day we noticed he had a bit of a sniffle. A week passed and he seemed to get more snotty and had runny eyes. We asked the breeder for advice, and she said she'd noticed it a bit too, but we had all thought it was a reaction to the 2nd round of vaccinations that he'd had 2 days before we got him. She sent us L-lysine paste and offered to pay for the vet.

To cut a long story short, we took him to the vet and he got antibiotics for a chest infection which cleared up, but he has been snotty ever since and still has runny eyes. Nearly 5 months in we are still wiping his nose daily when he sneezes, and from what I've read it's considered chronic and can last for months or even years.

I was just wondering what experiences others on here have had with any hand reared kittens (sphynx or not). Would you say they are more susceptible to getting sick? Kittens do get a lot of protection to disease from their mummy's milk, so...
 

MollysMom

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I would be more concerned with feline herpes with those symptoms... did you ask the vet if that was a possibility? I would *think* it is no different than a human baby being fed formula rather than breast milk. It happens lots and they still grow up to be healthy.
 

Toa and Ross

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Sorey to hear Butchie is having tbe sniffles for months now.
@MollysMom did a good suggestion about what it might be.

I have 4 sohynx. Two of them are hand reared. From my boys Toa and Ross, Ross is handreared. He never has a health issues (being almost 4 now). Toa on the other hand has a skin disease.
Foxy is one of my two girls. She's hand reared too and very tiny. She's only 15 weeks old now but is healthy and strong!

Sending healing vibes to Butchie!
 
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@MollysMom Yes, the vet thought that a virus is the underlying cause and FHV was mentioned, and Calici too. I think FHV is more likely based on the symptoms. The first vet we saw suggested a throat and eye swab to find out, but it's just really to know what you're dealing with, you still can't cure it. Since Butchie is healthy apart from the persistent snotty nose and somewhat runny eyes, the 2nd vet we saw said she didn't think it would have any real benefit. So we decided to leave the swab, since he was still really young and he'd need to be sedated to do it... It only occurred to me after a couple of months that his immune system probably suffered from not having his mummy's milk. If he was to get worse at some point again, I think the swab could be good idea.

If anyone else has any experience of symptoms like this, I'd be very interested to hear more!
 
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@Toa and Ross I'm pleased to hear that your hand reared babies have been healthy! :) I read about poor Toa's skin problems, and hope he gets better, and same goes for Jade and the throat inflammation! Foxy sounds like a tough little cookie and I'm glad she's doing well :joyful:
 

NinaGato

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Udo has always had snot problems. We started seeing a new vet and in September he is getting his teeth cleaned a a sinus flush to clean out any deep debris and then the vet is going to put him on an antibiotic. The vet feels confident that this will help out our snot rocket boy.
At first they thought he had a nasal polyp from having a bad illness when he was small but the vet said there is a lot of sinus area in a cats head and they can hold onto a deep low grade infection.
We won't know till next month when his appt is but you are welcome to PM about his procedure afterward. He goes in on the 14th of next month.
 
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@NinaGato Oh, thanks a lot for that information! Very interesting! I am also changing vet soon, because I think the one we have been to so far has been pretty rubbish. I will most certainly ask about this when I go and am sending good vibes to you and Udo and hope it all goes well! Please let me know when he's had his procedure and your thoughts on the outcome :)
 
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@Yoda mom Thanks for checking in! :happy: Not much change when it comes to the sneezing and snotty nose unfortunately, and I'm very interested in hearing how the procedure works out for @NinaGato and her Udo. I've been thinking that I will explore options with a new vet when it comes to getting his wormer and weighing in October... The last week he's developed diarrhea though, which is more of a concern right now. (n) I've started him on some probiotics, so I hope that will help! I tried finding the s. boulardii online, but I could only really find it for humans, and didn't want to risk giving him that, as it tells you everywhere I read to not give human products to cats! I'm going to try to find some plain tinned pumpkin though.

I found an interesting article online saying a good probiotic for cats should contain both Bifido bacterium and Enterococcus faecium, the first helping in the smaller intestine and the second for the colon.

About 5-6 weeks ago we were at the vet because he had loose stools for a few weeks, and he got antibiotics for colitis, and he was fine after that - poo went back to being healthy. This diarrhea has come on for no apparent reason, no change in diet or anything else.:unsure:

Best Probiotics for Cats - Cat.Reviews


upload_2018-9-14_19-11-9.png
 

Yoda mom

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Thank you for sharing the product info
Keep us updated om its effectiveness


Awhile bsck I posted so tu my moms kitty vet gave her diar-Ezra for her kitty thst worked for her -
i wanted to pass it along as another option to ask your vet if it would be beneficial

Diar-Eze powder


Head smooches
Yes I am also watching for @NinaGato update on sweet Udo
 

NinaGato

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So, an update on Udo. He had his teeth cleaned and 3 large molars removed. We found out with the xrays that the turbinates in his left sinus are destroyed and are gone. Turbinates are bony features in the sinuses that help filter and divert air while they breathe. He also has narrowed nasal passage on that side. They still flushed out his sinus and did a antibiotic treatment. The vet thinks that with the bad teeth gone he will have less sinus issues but with the damage to his left sinus cavity it will be something we will have to monitor for the rest of his life.

We could only see the damage on the xrays so if it your cat has sinus issues I would reccomend you talk to your vet about doing some radiographs to check out the structures of the sinuses. The turbinates can be damaged or destroyed by a very bad URI usually early in kittenhood.
 

Yoda mom

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@NinaGato , healing vibes and head smooches to Udo
Thank you for sharing the information for all of us to learn about the turbinates and how it is related to a URI

Big Hug to you smd head smooches sent
 
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@NinaGato Thank you so much for that update and information! I meant to reply on Monday, but I forgot...:banghead: I'm glad it went well and I really hope it'll be the end of Udo's issues. I'm taking Butchie to a new vet on Friday armed with lots more information. I made it as soon as I read your post, as I'm concerned about his turbinates now :unsure: If anything can be done to alleviate his sneezy mucus problems, then I want to try it.
 
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Yesterday I took Butchie to see a new vet, and I felt better about this one. We've been to Vets4Pets until now, which anyone in the UK will know about, but they did not instill us with confidence... :shifty: I swear one vet even went in the back office once to Google something!

Anyway, I raised the chronic sinus issues Butchie's been experiencing, and thanks to @NinaGato I had a lot more information! We made a plan of action, starting with x-rays of his chest and head on the 2nd Oct - he'll be getting neutered then as well, so x-rays will be done while he's put under for that.

The vet said his heart sounds strong and healthy and his chest sounds clear, so he think the issues are more in the sinus cavities of the head. He was not convinced we'd be able to see enough on the x-rays though, since Butchie's sinus issues are bilateral - not just in one nostril or one (runny) eye, but both sides. He'll be having a CT scan next of his head and blood work at the same time, but since they don't have the equipment for that at the surgery we'll need to go to another place for that.

He said an alternative to a sinus flush are some kind of antibiotic eye drops, which sort of flush out the passage that's connected between eyes and nostrils, which would of course be a lot less invasive. He also mentioned that something called Interferon can be given in cases of chronic viral conditions to help boost the immune system, but we didn't go in to that much (yet).

So, we are taking it one step at a time, and I'm just hoping we can help alleviate Butchie's chronic sneezing and snot issuses... We have never known him to not be snotty during the 6 months we've had him :(
 
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