Can you give a nursing mother sub-q fluids?

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  • #2036
    Tony Scott

    Hello all,

    Long story. Will try to keep it short. This past Saturday I took in a semi-tame stray female cat with her newborn, hours-old litter of 4 kittens. She’s been hanging out in my yard a lot lately, and I have been leaving food and water out for her.

    I already have 7 cats living in my house, 6 of whom were strays I adopted from my own back yard (all indoor-only cats, btw). I have already talked to a no-kill shelter, and they say they can probably take the kittens in 6 weeks or so, provided they are socialized. The mama cat (I’m calling her Nadia) is clearly freaked at being in captivity, not to mention what her body has just gone through. But so far she has behaved very well overall (just hissing at me a few times) and she is taking very good care of the kittens. She lets me handle them. I am keeping the whole family seperate from my 7 cats.

    I called my vet, and the assistant on the phone said that as long as mama and kittens appear to be healthy and eating, etc, I don’t need to bring them in for probably another 3 weeks or so. I’m not anxious to bring Nadia to the vet anytime soon if I don’t have to, because I know it will freak her out and she has been through so much in the last few days. And also becaise of the “semi-tame” part – I’m just not sure how Nadia will react to the whole family taking a trip to the vet.

    I have so many questions but here’s the most pressing. Saturday, Nadia didn’t have much of an appetite, but she did eat a little (I leave dry kitten food out for her all the time, and give her canned kitten food twice a day). Sunday, her appetite really picked up and she was scarfing down the canned food. Monday, I moved her and the kittens to my bedroom (they had been on my porch and it’s hot outside). She was upset by this, but still eating fairly well. Tuesday, her appetite noticably went down. She barely touched the canned kitten food and nibbled a tiny bit of the dry food.

    Today, she won’t even touch the canned food. She is eating noticably more of the dry food, and drinking water and using the litterbox, but I’m still worried about her. She has 4 little ones constantly sucking on her like furry vampires, and I know she needs her nutrition. I pinched the skin on the back of her neck, and I do believe it snapped back too slowly (possible sign of dehydration). Also, she licks her lips sometimes when I pet her (possible sign of nausea) and she is breathing fast (I suppose that could be anxiety). Again, the kittens appear to be healthy and well cared-for.

    I’ll take her to the vet if need be, but like I said I would prefer to wait until she has had some time to settle in and adjust to everything. I used to have a kitty with CRF, so I know how to give sub-q fluids at home, and I still have a bunch of sub-q supplies in my house, including a bag of Ringers well in front of its expiration date. The bag was injected with B-vitamins, and the fluid is clear yellow. I would like to give Nadia a sub-q with these fluids. I think I could do it, and it would really help her to feel better. But I just don’t know if it’s okay to give a nursing mother sub-q fluids, let alone one with B-vitamins.

    Does anybody know if this would be okay? Or have any other suggestions on what I should be doing to help her? Am I worrying too much? Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer. BTW, I am planning to gives the kittens away to either the no-kill shelter or good homes, and adopt Nadia myself.


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