Other Related Problems
Mastitis can be the last thing
on your mind when you
get that promising litter of kittens delivered. Sometimes it’s a lack
of milk and sometimes there’s milk but she gets infections, resulting
in milk that is not advised by most professionals to have the kittens
What to do? Any time you suspect infection it’s
veterinary care. While dairy cattle have infusions that can be done
that isn’t usually the case with small animals like cats or even dogs. Milk
infection can turn deadly and can affect any lactating female.
is an infection that is caused from heavy milk production and the milk
being retained. For example, in dairy animals if there is a power
outage that delays milking for several hours it’s not uncommon for
infection to occur. With cats heavy milk production is a relative
- Perhaps she’s producing more than the kittens
can consume, or a
couple of kittens die.
- The teats become swollen and
painful to the point often the mother won’t allow the
kittens to nurse. This is something that needs veterinary attention.
it isn’t common in cats hypocalcemia or ‘milk fever’ has occurred if
calcium levels during pregnancy and lactation are low. Seizures,
staggering, muscle tremors, collapse and restlessness with panting can
all indicate this medical emergency.
is a uterine infection that is a veterinary emergency also. While there
will be normal vaginal drainage after having kittens if it is foul
smelling don’t waste time.
- Although queens normally don’t have major
it pays to be aware that it *can*
happen and know the signs to look for if it does.
- This is also why it
pays to have a plan. Any of these cases means you will have to hand
feed the kittens until she has recovered.
- This means having fresh milk
replacement on hand when a litter is due or if there’s another queen
with a litter, fostering the kitten(s) onto her.
With exceptional mothers you can take a tip from
breeders – if a doe is lost and a foster doe can’t handle another
litter some breeders have two nest boxes…12 hours her own litter is in
there and the other 12 hours is the foster litter. Of course kittens
nurse more and will need supplemental milk even in the best of
Any queen with a litter should be on
top quality food
and plenty of water for milk production. If concerned about mastitis as
the kittens are weaned, decreasing the amount of food for a couple
weeks means less nutrition and naturally less milk. The nearly weaned
kittens will keep the milk from building up and as it drops they can be
safely weaned with a reduced chance of mastitis in the queen.
Having a good quality feed and management program,
with attention to health concerns,
means more often than not this information is a “just in case” warning
of what can happen, not what will happen. However, if it happens to you
then you will be happy to know what to do to save the kittens and the
Need any advice now? Ask a vet
From Mastitis to Health
From Mastitis to Queens'
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