Q. I have two 3 week old kittens that I am bottle feeding. The kittens both have diareaa and there buts are red. Is there anything I can do ?
LAURA E. MCRAE
A. Diarrhea in kittens can be caused by many things, including intestinal parasites (very common in kittens), wrong formula, recent changes in diet (from queen's milk to formula or from one formula to another), and other gastrointestinal upsets. Their bottoms are likely red and irritated from the diarrhea soiling the fur and skin, trapping moisture against the skin and serving as a breeding ground for bacteria. First, stop feeding the formula. Second, collect a fecal sample to be analyzed by your veterinarian for intestinal parasites. Third, call your vet and make an appointment as soon as possible, ideally the same day. Diarrhea in kittens is serious business and can lead to death from dehydration and loss of nutrients. Finally, in place of formula give an electrolyte replacement solution (like Pedialyte for infants/children) - plain, no flavors, no colors - for at least the next 1-2 feedings. This is not the same as a sports drink. After the 1st or 2nd feeding of straight electrolyte replacement solution, start to add formula back into diet at 1/4 strength ( 1 part formula to 3 parts water), The following feeding mix 2 parts formula to 2 parts water. Then, 3 parts formula to 1 part water. Finally, offer full-strength formula. If the diarrhea continues or worsens with increasing amounts of formula, go back to just electrolyte solution and repeat the process.
A. The best thing to do is taking them to the vet to get an accurate weight and deworming medication. Also, Kitten stool can be soft but if you are seeing diarrhea it can be concerning because you don't want them to become dehydrated and the KMR or milk replacer may not be enough.