Fading kitten syndrome
Kittens that appear clinically normal when born, but begin to show slowing of growth, weakness, inappetance and pale mucous membranes are at risk of sudden death.
Every cat from birth to ten days of age is considered a newborn, but until the twentieth day it is in transition between neonatal and juvenile phase. At birth, the kitten pass through a relatively free of microorganisms environment in the maternal uterus to another full of physical, chemical and biological pathogens. At this stage the young cat is susceptible to several infectious disorders due to the break of the barrier represented by the uterine environment during pregnancy associated with the immaturity of physiological pathways, frequently causing kitten losses, which should not be considered normal despite its physiological vulnerability. The clinical evaluation of newborn kitten, due in the first moments of its life, provides information about supporting a correct therapeutic approach. A prudent and regular veterinary intervention before, during and after birth can result in increased rates of neonatal survival.
Cause of fading kitten syndrome:
- Exposure - environmental (too cold, too hot, maternal abandonment)
- Maternal abandonment/infanticide syndrome
- Colostrum transfer failure
- Dietary mismanagement - underfeeding, poor nutrition
- Parasites - both external and internal - (fleas and roundworms being the most common)
- Viral - FHV, FeLV FIP, FeLV, FCV, Panleucopaenia
- Bacteria - various Streptococci spp, Staphylococci spp and Bordetella bronchiseptica
- Protozoa - Chlamydia felis, Hemobartonella felis , Toxoplasma
- Immune-mediated - Neonatal isoerythrolysis
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- Davidson, A. 1998. Problems surronding whelping and waning In: The American College of Teriogenologist/ Society for Theriogenology. Canine Reproduction Symposium, 45-49
- Schaffer, A.J.; Avery, 1979. Doenças do recém-nascido. 4 ed. Rio de Janeiro: Interamericana, 941p.
- Jones, R.L. 1987. Special Considerations for Appropriate Antimicrobial Therapy In: Neonates. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Pratice, v.17, n. 3, 577-602p
- Anderlini, GP (2009) Clinical and neurological evaluation of newborn cats: Clinical parameters, frequency of the disorders. WSAVA proceedings, Brazil