Kittens are fragile and are a lot of fun too. They offer unlimited entertainment and bowl us over with their unconditional cuteness. A kitten when adopted is generally healthy but with time they easily pick up different infections and are quickly affected by physiological problems like dehydration, low sugar levels and so on.
Generally, pet owners take their kitten to the vet only at about 8 weeks when the animal is due for its first vaccination. However, experts recommend all pet parents (especially those who are unaware of the various cat diseases) to visit the veterinarian as soon as they adopt a kitten.
Listed below are some common illnesses that affect your feline friend during the early stages of life.
Flea infestation is one of the most troublesome cat diseases and kittens are more prone to acquiring the infection from their environment than the adult cats. A single flea measures only about 2 mm and sucks a small drop of blood but a collective infestation can cause fatal conditions in the pet. A flea infestation is characterized excessive itching, fur loss and traces of blood in the fur. Flea combs and flea removal applications (for kitten above 6 weeks) can offer substantial relief for the animal.
Upper Respiratory problems
Infections like feline herpes or feline calicivirus can affect the upper respiration system of young cats. These conditions cause loss of appetite, excessive sneezing, runny nose and eyes, trouble with breathing and lethargy. Kittens with these symptoms must be immediately rushed to the hospital for medical assistance. While there is no definitive treatment for the upper respiratory infection, the symptoms can wane off in few days with sufficient medical care.
Intestinal worms (Intestinal parasites)
Kittens deserve regular de-worming treatments as roundworms and hookworms are regular visitors to their intestines. Some kittens are indeed born with unpleasant parasites in their intestines. When ignored, intestinal parasites cause weight loss and diarrhea and worms can pass onto other pets and humans through the kitten’s fecal matter. Veterinarians perform stool tests in kitten and suggest suitable de-worming products for the animal.
Feline distemper (Feline Panleukopenia)
Feline distemper can be lethal as it directly affects the immune system of the kitten. While the condition is pretty rare, it is highly contagious and kittens with feline distemper are often euthanized. The symptoms of the disease include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, seizures and lack of appetite. Kittens suffering from feline distemper must be isolated as the infection spreads easily and can affect other pets through the fecal-oral route.
Ear mites are parasites that infect the ear canal of an animal and are extremely common in kittens. Ear mites are minute in size and cannot be identified easily. Kittens with itchy ears, unpleasant smell around the area and discharge of a dark powder-like substance indicate the presence of ear mites. Ear mites are contagious and can take up to 10-15 days to be completely cured. In some cases, excessive itching can cause the kitten to burst a blood vessel.
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