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Discussion Starter #1
So I took on a project. A kitten I estimate to be about 4 weeks old. Won't nurse but loves watered down soft food. but still needs to be rubbed to use the bathroom. and is going regularly.

Doctor suspects its radial nerves are damaged both its front legs are bowed out a little. but she can Flex her paws. but the legs are very weak and she is unable to walk on them they drag. but if I stand her up she has the strength to balance on them. Her legs are kind of bowed out like its probably maybe something that happened during birth.

do you think as this kitten grows and gets more strength it may be able to function semi well even if the legs do not get all their function? From my experience animals adapt to their conditions and this kitten being born this way might live a happy life not knowing. its happy now and not in pain.

any suggestions opinions? this is a new experience for me. The lady who dropped her off named her Scrappy thinking it was a boy. I changed it to Scarlet when I found out she is a little girl. Orange tabby fluffy. and her eyes are very light blue not the general grey of kittens so I wonder if they may stay blue never seen a kitten with such baby blue eyes usually they are blue/grey and they change.
 

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Maybe it's just caused by malnutrition? Hopefully. I think I'd just do little "physical therapy" things like walk her around supporting her weight so her legs get exercise and give her a good diet. Maybe she'll at least get basic usage.
 

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I know there's a procedure for splinting/wrapping bowed front legs in young pups. I don't have any links, but I remember quite a few sites that offered instructions on how to go about this. Maybe something like that could work for her? I also second Willowy's idea about getting her using them as much as possible, being so young she has a lot of malleability and you'd be surprised how much some of these deformities can be corrected with diligent rehabilitative efforts. I've personally seen a pup born with a foreleg bent at a 90-degree angle that was gradually corrected. As an adult her leg is completely straight and you would have no idea that anything had ever been amiss...yet along something so drastic.
 

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Every Min I can spare I prop her up on her legs and straighten them out and encourage her to balance on them. I put her in a little litter and she pooped!! What a good little girl! She is so full of fire. when she eats she is ravenous. I will add some vitamins and maybe some formula to her food to get her extra nutrition. her front right leg is bent funny but not broken just deformed and I am a little worried about her back right leg is also weak but straight.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update:

So after observing her for a few days on a proper diet.

Her front legs are very strong she is starting to climb with them. I Think that she was weak from being underfed and after a few days of a proper diet she perked right up. Cries SO LOUD. The bad news. Her right rear leg is broken at the knee. She is to young to perform surgery on and its already begun to heal and the bone is already mending together. She can even flex her leg. Its extremely swollen but the vet feels that it would be worse to break and reset the leg at this point. He thinks it will heal but maybe slightly crooked but usable. At this age even medications are hard on them and she has no infection and does not appear to be in any pain. You can manipulate the leg without any response and she has a good amount of strength in it...a little stronger everyday.

she just cries CONSTANTLY as soon she can see. when you cover her up or turn the lights off...quiet...I think that she has a ways to go to recover from her starvation she is skin and bones. I am shocked she is alive most kittens don't live through that at this age...and good lord she is feisty one...she will chomp you finger if she thinks its food and she loves to eat stuffs her face. I think her feisty personality is what saved her...she is just a pistol. I think she is going to be a mean cat lol She is on vitamins and soft food. Doing well.

I wish I knew why she cries when she can see. Lights on...She screams. lights off...quiet...lights on SCREAMS. I dont understand! Ive fostered probably 30 kittens >.< any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK so I need some kitten advice!

Update First:
Annie is healthy. Happy. Has almost full use of her broken leg. there is no more swelling in her leg at all it looks almost normal but it bows outward just a little when she runs. She only has a slight limp. She runs. plays. eats. never stops. Like a normal kitten. She uses her litter box. drinks and eats normally for a kitten her age. She has no fear lol and is a joy to be around. I love this little one.

Ive had this kitten for almost a month. I estimate her to be about 8.5 weeks old. You can read the above posts for her details. When I first rescued her She had most of her teeth in. including the lower molars which come in at 4-5 weeks old....Her upper molars are starting to come down this week...so that just confirms my estimate of her age...since upper molars do not start to come down until they are 8 weeks old.

With that said to me she looks very small for her age.

Its SO hard to get a picture of her she is such a active little thing. My adult rescue cat has a hard time catching for what he feels are important baths lol he just loves her. He is teaching her how to play nice since she has no siblings to teach her whats nice and what isn't. He sleeps outside her kennel. I wish I could keep her :(

what do you think of her growth rate? I think its behind cause of her malnourishment. Her muscles were wasted away when I first took her in causing her not to even be able to use any of her legs.

11/19/13 est 4-5 weeks old. First day. No use of legs.


11/19/13 Bath time. I had to risk it she was filthy dirty. look at how skinny she was.



11/25/13 one week later. she was getting strong and playing. She climbed out of her box this day all on her own. yay!



Annie today. ( she won't sit still!!!)





 

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She is adorable! So good to hear of her recovery. I recently adopted a kitten from the clinic I work at who was attacked by a dog at 5 weeks old and surrendered to us. He's almost 7 weeks now and doing amazingly. Thanks for the update!
 

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Some cats are just tiny? We have small cats (a year or older) in the shelter all the time; mal-nourishment probably has a lot to do with it, or maybe being born the runt of a litter?

When I was little, our neighbors had a cat that was seriously, the tiniest thing, even at 3 years old. She was easily less than half the size of our cat at the time. Granted, our cat was 12 lbs and not obese... but I could easily lift the neighbors cat with one hand, even at the age of 10. Zoey was probably 5 lbs tops.
 

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I think she's looking great, especially, taking her history into consideration. She may be a tiny cat as an adult, or she may just be a little behind, due to the rough start she's had.

I also wouldn't worry too much about her crying unless it's dark or she's covered up. My current foster, is a singleton and around the same age. She will do the exact same thing. I can relate to wanting to keep her. I wish I could keep my little Daisy too!

I've found the catforum.com to be helpful with questions as well. Anyway, she looks great, she's lucky to have such a caring foster mama!
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Discussion Starter #10
Annie found her furever home today! I am so happy for her. but for some reason at the same time for the first time after fostering a animal ive been crying on and off all day :( I think possibly we had a special connection. I miss her terribly :(
 

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I can relate! My foster went back to the shelter today, to get spayed and put on the adoption floor. I have fostered other kittens as bottle babies and not felt so bonded to them. Daisy was special, we seemed to click in a different way. It's tough, I'm so sorry you are missing your girl too.

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That is exactly why I haven't applied to foster any dogs... trying to set myself up for success, haha. Even though they had problems finding a foster home for this one dog who absolutely fell in love with me, and she was just the sweetest thing... She would've been a foster failure for sure. The first time I worked with her, the staff warned me that she was really scared and would probably snap, and as soon as I was in the kennel, she jumped right into my lap.... uuugh. :(
 
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