Wednesday, July 23, 2014

In Training ~ Mousers & Rabbit Hunters

July 19th- Onyx & Nox

Last Friday we added two little kittens to our family.  After many conversations about the rabbits in the garden and possible ways to deter them from visiting our yard, we decided to adopt these little babies in hopes they'll make fine hunters some day.

July 18th- Onyx

They are approximately 8 weeks old now and are very small and underweight.  While Onyx is the more active, healthier one, Nox has been sickly, but is on the mend. 

July 18th- Onyx

On the drive home Friday afternoon, I heard Nox breathing loudly and sneezing.  I hadn't noticed much when we checked him out before adopting, just that he was skinny and needed lots of food.  It wouldn't have made a difference though, I wouldn't have adopted one and left the other behind.  Once we were home & settled, I called the vet to schedule an appointment for both of them.  At this point, Nox was blowing bubbles from his nose.

July 18th- Onyx

It was recommended that we place Nox in the bathroom for about 10-15 minutes with the shower running to give him some steam therapy so we did that Saturday and Sunday morning.  We would see him drinking a little water throughout the day, but hadn't seen him eat anything except a few nibbles Friday evening.

July 19th- Nox (sitting) & Onyx

At the vet appointment Sunday evening, Nox's diagnosis was an upper respiratory viral infection and he was very dehydrated.  He was given a subcutaneous fluid injection and looked like a little hunch back kitty, but those fluids were quickly absorbed by his body.  The doctor prescribed an antibiotic to fend off pneumonia, which he was headed for, a nutritional supplement to help fight the virus (for both of them, Onyx had begun sneezing as well) and an appetite stimulant.  We started the meds Sunday night and saw a little more activity from Nox on Monday, but he still wasn't interested in eating.  His eyes looked clearer and he wanted to play more, but that was it.  We, of course, continued the meds as scheduled morning & night.

July 19th- Onyx (left) & Nox

Tuesday morning I gave Nox his meds and hoped he would eat, but again he just turned away.  A couple hours later, I put just a little canned food in his bowl (I'd been mixing canned & dry) and he still turned away.  I picked him up in one hand, scooped up a little canned food in my other hand and put it up to his mouth.  After a few seconds, he started licking it off my fingers.  Once that was gone, I sat him down at the bowl and he slowly began eating.  Finally!  After 3 days, he finally felt like eating something!  He ate for a while and I gave him more once he was "finished".  He ate a few times over the afternoon and then ate his dinner.  Fresh dry food is left out overnight for them as well. 

July 22nd- Nox finally eating

Nox is very thin.  He's really just a furry little skeleton, but once he kicks this virus and eats several healthy meals, he should begin to fill out.
At the vet appointment Sunday night, Onyx weighed in at 2.6 pounds and Nox weighed 2.01 pounds.  It's amazing what a difference a half pound makes for a baby this size.

July 22nd- Nox (eating) and Onyx

They are both playful (especially Onyx with enough energy for both of them!) and are showing off their hunting skills attacking the little faux birdies.

July 22nd- Nox, after filling his little belly with his first meal in several days

Once Nox is feeling better, we'll properly introduce them to the dogs, who have only seen & sniffed them through the safety gates in the house.  I hope they'll all get along and not turn the house upside down chasing each other.

July 22nd- Onyx, feeling frisky, ready to pounce

They are due for their shots today, but have to wait until they are both 100% better.  We'll introduce them to the outdoors a little at a time, but for now they can practice stalking the dogs and faux birdies in the house.   I'll update again with any news of health improvements and weight gains.

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