This past week has been pretty rough on our newest arrival. Momma Cat, now known as Penny, suffered the loss of all four of her babies this weekend. The veterinarians and technicians were shocked to find that the litter had passed away over the course of Saturday night. Besides Penny's dehydration, both her and her kittens were eating normally.
The doctors at the Animal Health Clinic decided to go ahead with blood work to see if there was an underlying problem that a regular physical exam wouldn't have covered. After running bloods, it showed up that little Penny has an anemic blood disease called haemobartonella, which was probably picked up even before her arrival at the pound 2 weeks ago. Haemobartonella is a parisitic disease transferred through flea bites or open wounds and was definitely the cause of the death of the little kittens. Unfortunately, even if we had discovered the blood disease earlier, Penny's litter still would not have survived. The mother cat automatically passes this disease onto her litter, so the chance of her babies making it through when they were so fragile was slim.
Luckily, haemobartonella is not a long term disease. Thankfully our little girl will make it through, despite her ordeal. Penny was started on antibiotics immediately and will be placed in her foster home this weekend. In the meantime, we are giving her loads of TLC and hope for a forever home that will love her as much as we do.