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A neonate is a newborn, and an orphan is a neonate without a dam (a female parent). This may occur due to a variety of circumstances including death or illness of the dam or an inability of the dam to produce sufficient amounts of good quality milk.
Veterinary care should include diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of the illness (if present) and guide subsequent recommendations. Diagnostic tests used in orphaned kittens include:
Treatment is dependent upon the health and age of the orphan and presence of concurrent disease. Therapy may include the following:
Week 1: 13 to 15 ml per 100 g body weight
Week 2: 15 to 18 ml per 100 g body weight
Week 3: 20 ml per 100 g body weight
Week 4: 20 ml per 100 g body weight and also eating mostly solid food
Kittens can be orphaned due to a variety of causes. This can include poor quality or quantity of milk production and death, loss or illness of the queen.
The most common causes of sickness and sometimes death, for neonatal kittens are:
Other possible illnesses include: pneumonia, early placental insufficiency, induced hypothermia, infectious diseases, drug toxicity, congenital abnormalities, abnormally low birth weights, traumatic insults during or after the birth process, parasites, placental infections, neonatal isoerythrolysis, and undetermined causes.
Veterinary care should include diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of the symptom and help guide subsequent treatment recommendations. Diagnostic tests may include:
Additional diagnostic tests may be recommended on an individual pet basis:
Therapy may include one or more of the following: