Hand-Rearing Kittens: Septicemia

Kittens with septicemia have a raised temperature and their gums and tongue are fiery red. They are distressed, restless and often keep rolling over where they lie. They cry with a pathetic ‘mew". Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential if the kitten is to survive. The vet will prescribe appropriate antibiotics. Such kittens are critically ill and require tube-feeding and attention to the environmental temperature. Many will not survive despite best efforts of vets.

If septicaemia has been acquired through the umbilical cord, you may see a small, pus filled blister at the umbilical area. This can be treated by bathing the blister 3 times daily with salt water until it blister erupts. Afterwards, dust the cord with wound powder (e.g. Ster-Zac) after each feed until the cord drops off and the navel has healed.