Hand-Rearing Kittens: Shock

Causes are numerous and include hypothermia; sudden blood loss from a wound, internal bleeding or from the umbilical cord. Blood pressure drops abruptly due to lack of blood volume. Heartbeat is weak, rapid and irregular (fluttery). Breathing is shallow. There is general weakness, possible loss of consciousness, drop in temperature, pale gums and tongue, reduced urinary output of urine and there may be trembling or shivering.

If the kitten is unconscious, seek immediate veterinary help.

If it is cold treat it as for hypothermia. Otherwise maintain its temperature carefully at 35?C (95?F). Overheating too quickly increases the degree of shock.

If it is conscious and has a normal temperature, give 1 – 1.5 ml of electrolyte solution (according to its size) every 30 mins. As it improves, increase the volume and decrease the frequency of the feeds. Gradually re-introduce milk feeds. It will probably be so weak that tube-feeding is required.