A week ago I brought the four rescue kittens from SC to the Vet. A few had the sniffles and some eye discharge, so they were all put on Clavamox for the next 10 days. None of them were in bad shape, but I wanted to make sure they stayed that way.
For the next few days, the cats seemed basically all right. They played, ate well, sneezed. I did my best to keep my hands clean and began changing my clothes after I had any exposure to the kittens. I was very uncomfortable and uptight. I did not want my cats to get sick, too.
Then on Saturday, Monte started sneezing. Prior to that he'd been doing great, with no signs of trouble. On Sunday, his brother Dylan and sister, Delilah got adopted, but they had to stay behind because I can't let them go to their new home until everyone is feeling better.
Sunday night Monte really started to sound terrible. His sinuses were clogged, he blew a bubble out of his nose. He snorted like a stuffed up Daffy Duck. It was terrible. I know that URI's are viral, so only the secondary infections can be treated. Rest, fluids, running a humidifier, that's about it. I called the 24 hr ER Vet and asked if I should bring him in, but they told me if he was eating, had pink gums and didn't have a fever, he was OK to wait until morning. So, I tried to stick a thermometer up Monte's little butt hole. Yeah, that was fun. Temp was 100.5° F. Then I looked at his gums and they were pink and he did eat for me, he just sounded horrific.
Next morning, I went to check in on Monte and he sounded so bad that I just left the room, got the phone and called the Vet for an appointment. They were able to squeeze us in if I could get there before 10AM. It was just 8:30, but I was still bleary, having hardly slept and fighting off a cold or something myself for the past few days.
I got dressed quickly and Monte and I were on the road in a few minutes. We hit terrible rush hour (why do they call it RUSH? no one can go fast enough to RUSH!) traffic and it took about a million years to get to the Clinic, all while Monte was snorting and crying the entire trip. I was terrified he would crash on me on the way there.
George, the cute tech got Monte weighed and temped. He was at 101, which is still normal. The Vet did her exam and had George get an x-ray of Monte's lungs to rule out pneumonia!!! His lungs looked basically all right, but she felt he did have Bronchitis and a sore throat, not to mention an eye infection. She loaded me up with meds. Monte is on 6 different medications, to be given three times a day until they run out. I need to bring him back in a week for a re-check, if he doesn't get worse, first.
I asked about ways to reduce transmission to my cats and she told me this stuff is airborne, so basically I'm screwed. I'm taking my clothes off before I enter the foster room, then changing into clothes I have that are contaminated, that are in the room. When I leave, I just strip and run down the hall into the shower and put on fresh clothes. This is a huge pain in the ass. I hope it works. I have gone from being concerned to being outright terrified that my cats are going to get this stuff. Monte is so ill that if Bob catches what Monte has, it could kill Bob or Spencer (who has chronic breathing problems already).
Last year all my cats got sick. Each one had to be medicated daily for two weeks, twice a day. Bob and Spencer had to be locked in our bedroom with a humidifier and isolated. It was touch and go for a few days. I was horrified I'd lose them. Here I am once again, facing the same fear, about ten times more intensely.
I can't focus and am having a tough time doing anything. I just want to sit with Monte and hold him until he's all better. His siblings are all sick now, but none of them are in as bad shape-thank goodness. Trying to get them all healthy is a nightmare. I'm not sure if I'm giving them the URI by not sterilizing their eyedroppers each time. I'm definitely overwhelmed and angry at myself and wishing it was all done and over. I have to find a way to just ride this difficult time and do my best for the cats. I feel like I should know more and that I'm messing it up. Monte is 12 weeks old. I hope he's old enough to kick this. So far, I've never lost a kitten and I don't want to start now.