I think instead of doddling around, I'll be out with it from the start.
The boys have been diagnosed with Cerebellar Hypoplasia.
Today has been long.... very long... And when I think we've been challenged before, this was something thrown into the mix that I never would have expected.
It certainly explains a lot though.
How do we feel about it?
Initially, I thought, oh my god. They have something critical, most cats with CH are euthanized... our kittens are sick, and doomed...
Of course, I knew nothing of CH at that point.
So, this is what happened.
After many calls back and forth with the vet clinic today discussing the boys and their potential appointment for today... 15 minutes before it was to take place, I finally get in contact with Petsave after days (they are SO busy right now with the spring and all the things going on). This was the first time that it was laid out to them what was going on with the stool samples and worry of parasites (everything I've detailed to all of you here).
At first she was calm and said that that kind of thing was not to worry, but they wanted to examine the stool samples more carefully... and when I started to mention that they weren't walking yet... she suddenly became very silent. And immediately began asking questions like:
~ Are they wobbling? (Yes.)
~ Do their heads shake when trying to look at something? (Yes.)
~ Do they have trouble keeping focus on one thing? (Yes.)
~ Do they roll, sway, crawl - anything but walk? Their legs almost with no muscle? (Yes.)
~ When they try to walk, is it almost like their legs are 'getting ahead of them'? (Yes.)
~ Are they all over the place (Yes.), not able to use the litterbox (Yes.), not able to feed themselves? (Yes.)
Pretty good chance that CH is a factor. She immediately said to forget the appointment with the vet, and she (a professional herself) is going to make a special trip out of her busy day tomorrow to come to our house personally to examine them. And they will go to the Petsave vet after she checks them out.
After an extremely sad and scared phonecall with Doug, I began heavily researching the disorder online.
I have no doubt, not one bit, that our boys have this neurological problem. And there's nothing we can do about it.
I have so much I want to talk about... So much to report... So much I wish I had known that I want other people to know about it. But, I think I'm just going to lay it out as much as I can by posting.
What I can do right now is say, go read online about it. I found so many links today, especially YouTube videos like:
....And so so so many more.
In addition to CH, please read about how kittens can get it. The link to Cerebellar Hypoplasia is usually through the mother's contamination with Panleukopenia (also known as feline distemper), which we suspect Rosie must have had at some point (which confuses us, as she has never shown signs of this disease). I have many questions to ask our expert tomorrow. One situation could have been if they gave Rosie the shot for Panleukopenia while she was in the shelter... There would be enough in the vaccine to harm her babies. But, I'm only guessing, since she has never been sick. She could have also just had it in the wild, and been lucky enough to recover from it before she came here, as well.
I encourage any fosterers/cat owners to research both of these (and more, if you can), if you have never heard of it before.
For anyone out there at all: PLEASE vaccinate your pets!!!
I know I promised to discuss the comments from yesterday... and really, I suppose all I just want to say again is... Thank you. I know I say it often, but really, your comments/suggestions mean the world to me. I have taken pieces from what you have all told me, and have used it... especially the food suggestions!
Wesley is eating a KMR 2nd Step + Chicken Pate slurry through a large-holed-nipple bottle (mainly slurps it up, in combination of sucking), and it's improved SO much. He's eating way better now. Mind you, the change in diet has given him the runs, but, I think that's to be expected.
I posted a couple YouTube videos of cats/kittens with CH in the list above... and well, I'll let you all determine from our babes here. Here are a couple videos, as promised, of the boys tonight ~ At 5 and half weeks old.
In addition, a few sweetheart pics of my boy Wesley to follow.