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Naturally & Effectively
This webpage is the beginning of numerous pages to come, in my "spare" time (yeah right!). We are not veterinarian's, but we have worked with many distemper kittens. Many have asked for us to put together helpful ideas, thoughts, and experience in healing distemper kittens. As such, this is the beginning of our feline distemper information. Please check back for updates that are sure to come in the future.Topics covered thus far are: Temperature, Hydration, Hydration Methods, Antibiotics, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Lethargy, Home Treatment, Enemas - Oh My!, What Should I Feed My Kitten, How did my kitten get distemper?, Is it REALLY Distemper?, Vaccinations, Worming, Prophylactic Treatment for distemper, Think GOOD Thoughts, After Recovery, Will My Veterinarian Administer Kitty-DT (formerly Kitty Distempaid) remedy?, Disinfecting, and Stress.
THE SIMPLE BASICS ARE IMPORTANT
High grade fever tells us a kitten could dehydrate more quickly, as they are overheating, so they may need extra fluids. A fever can also tell us there is a secondary infection going on for which we may choose to either be a little heavier handed with the antibiotic we are using or for those using homeopathic remedies, the high grade fever helps guide us to the appropriate remedy.
A low grade fever tells us the kitten is chilled. When we are "chilled", we put on a sweater, jacket, or cover up with a warm blanket. The same courtesy should be extended to our kitten family members who have low grade fevers. No need to sit them on the furnace, but a light blanket helps them to keep their body heat in check, which can help them feel better and conserve their much needed energy for healing, instead of heating. A low grade fever also tells us that any fluids we give the kitten should be warmed to body temperature, as giving cold fluids would bring down the kitten's body temperature further.
Hydration is important. You can lose a distemper kitten to dehydration or secondary infection, PRIOR to losing them of distemper. This is why distemper kitties are put on IV's at the vet office, to prevent dehydration. Dehydration causes the organs to work harder and the body can shut down quickly, resulting in death.
IV's and Subcue fluids are hydration methods that a vet or a person trained in these methods can do easily. We recommend IV's or oral/enema dosing, as we are hearing that Sub Q fluids are not releasing fluids back into the system fast enough, when a kitten is continuing to vomit or have diarrhea, so they can still dehydrate. Personally, we have always used the oral and enema methods to keep distemper kitties hydrated. If a distemper kitty continues to vomit oral fluids, we generally use the enema method to help get them hydrated again, until they can keep fluids down orally. Using the Feline Distemper remedy and Pedialyte, per the Feline Distemper remedy insert instructions we have found enema fluids are completely retained in kitties who are dehydrated.
When dealing with distemper, any antibiotic should do, though our preference has always been to use Colloidal Silver (EIS) or a natural herbal antibiotic such as Vibactra Plus. Both EIS and herbal antibiotics are known to kill viruses, bacteria, and fungii unlike traditional antibiotics which are only known to kill bacteria and fungii. Plus, of course, being holistic minded, we always choose the holistic remedies, because we have found them to be far more effective than traditional ones. If you do not have a natural antibiotic though, use a traditional one. Just make sure you are dosing the distemper kitten with an antibiotic as directed to prevent secondary infection.
Please note, we highly recommend using Vibactra Plus or Colloidal Silver in conjunction with Kitty-DT (formerly Kitty Distempaid) remedies" when treating distemper. #1 because Vibactra Plus and Colloidal Silver are known to kill viruses, which NO traditional antibiotic can do and #2 because too frequently, kitties are being diagnosed with distemper when they either don't have it or they have BOTH distemper and coccidia. Vibactra Plus or Colloidal Silver kill microscopic single celled organisms/parasites, such as coccidia protozoan (they do not kill "worms" like roundworms, tapeworms, etc.). Instances where a kitty is treated for "distemper" and their kitten really had "coccidia", kitties die, whether treated on vet IV's or at home. Therefore, using Vibactra Plus or Colloidal Silver helps heal kittens or cats whether they have distemper or coccidia.
- a. MOTION SICKNESS ~ Movement can trigger vomiting. Whether a car ride, picking your kitten up and moving her to another location, or just from the kitten getting up to urinate or drink. When WE have the flu, our tummy is queasy, and movement can trigger headaches, dizziness, and vomiting for US, just as it can for distemper kitties.
b. DEHYDRATION ~ Being dehydrated can trigger vomiting. Dehydration is likely the single biggest reason kitties are vomiting.
c. EXCITEMENT ~ If you go to visit your distemper kitten while she is at the vet's on IV's, the excitement of seeing you can sometimes trigger vomiting. The same as seeing you walk in the door after being home without you can trigger vomiting. It may also be the combination of getting up from a laying position (which they were laying low because movement can make them vomit) and being so excited to see you that they momentarily "forgot" they were sick.
d. EXCESSIVE FLUIDS ~ Often, distemper kitties quit consuming water on their own, so when they start drinking water, WE get excited they are drinking. Our excitement is short lived, after our little distemper kitten gulps down too much water, only to vomit it up seconds later, in a massive mess all over the floor...We recommend keeping only 5 or 6 licks worth of water or plain flavored pedialyte in a bowl on the floor for the kitten to consume. As soon as they drink this water, we wait 10 minutes and then replace the empty bowl with more water or pedialyte, tho just enough for 5 or 6 licks. NOT so much that they weigh down their little tummies and heave it back all over the floor. Here again, remember, the distemper virus is like a really terrible human flu. When we have the flu, if we drank an 8 oz. glass of water, we'd be vomiting too. Small amounts of fluids, frequently. You can give the kitten ice chips to lick also.
e. EXCESSIVE ORAL DOSING ~ If you are dosing your distemper kitten yourself with the Kitty-DT (aka Kitty Distempaid) remedy and your kitten continues to vomit after 2 or 3 hourly doses, you can make the doses smaller and give half the hourly dose, every half hour. Hourly doses can even be broken down into quarters by giving 1/4 the hourly dose every 15 minutes. Make sure the kitten isn't dehydrated though, as vomiting can be indicative of dehydration. If the kitten isn't on IV's or Subcue fluids and the oral doses continue to make the kitten vomit, "I" would give an enema instead. Enema fluids are completely maintained by dehydrated distemper kitties.
f. EXCESSIVE WORM LOADS ~ Excessive worm loads can cause a kitten to vomit. If worms are present in your kitten's vomit, call us for an emergency parasite tea recipe or call a local feed store and obtain Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
g. DEHYDRATION CAN KILL YOUR KITTEN ~ A lack of bodily fluid can cause a distemper kitten's heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, etc. to have to work harder. Eventually these organs give out and they can die quickly from dehydration, so preventing dehydration is very very important!
- 1. Diarrhea can cause dehydration, due to the loss of fluids. IF we are personally dealing with a distemper kitten who has a massive amount of fluid loss through diarrhea, we often make it a point to given them oral or enema fluids shortly thereafter, within 15 minutes or so, to replace the fluid loss, rather than waiting for their next scheduled hourly dose, to help prevent dehydration.
2. Many people want to stop the diarrhea with kaopectate or similar over the counter remedies or drugs. In the holistic world, it is said that diarrhea is the body's way of trying to rid itself of something that is making it sick, so stopping the diarrhea isn't necessarily a good thing. And in fact, it can actually make a kitten worse, by not allowing its body to get rid of what is making it ill quickly.
- 1. Some distemper kitties are relatively easy to heal and within the first few doses of the Kitty-DT (aka Kitty Distempaid) remedy they are starting to consume fluids on their own, quit vomiting, and within 12-24 hours they are eating. This is NOT always the case with all kitties. If you are thinking of treating your distemper kitten at home, keep in mind that the worst kitties we have worked with required every hour on the hour oral or enema dosing for 24-48 hours straight. Meaning, you might need some assistance, so you can get some sleep. IF you are using IV's, dosing can be easier, but you "should" dose the oral drops of Kitty-DT every hour on the hour until the kitten is consuming fluids and eating on its' own.
2. Some people take their distemper kitten to the vet and leave them on IV fluids while they go to their jobs during the day and pick their distemper kitten up in the evening and treat with Kitty-DT (aka Kitty Distempaid) remedy throughout the night time hours. Others take their sick kitten to the vet and have the vet administer subcue fluids and then take them home and administer the hourly oral doses of the Kitty-DT.
3. If you are treating a distemper kitten(ies) at home, we recommend keeping a record of everything you do and every thing the kitten does. Kind of like a doctor's chart. Every oral dose you give, every temperature you take, every antibiotic dose, every time the kitten has diarrhea, along with what color it was, every time the kitten vomits, etc. This helps YOU to remember when you gave the last dose, plus it is useful if someone else helps to care for the kitten while you get a 2 hour cat nap. They can see how the kitten has been doing, as well as read what doses you have been giving.
4. Many kitty and cat rescues are using the Kitty-DT (aka Kitty Distempaid) with 100% success and we KNOW Kitty-DT works without a doubt, it can be lots of work dosing them every hour on the hour. Healing them at home can be a lot of work, but the blessing is when they heal and YOU can get some sleep. Well, when they've healed you still might not get much sleep as then they are running around, meowing, wanting to be fed, getting into kitten trouble and wanting YOU to play with them! You have a best friend for life!
You can give an enema with a bulb syringe, or a standard clear syringe, like the one you may be using for oral doses. We prefer using clear syringes, as it's easy to see how much fluid is in them and it's easy to see how clean they are after washing. ALWAYS make sure to clearly mark an enema syringe with a good permanent marker and NEVER use an enema syringe even after it's been thoroughly washed to give an oral dose, as you can re-infect a kitten with distemper.
Please note, there are 2 kinds of syringes. One is made to screw a needle into, which does NOT make a good syringe for giving enema doses. If using a syringe for giving enemas, make sure the tip is nice and clean, without that flowery thing typical needle syringes have. Here's a photo of a good syringe to use for enemas.
Lubricate the end of your enema applicator with KY jelly, vitamin E, or similar. Make sure the kitten's spine is straight, as you cannot give an enema to a kitten that's curled up.
Administer the enema fluids VERY slowly. Pet the kitten and tell her/him why you are giving them an enema...to help them get better so they can be happy, healthy, eat, and play again.
IF your distemper kitten has a low grade fever, we recommend heating the fluids to body temperature, so their little furry bodies do not have to work hard at bringing the enema fluids to their body temperature. They need to be working on healing from distemper and should not be having to waste their energy bringing their body temp back up after getting a cold enema. It may make their recovery easier and quicker.
If giving an enema still sounds gross, please know that there have been one or two Kitty-DT (aka Kitty Distempaid) remedy customers the past 4 years who, despite our repeated informing of the importance of enemas, along with the written Kitty-DT instructions, did NOT give the enemas and both these kitties died. When it comes to life or death choices, if you aren't giving IV fluids, or if your kitten isn't keeping down the oral doses, give the enema(s) - PERIOD. They really aren't gross (and even if they were, SO WHAT) and could make the difference of whether or not your kitten lives or dies.
Please also note, the purpose of an enema is to hydrate a kitten so that they will be better able to hold down oral fluids. We do not recommend giving enemas 24 hours straight or in lieu of oral dosing. Enemas are needed if a kitten is vomiting excessively, but the goal is to get them hydrated enough so that they can keep their oral fluids down.
We have ALWAYS given raw or cooked liver (we make liver treats by boiling raw liver for a few minutes until it is cooked enough to cut, then cut the liver into bite sized chunks and put on a baking sheet in the oven at a low temp till dry - these will keep in the frig for 2 weeks), New Zealand Colostrum, along with raw soft foods.
Do NOT force feed a kitten solid food, as this can make them regress.
IF your kitten hasn't eaten for 3-4 days, we usually syringe a small amount of raw egg, colostrum, or yogurt into them. We personally have found New Zealand Colostrum excellent for soothing distemper kitten digestive tracts and to help boost their immune systems. They don't need as much as their normal hourly dose of Kitty-DT (aka Kitty Distempaid) remedy and Pedialyte, but just enough to give them some protein. These things are easily digested.
- 1. If you, your family, or friends come in contact with an infected kitten without disinfecting yourself before playing with your kitten, you can give distemper or other dis-eases to your kitten. This can happen at pet shows, pet stores, shopping malls, etc.
2. If your kitten comes in contact with excretions from an infected cat, he or she can come down with distemper.
3. They say distemper is NOT airborne, but as far as I am concerned, it is. Consider the fact that a fly or bird can come in contact with an infected kitten's vomit or feces and carry the virus to your home makes ME think it IS airborne!
4. Stress can cause distemper or any other dis-ease to manifest. Many cats and kitties that are purchased from animal shelters or brought into rescues come down with distemper. Likely, due to the following: a) The kitten was unwanted by its owner and dumped at the shelter or found living on the street. b) The kitten was subjected to all the animals at the shelter (along with any dis-eases they may have had) and many strange humans. c) The kitten's diet was likely different than what it was used to. d) The kitten was likely vaccinated with a 5, 6, or 7-in-1 vaccine, plus possibly rabies. e) The kitten was possibly chemically wormed as well. f) The kitten was then adopted to a new home with another change in his or her environment, people, possibly other pets, diet, etc. to get used to. ALL of these things can create stress on the immune system of little kitties. Just think of how stressful it is for you to move to a new home and you at least have a choice of where you are moving to!
5. Distemper vaccines are modified live (MLV). Meaning, you are giving a tiny amount of the live distemper virus when vaccinating. As such, the distemper virus is shed from the body for approximately 2 weeks post vaccination. If you or your kitten come in contact with the feces of a recently vaccinated cat, it is possible your kitten can come down with distemper. This does not usually happen, but it can.
6. Chemical worming can also lower a kitten or adult cat's immune system causing them to come down with distemper. We suggest you NEVER chemically worm at all, but if you feel the need to do so, do not do so on an overly hot or cold day. Extremes in temperature are stressful for us just as they are for our animal companions. NEVER chemically worm a kitten who is not well, unless excessive worm load is the cause of the kitten's ill health, but realize that chemical wormers can kill little kittens when they are sick and have excessive worm loads. In this case, I recommend being very careful and strive to boost the kitten's immune system with excellent nutrition, clean fresh water, possible supplements - kelp, vitamin C, echinacea, colostrum or others. Best yet, it would be MY opinion (and remember I am NOT a vet) that you should NEVER chemically worm at all. There are plenty of natural worming methods that can be utilized that are safe and effective. For instance, simple raw grated carrots are excellent at removing round worms from the system. The raw grated carrots simply wrap around the round worms and carry them out of the system, plus they provide a good source of vitamin A, and are not toxic to pets.
We have had over 100 animals here the past 8 years and have never chemically wormed them or ourselves. Natural worming remedies - herbs, homeopathy, food grade diatomaceous earth, etc. are very effective at eliminating parasites without putting chemicals or toxins into "OUR" or our animals systems.
When you start worming a pet with natural methods, it is best to continue treatment for at least a week. We do not recommend you start worming one day, then quit for a few days as this can produce a build up of worms in the system.
- 1. Coccidiosis aka "Cocci" or Coccidia (single celled organism - protozoa)
2. Giardiasis aka Giardia (single celled organism - protozoa (trophozoites))
3. Food Poisoning (i.e., salmonella)
4. Poisoning (non-food; i.e., antifreeze, drugs - i.e., wormers)
5. Intestinal Blockage (i.e. from consuming foreign objects)
6. Worm Infestation (roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms)
7. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Colitis
8. Being vaccinated can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and/or lethargy in some kitties for 1 or 2 days post vaccination.
It takes approximately 10-14 days from the time a pet is vaccinated for their immune systems to mount a response to the vaccine. As such, for 10-14 days post vaccination, a kitten literally has no immune system. Because of this, it is best NOT to vaccinate a kitten who has been recently exposed to the distemper virus. Please wait at least two weeks post exposure to consider vaccinating.
IF you feel the need to vaccinate, we recommend using Dr. Jean Dodd's protocol, which can be found here: Dr. Jean Dodd's Vaccination Protocol
If your kitten was vaccinated or chemically wormed within a week of coming down with feline distemper, we recommend giving Vaccination & Wormer Detox to remove the toxins from the wormer or vaccinations which can prevent recovery from feline distemper.
Whether you choose to vaccinate or not, there are NO GUARANTEES your kitten will not come down with a dis-ease. Vaccinated and unvaccinated alike come down with distemper. As such, we believe it is of utmost importance to keep a kitten's immune system strong and healthy with the best quality nutrition you can give them. There are links to dog and cat nutrition information on our Animal Nutrition webpage. And more information on vaccines at our Animal Vaccines webpage.
If you are using a natural antibiotic, we also recommend dosing 2x/day for 2 additional days post recovery, again, to help prevent a relapse and make sure the virus is out of their systems.
Feed small, light, numerous meals throughout the day if possible. Overloading the kitten's tummy with too much food all at once is not recommended. Monitor their play time, just a little bit, so they don't overdo it. Again though, if you used the Kitty-DT (aka Kitty Distempaid) to help your kitten heal and are continuing the 4x/day for 2 days preventative treatment to prevent a distemper relapse, your kitten should be fine without this monitoring, but for safety's sake, keeping an eye on them and not letting them overdo won't hurt them.
Some owner's take their veterinarian information about the Kitty-DT and they decide it is okay to use as it is just a combination of herbs that can't be harmful. The veterinarian's who have administered the oral drops of the Kitty-DT to kitties on vet office IV's have commented within 12 to 24 hours of oral dosing, the kitten is eating.
Some veterinarian's will not give the oral drops of "Feline Distemper" and after suggesting the owner have their kitten put to sleep, as it wasn't improving on the IV's after many days, the customers have taken their sick distemper kitten home and treated them with the Kitty-DT (aka Kitty Distempaid) and pedialyte every hour and most of these kitties are eating within 12 to 24 hours.
It would be MY contention that if YOU have a kitten at the vet office on IV's and YOU are paying the vet bill whether the kitten lives or dies, YOU should have a say in the treatment of YOUR distemper kitten - PERIOD. It would be one thing if they chose not to use a remedy you suggest and if the kitten dies, THEY pay the bill or don't charge you (WELL, that's still NOT good enough, as we want ALL kitties to survive distemper and be healthy again and YOU want your kitten to come home), but it is my belief it is a totally different story if you are asking them to give something that they refuse to give and the kitten dies and YOU still have to pay the bill.
Some veterinarians are using the Kitty-DT (aka Kitty Distempaid) remedy presently. We are hoping in the near future, more and more will.
Some vet's have given little hope that a distemper kitty would survive. But we have found the Kitty-DT has helped to make a BIG difference in the survival of distemper kitties.
- 1. Chlorine bleach and water mixed at a ratio of 1 part bleach to 30 parts water. Be careful using this indoors and make sure you have plenty of ventilation. Many people use this mixture and pour it over a towel in a foot sized rubbermaid container, so people can come in and out of an infected home and bleach their shoes to prevent transporting the distemper virus with them.
2. http://www.htproducts.net has a product that kills viruses and bacteria indoors and out, in carpets, etc., called "Kennel Care". Their telephone number is (800) 424-7536 and they are open Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:30 pm PST and closed Saturdays & Sundays. Tell them Wolf Creek Ranch sent you to obtain a special customer discount.
3. Distilled Vinegar, water, and hydrogen peroxide mixed with antiviral essential oils and/or grapefruit seed extract have worked well for us. I always put lavender essential oil into this mix (tea tree, lemon, eucalyptus...) as we are often mopping up around sick kitties and it helps to calm them and smells great to me. Great for cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms with too. Just remember kitties noses are lots more sensitive than ours, so don't overdo./p>
4. Wash all infected clothing and linens in hot water. Bleach, distilled vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide can also be used in the wash. Just note, all of these can bleach the color in clothing and fabrics.
- 1. Bach's Rescue Remedy
2. Chamomile tea
3. Valerian, Hops, and/or Skullcap
4. Lavender or chamomile essential oil is calming and relaxing
5. Take some colloidal silver or Vibactra Plus to prevent you from getting sick too. 15 drops, 4x/day.
Last updated July, 2015 - More to come as time permits.
*These statements have not been evaluated by Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this Web site or in emails is designed for educational purposes only. The information on this web site is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or veterinarian. This information is not intended as a substitute for the reader's independent judgment and personal responsibility. Health issues are far too important to delegate to anyone else. It is highly recommended you research and seek information and counsel from as wide a variety of sources as possible, so you can make well informed educated decisions about you, your child's, or your pet's health, as in the end YOU make the decisions.
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The information on this web site is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or vet. This information is not intended as a substitute for the reader's independent judgment and personal responsibility. Health issues are far too important to delegate to anyone else. It is highly recommended you research and seek information and counsel from as wide a variety of sources as possible, so you can make well informed educated decisions about you, your child's, or your pet's health, as in the end YOU make the decisions.
The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your vet, pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a physician or veterinarian with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your, your child's, or your pet's health condition.
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