Young and Hungry : Our 2016 Shelter Guide on Neonatology. Our Answers to Your questions !

Great webinars yesterday : lots of interaction, great discussion, definitely a very good way to kick off this first shelter series of the year !

As usual, you will find here our written answers to the questions you asked us during the 4 different sessions. If you have more questions, do not hesitate to post them here or on social media ! We will be happy to continue the discussion !

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Does Royal Canin sell puppy / kitten milk replacers ?


Yes. Babydog  & Babycat  Milks are available in Canada.

Do not hesitate to contact your local Royal Canin representative for further information.

About the mother cat : recommendations for treating mastitis - keeping the kittens with the mother or not?


Very good question ! There are two schools of thought in fact that are described in the veterinary literature :

-          It is described that you can treat the mother with antibiotics (mastitis are usually of bacterial origin in small animals). Those antibiotics will diffuse in the milk and will therefore also become available to the kittens so they will be somehow protected. The potential risk is that it will lead to modifications of the digestive bacterial flora of the puppies and cause neonatal diarrhea.


-          If you do not want to take any risk, kittens can also be removed from the mammary gland as soon as the mastitis is diagnosed and switched onto a dedicated milk replacer. More time consuming however that’s for sure.

Whichever solution you go for I think it is important to know the pros and cons. If you decide to let the neonates nurse on the mother, I however recommend keeping an eye on them to make sure they do not develop neonatal diarrhea, since this is the worst complication that can occur.

One exception : gangrenous mastitis. In those cases, it is mandatory not to allow the kittens to nurse on the mother

To treat diarrhea you make a thinner (more dilute) product and to treat constipation you made a thicker (more concentreated) product? counter-intuitive...


It is indeed counter-intuitive, and will allow to play on the osmolarity factor to help the newborns out.

In the case of neonatal diarrhea it is recommended to use 120% of the recommended volume of water to prepare the milk.

In the case of constipation, it is recommended to use 80% of the recommended volume of water to prepare the milk.

Where would we get colostrum ?


To date, there is unfortunately no commercial colostrum available for newborn puppies & kittens.

If you have access to a lactating bitch or queen, you could eventually try to collect and store the colostrum for future use (more information here ).

However, this is not very easy to do and/or practical in a shelter/rescue.

Is it dangerous to have another mother nurse orphan kittens ?


It really depends on the queen’s behaviour. I would always recommend being there at the beginning to make sure the queen accepts the new kittens. When she has accepted them however, everything is generally ok then. Until then however, better to stay nearby. 

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