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Kitten with Cleft Palate

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Zoe911, Dec 6, 2018.


  1. Zoe911

    Zoe911 PetForums Newbie

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    Hello all, I have a kitten who is 7 1/2 weeks at home who was diagnosed yesterday with a cleft palate. He’s one of six and is at home with mum and siblings. I took him to the vet because he has a cold and was sounding a bit chesty.
    The vet showed me a small hole in roof of his mouth. He was prescribed liquid antibiotics for his cold. Snotty and chesty.
    She said he may need an operation when he is neutered but that can sometimes cause more problems.
    He is a good weight for his age, 700g , although he is the smallest of the litter. He does need a bit of extra encouragement to eat. He’ll eat normally himself and they I will handfeed him more. He makes snuffly noises when he eats.
    My questions are what are the long term implications? I won’t rehomw him now, but will keep him with me. Will an operation be necessary and is the cold likely to be a product of him inhaling food?
    Many thanks. I’d appreciate any insights or your personal experiences re cleft palate.
    Otherwise he’s a healthy, happy and playful kitten.
     
  2. jill3

    jill3 PetForums VIP

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    Did the vet say if the hole will close up on it's own?
    I can't give any advice but i do hope the little one will recover well,
    I would keep looking on here as some members who might be able to advise you are at work.
    Hopefully you will get some advice very soon x
     
  3. Zoe911

    Zoe911 PetForums Newbie

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    No, the vet didn’t say that. She suggested he may need an operation but that that can be very complicated. I’m going back next week to check on the infection so hopefully will learn more then. Many thanks for your kind words
     
  4. Tigermoon

    Tigermoon PetForums VIP

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    The implications of a cleft palette depend on its size and position.
    How big is the hole and where is it (on the hard or soft palette)?
     
  5. Zoe911

    Zoe911 PetForums Newbie

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    I’m not sure hard or soft part. It’s at the very back of the mouth, and it’s a small hole, about the size of a the head of a pen. (Part you write with)
    I wonder if it will get bigger as he grows?
    Many thanks for your response
     
  6. Tigermoon

    Tigermoon PetForums VIP

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    It sounds like it is the soft palette that's affected then. Food and fluids will pass through the hole as the kitten eats and drinks and this will cause infections, often repeatedly until the hole is fixed. If the hole stays small, the issue of food passing through becomes less likely as the size of the food being eaten increases and potentially becomes too large to go through the hole. You may have to feed a specific type of food to prevent it from going through the hole (large chunks rather than pate type for example). Aspiration is always the danger when the food passes into the nasal cavity, and this can cause dangerous infections.
     
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  7. Zoe911

    Zoe911 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, thank you for this info. It’s a good idea re size of food as at the moment they are eating Royal Canin tinned weaning food, which is a paste. I wonder what would be more suitable for him? Trying to get the liquid antibiotics into him ! Do you think he will get repeated infectious?
    Many thanks
     
  8. Tigermoon

    Tigermoon PetForums VIP

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    You could try the pouched royal Canin kitten food as it is lumps rather than pate.

    It is my experience that they continue to get infections while food passes through the cleft. If his hole is small and he eats the lumpier food you might find that is enough to get him through without further issues until a decision is made about surgery.
     
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  9. Zoe911

    Zoe911 PetForums Newbie

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    Many thanks for your advice. I will change to the other food, and see how it goes. We go back to the vet next week.
    Can i ask on another issue, what would be the ideal age to rehome a kitten)not this one but my others)? Is. 9 weeks too early!
    Many thanks
     
  10. Tigermoon

    Tigermoon PetForums VIP

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    Ideally kittens should not leave until they are at least 12 weeks old and have completed their initial vaccination course.
     
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  11. Zoe911

    Zoe911 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for this. Can I ask another question. How do you know when the kittens have stopped having milk from their mum? I have read that kittens shouldn’t be rehomed until they are weaned from their mum. Will she stop feeding them?
    I am also going to have the mum neutered, and the vet said this could happen in a couple of weeks, when kittens will be 10 weeks. Will she have stopped feeding them by then?
    Many thanks.
     
  12. Tigermoon

    Tigermoon PetForums VIP

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    This depends on the mum. Some queens continue to feed their kittens until they go to their new homes, others will push the kittens away and refuse to feed them some time before this.
     
  13. Zoe911

    Zoe911 PetForums Newbie

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    Many thanks. They are 8 weeks today and mum still feeding. Thank you for all your help and info.
     
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