Perinatal Mortality in Kittens

by

Dr Rob Foster

General

Perinatal mortality in kittens is not studied so information is limited. Kitten mortality is reported to be about 9.1% in the first 8 weeks, with no detailed figures for the first 48hrs postpartum. Most of the 9.1% are in the first week.

 

Non infectious

Anomalies

Hydrops

Osteogenesis imperfecta

 

Infectious

Viruses

Bacteria

The disease is caused by bacteria in kittens can be grouped into those that are caught occur more commonly or those that are rare. We begin with those that are more common.

Septicemia

S. canis (group G) in cats is very common in the vagina of cats both from local vet clinics and in a research colony. First time queens remained colonized right up to parturition with higher numbers than older queens who seemed  to clear a week or more before and first time queens recolonized sooner. So exposure was the issue. The kittens had antibodies from milk but they antibodies plummeted just before they died. The umbilical vein was infected extending to liver and sepsis. (Pat Blanchard pers comm)

Pneumonia

Bacterial pneumonia occurs periodically in kittens and is one of the many causes of fading kitten syndrome. Gram-negative bacteria predominates and Highland et al (2009) reported on three kittens with E. coli pneumonia. These kittens had haemorrhagic or bloody fibrin OC's thoracic fluid and pulmonary consolidation. The pneumonia was necrotising and haemorrhagic with pleuritis.

Streptococcus canis

Escherishia coli

E coli are known for indicing septicemia and pneumonia in new born kittens.These may be intestinal or extraintestinal organisms.

 

Margaret A. Highland,1 Barbara A. Byrne, Chitrita DebRoy, Eileen M. Samitz, Tracy S. Peterson, Karen L. Oslund. (2009) Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli–induced pneumonia in three kittens and fecal prevalence in a clinically healthy cohort population. JVDI 2009 21: 609-615

 

 

 

Protozoa

Protozoa

Toxoplasma gondii

Phylum Apicomplexa, Class Conoidasida, Order Eucoccidiorida, Family Sarcocystidae, Genus Toxoplasma, Species Toxoplasma gondii

 

Toxoplasma gondii is a cause of perinatal and neonatal mortality. Dubey et al (1996) found that after experimental infection of 5 pregnant queens, the most consistent lesions were interstitial pneumonia; necrotizing hepatitis; myocarditis; skeletal myositis; glossal myositis; encephalitis affecting the cerebrum, brain stem, and spinal cord; uveitis; necrotizing adrenal adenitis; and interstitial nephritis.

 

 

Dubey JP, Mattix ME, Lipscomb TP. Lesions of neonatally induced toxoplasmosis in cats. Vet Pathol. 1996; 33: 290-295.

Dubey JP. Toxoplasmosis. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1994; 205: 1593-1598.

Toxoplasmosis
(JAVMA 203: 1550, 207: 179)
neonatal jaundice and inc. Alkphos
queen Ab +ve

 

References

Highland MA, Byrne BA, Debroy C, Samitz EM, Peterson TS, Oslund KL. (2009). Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli-induced pneumonia in three kittens and fecal prevalence in a clinically healthy cohort population. J Vet Diagn Invest 2009; 21(5): 609-615.

Sparkes AH, Rogers K, Henley WE, Gunn-Moore DA, May JM, Gruffydd-Jones TJ, Bessant C. (2006) A questionnaire-based study of gestation, parturition and neonatal mortality in pedigree breeding cats in the UK. J Feline Med Surg 2006; 8: 145-157