Bottle baby 101: Building a Nursery

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Presented at the American Pets Alive No-Kill Conference 2014.

Transcript of Bottle baby 101: Building a Nursery

  • 1.Bottle Baby 101 Building a Nursery

2. Why Bottle Babies? How APA got started Facilities & Supplies Which Ones to Rescue Key Volunteer Roles Recruiting (& keeping) Volunteers & Fosters Training & Importance of Disease Control Step by Step Care Basics Lessons Learned 3. Thousands of baby kittens die in shelters every year Saving just a few litters can improve save rates Consider pregnant cats or families Start small, learn, then grow 4. Unweaned kittens, usually between 0 and 4 weeks old. The youngest require attention every two hours. 5. At birth weigh 90-110g, double weigh in first week 7-10 days eyes open Eyes stay blue until about 6-7 weeks 3 weeks become mobile 3.5 weeks, ears start to stand up 4 weeks start playing & develop teeth 4-5 weeks eat gruel 5-6 weeks eat kibble 6. Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation strategy (Kendalia, TX) Problem Solving without Euthanizing 7. Trailer on South Congress (Craigslist $3000) Blog post to raise awareness/funds Feet on the street in area led to $10K donation Volunteers 8. Room, office, closet, bathroom Must haves Fresh Water Refrigerator Microwave Medical Nearby Nice to haves Dishwasher Washer/Dryer Running Water/Sink 9. Snuggle Safes Rice socks Heating pads Blankets/towels Cages Dishes (spill proof) Baby wipe warmer Litter boxes Ziploc bags Storage tubs SCALE 10. Smocks for each kennel Gloves Closed toe shoes Hair tied back 11. KMR (or single brand) Bottles/Nipples/Syringes Cat litter/newspaper Cotton balls Hand sanitizer Disinfectant (non-irritating) Bleach (RW) Towels (small and paper) Canned kitten food (one brand) Dry kitten food: (Royal Canin Baby Cat Kibble preferred) Gloves, smocks Pet Paint Esbilac (puppy formula) & Puppy bottles/nipples You never know! 12. As youre getting Nursery set up, start saving some kittens to foster Consider more stable kittens 4-6 weeks Eating on their own More attractive to volunteers & fosters Easier to fill volunteer shifts Consider Healthy Nursing Moms/older babies, lactating moms A note about ferals 13. Easy to Adopt/Unique Longhair Maine Coon Siamese Polydactyl Colorful litters 14. Nursery Lead Rescue Coordinator Transport Coordinator Foster Coordinator Trainers Marketing/ Outreach Scheduler 15. Cat Program Rescue Manager Oversees anything to do with rescuing cats over 6 weeks old and once our babies turn 6 weeks old. Cat Adoption Manager Oversees adoption processes, adoption centers and where our kittens go when they are old enough to find forever homes 16. Dont lose sight of either one Get people involved EARLY in your process Give them roles & responsibilities 17. Positive messaging Social media Signs Orientation (take a kitten) Fun Stand firm on age requirements Keeping volunteers Train them well Field trips Give them ownership Manage expectations Partner up! Expect turnover Help them Give them specific roles 18. Site Protocols Logistics How to get in Parking Lights Help Supplies What/Where Help General Sanitation Cleaning procedures Cross-contamination Smock per litter Organization helps Feeding Recipes Warm food/warm kitten Weigh before/after Keep kittens dry Stimulation Medical Protocols Common Illnesses URI Diarrhea Ringworm Fading Kitten Syndrome Other (panleuk, calici) Medications/Dosage Communication Log book Charting Emails Emergencies What to watch for What to do Outcome Vaccinations/Testing/Parasite Control 19. Pick up from Shelter within 2 hours by volunteer Name them (Hurricane Naming System) Test for FeLV If positive, retested with serum If still positive, set up in separate area/foster If negative, proceed in nursery Treat for fleas, worms (Capstar, Strongid) Pen G Injection Set up charts Feed - charted Set up in kennel, added to white board 20. Bottle Baby Care includes many steps: sterilize, warm, feed, medicate, stimulate, clean, warm, sterilize Feeding basics: mix formula & warm it up (one bottle/one litter) record kittens weight wrap like burrito, hold upright, and give bottle bottle nipple must be loose to release vacuum if no luck with bottle, try oral syringe record amount consumed (weigh again) Consider "topping off" young kittens with a second feeding Give meds if applicable Stimulate kitten with cotton ball & record output (consistency/color) Wipe kitten with baby wipe If you ever bathe a kitten under 5 weeks old, you should completely dry them with a warm towel before putting them back in crate. NEVER BLOWDRY! Check heat source and put kitten back in SECURE crate or carrier 21. Single most important care you can provide Cannot maintain own body temperature Mother cat 103F Snuggle Safe disc (or heating pad w/o auto-shut off) Never place kittens directly on heating source Nests get damp, so always clean bedding for warmth Carrier or crate, covered with a blanket in a non-drafty area Isolated from other animals Kittens must be kept warm when eating 22. Feeding Intervals Bottle baby kittens need to be fed every 2-3 hours (3-4 hours overnight) Syringe gruel babies (older kittens who need help eating on their own) need to fed every 4-5 hours (6-7 hours overnight) Gruel babies (kittens who are eating on their own) just need to be fed every 5-6 hours (7-8 hours overnight) Food Progression 0 to 3 weeks formula from bottle or oral syringe if not suckling 4-5 weeks transition to gruel (mixture of formula/water & wet kitten food) 6-8 weeks supplement wet kitten food with kibble (e.g., Royal Canin BabyCat) x 23. 1st week 3.7 ccs per ounce of body weight 2nd week 4.9 ccs per ounce of body weight 3rd week 5.7 ccs per ounce of body weight 4th week 6.3 ccs per ounce of body weight As long as the kitten does not cry excessively, gains weight, and feels firm to the touch, the diet is meeting his/her nutritional needs. 24. At birth - 3.0 to 4 oz. (90-110g) 2 weeks - 7.0 to 11.0 oz. (200-300g) dewormed 3-4 weeks - 11.7 to 15.0 oz. (350-450g) dewormed 5-7 weeks - 1 to 1.5 lbs. (450-700g) 6 wks, 1st vaccinations & begin advertising 8 weeks - 1.7 to 2 lbs. (800-900g) 8 wks AND 2 lbs. schedule for S/N It is critical that babies are weighed at every meal. Weighing before & after can also tell you if they are actually eating. Over time will indicate trends. 25. Sometimes kittens just fade Stop growing Lose weight Stop nursing/eating Cant stay upright Cry continuously Chronic Illness can also pose problems (e.g., persistent diarrhea even after treatment) If kitten becomes lethargic/gasping for air: Wrap kitten in heating source/pad, protected with a blanket, like a burrito Make a sugar water mixture (or diluted Karo syrup) and carefully force feed with dropper or oral syringe Call On-Call Person For more details on medical emergencies with examples, refer to the Austin Pets Alive! Bottle Baby Manual: 26. If a bottle baby accidentally gets formula into their lungs while feeding: Firmly pat kittens back until you hear a cough If no coughing, turn baby upside down (tail over head) and shake GENTLY, then pat back again Because any fluids in the lungs can lead to infection, it may be necessary to start the kitten on Amoxicillin but consult Med Techs. 27. At about 4-5 weeks, introduce gruel Gruel is a mixture of wet kitten food & KMR or water Serve on a flat saucer Shallow litter box Use shredded newspaper or non-clumping cat litter Kittens will be messy Kittens will also start learning to clean themselves Expect accidents! 28. YouTube video on how to feed and care for bottle babies: mfu 29. YouTube video on how to feed and care for gruel babies: 30. YouTube video on how to prepare for a Nursing Mom: 31. Never easy Can be very emotional Set expectations early Verify with medical team Wrap in paper towel Place in labeled Ziploc bag Place in freezer 32. Feeding shifts- 95% + Volunteers! Google Calendar/Google Group Feeder board/log book Lock box so it can be accessed 24/7 You cannot over- communicate 33. Volunteers Send Welcome Email with videos Send occasional Thank You emails Schedule events Update with progress report Shadowing is very important Set realistic expectations Fosters Just as important as any other team member Need support/mentoring Proximity to medical is important Kittens You cant save them all Weigh before/after eating Vaccinate at 1lb Monitor overall trends Sometimes youll need to triage between a fading kitten and others who need to eat Core Team Communicate with each other on operations Communicate with Medical report concerns Have a Disaster Preparedness plan (virus outbreak) Set capacity based on volunteers/ staff that you have to feed Be able to say no to volunteers or fosters Get creative! Be prepared to grow 34. 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Number of Lives Saved 100% 35. Never Give Up!