The kittens are getting so active now, and crawling all over their nest. Watching them the other day I noticed that Friedrich looked- well, a bit odd. On closer inspection, there was definitely something not quite 'right' about his hips/ leg. One leg seemed to pop out at an odd angle when he walked, and he'd kind of go in circles. Clearly we needed to have that looked at.
Not very clear, but do you see what I mean?
Definitely not 'right' poor lamb.
In addition, Indigo's appetite hasn't been fabulous and as a result weight gain in the kittens hasn't been great either (although it's picked up a bit) and a couple of times Inds has shaken her head and looked like her ear was bothering her so I thought in for a penny in for a pound and bundled the lot off to the vet last night.
The net result is:
Despite the slowing down on the weight gain front (better gains today actually) all the kittens are fat and healthy and doing just fine- nice healthy lungs (!) and hearts and decent weight gains from this morning. Excellent! Incidentally, even the vet couldn't tell whether Louisa was a boy or a girl!!! 'She' is a mystery that one, just as well her name can easily be switched to Louis later on if needs be.
Indigo did have a gunky ear, which was cleaned out with saline and alcohol, Q-tips and cotton balls. She's got a mild antibiotic as ear drops contain steriods, and I'll gently wipe her ear now and again with a cotton ball dipped in olive oil to stop the crud building up again. Nothing will induce me to poke about my cats ear with a Q-tip though... I know how wriggly she can be!
Friedrich's results weren't so fabulous. The vet thinks that at some point, probably during the birth process, the little guy's leg got broken, and being so young and the bones being so plastic, it's knitted back together incredibly quickly... but wonkily. Because kittens don't do anything for the first few weeks but huddle about in heaps in dark corners, I hadn't noticed it. But once he started to move about, there it was.
The good thing is, the vet doesn't feel he's in any pain, it's not interfering with his development otherwise and he's a nice strong healthy kitten. It's too soon to tell what, if any, issues his dodgy leg will cause and he's far too small for an xray, which will involve an anaesthetic. He may just walk a bit oddly. Even worst case scenario and he needs to have the leg removed, well, cats do perfectly well on three legs, and he won't know any different.
It will, however, make him much less 'desirable'. He may struggle to find his forever home. He will be available to the right owner, at a negotiable price, (ie less than the going rate) once I know what, if any, his issues are likely to be. But if Friedrich- or 'Freddie' as he will inevitably be known here from now on, doesn't find a family he will always have a loving home here with us.