EAST BROOKFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Over the last two years, Second Chance Animal Service have been creating a lifesaving protocol for prematurely born kittens.
According to a news release sent to 22News, the protocol has dramatically improved the survival rate for helpless kittens.
Second Chance studied 21 premature orphan kittens and increased their survival rate by 33% at a six-week mark using the protocol developed by staff. With further upcoming studies, it is expected to advance the protocol, increase survival rates and success of the kittens long term.
“We are optimistic with the results. We will continue to advance the protocol for this very fragile segment of animals in need.”Second Chance CEO Sheryl Blancato
The protocol focuses on dehydration and over or underfeeding which are the two biggest challenges faced when dealing with premature kittens. Staff members weigh the kittens twice a day and ensure the babies are getting proper nutrition.
Every kitten is placed with a trained vet technician who cares for them. The techs begin to tube feed the kittens every two hours, stimulate them for elimination, and keep them warm in incubators.
As they age, the time between feedings increase and they are transitioned from tube feeding to syringe feeding to a bottle. Around 3-4 weeks, canned food is then introduced, however, kitten replacement milk is still used until they are weaned around 6 weeks of age.