This kid was one of triplets born in April 2012. Her brother weighed in at 5lbs, her sister at 3lbs, and her at just over 1lb! When we saw her at 2 days old, her weight had increased to 1# 13oz, which is still smaller than an 8 week old kitten!
Even though she was full-term, she was unable to recieve adequate nutrition while in utero because she was competing with two other kids. This is why she was born so small, and even had mucous membranes covering her teeth.
Her owners were concerned that she may not have been able to recieve enough colostrum, and was unable to drink enough milk from her mother to continue adequate growth. Although she was born with a suck reflex, it seemed to deteriorate over the course of the next 24-48 hours. Because she would not drink from a bottle, Dr. Pinello showed her owners how to “tube feed” the tiny kid.
A small rubber catheter is gently placed down the esophagus. It is important to make sure that the catheter is placed in the esophagus (leading to the stomach) and not in the trachea (leading to the lungs). This can be done by inserting the other end of the catheter in a bowl of water and checking for air bubbles. Colostrum was then administered through the feeding tube. With Dr. Pinello’s instruction, her owners planned to take her home to tube feed her 2-3 times daily. At last update the kid was gaining weight and growing well!