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QUESTION: I've recently adopted 3 kittens who's mother has died when they were a little over a week old. They're now almost 1 month old. We are bottle feeding them round the clock and giving them lots of love and attention. They're all coming along just fine. The only problem we're experiencing is that 1 kitten who is a male nurses on his brothers penis. I realize he does this because it's an instinct to nurse and that he misses his mother, however his brother's penis becomes red and a bit swollen from the nursing. When we see this happening we separate him from his brother. We've tried putting vaseline on his penis as a deterrent but that hasn't work. Any suggestions you can give us would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Irene

ANSWER: Hi Irene,

I hope there is no infection and the swelling is only of inflammation.If otherwise it would require antibiotics like PCN and anti inflammatory.Please check whether there is dribbling of urine.If so it may be required to drain the urine.You can do warm compresses in the region,which would help reduce swelling.

The primary thing is to separate the affected kitten from the others to prevent further damages.If no infection/injury is suspected, you can try applying Betadine liquid or ointment in the region so as to prevent future infections.

regards  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much for your quick response.  There doesn't seem to be any infection as we do separate the kitten the moment we see him nursing on his brother.  Do you have any recommendations as to how to keep the kitten from nursing on his brother's penis?  As much as we try we just can't seem to keep him from stopping.  Thank you!  Irene

Answer
You may try a different basket for the one with the vice.But it is cruel to separate them.You can also gently pat vinegar on the parts of the kittens that are being suckled, don't get any on the opening of the penis.This might work for a few days.But if you find this vice again,do separate them or this would ultimately end up in irreparable damage to the one being suckled.

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Dr S Bindu Anand

Expertise

Large and Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Farm Management,Preventive medicine http://binduanand.webs.com/

Experience

A Senior Veterinary Surgeon with more than 25 years’ experience in the field of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry. Mixed animal Practice that will utilize my skills in medicine and surgery, public health, client relations, and developing relationships within the community, such as humane society

Organizations
Veterinary Consultant with Department of Animal Resources,Ministry of Environment,State of Qatar (Present). Animal Husbandry Department, Government of Kerala, India. Oakland's Park, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Severnside Veterinary Center, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Saud Bahwan Group, Sultanate of Oman. Trivandrum Regional Co-operative Milk Producers Union,Kerala,India.

Education/Credentials
BVSc & AH (Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry) 1990. College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Thrissur, Kerala, India under Kerala Agricultural University. Certificates Of Accomplishments- Equine Nutrition- University of Edinburgh Principles of Public Health-University of California, Irvine. AIDS- Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. General Environmental Health – EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Food Protection-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Zoonoses:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Food Safety:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Occupational Safety and Health-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Rabies Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Animal Handler & Vaccinator Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Wildlife Conservation-United for Wildlife

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