Foster

TIPS ON FOSTERING A BABY ANIMAL

A note of encouragement: Even if you have never done this before, you can learn and do it successfully the first time.  That was what happened when our founder, Dr Chan, picked up three newborn kittens by the roadside way back in 2006 (please scroll to the bottom for photos).

If you have picked up a baby animal and cannot find any fosterers, this is what you can do:

1. Warmth

Keep the animal warm by using towels, hot water gloves or hot water bottles. 

2. Nutrition
Feed the kitten/puppy every 2 hours with lactose-free kitten/puppy milk (bought from the vet’s or petfood store). You can use a syringe, a feeding bottle or drop the milk onto your palms between the thumb and first finger and let the kitten/puppy suck. DO NOT OVERFEED. DIARRHOEA KILLS.

DO NOT USE commercialised COW’S MILK because it contains lactose which may cause diarrhoea and in turn, may lead to dehydration and death.  
If you really have no choice, goat’s milk may be an alternative, but dilute it. 
Wipe the kitten/puppy’s mouth area with wet cotton pad to prevent a milk rash after each feed.  

If you do not have kitten/puppy milk, give glucose water. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level) can also kill. However, glucose water is only a temporary measure. Use kitten/puppy milk as soon as you can. 

If the kitten/puppy already has teeth, you can give canned wetfood, crushed dry food for kittens/puppies or steamed chicken breastmeat. 

How to estimate a kitten’s age: 
https://www.aspcapro.org/blog/2014/07/03/tip-week-4-ways-tell-kittens-age

How to estimate a puppy’s age: 
https://www.wikihow.com/Tell-Your-Puppy%27s-Age

If the kitten/puppy is about one month old, raw food is also possible. 

If you prefer home-cooked meals:
http://www.thewholepetdiet.com/2011/06/25/spots-whole-pet-diet-chicken-stew/

In giving solid food, always give small amounts and check the stools. If there is diarrhoea, stop giving the solid food. 

In nursing infant animals, it is important to check for dehydration by doing the pinch-test. Pinch the skin on the scruff and let go. If it takes a long time for the skin to bounce back, this may indicate dehydration. If the animal is severely dehydrated, a vet’s immediate attention is needed. 

Key points to ensure survival of infant animals:
Warmth, Nutrition & Hydration

3. Urination & Defecation
Infant kittens/puppies cannot urinate or defecate by themselves, so you have to assist.  After each feed, massage the kitten/puppy’s tummy and private parts with a wet, warm cotton pad to stimulate urination and/or defecation. Baby animals sometimes may not defecate every day if the milk is adequately absorbed, but they must urinate every day. If they do not, please take them to the vet immediately. 


4. Medical attention
Bring the baby animal to the vet’s AS SOON AS POSSIBLE for proper medical advice. The vet will advise if deworming can be done. Certain worms like hookworms are very deadly and can cause death. 

5. Weight check
Weigh the baby animal daily to monitor weight and keep a record. There should be an increase every day. 

Holding the baby animal close to your heart is very comforting. 

When ready, publish for adoption: www.petfinder.my or shout out on Facebook.  

Cow, Bunny and Pole, rescued as newborns (eyes still closed) in 2006. Fostered and hand-raised by Dr Chan (not a vet) and her (then) teenage daughter, and looked after by their dog, Bobby. All three had no prior experience at all. It was their very first rescue.

Tips on fostering a baby bird

Buy chicken feed from the wet market, mix it with water into small blobs and feed the baby bird with it, using a chopstick. You could also use oats and do the same, as a temporary measure. 

Baby birds must be kept warm at all times. Use soft tissue paper to make a nest. 

Seek help from UPM’s Vet Department. 

For more information, please see this: http://myanimalcare.org/2012/04/02/tips-on-looking-after-rescued-birds-from-joey-quah/

On handraising baby birds: http://www.viralnova.com/baby-songbird/


REHOMING OF YOUR RESCUES

The best portals for e-rehoming is www.PetFinder.my and Facebook.  

All the best!

The contents of this website are based on the opinions of Dr Chan Kah Yein, unless otherwise noted. Dr Chan is not a veterinarian and therefore the information on this website is not intended as medical or veterinary advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge based on the experience of Dr Chan and her community and is done so with the best of intentions. For your animals’ medical or veterinary needs, kindly consult your veterinarian or relevant authoritative sources.