Day 3, 6 AM: Another good day! All have gained over an ounce and have that wonderful body “feel”…difficult to explain, but anyone who has ever bottle fed will understand…they just feel very solid and active. Eating well, good urine, all but one little boy have had a good stool, eyes now all open and clear. Everyone has had their morning weigh in, breakfast #1 and clean up…curled up sleeping soundly. LESSON: Umbilical Cord: As I mentioned in the first post, I wanted to talk a little more about the umbilical cord. Kittens under five days old will often come in with the cord still attached; when they are with mom, the cord usually falls off naturally at about day 4 or 5, with orphans it often remains a day or two longer. I believe this is due to the fact that mom cat’s grooming helps it heal and fall off sooner. Unfortunately in rescue, we often see kittens from compromised circumstances; we see more umbilical hernias and injuries to the area due to rougher births. Hernias will look like small protrusions at the attachment area. If they are not inflamed or infected, we usually just watch them and they are easily corrected during the S/N surgery. However, because kittens until about 3-4 weeks of age literally “travel on their stomach”, there can be injuries…crawling over rough stones, hot pavement or icy ground can cause damage to the area. If there is redness, swelling or a wound, they need to be cared for immediately to preclude infection that can easily travel internally via the umbilical opening. A vet visit is in order if you do not have a protocol already in place with your vet. An antibiotic, oral or injectable, and/or an ointment may be prescribed. This is another instance where I believe our protocol of PenG on intake is extremely valuable as a preventative measure. This area also needs particular attention with daily cleaning…again, they are “scrooching” around on their tummies so anything on the bedding will be transferred. Change bedding often and use your warm washrag to keep their tummy as clean as possible.