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One Of My Babies Was Diagnosed With FIP: Advice, Please!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yesterday, I rec'd the devastating news that one of my babies tested positive for FIP. Needless to say, I'm pretty heartbroken, b/c from what I understand, FIP is untreatable and deadly. I've been doing some research online, and according to what I've read, Winchester (my baby) hasn't got much time left: supposedly, once diagnosed, it's just a matter of days or a few short weeks before he gets to the point where he should be put to sleep. But I'm confused..

Looking at him, you would never know there's anything wrong with him. He doesn't look or act sick, he's eating & playing as usual, and is as alert & spirited as he always is. What led me to believe that there might be something wrong with him was a recurring "cough" & slight fever that comes & goes every few days, and which has been occurring now for several months. My vet has been treating him with antibiotics, which seems to ease the coughing and lowers the fever, but as soon as Winchester goes off the antibiotics, the symptoms re-occur. When the symptoms reappeared this last time, my vet said he would need to run some tests before he could further treat Winchester. The tests were done, and the results for FIP came back positive..

I'm confused b/c it is my understanding that once a cat is diagnosed with FIP, it's only a matter of days or weeks before they either die from FIP, or they need to be put to sleep. But as I've mentioned, Winchester doesn't seem sick at all, with the exception of the coughing/fever, and this has been occurring for several months now. Wouldn't he have been gone by now if he does indeed have the FIP? Or at the very least, wouldn't he be regressing at a much faster rate? As I sit here now typing this, he is running around playing "chase the ball" with my other babies! It doesn't make any sense..

I obviously don't want to lose Winchester. He is the most sweetest, loving cat I've ever had, and even though I have 4 other babies, the house would not be the same without him. I'm hoping & praying that the diagnosis was wrong, which is obviously wishful thinking on my part, b/c I doubt that there could be any mistakes with the test results. But why isn't he behaving or looking like he's supposedly in the final stages of FIP?? Could anyone please enlighten regarding FIP?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated..

KittKatt
post #2 of 18
If he isn't showing any signs then I would think he might be a carrier (not full blown FIP) which means he could live and long happy life, but cannot live with other cats unless they have or are carrying FIP. Also, tests for it are controversial I believe. They are not all accurate, there are many factors that can result in a positive test result. I would have him retested or seen by a totally different vet and see what the results are.
post #3 of 18
http://www.bemikitties.com/felv/fipfacts.html

read thru these links and see if you find anything
post #4 of 18
There is no test that exists that can effectively diagnose FIP. It is misunderstood and often misdiagnosed.
post #5 of 18
are you sure it was FIP and not perhaps FIV maybe recheck with your vet because as Hissy said, there is no test for FIP save a necropsy (like an autopsy) your baby could have titer levels indicative of carrying the corona virus, the virus that mutates into FIP, but those tests are not very accurate, and even if Winchester had the corona virus, it may never develop into FIP.

I would recheck with your vet, also mentioning that there is no test for FIP and if he/she tested for the titer levels indicative of the corona virus instead. In the mean time, if he is having a bit of the sniffles all the time, perhaps investing in a nutritional supplelment might help, I know Drs Fosters & Smith sell a few http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...?N=2002+113617
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for your kind words and advice! I appreciate it more than y'all know..

It's possible that I may have misunderstood what the vet told me regarding the diagnosis, but I don't think I did b/c of his explanation. But I'll double-check w/ him just to be sure. To clarify, the tests that he did on Winchester involved drawing some blood: two of the tests came back negative almost right away from the vet's office, and the 3rd one which indicated the FIP had to be sent to a lab somewhere. What confuses me even further is the fact that from what I've learned so far, FIP is impossible to diagnose from a blood sample. So maybe I did misunderstand.. Obviously, I'm hoping that I did....

What is the difference between FIV & FIP?? (please forgive my ignorance: all of this is new to me!) For as long as I've had cats, I've never had very many problems w/ any cat illnesses, till after I moved to a different state w/ a warmer climate. Since I moved, it seems that I've had alot more problems w/ my babies: such as upper respitory, ear mites, fleas, and allergies. All of these problems are fairly new to me, and I'm just beginning to learn quite a bit regarding cat illnesses. I never had to worry too much when it came to keeping my babies' shots updated prior to moving, but now I don't fool around w/ it b/c I've had too many problems since I've lived where I'm at now. It seems as if the warmer climate doesn't kill off all those nasty germs as well as a cold climate does..

Anyways, I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond, and also for the info regarding FIP and all your kind words. I'm keeping the faith, and hoping that Winchester is indeed NOT FIP positive. I will continue to moniter him, and if I notice ANY changes, I will contact the vet immediately. I'd rather be an alarmist than to take any chances.


Gratefully,

KittKatt
post #7 of 18
My neighbours cat was diagnosed with FIP last year after a titre test - she did have different symtoms to Winchester though, and hers were a lot more sudden. You can get dry FIP though, which, while still fatal, has a longer period of the cat being well, one article I read last year said that they can actually have up to a year with the dry form. But, as the others have said, a titre test isn't conclusive that a cat has FIP. I would quiz your vet a bit more, and maybe ask about prognosis etc.
post #8 of 18
FIP and FIV are two completely different dieseases. You need to find out from your vet which one your cat has.
FIV is the one they can diagnose. There is no good test for FIP. The FIP test is actually for corona virus. But if the cat has positive corona virus it does not mean he has FIP. All it means that the cat has corona virus. Could be FIP, or could be just corona virus.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
It's possible that I may have misunderstood what the vet told me regarding the diagnosis, but I don't think I did b/c of his explanation. But I'll double-check w/ him just to be sure. To clarify, the tests that he did on Winchester involved drawing some blood: two of the tests came back negative almost right away from the vet's office, and the 3rd one which indicated the FIP had to be sent to a lab somewhere. What confuses me even further is the fact that from what I've learned so far, FIP is impossible to diagnose from a blood sample. So maybe I did misunderstand.. Obviously, I'm hoping that I did....
The 2 tests that they ran in the office were most likely for FIV and FeLV. They put a few drops of blood in a plastic device and wait 10 minutes to see if the colors change.

One of the signs that a cat was exposed to FIP is a high titer count, which they tell with a blood test. Many cats would test "positive" on this test, and it is absolutely no indication that the cat has FIP.

I lost a cat to FIP many years ago. He had absolutely no signs of anything wrong with him and I lost him in less than a week. The test done when he died proved the condition, there is no accurate test to definitely diagnose it when they are alive. He lived with 6 other cats who never contracted the disease, and those cats were exposed directly or indirectly to every cat that has been in my house for the last 15 years. Even when exposed, a cat won't succumb to the disease unless they are genetically pre-disposed to it (current theory).

If your boy is playing around, I'd have to guess that he is only showing a high titer count because at some point in his life he was exposed. FIP is an easy diagnosis when vets don't want to look further. If he presses you to take drastic measures, find another vet.
post #10 of 18
My two kittens that were diagnosed with FIP (due to symptoms, not a test).. they just very suddenly started degrading.. it took about a week.. I didn't even realize there was something wrong with them.. the first couple of days they were a little off balance.. but they were kittens so..I didn't even think that it was due to something, I just thought they had a few clumsy moments. Then I picked them up one day, wondered why they were wet.. let it go, because it was just a small amount..figured it was from the water dish. Then it started becoming more apparent with their balance loss, and then they weren't able to hold their bladders.. they were losing control of their motor functions. I didn't have the vet do an autopsy on them. So, I guess it's possible that it wasn't FIP, but he was certain due to the symptoms. He did say that the test was completely inconclusive, though, and also told me that I should never vaccinate against FIP as sometimes it can cause it, and it's not at all effective since the virus mutates.

I'm not familiar with FIV, except in name and know that you can actually test for it and get a definite result.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsAreBetter View Post
My two kittens that were diagnosed with FIP (due to symptoms, not a test).. they just very suddenly started degrading.. it took about a week.. I didn't even realize there was something wrong with them.. the first couple of days they were a little off balance.. but they were kittens so..I didn't even think that it was due to something, I just thought they had a few clumsy moments. Then I picked them up one day, wondered why they were wet.. let it go, because it was just a small amount..figured it was from the water dish. Then it started becoming more apparent with their balance loss, and then they weren't able to hold their bladders.. they were losing control of their motor functions. I didn't have the vet do an autopsy on them. So, I guess it's possible that it wasn't FIP, but he was certain due to the symptoms. He did say that the test was completely inconclusive, though, and also told me that I should never vaccinate against FIP as sometimes it can cause it, and it's not at all effective since the virus mutates.

I'm not familiar with FIV, except in name and know that you can actually test for it and get a definite result.
the motor function problems are what leads me to believe that that is what my kitties had, which I think is more of a dry FIP indicator, as well as the bloated tummy, indicating wet FIP. I have FeLV kitties and that causes them to be super susceptible to the FIP mutation, I have had about 6 kitties pass away from it in the last 6 months I haven't had an autopsy done either, couldn't afford it after the vet bills

how's Winchester doing today??
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks again to everyone for all your help & input, and I apologize for not responding sooner (it's been rather hectic around here lately, and I haven't been online too much). And my sympathies to everyone who has lost one of their babies to FIP; you have my heartfelt condolences

An update: Winchester is doing just fine, although he still has an occasional coughing spell (usually every 2-3 days or so). I believe, as some of y'all suggested, that he does indeed have the FIP in his blood count, but is not full-blown FIP. If his condition changes in any negative way, I will take him in to see the vet again. I'm beginning to believe that he might have asthma/bronchitis, and I also believe another one of my babies (Geronimo) may also have the same condition (I posted some questions concerning Geronimo in another thread, after he had a severe coughing/gagging fit after playing w/ a laser pointer). I don't think that either Winchester or Geronimo has a serious condition, b/c if they did they wouldn't be able to bounce back as they have, and I think their conditions would be worsening. In any case, I will continue to moniter both of them for any & all variations. I'd rather be an alarmist than to not take any precautions.

Thanks again, everyone! Y'all are greatly appreciated!

KittKatt
post #13 of 18
kittkatt

If your kitties are having some respiratory type problems, enought so that the vet wanted to do FeLV/FIV and FIP testing....I would suggest getting a heartworm test done. Especially if you are in an endemic area of Texas.

I have had two heartworm positive cats, and they get coughing attacks/respiratory type symptoms. It is a simple in the office snap test like the FeLv/FIV test.

Also there was just a couple of thread her at TCS about heartworm in cats. Do a subject search for heartworm. Someone posted a really good link to the respiratory effects in cats.

Lots of chin scratches for Winchester and Geronimo
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
It's interesting that you should mention heartworm, Kittymonsters, b/c I realized something today: both Geronimo & Winchester also have recurring tapeworms, and I have to get de-worming pills from the vet to clear it up (I forgot to mention this in my ashtma/bronchitis thread that I posted today). I don't know if tapeworm & heartworm is connected in any way, but it seems really odd to me that they both have the same conditions: none of my other cats have either recurring respitory or tapeworm problems.

Isn't heartworm considered lethal? I had always thought it was. Or is it only lethal in dogs?? Now I'm getting worried again I'll have to contact the vet tomorrow for advice!

Thanks for your advice & concern, Kittymonster. I appreciate it! I knew I came to the right place for suggestions/advice/input when I signed up here as a member!


KittKatt
post #15 of 18
I believe heartworm is treatable in dogs but not in cats. I know dogs who had heartworm and had been treated and cured, but I don't think you can cure cats (I remember vet telling me that cat's can not be treated for heartworm, it can only be prevented).
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenniferd View Post
I believe heartworm is treatable in dogs but not in cats. I know dogs who had heartworm and had been treated and cured, but I don't think you can cure cats (I remember vet telling me that cat's can not be treated for heartworm, it can only be prevented).
This worries me even more..

I contacted the vet today, but he was in surgery and is supposed to call me back. I'm almost afraid to hear what he might say now

The thing that I find hard to believe is that how is it possible for BOTH Geronimo & Winchester to have heartworm - if that is indeed what it is?? I can see it happening w/ Winchester, b/c he used to be an outdoor cat, and did occasionally pick up tics (which I understand could be carriers of heartworm), and I'm sure he got bit by his share of misquitoes. But Geronimo NEVER went outside, and I know that heartworm can't be transferred from one cat to another. And I think it's highly unlikely that an infected misquito could have gotten into the house to bite both cats. I suppose anything is possible, but highly unlikely. But I'm no expert, either, so who knows?? I have done some research since last night, and there are pros & cons - but no good news IF they both are infected. Obviously, I'm hoping for the best.

I suppose there's only one way to find out, and now I'm afraid to know. If they are infected, there's no hope.

Please God, let it be something else that IS treatable.

KittKatt
post #17 of 18
Fingers crossed it is something treatable.
post #18 of 18
Please keep us updated and let us no what the vet says, many to u! Also I am sending u many vibes and prayers for it to be something very treatable
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