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Need some advise about diagnose of FIP

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
My cat Bakerman has just been diagnosed with FIP! About a year ago he started to have jumpy skin then he would run back and forth and try to bite the back of his spine. I have a vet that comes to the house and he said it was a neurological condition. I then took him to another vet and he prescribed phenobarbital. Was givng him a half of tablet 2 times a day. It did help some but he was still having them but not as often. He said we should run blood tests that is when they found FIP. It is so hard to believe he has that as he is his own self except for the jumping skin. He has the dry kind. Could it be a misdiagnose? Wondering if I should go to another vet for a 2nd opinion? He hasn't been losing any weight and still has a good appetite. It seems like if he has had this jumpy skin for quite sometime that I would see him with other signs of FIP. Please help! I haven't told my son yet as it is his baby too! All of us love this cat! Instead a half of a tablet of phenobarbital he said to give him a whole one...
post #2 of 23
FIP is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood.

I do not have any personal experience with it, but it is my understanding that FIP is a mutation of the corona virus. The blood test that is typically done only indicates EXPOSURE to the corona virus. It does not mean that the cat actually has FIP.

It is very discouraging whenever I see or hear of a vet simply giving a pat answer after doing this test. How scary that must be. I do believe it's very possible for a cat who has been *exposed* to corona to go on and live a full and happy life, if the virus never ends up mutating. I'm not sure of a statistic, regarding a percentage of cats that have been exposed...but I suspect it's quite high.

Is the only symptom the jumpy skin that you described?

I'll stop there as my experience is limited. Others more knowledgeable about this should be around shortly...

Here is a link with some info about FIP. Please see the paragraph titled "What are the signs of FIP?" The last sentence...

Quote:
Only a small percentage of exposed cats develop the lethal disease: weeks, months, or perhaps years after primary infection.
Forgot the link ... http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/fip.html

Edited to add...

Yes, I think you should get a second opinion. You should be able to just get a copy of the blood test results, so that the 2nd vet can review them and repeat only if he/she feels it's necessary. I would be more interested in a 2nd opinion on how to handle the condition that's causing the symptoms (jumpy skin, etc). I do believe I have heard of cats doing that when they have pain or itchiness...it just drives them nuts. There are other conditions that can cause that too...it sounds like this vet suspected it was some form of epilepsy??
post #3 of 23
Which test did they do ? A corona titre or a bloodpanel (albumin;globulin ratio etc) ?

Coronatitres don't mean a thing when you want to know if a cat actually has FIP or not. About a year also seems to be an awfully long time for a cat to have (dry) FIP. (i know cats with dry FIP can live for a while, but most of the time they have quite severe symptoms)
post #4 of 23
If you get a second blood test run, it will only repeat the results of the first. The test your vet run does not prove FIP. The test that proves FIP is one that is run after death. Nothing in their blood stream can prove FIP.

I've read that if all cats were tested for exposure to the corona virus today, a good majority of them would show positive. Cats that actually contract FIP, is a very minor percentage and the theory is that they have a genetic predisposition to the disease. I don't know a vet that I respect that even bothers to run the test as it is so misleading.

Cats that contract the wet form of FIP usually die within 2 weeks. I have lost a cat that way and he went from perfectly normal to death in 1 week. He exposed the 7 cats he lived with who in turn exposed my entire gang of cats that now reside with me. I'm sure if I ran the test on them tomorrow they would all show positive. No one has ever been sick in the last 15 years.

Ignore the diagnosis of FIP and concentrate on the itchy skin problem. They are probably not related. I would be far more concerned if your baby had a neurological disorder than exposure to corona virus.

And personally? If your vet diagnoses FIP after a blood test, it tells me that he/she is not up to date with current vetrinary knowledge and you should seek another vet anyway.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the encouraging words! I just couldn't sleep at all thinking of the future of Bakerman. Yes the only symptoms are the jumpy skin. The blood tests they took of was a phenobarbital test and a sick cat-CBC/Pro/Fel.V/FIV. His protein came up high which trigered this. Also the vet did say he has bad gingavitus.(sp) Never had his teeth cleaned . Wonder if this could be a part of this??? I do think I will get a 2nd opinion!
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
I was also worried about my other 2 cats I have in the house and the ones I have outside. Keep the encourainging words coming!The vet I went to is well know in this area and has a state of art vet clinic that is new.
post #7 of 23
i too think that you need to get a second opinion. when my stoli was sick i did a ton of research on fip and vets really 'can't' diagnosis it positively - until death. it's very misunderstood in its dry condition ..... sending good vibes.

kluchetta has experience with this
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
The vet that comes to my house has just called and informed me not to get too excited about this since he doesn't have any signs .. I just wanted to get a 2nd opinion about his jumpy skin by going to this other vet and this is what the other vet came up with.
post #9 of 23
stoli has jumpy skin but it is when his fur is out of place. . . .i think i've seen it 3 x since last june
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
What was Stoli diagnosed with then? Wondering too if maybe this isn't some type of a food alergy that or something... that causes his skin to jump.
post #11 of 23
The jumpy skin is a condition known as hyperesthesia: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/in...=hyperesthesia, and to be quite honest, I've never seen that listed as a symptom of FIP.
Jamie has had hyperesthesia, and we suspected that his food was the problem, though a lot of sources will tell you it's just something a cat is born with. He loves dry food, and as a kitten was getting Hill's and Royal Canin. I stopped those foods, and his condition improved drastically. That could have been a coincidence, but a year or so later I got some samples of Royal Canin, fed them, and the problem returned. He's definitely allergic to soy and beet pulp, so I avoid any products containing them, and try to give him dry food without grains, and all meat and/or fish canned food. I'd prefer no dry food at all, but he definitely wouldn't.
post #12 of 23
Sounds more like feline hyperesthesia to me too. FIP cannot be tested for while the cat is alive - as far as I know they test is for whether they have had exposure to the Feline Corona Virus, which in most who have it, it does not develop into FIP.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Do you know of a good dry food I could try on Bakerman that doesn't have Soy or beet pulp?
post #14 of 23
My other cat Toby died of FIP, the vet said that Dillon probably carries the corona virus too but it has to change to the lethal form to do the damage. They were together for 15 years, but Dillon is 19 now and has other issues instead. The vet said that stress can make it change to the bad form. Toby was a very sensitive nervy cat and Dillon is very laid back. I got them to do the bloodwork twice on Toby, but he told us himself, he completely refused to eat and nothing we could do would make him. It is a difficult diagnosis and I would go by the way your cat is feeling. Lots of good wishes Chris
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Is that how you found out Toby had it because he wasn't eating? So far Bakerman has a big appetite. He is now chasing the other 2 cats we have around the house playing so hopefully he continues this! Thanks for the encouraging words!
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charms View Post
Do you know of a good dry food I could try on Bakerman that doesn't have Soy or beet pulp?
Right now I'm feeding Orijen, Felidae, and Prairie Raw Instinct dry. Natural Balance is another good one.
post #17 of 23
What many have said here is right. There is no blood test that will diagnose FIP and the only way to ever know for sure is after death with a necropsy. I had a vet try to diagnose Jake with FIP last October but after reading about it and speaking to a vet pathologist in the lab I work at, I rejected the original vets diagnosis. Jake's healthier then ever now and doing very well! Get a second opinion (and probably a new vet!)
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
All of you have been so great! I go and see if there is any more replies and it really makes my spirits high when there is! I read the story aobut Jake! How great! I am going to get the blood results from the vet and go show them to another. I usually don't go to this one but did for the blood test as my vet has been out of town. Bakerman so far is doing good. He is sitting right here! He hasn't had too many seizures today and now I am wondering if they are seizures. Has any one out there ever had a cat that has had them? What he does is his skin will twitch and he bites ( never breaks through his skin) sometimes I see him shake his leg while running then he is fine.I haven't gaven him a phenobarbitual yet today to see how he does. He is kind of back to his own self playing with our other cats! My one vet that is back in town did call and said he was sure he didn't have it... I would be seeing signs.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charms View Post
All of you have been so great! I go and see if there is any more replies and it really makes my spirits high when there is! I read the story aobut Jake! How great! I am going to get the blood results from the vet and go show them to another. I usually don't go to this one but did for the blood test as my vet has been out of town. Bakerman so far is doing good. He is sitting right here! He hasn't had too many seizures today and now I am wondering if they are seizures. Has any one out there ever had a cat that has had them? What he does is his skin will twitch and he bites ( never breaks through his skin) sometimes I see him shake his leg while running then he is fine.I haven't gaven him a phenobarbitual yet today to see how he does. He is kind of back to his own self playing with our other cats! My one vet that is back in town did call and said he was sure he didn't have it... I would be seeing signs.
Glad we could be supportive. If you followed the link in my signature, that was the first time Jake got sick. The time they tried to diagnose him with FIP was more recently. Poor guy has been through the mill and I've almost lost him twice. Here's the link to the false FIP scare: Jake is Sick again
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
hello! I got the test results back today to look at them. His protein is high (9.1)as well as his globulin which was 6.3. Then where it says FIP screen it said positive. I have faxed the results to my main vet and he will call me later. I still hope he is ok! Still looks healthy!
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hello! Just sending an update on Bakerman. He is the one that a vet diagnosed him with FIP . He is doing fine! Still has some skin twitching . He is still on his phenal barbital. My vet that I normally see was very upset this vet said he did have FIP. He said he was taught in vet school that they were not suppose to actually diagnose a cat with FIP as it is so mis diagnosed. He did look at Bakerman's blood work results that the other vet had based it on. His protein and anti bodies were high. My vet said there are other things that could cause this. I did notice his eyes had matter around them so did get an antibotic for them. It cleared up fast and the vet said that this could possibly what caused the counts to be high. He has never lost any weight and would think if this is FIP he would be sick. Still eating like a horse! Keeping all of the sick kitties in my prayers!
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
FIP is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood.

I do not have any personal experience with it, but it is my understanding that FIP is a mutation of the corona virus. The blood test that is typically done only indicates EXPOSURE to the corona virus. It does not mean that the cat actually has FIP.

It is very discouraging whenever I see or hear of a vet simply giving a pat answer after doing this test. How scary that must be. I do believe it's very possible for a cat who has been *exposed* to corona to go on and live a full and happy life, if the virus never ends up mutating. I'm not sure of a statistic, regarding a percentage of cats that have been exposed...but I suspect it's quite high.
I'm so glad you got a second opinion. I had one vet just throw this out "oh, well it's probably FIP, that's fatal". The second vet said, "he's a rescue cat, he's been exposed to corona virus, no surprise there". He also told me flat out (as Beandip said above) that many vets mis-use and misinterpret the test. Glad to hear your little guy is doing better.
post #23 of 23
I'm glad you were able to see another vet and get better information. I'll keep him in my thoughts and hope he continues to be healthy
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