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F.I.P. Urgently Seeking Advice

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Just to type F.I.P. sends me back to a place I do not wish to revisit.........I lost my beloved Kashi to the wet form in August. (He was given 2 weeks to live in Nov. of 2006 at approx 4 months of age) He was only a little over a year old.

What I need from anyone here willing to help me is to tell me what you would do if you were facing a diagnosis of F.I.P. with your kitten/cat or what you have done with a prior baby. Nutrition, medications, anything at all.

My Maddie (5yr. old Maine Coon) is deathly ill. The vets told me today they suspect F.I.P. based on Fever of unknown origin. Blood work is ok except for Globulin Level is High. She has very loose stools, not eaten since Saturday morning, and is continuing to vomit yellow foam. She is of good weight and appeared healthy except for a cold a month or so ago and runny eyes. None of the other cats are sick. None of them got that 'cold'. Maddie is a former 'pet store' cat. She and her litter mates all were at deaths door shortly after DH bought her for me. Maddie was treated with vitamins, antibiotics and Interferon. She recovered and flourished after several months of care. That was 4.5+ years ago. At that time the vet said her immune system was not working well and he suggested trying the Interferon as she was really failing badly. Only one of the others survived. The Pet Store used our vets, thats how we found out about the other kittens.

Realizing there is no sure test for F.I.P. only the Corona Virus exposure, in the wet form you can withdraw fluid to test, etc. what they are guessing with Maddie is questionable. The vets want to test her?! She does not have the wet form if she has F.I.P. so it would be a blood test, titer which will only show if she has had the Corona Virus correct? She has been at the vets for 2 days. They claim she did not vomit there (has been vomiting since being brought home late this afternoon and before she was taken to the vets. She did not eat there only drank a little water. She is on Baytril for fever and probiotics on food for the loose stools. Repeat myself here 'she has not eaten nor will she eat. What good are they if she cannot eat them? Ugggggghhhh

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. She is going downhill very fast but so would a healthy cat if they did not eat for 4 days. I've tried, salmon, tuna, tuna water, canned cat food to no avail. Oh and they want to do exploritoray surgery in case she ate a string!! The last thing she would need would be stress from a surgery if she has F.I.P.

Feel so bad for Maddie.......................
post #2 of 19
Hi Whispern'Cats
I lost my 6 moth old kitten (to what I believe was FIP, cant be sure without an autopsy and I dont want to do that to his body). He had different symptoms than what your kitty has but I know that FIP is horrible that way because it can attack so many different parts of the kittens system.
He was first sick back in January (he was coughing, lethargic and not eating/drinking). We gave him some antibiotics that seemed to get him better. He got sick again a few weeks ago (minus the coughing, but still very lethargic, no eating/drinking and servere breathing problems).
We had him on medication that would help with allergic bronchitis (we were hoping that it wasn't FIP) and if he got better then we would rule out FIP. Last night he suffocated on his blood throw up, shortly after giving him a shot of Cephalosporin... which was weird.

So those were the symptoms of my poor kitty and thats what we had him on. Cephalosporin is an antibiotic that we gave him into his muscle. We were told that it is a super antibiotic and if it could clear anything up then it would. We had him on Prednisone for the allergic bronchitis (you wont need that if your kitty isnt coughing or having trouble breathing).

I would suggest getting some A/D kitty food (very hight in nutrients) and youll have to force feed your kitty if she's not eating and water too if shes not drinking. You can also get a Lactated Ringer (sterile solution of water + electrolytes) that you can use to hydrate her. Ask your vet for information on how to use a lactated ringer or if you should be using one.

To force feed her youll need to have a plastic syringe (no needle) and you can again ask your vet for the proper way to inject the food into her mouth. It isn't fun to do but its better for her to be fed and mad at you than starving. 4 days without food is a long time, you should get some food into her asap.

Good luck and I really hope that it is not FIP.

Best wishes
post #3 of 19
this is a small help... maybe... but there are probiotics that are administered directly, rather than via food. here's a link to the one i used for Java [not FIP, but intestinal issues requiring 2 rounds of antibiotics plus a round of probiotics to fix!]: bene-bac. i found it locally at PetCo.
post #4 of 19
They thought my Yoshi had the Dry for of Fip but it was never proved. He also had over 10 Kidney Stones in each Kidney. He lasted from the end of last May to Jan 11 when he was Pts. I didnt want him to be cut up to find out if it was Fip for sure. I hope your Cat gets better. Yoshi was only 5.
post #5 of 19
My Willow had the dry form of FIP (confirmed through necrospy and the triple PCR test from Auburn University). Because she was not of the "classic age" for the disease, I tried hard to rule out every other possibility. The most useful test we did was an ultrasound combined with a needle aspiration biopsy that was sent off to a local vet hospital that had a cytologist on staff. The ultrasound showed that she had lesions and that one of her lymph nodes was enlarged. The cytology showed pyogranulomatous lymphadenitis, which is consistent with FIP or other types of chronic inflammation.

We never bothered to do a titer test (which you accurately described) on Willow. By the time they are sick, the results aren't very helpful. A positive result can mean they were exposed to the coronavirus or that they have full blown FIP. A negative result can mean that they were never exposed to the coronavirus and don't have FIP or it could mean their immune system is gone so it doesn't show any antibodies to the FIP virus. Since it wasn't going to help rule in or out the disease, I figured there wasn't any point in wasting the money.

I tried assist feeding Willow for a few days. We did not enjoy the experience--she fought every bite and we both ended up very stressed. I opted to have a feeding tube inserted and that helped me to know that she wasn't starving to death while we ruled out all possibilities (we were waiting for the results from a specific blood test that analyzed the globulin in her blood--when the globulin level is high, it can be caused by one type of gamma globulin being elevated (a monoclonal gammopathy) or several types being elevated (polyclonal gammopathy). Cats with FIP usually have polyclonal gammopathy, so if the result is monoclonal, there is a greater chance that something else is the cause (see this site for more information about the test and the results: Anyway, the assist feeding made me feel more comfortable because I wasn't fighting to get food into her and therefore I wasn't having to watch her starve to death. Even though it ultimately did not affect the outcome, I think it made her final weeks a bit better.

How long has she been on the antibiotics? A fever of unknown origin that doesn't respond to antibiotics is a symptom of FIP. If there hasn't been time to see if the antibiotics help (and it may take trying more than one kind, too), then I think the vet could be jumping the gun. In the meantime, I would definitely consider an ultrasound if I was in your shoes.
post #6 of 19
My suspected FIP kitty (she also has a broken tail - coincindence? Who knows!) is on Clavomax, a laxative (for constipation - not your problem), and a Vitamin-B complex vitamin. She was on prednisione, but was taken off to go on pain killers (for the tail). From what I understand, prednisone is a pretty typical FIP treatment because of its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppresent abilities.

I force fed Zoey for a while, but she is now eating on her own. I have no idea if she actually has FIP. She has had really good days and really bad days in the last 2 weeks. My optimism about her prognosis really wanes based on her behaviour that day, or even that hour. I just want to make sure I give her ample time to get better. Make sure your vet has ruled everything else out and tells you what symptoms she DOES have, and which ones she DOES NOT have. Not every FIP case is the same...especially in dry. I have heard of cats who have been diagnosed and recovered...whether they have FIP, or were misdiagnosed, is a mystery.

If you're looking for some success stories, there aren't many...I've searched thoroughly. Most readings will indicate that FIP is almost 100% fatal. However, there are some anecdotal (and that's all they are) cases. I have to go to work, but here's one link to a holistic treatment I have not yet tried:

Also, has lots of information about FIP treatments as well.

The people on this board have been wonderful to share any information they have come across that may help!

for you and your kitty!
post #7 of 19
Oh yeah, medication-wise prednisolone is the most commonly used (it is better metabolized in cats than prednisone). Other possible options to discuss with your vet include Duralactin, which is an anti-inflammatory, and cyclosporine, which is an immunosupressant. I'm not sure whether the last two would be appropriate, but they may be worth considering.
post #8 of 19
I'm so sorry your baby is so sick. My Maggie just have a fever of unknown origin last week. Her temp was 105. She is doing better now. The vet never mentioned FIP but I know enough that I was worried. Maggie was born at the cat shelter and was sick as a kitten. In addition another one of my cats has Feline Herpes, but she showed no signs of upper resperitory. Here is a run down of what my vet did for her to compare with what your vet has done.

The first day
X-ray to check for foreign body (showed nothing)
In house quick chem blood test (elevated liver values probably due to the fever)
Sent out a CBC (totally normal)
IV fluids
IV Flagly
Kept her over night, she ate nothing, but was drinking her temp came down over night but was still 103.

2nd day
Reran inhouse quick chem (Liver values still slightly high but came down close to normal)
Feline Lukemia test (negative, but she had already been tested)
IV fluids
Temp stayed at 103, but she still was not eating. They sent her home with me since she was out of danger & they figured she was more likely to eat at home. She did not start eating on her own until Sunday & last night for the first time she ate an entire meal. I'm still keeping an eye on her, but she is acting better.

I have no experience with FIP, I just wanted to share my experience in the hope that maybe something my vet did will help you with your baby.
sending healing vibes for your baby & Many hugs to you.
post #9 of 19
I truly hope it isn't FIP. I have dealt with it, and after dealing with it, if it ever happened again, as soon as it was positively confirmed (or as close as possible), i would PTS, we tried for a fortnight, and looking back, it was the worst thing I did for her, she was unhappy and miserable for the majority of that time.
post #10 of 19
god fip scares me so bad! whats "pts"?
post #11 of 19
pts = put to sleep
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you ALL sooo very much. The information is appreciated beyond words.

Maddie vomited off and on all night long. (Busily washing our bedding and rugs this morning on top of everything else!) Been a long night without a lot of sleep.

After reading everything that was posted, decided to just start doing a few things myself. Offered her some of her favorite foods, Wellness dry and canned, tuna juice, yogurt with probio's added. She would have none of it. Did get her to drink a little fresh water. Cleaned her up, she was sticky and dirty from the vets, poopy bottom too. I then gave her some Vitacal, she would not eat it on her own so I put a little in her mouth and smeared some on her paws. She did lick them clean. Made a gruel mixture of organic yogurt, probio's and wellness canned. I used a syringe to force feed her. Got about 1.5 tsp. into her, the other all over her. This was at about 10:30am and she has not vomited since. Will do this again in a few hours. Will do what I can today and if she is still vomiting tomorrow, back to the vet.

We have a scheduled appointment for tomorrow afternoon for our dog Skeeter who will most likely be PTS. He's been progressively getting worse with not being able to use his back end, is neurological and spinal. The vet suspects cancer, he is almost 13. I will take Maddie with if need be.

I'm still highly suspicious of her having F.I.P. but that could be because of my experience with Kashi having the wet form and she is suspected of the dry form. The other odd thing is that one of our other cats Allie who is about 8 years old vomited the same yellow foam last night!!!! She never even vomits hair balls. What are the chance of two of then with F.I.P. at the same time?

Maddie is on Baytril and some Flora Powder only from the Vets. She was on antibiotics, Interferon and vitamins when she was about 4 months old. Since then until now she has been the picture of health. I'm so worried about her but am trying my best to get some nourishment in her. When she goes back to the vet, will have her have an ultrasound to look for intestinal blockage and for lesions. I'd like to really know what I am dealing with here, that would be ost helpful.

After the nine months of Kashi struggling to live and the final outcome in August I am not sure that I can handle another F.I.P. cat. The heartache from loosing my little boy took it's toll. He was such a love, a truly exceptional cat. This year we have lost so many of our fur kids, unbelievable..... That being said, I also know that whatever Maddie needs I will do, thats just my nature. Maddie is such a great girl, she is so much like a dog, lol even the growling!

Somewhere on this site I read about the holistic approach mentioned also and found my bookmark for that this morning. Saved it from when Kashi was sick. Will be reading that again. To me the holistic and medical approach combined is the way to go. I've seen that approach work wonders in my lifetime for both humans and animals.

I'm so appreciative of all of your responses, once again thank you so much for taking the time to post back. You are all such caring and wonderful folks.

post #13 of 19
Originally Posted by cloud_shade View Post
pts = put to sleep
post #14 of 19
my heart goes out to you. i had to have my lurcher pts on valentines day and it sounds like skeeter has a similar condition. leo's back legs had virtually stopped working altogether due to a neurological problem. he would have been 14 in june.

i also lost my beloved janet last october to what i believed to be FIP. it was never confirmed but everything else was ruled out. actually i that was how i found this wonderful site looking for answers about this horrific disease.

janet spent a miserable 2 and a half weeks while we desperately tried to find out what was wrong. in hindsight i would have let him go alot sooner. all he ate during the last 2 weeks of his life was 3 mouthfuls of food a day despite us offering him every type of smelly, tasty cat food we could buy. for a cat who used to steal raw tomato from my plate and demand to be given peas when we had them, it was so hard to see him turn away from food time and time again. i miss my boy so terribly.

only you will know and no one can tell you when to say goodbye, but look into your kittys eyes and let her tell you.

to you and your family.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
It's been awhile so thought I would post about Maddie's progress. She is eating on her own now and is almost back to her normal self. She continued to run a low grade fever for about a week and developed coughing and sneezing. That has since cleared. The original vet who treated her said that she believes she had a virus and does not have F.I.P. (The vet who spoke with me when I picked her up was the one who suspected F.I.P.)

The first vet and I discussed some physical similarities in cats with F.I.P. at Maddies follow up that was interesting and I'm going to post a new thread and ask others if they have noticed the same things in their kitties who are suspected of F.I.P. or it was confirmed.

I'm continuing to give Maddie a vitamin supplement to help her along. She is sooo much better.

Thank you again to all who posted back. My heart breaks for all of you who have lost a kit to F.I.P. or who are presently faced with the possibility. The one thing that I can say is that from my experience that they seem to be some of the most special and enduring cats I've ever known. You are all in my thoughts.
post #16 of 19
post #17 of 19
Glad to hear this. Sadly, FIP is very hard to diagnose, there is no true test apart from an autopsy, probably due to the fact it can affect cats in so many different ways. That is why I dread seeing those three letters so much.
post #18 of 19
I am glad your Cat is better. They think Yoshi ad Dry Fip before he was Pts. It was never proved though. He went from over 14 pounds to 5.2. He looked lder then Coco who is 16 and he was only 5.
post #19 of 19
fantastic news! give maddie lots of hugs and kisses from us. so good to hear that FIP hasn't struck again.
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