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post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I am devistated, overwhelmed and confused. I found out last week that one of my cats has FIP.
I would greatly appreciate any help, comments, or support.
post #2 of 37
I am so sorry. FIP is a horrible condition. Does your cat have the wet or dry type? The treatment and prognosis are different, though sadly the outcome is always the same, only on a different timescale.
post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 
I dont know. The vet didnt tell me. He sent me home with reading material and gave me information. But honestly I was so overwhelmed that it is still sinking in and now I have so many questions. I also have 2 other cats I have to worry about. I am planning on going back to the vet and asking more questions.
post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 
I understand now what you meant about wet or dry. I am assuming that he is dry b/c he is not retaining fluids. He had an extremly high temp. and wouldnt eat and was secluding himself. He responded very well to the antibiotics, and is home now resumming all normal activities, but I can't keep thinking about it. Every time I touch him I think he is hot, etc.
post #5 of 37
Hi there,

Having just gone through a suspected case of FIP with my 8 month old kitten (we have put her to sleep, but I still do not believe she had FIP), I wouldn't call myself an expert, but I have definitely done plenty of research and have plenty of advice for those facing an FIP "diagnosis".

The first thing you should know (and I wouldn't be surprised if the vet approved literature didn't tell you this) is that FIP is very difficult to diagnose, especially the dry form. It is often misdiagnosed. The only definitive way of diagnosising FIP is through autopsy. This is not to say that your cat does not have FIP. But, there have been many cats who have been "diagnosed" with FIP and lived for years after. Whether they had FIP or not, who knows.

So, my first question to ask the vet would be what are they basing the diagnosis on. I'm hoping they have done blood work. If they are diagnosing FIP without doing blood work, find another vet...immediately.

Things they might see in symptoms (you will notice these symptoms match many other cat illnesses):
- lethargy
- weight loss (often over a long period of time, before symptoms are noticed)
- inappetance
- neurological symptoms (loss of balance/coordination, tremors)
- occular problems (uveitis, inflammation in eye, etc)
- persistent fever that typically does not respond to antibiotics (your cat's immune system is in overdrive)

Things they might see on blood work:
- low albumin to globulin ratio (these are blood proteins and aren't always included in standard blood work, you may have to ask for them to check this - and check it everytime you do blood work)
- high globulin (usually, the low a:g ratio is caused by high globulin - there is a test that can check which globulins are high, and "gamma globulins" are usually eleveated with FIP)
- high neutrophils (a type of white blood cell)
- low lymphocites (your vet might refer to this as "lymphopenia")
- high coronavirus titer (this is usually a separate test...and again, if your vet is basing the FIP diagnosis purely on a high coronavirus titer, find another vet - most cats will be positive for this...it DOES NOT mean they have FIP, but it is a possibility (if the test was negative, then FIP would be ruled out))
- anemia

None of these things, in isolation, tells you it is FIP. The more of them that accumulate, the more likely FIP is. However, there are a lot of diseases that FIP mimics and causes similar symptoms/blood work values.

I'm sure you are quite upset right now, so I will post this section, and continue typing.
post #6 of 37
I would suggest joining this group: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/FIPCatSupport/

I would say a couple of them are "experts" on FIP. If you post your cat's blood results there (just ask your vet for a copy), they will help you interpret them. I will look out for your post!

My best suggestion would be to be sure you ASK QUESTIONS and DO RESEARCH (search FIP, as well as your cat's symptoms to see what else could cause those). You are already on the right path by coming here and trying to find out more. I would also recommend a second opinion. My experience is that once a vet has FIP in their mind, it's hard to change it. Find a reputable vet in your area and take your cat and his blood work there for a second peak. They may very well say FIP as well, but at least you gave it a shot. I wouldn't even be afraid to ask for a third opinion, if you still weren't comfortable with the diagnosis. I had 3 vets say FIP about Zoey - and I KNOW 2 of them based that information solely on the "diagnosis" of the first vet. Had they looked at her most recent blood work, FIP would not have been on the top of their list (for the record, I believe she had an severe infection that became harder to fight after she broke her tail, somehow - a broken tail that was MISSED on the first look at the x-rays because the vet was so set on FIP).

Without knowing what other symptoms your cat has and what his/her blood values are, I can't give you a whole lot more information at the moment about other possibilities. There are a lot of them, however, and posting some info about your cat would be helpful.

The one thing that strikes me is that your cat responded well to antibiotics. From my understanding, FIP should not respond to antibiotics, unless it is fighting a secondary infection (which could certainly be the case). FIP is caused by a virus, not a bacteria. Standard treatment for FIP is prednisone and antibiotic (antibiotic only because prednisone supresses the immune system). Be careful with prednisone - if your vet puts your cat on it, and he/she does not have FIP, but some other infection instead, prednisone could worsen the infection.

Please do not write your cat off yet. And certainly don't let your vet write him/her off either!

I hope this helps a bit! I know it is very hard to get such bad news and to feel there is no way you can help him/her. But try to stay positive and hopeful!
post #7 of 37
They think Yoshi had the Dry Form and I had to ahve him Pts. it was never proven he had it for sure though. I hope your cat will be ok.
post #8 of 37
I had a cat named Glitch that died of the Wet form of FIP November 16th, 2007. I know how difficult it is!

How old is your cat? Boy/Girl? Still have an appetite?? How long has "it" had the high fevers??

Glitch was first diagnosed with FIP by ruling everything else out, later on when his belly swelled and they had to drain the fluid they got a positive FIP diagnoses then. The dry form is very different from the wet form, and theres someone on here that has a couple cats with the dry form of FIP that have had it for a couple years now. How many times has you kitty been to the vet for the high fevers?? Do they give her Metacam for the fevers??

There are several of us who have just recently gone through this. Saya lost 2 of her kitties in 2 days! Hissy has written articles on FIP and I would have to say is the resident expert. She has more information on the disease than many others! We also have a vet on here sometimes that may be able to help you out with some advice. I would try to get a second opinion, make sure to have blood work done again, that way the new vet can make an educated decision without soley basing it on the fact that another vet said it was FIP. If you need to talk feel free to PM me! (go to my user name at the top of this post, click on it, it will have a drop down menu and one of the options will be send private message)

post #9 of 37
I am so sorry your cat is sick. Hugs to you.
post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 
Well I am very thankful for the responses everyone has sent me. I am even more confused, but I am learning so much. I really appreciate all of the help. I am not at home right now, but I intend on getting the blood results and following the suggestions that everyone has given me. Again, thanks so much.
post #11 of 37
Just PMed you, aircraft!
post #12 of 37
i lost my 13 year old cat to FIP on the 6th October 2007, and like far too many others here, was confused and scared by the information (or lack of) around. janet's death is actually what brought me to this site where all my questions have been answered, whether by reading other peoples experiences or by the information posted.

zoeysmum has laid it out really clearly and in a user friendly way. when you're feeling strong enough, read her words and search FIP on this site. there are many useful threads here.

for your kitty and for you at this difficult time.
post #13 of 37
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,
Your support has been tremendous. Thank you
Per suggestions I got the blood test results, but I am not sure what I should be looking for.
Any thoughts?
post #14 of 37
Originally Posted by aircraft View Post
Hello everyone,
Your support has been tremendous. Thank you
Per suggestions I got the blood test results, but I am not sure what I should be looking for.
Any thoughts?
If you post them here (scan the entire results, or type the results out, including the reference ranges - if you're gonna do this, I suggest doing it in a word processing program and saving first...it takes some time, and I'd hate for it to get erased on you somehow!), I can take a look, and others can as well. However, I still recommend that you introduce yourself and post the blood at the yahoo group I linked in my earlier post. They have some folks over there who are VERY good at interpreting blood results!
post #15 of 37
As I said in the Pm I will look at them too. I know some of the numbers.
post #16 of 37
Thread Starter 
I am not good with coputers. I scanned the pages into my computer as saved as JPEG. How do I get them to you. And how do I put picutures of my cats on here?
post #17 of 37
I lost my beautiful kitty Nina to FIP last November. I understand what you're going through as it was a very difficult time for me. My biggest advice is to educate yourself, like you're doing, and continue to think postive and stay strong!

Sending lots of good vibes your way!!!
post #18 of 37
Thread Starter 
I am sorry to hear about your kitty. She was beautiful. Thank you for the support
post #19 of 37
Thread Starter 
From what everyone has been telling me, I am not sure if my cat has FIP or not. But he is home and resuming all normal activities. He was even playing with a mouse this morning. His attitude has come back (he is very vocal) and he is once again begging for canned food and interacting with us and the other cats. I am glad to see him doing so well, but this also makes me think more that maybe it is not FIP. Is this normal?
post #20 of 37
Maybe its not Fip. Yoshi never acted normal once he got sick. Can you post some of the numbers here. Just look at the results and tell us some of the numbers. Do you have photo bucket? Maybe upload the file to that then link it here.
post #21 of 37
Thread Starter 
RBC 5.38
I think those are the same thing, different days
FeLV negative
FIV negative
FIP by IFA 1:2048
post #22 of 37
Do you have the reference (normal) ranges, aircraft? Every lab/vet uses different numbers.
post #23 of 37
Thread Starter 
red blood 6.53 range 5.8-11.00
hemo 10.6 range 8.6-16.0
white blood 11.6 range 3.7 - 20.5
post #24 of 37
So sorry, aircraft! I didn't see that you posted again! The last time I checked, you hadn't! I must have just overlooked it!

There's nothing in the blood work, other than the high coronavirus titer, that indicates FIP there. However, the values you gave are fairly limited. Different vets run different "standard" blood work. You should go back and get a full work up, which should include a breakdown for the white blood cells (neutrophils, lymphocites, monocites, etc.) and protein (albumin/globulin) levels. You'll also want to check electrolyte (potassium, calcium, etc.) and glucose levels. Serology and hemotology....tell they you want the full work up. They should be able to do it in house fairly quickly (as opposed to the FIP test, which would have been sent out).

From the results you gave, I see that you cat (do we have a name), is not anemic and has normal white blood cells, which are commonly problems in cats with FIP (not all the time, though).

If your vet is basing the diagnosis of FIP on those results alone, I would certainly be asking for another opinion....or at very least, specifically request more blood work. It looks like they saw the positive coronavirus test and said "FIP." Grrrrr....I almost think the cat world would be better without that test. It is so misleading and misunderstood....and I'm sure many, many cats get put to sleep because they don't know the difference!

Your cat could still very well have FIP (although I am suspicious of a drastic improvement from antibiotics), but we don't have enough information at this point to know much of anything!
post #25 of 37
Thread Starter 
His name is Maxx (Maxximus Alexander Loyd)
The vet did run all of those tests. I just didnt type them all in.
I am getting ready to call the vet and make another appt. as soon as they open this morning.
Aside from this "FIP" diagnosis. He has terrible licking problems. But could not treat until he was off the antibiotic. His eyes are running this morning and he is once again going to the upstairs empty bedroom. He was doing so great. I hope he just has a cold.
I decided over the weekend that I am not going to try and figure out if he has FIP or not. I am going nuts trying to figure it out. I am just going to take care of him and love him as much as possible. I am just going to keep him happy and comfortable.
See what happens when we got back to the vet.
post #26 of 37
Originally Posted by aircraft View Post
His name is Maxx (Maxximus Alexander Loyd)
Sooooooo very neat!!!!!!

...I decided over the weekend that I am not going to try and figure out if he has FIP or not. I am going nuts trying to figure it out. I am just going to take care of him and love him as much as possible...
If I read you right, that being to just treat symptoms as they may arise to the best of your ability ...my opinion to a "T". This "labelling" sets up mindsets that result in tunnelvision.

You might want to have a read - or even a re-read of zoeysmom's and others' posts in this thread.

Watch his behaviour carefully, keep a detailed diary, listen to your "gut" feelings, know that you can trust them, remain proactive, be prepared to work collaboratively with a Vet who inspires your confidence and be prepared to stand your ground on what you want for Maxx's treatment.
post #27 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much. I needed a "boost"
Zoeysmom has been very helpful
post #28 of 37
Thread Starter 
Luckily my office is about 3 mins from my home, so I went home for lunch and Maxx actually came down, begged for some of my lunch and went outside for a minute. I am so worried that every time he sneezes now I will freak out. I am still taking him to the vet tomorrow tho. I have learned so much from this site that I would like to meet with the vet again. I now have lots of questions. Plus want to make sure he is ok and get flea medicine for all of them. The weather is finally starting to change here.
post #29 of 37
aircraft....if he responded well to antibiotics and deteriorated after he was taken off, I would suggest going back on the antibiotics. Which antibiotic was he on? And for how long? If he has an infection (not FIP) he could need a different antibiotic (Zoey responded well to Clavomax, but deteriorated when she was taken off....the emergency vet gave us Clindamycin, but she didn't last long enough for them to kick in). That said, since his white blood cells are in the normal range, it doesn't look like he's fighting off anything too spectacular! And as your vet will likely tell you, he can't stay on antibiotics forever.

Judging from the information you've provided, there is a whole gammit of things that can be affecting Maxx. Treating his symptoms is a good idea, remembering that he'll need extra monitoring. If he isn't fighting off some sort of infection, prednisone might be a decent possibility to try (standard treatment for FIP, but also treats allergies, autoimmune conditions, inflammation, etc.).

Let us know how it goes at your vet!
post #30 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the info. That will be very helpful when I take him tonight.
Last night he seemed to particpate in all activities. He has a runny nose and eyes, and of course the itching problem. I am hoping that this is "just a cold". I am just so worried all the time now.
He has had itchy problems since I have had him and he was always treated with ovaban (sp) but I went to a different vet for a 2nd opinion b/c I was hoping to find a better solution. I liked the new vets I went to so we will see tonite. It was coinsidence that I already had an appt. made for a 2nd opinion on his skin when he came down with the high temp. So of course they treated that and now I am going back for the skin.
I will update after our visit tonite.
Thanks again for all the help and support.
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