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Question about FIP

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
What exactly is FIP? What are the dangeres to a cat's health when infected? What are the symptoms and prognosis? It seems as though there's quite a few exremely knowledgable frequenters to this site!
post #2 of 16
FIP stands for Feline Infectious Peritonitis

It is not a very well understood virus they classify it as a coronavirus. The early symptom is diarrhea and there are two forms of this virus *wet* and dry. In wet the cat will begin to swell in certain areas as fluid builds up- their chest, and abdomen are the most common areas. The dry form can sneak up on you and the cat may be anemic, lethargic, run high fevers, lose weight, or just be depressed.

There is no known cure at this time, and the disease is at this point, always fatal.
post #3 of 16
Go here to see some very well written and in depth articles on FIP.
post #4 of 16
Is there a vaccine for FIP, Hissy?
post #5 of 16
Originally Posted by squirtle
Is there a vaccine for FIP, Hissy?
No vaccine for FIP. [EDIT: Erroneous Statment Rectified in Following Posts]

Diagnosis is "simple" only on Wet forms, as blood tests can show positive for coronavirus, and not indicate FIP.

It's highly contagious, but not every animal exposed will be infected by FIP.

But it is something that is extremely dangerous, because 99.9% of cats afflicted with FIP will die. And so little is known about it.

post #6 of 16
Sorry, Spotz, I have to contradict you. There is a vaccine for FIP in the form of nasal drops. The problem is that it may only be 60% - 80% effective, so many people don't bother with it.
post #7 of 16
They call it a vaccine, but they also doubt the effectiveness of it because it is so new and really untried.
post #8 of 16
I just thought that Dori got a shot for it.... Maybe I have it mixed up with something else. I need to check my paperwork. I just thought I remembered seeing FIP on the paperwork, but I know she never got any nose drops. I remember it was FIV/something. I will look when I get home.
post #9 of 16
Originally Posted by jcat
Sorry, Spotz, I have to contradict you. There is a vaccine for FIP in the form of nasal drops. The problem is that it may only be 60% - 80% effective, so many people don't bother with it.
Indeed! You are correct.

From what I can find, clinical trials show that it is actually believed the the Vaccine can potentially increase the risk to the cat, rather than protect the cat.

Thanks for the correction, it keeps me on my toes

post #10 of 16
I think there is more not known about FIP than there is about it. Having lost an 18 month old to wet FIP about 12 years ago, the more digging I did on the disease, the more anomolies there were about the topic. He went from healthy and running around to lethargic and fully swollen (wet form) in less than a week - no diarreha, no symptoms other than lethargy and at the end a swollen belly. As he would have died overnight, I had him humanely euthanized rather than him suffering that last night. Some things there were somewhat consistent:

Many cats would test positive to the coronavirus teters that indicate exposure to FIP yet few develop full blown symptoms. An honest vet won't make a diagnosis from the teter test and my vet won't waste my money on it.

While it can be highly contagious, there appears to be a genetic predisposition in some cats that are exposed to advance to the actual disease. In other words, some cats get it and some cats don't regardless of exposure. My 6 other cats exposed to my FIP boy never contracted the disease in 18 months of exposure, and those 6 were in turn exposed to all of my current household. Not a single cat has ever come down with it since my poor little Boris.

It's a very sad disease.
post #11 of 16
Sorry guys, one more question about FIP. Can cats be tested for it before bringing them home. For instance, IF (and thats a big if) by bf agreed to another cat. I would definately want a clean bill of health before bringing the kitten home to Dori. Can a kitten be tested for FIP before it coming home? Also is it something that could (I don't know the medical terms for this) be carried from one cat and given to another and the carrier test negative?
post #12 of 16
FIP tests are highly inconclusive. They test for exposure, and most cats will show some level of exposure. Your better test is for FeLV and FIV.
post #13 of 16
There are many different forms of Feline Coronavirus, and the test for FIP picks up on Coronavirus. If the cat has any form of a coronavirus, including the available vaccine, there is a high probability that the test will show positive for Coronavirus.

This is totally inconclusive for FIP diagnosis. The probability is for a false positive, not a false negative.

Simply put, there is no simple test to diagnose FIP. FeLV and FIV are the two main ones to worry about, plus the regular general checkup.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
So, if the cat has the dry form, how do you know? I understand the whole coronavirus thing (I work in a hospital, I've been fully educated about SARS and those sorts of things). But is the primary symptom almost always diarrhea, even in a cat with the dry form? And if they have the dry form, do they still swell as in the wet? I know, so many questions, so little answers... Thank you all so much for your education on this. It never hurts to learn!
post #15 of 16
No significant swelling in Dry form.

Basically the vet has to look for characteristic abnormalities due to FIP. Most of these abnormalities, can be associated with other diseases/conditions. But usually it's a process of elimination for diagnosis of Dry FIP.

Cornell University Brief on FIP

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
I want to take a moment to thank you all that assisted in educating me about FIP. I was afraid that perhaps that was what Tank had. Well, our visit to the vet yesterday confirmed this fear. My baby boy had FIP, and I had to do the right thing a put him down. It was affecting him neurologically, rather than intestinally, and that's why all his labwork was normal, but he was still declining. Thank you all so much. If it wasn't for you, I would have not understood what he was really probably going through. I would have had a false hope, rather than a grip on the true, awful reality of it. I am absolutely devastated, but feel better because I came informed. But it still hurts so much more than I would have ever imagined. I've never had to put an animal down, before, and he was so young! He was only 15 months old. But that was his life plan, and I just remind myself that God has a reason for this, and now he's no longer in pain, or having halucinations, or confused. Now he's 100% healthy and happy again.
Thanks again,
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