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Possible FIP?? I have a sick kitty, please see if you've had same experience before!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone. This is my first post to the cat forum, and I really wish I could post under better circumstances.

I will try to explain as best as possible without making this too long.

I found a kitten outside my house about 2 months ago. He was very friendly and I decided I would find him a home, as I was scared for his well being with him being such a small kitten.(and I'm a sucker for any sweet kitty face who's stuck outside ...) I found a new home for him at my mom's, who fell in love with him at first sight. Originally he was going to stay at her house until we found a new home, but lol as you can see she loved him! We brought him to the vet and got him all his shots and booster shots 2 weeks later...so he's up to date on every shot possible.

About a week ago, Ginger (his name) started to act sickly. He lost some weight, and he even got sick once. I guess when you've had cats all your life you just know when they aren't feeling like themselves! These are all his symptoms he's experiencing:
-fever of 104.2 (for period of atleast 2 days recently)
-loss of weight as he's very thin, but not all bones yet
-tired, sleeping a bit much for a kitten of 6 months old
-loss of appetite

Now, here's the thing...Ginger has been to the vet to be checked out, so we've already had a vet look at him once. The vet said it was possible that Ginger has the "dry form" of FIP. He didn't really do any tests, except with needle in the belly to check for fluid. This horrid disease is nothing new to me, as JUST this year, I have lost two of my kitties to it
-Ginger is taking antibiotics
-Ginger is on an appetite pill to help make him hungry

I have done countless research of FIP because of my loss and the fact that there is no cure for it.

Have any of you ever lost a cat to FIP....from what I have described, do you think it's possible he may NOT have FIP but still sick with something else? I keep reading taht there is something else that mimics symptoms of FIP but is misdiagnosed all the time.

We are monitoring him round the clock and feeding him homemade "baby food" in our food processor, turkey meats, catsip milk, cream of chicken soups....anything that he will eat for now. He is drinking water and using the litterbox. I have seen two kitties die fairly quickly by the time they are diagnosed...My first kitty died within 2 days and the second one had to be put to sleep because of his subtemp and he was said to have FIP. Neither of my cats would eat anything I had to force feed them and water them too! plus they just layed around sometimes they couldn't even get up to use litter, and they showed neurological signs of trouble just to show a few examples of why I think it's possible he's doesn't have FIP.

Because GInger is still up and moving, purring, responsive, no signs of neurological problems, no litter probs, hasn't gotten sick except for once before his vet visit, but is just very thin and running that fever....please to the best of your ability especially if you've had experiences with this tell me what you think...what else can we do? are there any tests you have had done to find out? I know you can't 100% find out about FIP, and the vaccines don't really work and can make things worse...what did you do?

I am at my wit's end because I just can't see another poor kitten go through this....and somehow deep down, I don't think he has it...because of how well he is doing, that he IS eating food, drinking water, moving around, etc?? I would hate myself if he was put down and he didn't have FIP, that he somehow could have recovered if he was diagnosed wrongly???

Thank you so much for reading all this! I'm so exhausted I hope all this made sense! If anyone lives in Indiana area, could you tell me of any vets that I should take him to get 2nd opinion, or someone who might specialize in FIP or anything to that degree?? I REALLY appreciate any advice, help, or whatever you can offer.
post #2 of 10
Thank goodness, I have no experience with FIP -- and I'm so sorry that you have. I can't really address your primary problem, but I wanted to make a suggestion about feeding...

As I'm sure you know, cats really need to have the special balance of nutrients in a good cat food, and it can be very bad for them to live on other things for long...so you might want to try to make cat food more interesting to him.

What we do at the shelter where I volunteer is take a very good canned kitten food, mix it with KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer) to a nice milkshakey consistency, and warm it in the microwave. This is easier for a sick kitty to eat, and they usually love it.

I'm surprised your vet didn't do any more testing. Maybe you should get a second opinion from another vet...?

Hoping the best for your baby...
post #3 of 10
I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination so this is my opinion.

I lost a kitten I had for 5 weeks to FIP. A white persian, she was so precious!
Her name was Willow.
Anyway, I got her from a "breeder" who I use that term very loosely.
She seemed a little sickly from the start but I just thought she needed to be fattened up and spoiled. Her poo had like a red glazed look on it and I knew there was a problem. I took her to the vet twice and they couldn't find anything wrong with her. They treated her with antibiotics I think, it's been a couple of years now, can't remember what they did. Note, I only had her 5 weeks. The last couple of days with her I noticed her belly got hard and round as if there was a small baseball in there. I would rub her belly and take her to bed with me. She would sleep on my pillow. Well the last morning I woke up and she wasn't there, which wasnt uncommon. She would get up and play or whatever, she was still active till that last day. I got up that morning and she was laying on the floor and couldn't move. Her little head raised barely and tried to meow. I rushed her to the vet in a towel and they took her right away. They had a few minutes with her and called me in to tell me and show me a syringe filled with a yellow fluid they said was from her belly. That hard belly I was rubbing was the result of the FIP. She was filling with it.
You are right, there is no cure, and she was only seconds from death already and I told them to let her go. That was one of the hardest days of my life.

From what you are saying, it doesn't sound like FIP to me. She doesn't have the poo problem or the belly.
I may be wrong, I hope I am not, because there is still a chance for him if so.
Hope this helped.
post #4 of 10
I am soo sorry you are going through this. I am sorry I dont have any experience with the disease. I really hope Ginger doesnt have it. The kitties and I will be praying for you both. Let us know how he is doing.
post #5 of 10
I lost a kitten this summer to FIP. Unfortunately, his symptoms were similar to Ginger's. I was told that there is no test for FIP, which is probably why your vet didn't test for it. Ever since Little Man's passing, I have done much research on the disease...I found a book called The New Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier. She is incredibly experienced with cats from all walks of life, & she claims to have some success in treating FIP with a success rate of 50%. You might be interested in taking a look at her recommendations for treating FIP; I have no personal experience as to whether or not it will help, but if you're like me when I was losing Little Man, I have a feeling you're willing to look into anything. Good luck to you; I'll keep Ginger in my thoughts.
post #6 of 10
Unfortunately, I DO have experience with the dry form of FIP. Patty's kitten had the wet form, and the two have very different symptoms.

Dry form of FIP attacks internal organs sort of like a shotgun - scattered. My kitten's manifested in the eyes. However, before he showed ANY symptoms, we had done bloodwork prior to his neuter and he showed elevated proteins. That is a result of breakdown of the red blood cells. You should have your vet do some basic bloodwork. Because it can affect any different number of organ symptoms.

Unfortunately, if Ginger is taking antibiotics, and the fever is not going down, FIP is very possible. I'm SO SO sorry you are going through this. This is a horrible disease, and I'm praying that you will post here and say Ginger is better.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
first off, thank you all so much for responding. I was quite disappointed that my other forum I visit (called PetsHub, but I usually visit the ferret forum) NO ONE responded. So I really thank each and every one of you for reading that mess of an explanation and giving me your advice.

Ginger is being taken to the vet today at 4:15pm! Last night I monitored him with my mom for quite some time. We made sure he ate and drank water...and 5 hours after we took his temperature, he went from 104.2 to 103.7!!! Now I know that is still somewhat of a fever, but it lowered!! I am hoping it was because he finally ate some food and he did take a nap for a bit. What I really hope is that he doesn't have FIP deep down. My mom spoke with the vet, and apparently he is going to switch his antibiotic and look him over. He's going to get him new meds and reassess everything, including giving him a high cal food to get his strength and weight back up.

CarolPetunia, thanks for that idea!! I know what you are saying, we are very worried about his diet as well, but we are also so worried because he just doesn't have to strength to eat his dry food and he's had to be on appetite pills. At the time, we thought if he'll eat chicken baby food, if he'll eat turkey deli meat, whatever it is, just so he won't waste away...but now that it's been two weeks, we are taking measures to get him good food that is easy to eat and nutritional for him. My mom usually feeds him a diet of that Felidae, that really nice natural food for cats (she feeds Canidae to the dog as well). I will certainly give that a try, and just so you know, the vet is going to put him on a high calorie high grade food I think it's Eukanuba Max Cal (only prescribed by a vet). If all goes well, I will certainly give that mixture a try and remember that for future reference!

Pjk5900, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss with Willow (what a pretty name too!) I know what it's like to try to help them only to hear the inevitable news of FIP and 100% mortality rate. It's a wretched disease, and I have really become committed to helping find more research on this. Yes, Ginger's litter is raked through (as we want to rule out everything) and we see no oddities in his urine or poo. I don't see him strain to go or have any pain that I know of. And he did have a bit of a round belly when I first found him due to malnutrition, and just so everyone knows, most of the strays I find are like this and with good nutrition, it goes away within a week or so. Thankfully, he does not show this symptom either. But thanks for the word of encouragement and I appreciate it.

Chichismom, thank you! Be glad you do not have experience with the disease, but just in case, you may want to eventually read up on it if you ever take in strays or like Pjk5900 had, even breeders can give you a cat that has the disease (they may not know it of course since it's so hard to detect). But the kind words really helped and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Seppolina, though the test isn't 100% accurate, there is a blood test that can be done to find the "coronavirus" i believe it's called. But cats can also be just a carrier of it, or it shows they have at some point come in contact with it. I've even read that alot of kittens can come in contact with the virus but never develop FIP or aren't affected at all. I'm sorry about Little Man. Though I knew it would be painful for me to hear about other losses with FIP, I'm sure it was painful for you to have to remember it and I thank you for giving me your experience and advice. I will look into that book, and I am willing to do whatever it takes. I just cannot lose another kitten to FIP. I believe this kitten can make it, either way...I sware I will do something to make a difference...read near the end of this letter, I believe I found a website of a vet that is researching FIP and wants to find a cure as well. Let's hope someone can figure out this disease!

Kluchetta, I'm sorry for your loss as well. I've done alot of reading up on the dry form, as I believe both of mine passed from the wet form. I recognize what you are talking about with what it does in the dry form. There is a website I found that told me exactly waht you said, to test the protein levels and if it is high, it's an indicator of kidney problems I bleieve? and that, paired with low white blood cells and positive for coronavirus, will mean 94% chance he has it. I really hope he does not, and I'm on pins and needles waiting for teh vet visit to end and my mom to call me. I'm scared that I didn't go because I have a class, if I didn't I would...just in case....... (it's so sad to think about it, but...let's hope for the best)...the vet is going to try a different antibiotic...and since his fever went down a little...I'm thinking, he just can't have it...he's gone two weeks and two days almost three days since we realized he was sick...and I am wondering what else it could be. I printed out the information I found from the website and told my mom to take it with her and show the vet, so he will test Ginger for atleast something from the list. But thank you for yoru words. I appreciate it.

To everyone so far who's replied and anyone just reading this:
http://www.dr-addie.com is where I found this wonderful information I'm speaking about. This person really wants to see FIP cured or under control. Please, even if you don't think your cats could get FIP, read this information and look at the warning signs including the pics of the cat's eye...where it shows if jaundice sets in what it looks like (indicating usually Dry form FIP) and just atleast know what it is. I was uninformed of what FIP was until I lost my Stabby boy. Then it hit Teenie Meanie but I found myself frustrated and scared beacuse I didn't know what it was and struggled to find trustworthy information. But now i know the hard way....

I will let you know how the vet visit goes and post something later tonight latest. I am so glad his temp went down but I'm scared because he's thin and i'm so exhausted, it's alot of work to care for a sick kitty (i've become like a chef, fixing up all kinds of concoctions of baby foods and kitten milks and what not to make him want to eat lol!)....thanks again for your advice!
post #8 of 10
Thank you so much for the link...it's one I haven't come across in my research. I'll be thinking of Ginger until I hear that he's conquered whatever disease he's got...thinking good thoughts for you & your mom, as well.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Took Ginger to the vet. The vet took his temperature, and it did come up 104.5 (but we kind of think he was stressed out and ginger HATES his temp being taken). Am I correct, as I read that temps in cats will go up or down depending on if they are mad, stressed, etc?? We found out Ginger gained 8 ounces, which I think is amazing. The vet gave Ginger a shot of Bavtril (ever heard of this?) it's the new antibiotic and gave us a prescription of it too. He checked his heart said it was fine, his gums were pink, and his eyes were fine as well. As he felt around his stomach, I guess he thought he felt some sort of a mass (small or big I have no clue, but I'm guessing smaller since he's so unsure) and said he thought it may be something like Granuloma (still figuring out what that is) and told us an ultrasound or exploratory surgery would be able to tell us more about that. Since Ginger is still running temp, he felt that we should wait on a few things and try out the new Max cal food and the antibiotics...no blood tests were performed, as he explained most of the tests were expensive and that it may give a diagnosis, but not a cure...and he would do it if we really really wanted, but thought it was better to wait for now. My mom is going to talk to her friend that is a vet (she's known him a very long time and been seen by him before he moved into new vet place that is really expensive)...and she's going to ask him for his opinion and hopefully see what he can make of it.
For now, we are going to monitor him and take his temps and feed him this food. He already ate a 1/4 of the can which we think is wonderful. 1/4 can of that food is really good rather than him eating 1/4 of baby food etc...because it has so much more nutrition. So we have to play a waiting game for a bit longer and then decide what route we want to take. We don't think his time is up yet...so we can only cross our fingers, wait for the advice from the other vet, and hope that this new antibiotic will do something.
post #10 of 10
Well, Baytril is a pretty strong antibiotic, I think. It should bring down the temperature, unless it's viral. It's a good sign that he's eating, I hope he continues to improve!
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