Feline Infectious Peritonitis??

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by chicknmania, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    OH, dear, I hope someone can give some input here. Our 10 year old cat recently has been pretty ill. He came down with sneezing, coughing, vomitiing, extreme lethargy. He was very sick. A week or so prior to him getting sick, he was at the vet for a routine visit, and the vet said that he had a mouth ulcer and some plaque on his teeth. He attributed the mouth ulcer to gum disease. Our cat has also had an unkempt coat for several weeks; he seems to be losing hair. The vet attributed this to fleas, but we have never seen our cat itching or chewing or licking himself enough to pull hair, and in fact we deflea him fairly regularly. Although he did have a few fleas, he was hardly infested. Anyway, the vet also said when that when we brought our cat in for his illness, he did not have a fever, but I noticed that the assistant who took his temp seemed to be having a problem placing the thermometer. When we took our cat in for his illness, the vet gave him a shot of antibiotic, antinausea med, and steroid., and sent us home. Said to bring him back in 24 hours if he did not significantly improve. WEll he did improve, although only by slight degrees. We decided to wait a bit. He has improved a little more over the weekend, but is still a little lethargic and weak. Appetite is much better and he has stopped vomiting. However, now one of our other cats is catching the same thing.

    I am very worried that this is FIP. I put the symptoms in Google, and they match. The illness symptoms themselves, but also the unkempt hair and mouth ulcers. Plus, I read that it is a slow moving disease, and that Steroids and antibiotics can help slow the progress of the disease and improve symptoms. I am terrified. We have four cats, and two of those are over ten years old and have been dearly loved members of our family who grew up with our kids. The other two are younger..one is around five or six years old, and the other one (who just started showing symptoms) is around 3 years old.

    My daughter's kitten died of the wet form of FIP a year or so ago, and it was an agonizing experience for her. (She doesn't live with us).

    Does anyone have any experience with this, or with a virus that might be showing look alike symptoms???

    Lastly, our ten year old cat who got sick first, also is hyper thyroid. If that makes any difference. He's had that condition for a year.
     
  2. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    I just wanted to chime in quickly before bed to say that FIP is not contagious, so if your other cat is having similar symptoms, it is not FIP that is spreading, but likely something else.

    There are quite a few causes for the symptoms that your cat is experiencing and your vet should be able to help you rule out some of the more common cat ailments (they can do a feline snap test to check for FIV and FeLV). I do think blood work would be helpful if they didn't already run it.

    Even just a few fleas can cause a reaction, and cats are tricky about when they scratch. Owners often say they don't see their cats scratching or licking and yet they will have cats with bald spots! In fact, lower flea numbers often correlate with worse reactions in animals.

    With the coughing and vomiting, you may want to ask the vet what they think about x rays. It is always possible your cat swallowed something and that's always a good thing to rule out.

    I know it's difficult to do, but try to avoid googling symptoms. I find it makes owners more stressed! It sounds like you are worried about your cat and the lack of improvement with the treatments from the first vet. There is definitely nothing wrong with getting a second opinion if you feel it is necessary. You could also look into referral centers if you think you may want additional testing that the first vet may not be able to offer. Either way, it sounds like he needs to see a vet a second time if he has not improved.
     
  3. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Thank you. From everything I read though, FIP is contagious, and very. in fact, I know the wet form is, because my daughter's kitten died from it a year or two ago. they told her to thoroughly clean her apartment and to avoid getting a new cat at all, for at least six months. You are right in that not everything you read on the internet is correct, because I read that there is no definitive test for it and that it is very hard to diagnose. but I called the vet's office this morning and they said there IS a test for it, and urged me to bring him in immediately, which I will do. They also apparently realized the very real possibility that it could be that, or something else very serious. You're also right that research on the internet can be a bad idea as it is stressful. I lost a lot of sleep over this last night. I'm praying it is not what I thjnk it is, but I guess we'll see. The last time rhis cat was sick, I did research and I told the vet I thought this cat had Hyperthyroidism . He said it was highly unlikely...but I was right..they did the tests and that is what it was.
     
  4. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    FIP is an immune mediated disease triggered by Feline Corona Virus. Corona virus is quite contagious, but the disease associated with that is not often severe. Not much is known about why some cats develop FIP and others do not, but you can rest assured that FIP itself is not contagious.

    You are right that diagnosis of FIP can be challenging. As far as I know, there is not a single diagnostic test that can confirm, but rather a bunch of laboratory tests that may support the diagnosis.

    If you do want to read more about the disease, this is a really good source:

    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/g...verview_of_feline_infectious_peritonitis.html

    I definitely think another trip to the vet is in order, especially if your other cat is starting to show signs. While FIP may still be affecting your first cat, there are lots of other contagious things that could be spreading to your other cats. It could also be a coincidence, but it is definitely worth getting checked out.
     
  5. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    Just another addition: If you read the link you will see that catteries may have 95% of their cats infected with coronavirus, but <5% will ever develop FIP.
     
  6. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Ok, well thanks for the clarification. As well as the obvious concern ( I don't want my cats to get sick and die)...I am also worried about my children coming home to visit and carrying the virus back on their clothes, shoes, etc, to their own cats. As I said earlier..my daughter's kitten died of FIP a year or so ago. she now has two new cats. She was home yesterday and was, of course, petting our sick kitty. I am going to ask the vet this, too, but how likely would that be? And I was also wondering if this IS FIP, if it might have started back then in the same way, by her carrying her cat's virus to US on her clothes or whatever, and maybe it lay dormant in one of our cats? Kind of pointless to even stress about it at this point, like you said, but I'm just trying to think ahead.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  7. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Vet decided to hold off on the FIP test. He did a complete blood profile on our sickest cat, looking for anything else, and really didn't find anything abnormal.
    He said the FIP test is expensive and we already are spending money on the other bloodwork, so he decided to just treat the symptoms and see how they get on

    Thanks again. [​IMG]
     
  8. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    Sorry to hear you didn't really get the answers you were looking for.

    If you are worried about it spreading to your daughter's cats, you can have her take her shoes off at the door outside (providing they are indoor cats) and bring a change of clothes so she can change in a garage (yours or hers) before coming into contact with her own cats. It might not be a bad thing until you find out what is going on with your guys, or they start to get better.
     
  9. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    They are starting to get better so I think the vet was right about them having cat flu, and probably not FIP as he gave my cat yesterday a shot of Interferon and it was like magic, he improved within hours. My first cat Inky that was sick is almost totally better now. He was playing this morning. I have a third cat sick now, so back to the vet we go, but hopefully we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Thanks for the input!
     
  10. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    Glad to hear they are doing better! I hope they continue to improve!
     

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