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Cat diagnosed with FIP, anyone experienced this?

(19 Posts)
bertsdinner Tue 28-Jul-15 19:59:13

I have a male, neutered cat that I got from an RSPCA rescue centre 4 years ago, he is over 10 but they were unsure of his age. He's a bit battered (no teeth, cat flu carrier), but was in good health.
In the last month, he has lost weight, become lethargic and seemed unable to shake a dose of his recurrent cat flu, despite the vet giving him antibiotics.

So, he's been to the vet and they ran blood tests, he has been diagnosed with the "dry"version of FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis, linked to the Corona virus). Basically, there is no cure and most cats die within months of being diagnosed.
I am devastated, but the vet said we can try steroids as it may give him a bit longer. I am aware I wil need to get him euthanised at some point.

At the moment, he seems ok, he has perked up a bit and is eating. But I dont want him to suffer.
Has anyone else had an experience of this condition? I obviously don't want to put him to sleep if he has some quality of life, but nor do I want to try and keep him going if he is suffering.

cozietoesie Tue 28-Jul-15 20:19:18

There are at least a couple of posters here who have had a cat who developed FIP so they may comment, later. I'm afraid it's a fairly gloomy prognosis though as you seem to know.

bertsdinner Tue 28-Jul-15 20:26:28

Thanks for your reply, cozietoesie, yes, prognosis isnt great.

bertsdinner Tue 28-Jul-15 20:42:02

Thanks for your reply, cozietoesie, diagnosis does seems pretty bad.

GoooRooo Tue 28-Jul-15 20:46:28

I had a cat with FIP, sadly she died very very quickly - in less than a week. It is a very dark prognosis I'm afraid.

With our cat she stopped eating and then drinking and despite going on fluids she passed away at the vets. I'm sorry not to be able to give you more hope flowers

bertsdinner Tue 28-Jul-15 21:20:24

Thanks for your response GoooRooo, sorry about your cat.
I'd never heard of this FIP before this week.

steppemum Tue 28-Jul-15 21:37:02

We have had 2 cats die of this. One was a new kitten from rescue centre, she was healthy when she came home, but then got sick quickly and died.

The other cat we had at the time that we had the kitten. He lived for about 10 years after the kitten seemed very fit and healthy, and then got old and then suddenly got thin and ill. The vet said that the FIP was probably sitting there in his system dormant for all those years until his immune system got too weak and then he got sick with it. We had to have him put to sleep as he stopped eating.

So sorry to hear your cat has it, very sad.

cozietoesie Tue 28-Jul-15 21:42:32

It's a hard thing to have a cat diagnosed with, berts. As Gooo said, it's a very dark prognosis, so I fear you might have to be very clear in your own mind about when to let him go.

GoooRooo Tue 28-Jul-15 22:04:36

berts I'd never heard of it before my cat got it either. I know how difficult a decision it can be to let a pet go - our dog was put to sleep today after liver problems so I do not envy you that choice and for our cat it was taken out of our hands and she passed away before we had to make a decision but you will know what the right thing to do is. FIP is such a horrible thing and I really feel for you and your poor cat.

bertsdinner Tue 28-Jul-15 22:08:42

Thanks for your replies, I really appreciate it.
I'm speaking to the vet tomorrow and will take it from there. He is eating at the moment and seems ok, but I know he could go downhill fast. I will be watching him very carefully.

bertsdinner Tue 28-Jul-15 22:14:27

I'm sorry about the dog, GoooRooo. Thanks for taking the time to reply to me on what must be an awful day.

GoooRooo Tue 28-Jul-15 22:22:17

Thank you - I only mention it because I know how hard it is to make that decision but honestly you will know if/when the time is right. I hope your cat stays comfortable for much longer x x

LadyDeirdreWaggon Wed 29-Jul-15 15:23:11

We lost our beloved 3 year old cat to FIP a couple of years ago. In hindsight we tried to keep him going too long, as soon as he stopped eating we should have had him pts but we just couldn't believe he was going. It took two months from diagnosis to losing him. There was a drug that apparently could be effective (can't remember what it was called) but you had to get it from the states and it just took too long to get hold of. I have no idea if you still can but I'll have a Google. I'm so sorry you're going through this flowers

Toffeewhirl Wed 29-Jul-15 15:33:20

I'm very sorry about the diagnosis, berts. We had a kitten that was diagnosed with this (as cozie will remember). It still upsets me to think about it. The good thing is that he didn't seem to be in pain, but he did become very clingy and I had to carry him everywhere with me in the last week or so. The vet said he could give him steroids to extend his life, but nature took over and he became so ill that we had to have him PTS. It all happened very quickly in the end.

It's heartbreaking. I'm so sorry for you.

LadyDeirdreWaggon Wed 29-Jul-15 15:39:06

Had a look and it's polyprenyl immunostimulant but has to be shipped from the states.

Toffeewhirl Wed 29-Jul-15 15:48:09

I looked into that drug too, Lady. I even managed to email the vet in charge of a research study on it. Unfortunately, it took too long to ship over to the UK. And there is no solid proof that it works. sad

berts - I have just had a quick scan of my thread about ToffeeKitten's illness. I'm afraid it was only a month between major symptoms and having to have him PTS. He became very unsteady and kept falling over towards the end. But he didn't stop eating or ever seem particularly distressed.

Please remember - in case the vet hasn't told you - that you mustn't have another cat in your house for at least six months after the death of a cat with FIP, as the virus takes that long to die. We cleaned everywhere we could with disinfectant and threw out all the toys, blankets, etc. And I waited for a year before getting two new cats.


Charlie01234 Wed 29-Jul-15 15:54:41

I lost my lovely Archie to dry FIP when he was one. It was quick - 2 months from first sign to being pts. Vet tried steroids but it really didn't do much. He wanted to keep trying with them but my boy was so sad and listless I think I did the right thing by him flowers

bertsdinner Wed 29-Jul-15 20:16:37

Thanks for all the responses, I've found it very helpful. We are trying steroids, but I know they probably wont help much. He seems fairly happy at the moment, but as soon as he starts going downhill again, I will have him pts. I don't want him to linger and be unhappy.

Toffeewhirl, vet didn't mention timescales of how long to leave before getting another cat, I will leave it a good 6 months at least before looking at getting another cat.

Toffeewhirl Wed 29-Jul-15 21:30:03

berts - I'm surprised he/she didn't mention it. Our vet was very clear that we should wait six months, although I notice, from a quick Google search, that some sources say two or three months. I wouldn't risk infecting a second cat though, so would wait at least six.

I'm glad your cat is happy for now and I hope he gets as long a remission as is possible.

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