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Dry Fip - Could It Be A Wrong Diagnosis?

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by harhardf, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. harhardf

    harhardf Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jan 30, 2014
    Hello all,

    I have a 5 year old cat diagnosed with FIP. The very symptoms that led to her diagnosis she has had since she was 4 weeks old. Five years later and she is going strong. I lost a kitten a week ago to very aggressive leukemia so I have turned my attention/obsession to my 5 year old. I cannot help but wonder if the diagnosis was off. Given that everything the experts say, she should have been dead by now. The vet told me that best case she could live to be 8, but most things online say that by now she should have gone downhill. I know there are no definitive testing methods ante mortem but the diagnosis just doesnt seem to fit with what I see every day. She is not even close to downhill, she plays a lot, eats well and drinks well. Has anyone ever had a cat diagnosed with FIP that ended up living a long life?

    Perhaps this is just a desperate attempt on my part to pretend it isnt real because the thought of losing another animal right now would just hurt too much.
     

  2. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Super Cat

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    Jun 13, 2018
    FL/Orig: OH
    Hi. Did they absolutely say FIP - or just that your cat tested positive for the corona virus? That virus exists in MANY cats and never mutates into FIP.

    Typically, when the corona virus mutates into FIP it is early in a kitten's life, although it's been know to happen even sometimes up to 3 years old (think that is fairly rare). And, after that, occurrences taper off until cats get a lot older and generally have a less robust immune system. Even then, it doesn't in all cases mutate.

    I have included an article about FIP just in case it will help you any.
    Coronavirus in Cats | petMD

    When was she diagnosed - as a kitten, or just recently? if just recently, what prompted them to even look for FIP? You say she is healthy and acts normal, so I am just curious how this diagnosis came to be. Also, what was the logic in predicting she probably wouldn't live longer than 8?
     

  3. harhardf

    harhardf Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    73
    33
    Jan 30, 2014
    She has had eye issues since she was a baby. When she received the leukemia vaccine she presented with uveitis. But she doesnt have leukemia. I took her to every specialist and ran every test but FIP was not found. She randomly presented with uveitis in her first year of life and then it stopped till about a year ago when we moved. Our new vet said they wanted to test her for everything again, esp since she was experiencing active uveitis. She was 4 then. The test showed coronavirus antibodies, so the assumption is FIP. She has had two seizures, about 2 years ago but nothing since.

    Other than the uveitis, she is a normal cat. She has FHV and we treat with Lactoferrin and Lysine. And when stressful things happen (which is always us leaving town), she gets a tad lethargic but only for one day. I pump her full of lysine and lactoferrin and she bounces back in a day. They said 8 years because that was the longest time frame they had ever seen a cat with FIP live. But I just cant wrap my head around how normal she is (other than uveitis). Her last uveitis episode lasted only 2 days and we did not have to treat with steroids like in the past. Unfortunately she is allergic to the preservatives in the anti-viral eye meds so I just keep a constant lactoferrin/lysine regime going.

    They want to ultrasound her belly and look for granulomas. They said that would tell us how advanced she was. But the vet is massively stressful for her. Just to take her blood, it took 5 adults to restrain her. To do an ultrasound, she would need sedation and I just hate doing that to her.
     

  4. harhardf

    harhardf Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    73
    33
    Jan 30, 2014
    Interestingly enough, our other cat does not have any FIP antibodies. She went in for a surgery early this year and they checked her out thoroughly. I know that now all exposed animals develop the disease, but our immune compromised kitten with leukemia also did not have FIP antibodies. (I ran tests on all of them when I found out. Felt terrible guilt about exposing them to it, but I did not know until after we had three)
     

  5. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Super Cat

    830
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    Jun 13, 2018
    FL/Orig: OH
    Thanks for the extra information. I don't know - she has demonstrated a couple of the more 'common' symptoms of dry FIP, but still... Until, and if, those symptoms - along with others - show up on a much more frequent basis, I would hate to see you worry too much. There has to be other reasons that could cause her uveitis - stress perhaps? Isn't uveitis also sometimes associated with FHV?

    I think based on what I understand your vet is going on 'process by elimination' to come up with FIP. Doesn't make him right, but doesn't make him wrong. I know you don't want to stress your cat out, but is it possible that you could sedate her before taking her to the vet for an ultrasound, possibly reducing the stress level to her? Of course, if it were me, I would surely want wait until she is not experiencing any other type of health issue (e.g. uveitis).

    I am much more familiar with wet FIP, so I am not sure how much of a difference there is regarding the duration of symptoms before it becomes life threatening. My cat was diagnosed with wet FIP (probably by process of elimination) and it took him down fairly fast. There were no years-long lingering of varying symptoms before that.
     

  6. harhardf

    harhardf Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    73
    33
    Jan 30, 2014
    Thank you for your reply. The only precipitating factor in the uveitis has been stress relating to packing. The first episode came after the vaccine, which everyone thought indicated she had leukemia. But she has been tested over 6 times now and nothing. The second episode came shortly after we moved. And the third came a year ago when we were again packing to move. Now we pack on another floor to hide things from her. That being said, we had to pack and leave for 3 days to fumigate and she did really well. No uveitis and no sluggishness/fever. She handles all other stressors well. If we have a party, shes in the middle of it, climbing up legs and rubbing on everyone. When we got a dog, she loved playing with his tail. But when she knows I am leaving, it gets ugly.

    I think she would have to be sedated to have an ultrasound. I think i have a bit of PTSD with sedation. My kitten had leukemia and we needed to draw fluid off her lungs and heart. Unfortunately there was no way to know how compromised her heart was and with only 0.5 mg of Propofol, she died on the spot...in my arms. Vet said the normal sedation dosage would be around 5mg but her heart couldnt handle 0.5 mg. I think my FIP cat could handle it well but I am just a tad too scared to try anything.
     
    FeebysOwner purraised this.

  7. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Super Cat

    830
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    Jun 13, 2018
    FL/Orig: OH
    Don't blame you. I think you have a cat that reacts to stress, which has been known to cause infections, like uveitis. Just be careful with it, as multiple incidents and prolonged avoidance to treating it can lead to blindness.

    Nonetheless, it doesn't mean she doesn't have FIP, but I would want to wait to see a whole lot more issues with her before I would drive myself crazy. Ask the vet is an x-ray would tell them anything. That doesn't require sedation - just holding them down (yeah, I know, not so great either). I have a cat that is fairly calm, but can be a bit of a challenge when at the vets office (more 'bark than bite'). However, she let them place her on the table for x-rays and she actually did OK.
     

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