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FIP, When should i put my kitty to sleep?

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by cs_hopper, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. cs_hopper

    cs_hopper Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    55
    1
    May 22, 2004
    Bellaire, Texas
    Please advise me, I need help. Kegan, my kitty, has FIP. Didn't know what was wrong the last 5 weeks, sleeping all the time and running a low fever. Yesterday I took him to the vet, again, because his little belly was so swollen. It's filled with fluid, and the vet is quite sure it's FIP. I'm waiting to get the final results. He is still eating fine and "talking" to me. What should I do. I know from reading all the posts how awful this disease gets as it progresses, I don't want him to suffer, but right now, except for all the fluid in the belly, he doesn't seem to be suffering. I'm going nuts, can't concentrate on anything, and so depressed. My other cat, who is about 9 years old, who i adopted 5 months ago, isn't eating as well, and now I see she has ringworm. Anyway, I'm taking her into the vet tomorrow, but in the meantime, I know i have to make a decision about my little guy. PLEASE give me some advice . . ;
     

  2. ldg

    ldg TCS Member Veteran

    First of all, I am SO sorry you're going through this!!!! I'm also sending up a prayer it ISN'T FIP. One of our kitties was really sick and exhibited many symptoms of FIP. It was a scare that resulted in us taking all our cats to the vet - and they were put in isolation until the results came back. But - thank God - it wasn't FIP, so I'm holding out hope for you.

    BTW - there is no definitive way to tell if it is FIP. You can only eliminate everything else. They do know FIP is a corona virus, so a high corona virus titre count is an indication, along with the other symptoms. It is also contagious, so you will need to take precautions at home to do your best to make sure it isn't passed along to your other kitty. Please discuss this with your vet, but my understanding is that if it is FIP, it can be passed through saliva. If I'm remembering this correctly, that would mean that if you free feed you should stop that practice, feed them multiple times a day from separate bowls. Litterbox maintenence is now a MUST, and you should scoop as frequently as you can, and change the litter and bleach the boxes weekly.

    You can also consider having your other cat tested for her corona virus titres, and perhaps consider an FIP vaccination if those titre counts are low. (Although a cold is a corona virus, so a high corona virus titre count does not mean it's FIP). The FIP vaccination is controversial and only about 65% effective (vs. a rabbies vaccination which is 98% effective). Again, I'd recommend discussing this with your vet.

    As to when to put your kitty to sleep if your vet is sure it's FIP.... Well - before I made any decisions, I'd get a second opinion. This is not to second-guess your vet, but to ensure the quality of care for your pet. If you were diagnosed with cancer, I expect you'd get a second opinion on treatment. It's the same here. There are many things that can appear to be FIP, and I'd just make sure that another Doc comes up with the same opinion (and I wouldn't influence a new vet by telling them kitty has already been diagnosed with FIP).

    Next - I think how your kitty is feeling is really best determined by your observations of his behavior in concert with a vet's opinion. Sorry to keep getting back to that, but the most important thing is to avoid suffering. Cats are really good at disguising illness and pain, so it can be difficult to tell from their behavior alone if they are suffering. But if kitty is eating and drinking normally, but otherwise listless, it's a really difficult determination. Your vet, with some poking and prodding, will be able to recognize better whether the cat is reacting with pain, though that's not the only determination of whether or not it's time to put kitty down.

    I know how difficult this must be, and I'm sure your heart is breaking. [​IMG] But just to be on the safe side, I'd talk to my vet about how to protect my other kitty, I'd get a second opinion, and I'd consult with both vets about when it's time if it turns out that it is FIP.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

  3. hissy

    hissy TCS Member Veteran

    34,910
    41
    Feb 19, 2001
    Laurie gives you excellent advice. I so hate this disease. It is complex, and misunderstood, often misdiagnosed. It is fatal, and there is no cure, but it also mimics other corona viruses as well. Even the more sophisticated genetics testing labs can't find an accurate test to determine if cats have this disease or not. It incubates for 6 months and can strike even the healthiest of cats.

    I would go with the quality of life your cat is experiencing and let her tell her if it is time to make that decision. If she is eating, drinking, playing, if she has light in her eyes then allow her to be with you and hope for the best. If she is lethargic and so ill she can't even make it to the litter pan, stops eating and drinking, then end her pain. Do whatever it is needs to be done for her, don't do it for you.
     

  4. cs_hopper

    cs_hopper Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    55
    1
    May 22, 2004
    Bellaire, Texas
    Last friday i had a complete blood work-up done, and the titer count was low, negative, and the vet didn't think he had FIP. But now with the fluid in the abodomen, he can't think of anything else it could possibly be. He sent the fluid out to be tested, but did you kitties who where sick (but not with FIP) have swollen bellies, and if so, what was wrong with them? Thank you so much for your kind words and taking the time to reply. I am really grief sticken. . .
     

  5. empirefalls

    empirefalls TCS Member Adult Cat

    219
    23
    Jun 2, 2004
    (maybe this will help)

    i was given a young cat in 1985 that was left behind for days,hungry,abandoned in a dormatory room by a college(stonehill college if u have to know).

    i believe it was a korat breed.

    for 12 years that cat slept with me,at my feet at nighttime. that cat lived for me(and probably vice versa but i dont want to admit it). when i went away for the "Gulf war" for 3 months,friends would say the cat was meowing so weird while i was away,it sounded like she was pronouncing my name.

    unfortunately,i thought "shots for cats" was a one time thing(of course its not). the cat came down with that FIV-thing. when the vet first told me,he asked if i wanted to put the cat to sleep soon. i told him although the cat was sleeping 24/7,i dont want to put the "cat to sleep"yet, occasionally the cat was bright eyed,while awake,and full of energy. the vet said cats even when sick gets bouts of acting healthy and alive. i wanted to wait,i did, which i would regret.

    i brought the cat home and the cat would sleep 48 hours,then "seem" normal full of energy,then sleep 48 hours,then seem normal. then one day and all of sudden,the cat went extremely sick,possiblely blind,wanted to get away from me. i couldnt get hold of the vet to put the cat to sleep as i know the cat was hurting. the cat died a painful death in front of me.

    make sure if your cat is sick and uncureable, and dont think putting the cat to sleep is a poor choice. it is true,its better that having the cat go through pain.
     

  6. cs_hopper

    cs_hopper Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    55
    1
    May 22, 2004
    Bellaire, Texas
    I really thought i was a stronger person than this. I lost a father, stepfather who i loved, unsuccessful infertility, divorce, putting down my persian baby that i had for 18 1/2 years last summer. . . . I should have some skin on my nose, be able to put Kegan, my little 6 month old kitty in proper perspective . . . I've been waiting all day for the vet to call, which i'm sure with the news that the fluid he took from his stomach is FIP. I haven't left the house, just showered and it's almost 5:00, avoid walking downstairs cause that's were Kegan is, last time, sitting on the kitchen table, leaning against an oversized cement Pig, looking into the garden watching the birds. Complete innocence. His little persian doll face, silver and white, with a little black nose and face and 4 white paws that looks like little socks in the front and boots on the back . . . I'm waiting to hear, what i know, will be a death sentence to this little guy, the guy who still meows and gets excited when i open a can of cat food.

    I can't stop crying, can't read, can't do anything except think what i have to do in the next day or two, and I think, god, get tough, you've been through more tragic things than this . . . So it's scary when i think that if i'm dealing with Kegan this way, how will i deal, for say, with sickness or death of my husband or mother??? Will i become a total basket case??

    I absolutely DREAD having to take Kegan into the vet and have him put to sleep, I can't even think about putting him into his carrier for the last time, with that little trusting face that so wants to live . . . . . .It's not fair. . . .and i have to somehow figure out how i'm going to be able to do this and then, after doing it, not totally humiliate myself at the vet's office.
     

  7. bossinova

    bossinova TCS Member Alpha Cat

    356
    1
    May 16, 2004
    Washington State
    Hopper, my heart hurts so badly for you! I just recently put my kitty down due to FIP, and I completely understand your confusion and pain. My cat hadn't been eating on his own for about three weeks, and had stopped drinking water for a while (then started back up, I think because he hated getting fluids subcu from me so much!). He was terribly weak and lethargic, and could only walk a few steps before needing to lie down. Over the span of less than three days, he developed major fluid retention. He was off balance and would fall over when walking. I had taken him to a vet twice before he started getting so ill, and everything checked out (except he had a fever, which dissipate); all labs were normal, negative FIV and FeLV....After that weekend, when his belly became so distended, I had a sick feeling that he had FIP. Took him in to a new vet, explained what had been happening...He aspirated fluid from his belly, telling me ahead of time that if it was straw yellow, it was FIP, and it was attacking his brain, hence the trouble with balance and walking. Needless to say, it was bright straw yellow.
    I chose to put my little man down then because I knew he was hurting. when he looked me in the eye, it looked like he had given up. I believe he was ready to go. It is the most painful thing I have ever done, but it would have been selfish for me to keep him going BECAUSE HE WAS HURTING, and it was attacking his brain, which would have led eventually to seizures and death, even if we had chosen to treat his symptoms with Cortizone shots [​IMG].
    Your situation differs. But consider your baby's quality of life. Tank was sooo sick. Dr had trouble finding a vein to give him his final injection because most were collapsed. He was a sick little boy. [​IMG] I know it is a tough, tough decision, but you are capable of making it. It is going to hurt, there's no denying that. But everyone here will support you, and listen when you need to talk, and offer consolation and comfort.
    Another thing I recommend- do some major research on this ugly disease, if you haven't already. It is frustrating, because you will find that there is a LOT of contradicting information. But, you may feel better knowing what you find out (the stuff that is agreed upon) and you may draw upon that knowledge when the time comes to choose.
    This is heartwrenching for you, I know. And I am hurting for you. My decision wasn't as difficult, because it was apparent that I wasn't going to be able to fix him, and he was hurting. I didn't want him to hurt ever again. Trust your heart and your instinct, and don't be afraid to come to anyone here for support, advice, or perhaps just some kind words. That's why we are all here.
    Take care of yourself and your furbabies. Please, please keep us posted on what is happening. We all care!!
    Lots of love and compassion,
    Jenn
    BTW, just saw the part about humiliating yourself at the vet office....understand they have the most compassion and understanding of your emotions! They will respect your decision to do what is best for your little guy. I bawled like I never have before when the time came with Tank (heck, I'm still a mess! I'm crying my eyes out right now!) Remember that they are in the proffession to help animals, and they want what's best for your kitty, too, and if euthanasia is what's best, they will support your decision and feel a small part of the pain, as well. Don't worry about that.
     

  8. nan

    nan TCS Member Adult Cat

    Dear Hopper,
    My heart goes out to you and little Kegan.
    I am so sorry he is so ill and you are so distraught.
    I do understand your pain as I have lost several wee ones to FIP.
    My thoughts on knowing when the time is right is the kitty's quality of life.
    Is he eating, drinking, playing, sleeping well.
    I always "know" when it is time.
    My babies have always let me know.
    They just give up on life. When they stop eating and drinking is the usual clue that the time is now.
    I have to force myself to do what is right for the kitty. I literally drag myself to the vet. I have seen them die on their own from this disease and it is heart breaking. To go thru euthanazia is so much more peaceful and easier for everyone involved. If the only end result is death then euthanazia is the best way to go.
    And as for humiliating yourself at the vet. I wouldn't worry about that. They have seen it all before. I think it is the best thing to just let it all out when you feel it. That is how I have learned to deal with it anyway.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your baby Kegan. I hope all goes well with you and him.
     

  9. bossinova

    bossinova TCS Member Alpha Cat

    356
    1
    May 16, 2004
    Washington State
    And please do not be hard on yourself for the way you feel! I miss my little man as I would miss my best friend. I put him down about a week and a half ago, and have since cried every single day since. I found pictures from when I first adopted him and his sister last year (she's still healthy, got my fingers crossed!!!), and I broke down. I miss his fuzzy little face sooo much. Don't feel like these intense emotions are silly; they're not. You have a special bond, a special friend, and you want the absolute best for your special friend. I respect that. Stay strong, and keep us posted. Please feel free to PM me with any questions, or if you just want someone to chat with who went through a similar situation very recently.
    Be kind to yourself. This isn't your fault; it's nobody's fault. Everyone grieves differently, and at this point, you aren't even 100% certain that your baby has FIP. You are both in my thoughts and prayers. Let us know what the vet has to say.
     

  10. grissom

    grissom TCS Member Alpha Cat

    622
    1
    May 27, 2004
    Johnstown PA
    I just wanted to send you and your kitty a big hug [​IMG] Your both in my thoughts tonight.
     

  11. dima

    dima TCS Member Adult Cat

    288
    1
    May 25, 2004
    Southern California
    I lost my 8 year old loverboy to FIP last July and I was devastated. I still can't think about him too much or look at pictures without crying. You're not irrational, you're not thin-skinned, you're a compassionate human being and a precious friend to your babies.

    As far as advice, I had to choose to put Puck to sleep rather quickly. He had an abcess on his leg that just wouldn't get better and the treatment would have been long and difficult and painful and there was no assurance that it would even work. As much as it killed me to do it, I knew it was better for him. He was just in so much pain.

    But we had another cat years ago that lived a good 5 years after she was diagnosed, and contrary to what others have said, the vet told me that it could NOT be spread via saliva alone, but only from saliva-to-open wound. So if your cat bit another cat and broke the skin, it would have a good chance of infecting that cat. Our farm cat was so docile that she we decided to let her live as long as she could. End stages were TERRIBLE. When dementia set in we had her put down. Miss her still! [​IMG]

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. I'm so sorry you have to make this kind of choice. It's not easy, I know.
     

  12. lorie d.

    lorie d. TCS Member Top Cat

    7,087
    78
    Sep 2, 2001
    Upper Midwest (SE MN)
    I don't understand why you can't wait a little longer. If he still wants to live then let him live! From what I have read in your post, it sounds like Kegan's quality of life is still high, he's still doing typical cat things, and he's happy, so please don't put him down right now. Hissy is one of the most knowledgeable members on this board, so please go back and read the second paragraph in her post, and also talk to your vet about what is the best thing to do for Kegan at this time.
     

  13. hissy

    hissy TCS Member Veteran

    34,910
    41
    Feb 19, 2001
    CS- one of our most knowledgeable members on cat diseases posted this in another thread, to another member:

    I'm sorry, but I have to ask, how on earth did your vet "diagnose" FIP based only on exam and a fluid aspiration? Even under the most scrutinized situations, she would need to send the fluid off for a pathology to even come close to a conclusion, not to mention test for coronavirus (titer)

    Do NOT base your actions on this alone, get a second opinion, this could be anything from internal infection, to hemorrhage, to heart disease to chyelothorax...nothing can be accurately diagnosed without further testing. FIP is difficult enough to diagnose, and MANY cats are diagnosed with FIP and don't even have the disease. Please, get a second opinion. I so find it hard to believe this vet diagnosed FIP simply on exam and a fluid aspiration, this is not enough to effectively diagnose FIP.................Traci

    I hope you will take her advice and get this fluid tested correctly. As I said before, if it is FIP yes it is fatal, but often times it isn't FIP it is another disease altogether


    Hugs[​IMG]
     

  14. bossinova

    bossinova TCS Member Alpha Cat

    356
    1
    May 16, 2004
    Washington State
    Here are a few websites that I found informative.....Hope they help


    http://www.vetinfo4cats.com/cfip.html
    http://web.vet.cornell.edu/public/fhc/fip.html
    http://www.newmanveterinary.com/FIP-...eritonitis.pdf

    the last one is more technically worded, but very informative. I will warn you that you will find contradicting information, but I have found this to inevitable in my quest for information about this disease.
    Please do consider a second opinion. My boy was looked at by three different vets. In the end, he truly had all the "classic" symptoms (as classic as they can be with FIP), and there was not a piece of doubt in my mind that he was infected with it. But the low level of incidents is on your side, and I encourage you to look farther.
    Your kitty is still happy. Go spend some time with him. And I know it will be very difficult, but try not to cry in front of him. I am the type of person who always prepares myself for the worst to happen, so I can understand where you're coming from. But just remind yourself that you don't know FOR SURE! There is still hope, so don't give up!!
    You and your furbabe are in my thoughts... [​IMG]
     

  15. cs_hopper

    cs_hopper Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    55
    1
    May 22, 2004
    Bellaire, Texas
    Well, still haven't gotten FIP results back. The vet today says he's 99% sure it's FIP. I was going to bring him in, came home with Taffy, my 9 year old "rescued" Persian, and wouldn't you know he greets me at the door and consumes a big lunch of A/D, which i had brought home for Taffy, so, changed my mind once again, just can't put him down when he still seems fine, except for a 6 pack size tummy.

    Finally, after 2 days, the butterflies are starting to pass, haven't been this skinny since highschool, a long time ago. Taffy, the 9 year old who isn't eating, has an ugly tumor on her leg, hasn't eaten in days, and weighed 7.5 compared to 9.5 in January. The vet felt something in her bowel, did an x-ray and saw "something". Could be a hairball, could be a tumor, hard to say. I don't know where all her fur goes, remember she's a persian. She never throws up hairballs like my persian of 18 years did, before he was put to rest. Could it be a lodged hairball? Surgery is $700.00, evasive, etc, but what other choice do I have? If it is a hairball, we could still have many good years together, so now I'm waiting for her blood tests to makes sure all is fine. And then, I guess, surgery. Just don't know how long i can wait with her not eating. Anyone out there have any similiar experiences?

    Yep, my little 6 month old is laying in the hallway right now like "life is good" watching me. I know in my heart and I hope i'm not wrong about this that it's not his time, yet to go. It's torture though for me looking at him, like now, and knowing he will have a time, and sadly, not enough time for us. I'll be glad when summer is over.
     

  16. jcat

    jcat Mo(w)gli's can opener Staff Member Moderator

    67,499
    5,600
    Feb 13, 2003
    Mo(w)gli Monster's Lair
    Hopper, I'm so sorry to read about your cats' problems. I agree with the others who suggest getting a second opinion before taking any drastic action. I wish you the best.
     

  17. bossinova

    bossinova TCS Member Alpha Cat

    356
    1
    May 16, 2004
    Washington State
    Hopper, I'm curious as to what tests were taken, and what kinds of results are expected to "confirm" FIP. I have dedicated many, many hours since I put my baby boy down to learning as much as possible about it, and if you've had a moment to check out those links, you would see that it is a very confusing and often evasive disease. I encourage you to not give up hope, and love on your little man as much as possible. He certainly hasn't given up on life, and therefor, you shouldn't give up on his life, either. If he was super sick, trust me, you would know. You will know in your heart when the time is to let him go. That is, IF it is FIP. Gotta say, the abdominal distention is a typical sign of the effusive (wet) FIP, but it could also be something else. Perhaps a bowel perforation (does he like to play with your broom? Sometimes they eat a piece of the straw and it can cause a small puncture in their intestine. Gross, but most of the time fixable!). Did your vet aspirate some of the fluid from your kittie's belly? What color was it? When it is a straw yellow fluid, a bit thick, then that is usually an indication of FIP.
    It is unfortunate that they do not know more about this horrid disease. Please, keep us posted, and don't give up on your little guy!!
     

  18. bibby

    bibby TCS Member Adult Cat

    185
    1
    Apr 12, 2002
    Australia
    So sorry about your cats problems.
    Just want to suggest asking for an ultrasound on your older cat before you let them do anything.
    A lump in a Persian's abdomen could also be PKD- an enlarged kidney.
    I found out about my older cat's PKD when an ultrasound was ordered because of vomiting- to rule out a blockage.
    Good luck -and my thoughts are with you
    Catherine
     

  19. cs_hopper

    cs_hopper Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    55
    1
    May 22, 2004
    Bellaire, Texas
    Taffy, the vet did an ultrasound today, kidneys looked fine. I saw the obstruction in her bowel, which he thinks is a hair ball or tumor. BUT, she's not eating, and if i don't do something she's going to die. He took her blood, and tomorrow will get the results. Now I fear she may have gotten FIP from Kegan, of course, no one knows that. So her surgery may be in vain . . .

    God i can't believe this nightmare. Kegan had diarrhea an hour ago, had to clean him up, poor baby, but know he's sitting in the family room on a chair sleeping, and still eating.

    Poor Taffy, must know he's sick, or trying to protect herself, all she wants to be is outside (we have an enclosed courtyard, so she can't get out). Anyway, she dreads walking into the house, looks around, like where is he? Now i'm thinking i'm just postponing the inevitable putting him down. If it wasn't for Taffy I'd wait, but is it better for her for him not to be here. God this is such a flipping nightmare, my 2 adopted cats are SICK! Does ANYONE know the likihood of my 9 year old having the FIP virus. Any feedback from other vets, thank god for this website, it's the only place i really have to turn to.
     

  20. cs_hopper

    cs_hopper Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    55
    1
    May 22, 2004
    Bellaire, Texas
    This is the second vet i've been to. Kegan has been running a fever now for 5 weeks. He was on a type of pencillin for 10 days, and still was letharic, sleeping alot, etc. This week is temp. was 104.8. His blood tests came back o.k. and his titer count was low, I was hopeful, but now is little belly is filled with fluid, in was a very pale, pale yellow. He did send the fluid to the lab, but it takes 1 week for the results, which is Friday. If it wasn't for Taffy being sick now, and her disdain for him I could wait, but now I'm trying to figure out what's best for her. My husband thinks we should wait until Friday, the vet, who i respect, thinks it's FIP, 99% sure, because of all the fluid in his abodomen, I wish time could pass more quickly . . .
     

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