Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) Explained by a Holistic Veterinarian

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a very nasty disease-one that causes nice confusion and misery. The title itself is deceptive; the one completely true level concerning the title is the “feline,” since it’s not particularly infectious, neither is it all the time peritonitis (irritation within the stomach cavity). Unfortunately, the illness is nearly all the time deadly in its lively type.

As a rule, FIP develops primarily in younger cats beneath 2 years of age, or in older cats age 10 and up. It is pretty uncommon within the center years. A examine of greater than 800 cats in Great Britain discovered that in houses the place a cat had died of FIP, the transmission price to different cats within the dwelling was lower than 5%. Since these different cats continued to go outdoors the place they might even have been re-exposed to a different supply, it’s clear that FIP doesn’t simply cross from one cat to a different.

FIP is taken into account to be attributable to a virulent type of an in any other case innocent bug known as Coronavirus. This virus causes delicate diarrhea in very younger puppies and kittens, however is usually self-limiting and does not trigger a lot of an issue. However, the virus can be present in cats who do finally contract FIP, during which it’s thought to have mutated to a virulent type (although this has by no means been confirmed).

Saying that Coronavirus causes FIP is likely to be somewhat like saying “flies trigger rubbish” simply because the 2 are often discovered collectively. Whether or not coronavirus is the true set off is unknown. Many completely regular cats who won’t ever develop FIP will take a look at constructive for Coronavirus; in my expertise, about 40% of regular cats are constructive. A constructive take a look at is simply a mirrored image of the cat’s having been uncovered to the virus at a while in its life, and does not imply very a lot in any other case.

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FIP could be very troublesome to diagnose appropriately, no less than whereas the cat remains to be alive. Most confirmed circumstances are acknowledged at necropsy (the technical time period for an post-mortem on a non-human animal). The early signs are imprecise, and generally discovered with many different circumstances, not simply FIP. Symptoms embrace poor urge for food, failure to thrive (in kittens), weight reduction, ratty-looking fur, eye issues similar to uveitis (irritation), fever, anemia, lethargy, jaundice, neurological signs, and what vets refer to easily as “ADR”-which stands for “ain’t doin’ proper.” FIP is usually identified when a symptomatic cat has a constructive take a look at for Coronavirus together with different typical laboratory abnormalities that assist the prognosis.

The precise FIP illness signs are literally attributable to the cat’s personal immune system. For some motive, the immune system over-reacts and creates many patches of white blood cells that produce tons of antibodies. In some cats, this leads to persistent irritation, often with out clear signs; that is known as “dry” FIP and could be very arduous to diagnose appropriately. In the “moist” or “effusive” type of FIP, the physique additionally produces giant quantities of fluid-usually within the stomach however generally within the chest as a substitute. The fluid is characteristically yellow and sticky; its excessive protein content material is diagnostic for FIP. Both types of FIP often trigger speedy deterioration and loss of life.

There is a vaccine for FIP, however most consultants don’t advocate it. The vaccine shouldn’t be very efficient, and it will probably really trigger worse issues than it purports to unravel. In problem trials, vaccinated cats bought sicker and died earlier than unvaccinated cats.

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There is not any good therapy for FIP. Studies have proven variable outcomes with interferon, a drug known as Trental (pentoxifylline, a blood thinner), together with prednisolone (a steroid) to suppress the immune system’s over-reaction and irritation. These medication could scale back signs and extend the cat’s life, however there’s little proof that they supply a real treatment for FIP.

Since so little is actually identified concerning the true nature of FIP, it is arduous to advocate particular preventive measures. However, a nutritious food regimen and acceptable immune-supporting dietary supplements are all the time the perfect guess to create optimum well being on your cat. I like to recommend a primarily moist meals food regimen (both canned or selfmade) together with 4 particular dietary supplements: digestive enzymes, probiotics, antioxidants, and most significantly,  omega-3 fatty acids.

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