Sunday, 5 March 2017

Love and loss - when FIP kills your kitten

This was such a hard post to write, i'm teared up again after abandoning the effort previously. A recent post on the FIP fighter's page showing Bella still going strong over 5 year's later made me decide to come back to this blog.

Time heals - I can look back now - and finally forward again.

The fire of FIP transformed and fused our mother son relationship in a way that's beyond that which I have with my two older boys. FIP made us talk about matters, and physically and emotionally shared a space, more appropriate to adults, with no one close to lean on but each other. To our horror we discovered some people including our nearest and dearest, just don't understand your utter emotional distress when it's a pet who is terminally ill - not say a human family member with cancer. Especially when its a cat not a dog. The vets even tried to profit from the situation beyond what is ethically appropriate for services rendered!

After FIP took Mishka not only were our hearts broken but the fear and guilt that set in was appalling. I cannot explain why exactly only that it had something to do with entirely optional nature of pet adoption. In that time my teenage son has really grown up - he's moved out of home and made the decision to aquire another cat whom he chose after 'interviewing' several kittens. He wanted an older cat - but not too old, as we know FIP more likely before the immune system is matured. He wanted a moggie from a nice family home. As we know inbreeding is a risk factor for FIP, and show cat breeders or shelter cats are more likely to have issues with corona virus due to crowding. He wanted of course a cat with a nice temperament, and last but not least - hypoallergenic. Soft long but easy to care for coat would be a clue to that, also we had a suspicion that black and white cats in the moggie population are more likely to be hypoallergenic. So here at last is my son's new kitten Missy.  
Vale Mishka, Ave Missy -Long may she purr!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Pharoah tries stemcells for FIP and the cure for FIP is found!

With FIP there is no point being conservative except for the sake of the cat's comfort. So it was no surprise to hear that yet another innovative therapy is being tried - adipose stemcell therapy for dry FIP. The cat is called Pharoah and his vet is Ed Pattison of City Vets, Exeter UK

But how interesting is this - the vet who pioneered the use of adipose stemcells for arthritis in dogs in australia, Simon Craig, was the same chap who cured Dusty of wet FIP - see survivor's page

and how dull and unsexy is this - Hip arthritis in dogs by the way you can simply prevent with adequate vitamin C and a proper diet.
Dr Belfield has the word on vitamin c in animals and was kind enough to answer my emails when Mishka was diagnosed. he did try it for FIP of course and it was the one thing he had no success with after it was established :( That's what we are up against.
I have NO DOUBT this is the same with FIP - we can prevent it  simply - no rocket stemcell science required and finally someone in authority is brave enough to say it 
"The best treatment for FIP is not to get it in the first place: if you are going to buy a pedigree kitten, make sure your Vet sends a blood sample to the University of Glasgow Veterinary Diagnostic Services to get a certificate saying that the kitten tested negative for feline coronavirus (FCoV) antibodies: we need to put consumer pressure on bad breeders and reward good ones." Dr Dianne Addie rocks!
- see prevention page
  • stop inbreeding 
  • stop crowding 
  • stop malnourishment of starvation and stop feeding COOKED CRAP & KIBBLE to cats - they weren't designed to eat cereal; they are not birds.

Gus - pentoxifylline success part 1

Gus is the kitten of a pregnant shelter cat who was kept by hs mother's foster carer Nicole after she rehomed his mom and siblings. He was a more mature cat, and physically strong when he started getting sick. He never got very dehydrated or stopped eating so he stood a much better chance when Nicole went in to bat for him with Prednisone and Pentoxyfilline. These anti inflamatory drugs are easy to get and relatively cheap. pentoxifylline was an early choice for treating wet FIP that didn't pass trials - we still tried it, as have others on the facebook group.
Gus was a big cat- at 2 yrs old, he was 13 lbs! At one point, I sensed something wasn't right with him. He seemed lethargic (wouldn't interact with new kittens, in the past we had called him "Uncle Gus" because he always took the foster kittens under his wing, grooming and playing with them). He also felt bony along his spine- and his belly was bloated. I will admit, I wasn't too concerned at first. I thought worst case scenario, maybe he had gotten worms from one of the foster kittens he loved to groom. After a few weeks when he was still wasn't being his usual self, I took him to the vet.
October 26, 2103 The day my world crumbled.
I went in expecting a Dx of Giardia or a tapeworm... relatively easy fixes. Instead, I was told Gus had wet FIP. The vet actually withdrew fluid on the spot from his belly and showed it to me - thick, yellow, protein filled fluid. And he weighed 10.5 lbs. Still hate myself for not noticing the huge weight loss.All his lab values were abnormal , and he had a fever to boot. 
Initial lab work

I cried ( that is an understatement) in the exam room for about half an hour before i was gently escorted out.The only hope the dr. could offer me was palliative prednisone to improve appetite and the kind offer to come to my house to do the euthanasia when the time came.
I immediately started him on pred, and frantically searched for a second opinion/treatment options. A friend of mine worked for a local vet, and she told him my story. I reached out to him, and after a lengthy phone consultation he mentioned a drug called Pentoxifylene. He said it might help prolong his life. It's a drug normally prescribed for humans, for autoimmune disorders. A pharmacy in Arizona (Diamodback Drugs compounds it into animal dosages. I brought Gus to see him in the hopes that he would disagree with the original Dx. He broke my heart when he said all signs pointed to wet FIP and he couldn't go against my primary vet's Dx. BUT - he suggested the Pentoxifylene, saying it could potentially help prolong his life.

After 9 months on prednisone and pentoxifyllene Gus visited this vet again. His A/G ratio which had been very low, was back up and the other values that had been abnormal were all good.
New lab work
All lab values were normal, and the ultrasound showed NO fluid in his abdomen. His old chart had a WBC of 30,000 and very abnormal liver/kidney functions. And a fever. His WBC is now 9,000, within normal limits. He is also back to his playful mischievous self, a very happy cat. The difference between the two was amazing. The vet said if he did not know Gus's history he would say he was a perfectly healthy cat.
I am grateful for every day I have with him, and I don't mean to offer false hope. I know FIP is a terminal illness. All I know is that he is seemingly happy healthy and no longer shows any signs of the disease. Part of me hopes he was misdiagnosed, but another part of me hopes that maybe he did (does?) have this dreadful disease and there is in fact, hope. I am slowly weaning him off the meds while monitoring him constantly for any signs of a relapse. My heart goes out to everyone who is dealing or has dealt with this terrible disease. I'm fully aware Gus may be (probably is) living on borrowed time. I just feel like I need to share this in the hopes that it can help another.
 Gus part 2