Sunday, 2 December 2012

Death and taxes

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." ~ Benjamin Franklin

FIP is not an illness the general cat owning public are aware of though breeders and vets are well acquainted with the general hopeless picture, if not the finer points since they tend to treat those affected as disposable, as do the bean counters - the insurance companies.

There were breed premiums mentioned in the brochure I picked up while waiting at the vet last november with little Mishka - all runny nose and feverish mystery. I was moved to pick up a brochure as it felt really odd to have a sick cat who was so young. Birmans weren't considered one of the dodgy breeds by the insurers. In fact prior to accepting Mishka a little investigation had falsely assured me the breed was considered a very hardy, healthy one. A much better tool found too late: This web page contains a list of genetic or inherited conditions which have been reported and lists the cat breeds affected. It's long and Birmans are frequently mentioned.

It didn't seem worth the premium based on the past record of First Cat - two vet visits in 19 yrs. With 20/20 hindsight it was a minor saving as in the teeny print you can only get off the interwebs FIP is specifically excluded including euthanasia for FIP. Neither PI nor interferon nor Moducare would be acceptable even if it was covered, being experimental or non-prescription treatments.

The current purchasing system for medications and nutriceuticals resembles a MLM Ponzi scheme, and I expect asking the government to release the most expensive of these treatments for FIP, the feline interferon, from GST is talking to stone. Mishka also takes a fair few nutritional supplements since she won't eat raw meat - colostrum and whey powder - full of growth factors, vitamin C, rutin and fulvic minerals and we have tried a heap more curcumin, pentoxifylline, prednisolone to name a few.

but restoring my faith in human nature are a bunch of people who give of their time and resources freely; I'll just mention someone here: Jevgenia sent Mishka her left over polyprenyl which amounts to nearly a full months course to try. It made it through customs without the stupid $325 AQIS clearance form we truly didnt need - we could have imported via Tanja who already had one for her cat (deceased) but the information given to her incorrectly said each cat had to have a separate permit. This butt covering delay has seen more than one cat die already waiting for their chance. If you want other cats in australia to have this chance too then donate to Mishka's fighting fund (right) so I can bring in enough boxes of PI on the one form to have spares ready to send out.

Mishka was knocked back months ago by the PI people because she has wet fip and their initial study showed it was ineffectual but possibly because most cats only survive a few days with the disease and PI needs about 2 -4 weeks to effect a change. It's still an off label use for FIP, dr Legendre himself is calling it a delaying treatment not a cure but what else is there except hope? Now it's approved for rhinotracheitis and not a freeby experimental drug you just need deep pockets, a vet's prescription (and for non US cats someone with the import clearance) in order to have a go.

Mishka has fought on for nearly 4 months now - i think largely due to having her own physician ( my husband) careful nursing, FOI and Moducare. The vets have been a mixed bag - choose with care!

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