Saturday, 1 March 2014

Preventing FIP is simple

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."Reinhold Niebuhr

What really really makes me mad about FIP is the complacency in the cat owning community since it is supposedly a coronavirus mutation confined to the unlucky individual cat and furthermore not transmissable to humans; FeCoV (feline coronavirus) is an oral fecal thing and has a very short persistance outside a host therefor theoretically easy to beat. No FeCOV = no FIP. Worse things have been banished with no more exciting weapons than soap, clean water and flushing loos.
"FIP is pretty rare in housecats who are not exposed to other cats, occurring in roughly 1 in 5000 cats in this situation. FIP is fairly common in catteries in which feline coronavirus carriers are present, occurring in about 1 in 20 cats in this situation." 
Read more: Feline Infectious Peritonitis( FIP) and Feline coronavirus (FeCoV) - VetInfo 
What really really scares me about FIP though is the breeding of virulence by letting it cycle multiple times through kitty hosts who are unaturally confined indoors with an abnormal number of other potential hosts, who are to boot, probably immune suppressed through poor diet and inbreeding. "Wu Lien-teh, moreover, suggested that virulence increases in the course of an epidemic. Dongzheng Yu conducted a series of experiments in rats to test this idea. He injected them with a strain of plague from wild rodents; the injected rats were not easily infected and died slowly. Next, he withdrew plague bacteria from those rats and injected it into others, and on and on. Eventually, this serial passage produced a plague strain so lethal that rats injected with only a tiny amount died rapidly, suggesting that the strain's virulence had markedly increased."

The knee jerk reaction, massive culling, as happened to the civet cats in China during SARS, is probably counterproductive - civets have low immunity anyway, why ruin the genepool further?
 "The last thing we should do is to take it out on the bats, because the evidence suggests that they have carried this coronavirus for thousands, perhaps millions, of years; only recently has it emerged in a big way, and it was human behaviours that made the difference."
We need to change our behaviours now, because this is the one thing about FIP we can control while still dreaming of some miracle pill - and it's entirely DOABLE to eliminate FCoV infection from a cattery

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