Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Pikachu - a wobbly cat

Pikachu does not seem to have FIP although one vet he was taken to made this diagnosis. He was a wobbler (ataxia) because his brain or inner ear ( vestibular system responsible for balance) had damage after a viral illness but is getting better on PI (polyprenyl immunostimmulant) since early Nov 2012 " For the first few months, his ataxia waxed and waned, but now all that remains is a head tilt and the deafness. The head tilt seems to get worse/more exaggerated when he has a UTI or some other issue affecting his general health. He is doing really well now, although it took months to recover, and he still has a few neurological deficits. My only worry is that the virus may reactivate in his system and he won't be able to fight it off again"
"He was first diagnosed in September/October 2012. We took him to an emergency vet because he was ataxic (wobbly) and had nystagmus (shaking eyes). They originally diagnosed him with Idiopathic Vestibular Disease and said it would resolve within two weeks. When he didn't get better, we got a referral to a neurologist who did an MRI, Spinal Tap, FIP titer, toxoplasmosis test, etc., and said it was in his central nervous system and diagnosed dry FIP. After he became ill, we noticed he had lost his hearing completely. We were basically told to say goodbye to him, but you can't give up as long as you have hope. 
The neuro was ready to give up on Pika and really had no interest in PI or Dr. Legendre. I found the information on Dr. Legendre's success with PI and PUSHED the neuro to contact him and write the rx for the PI. Even after he contacted the university, he called me back and told me it was too costly and I should just put Pika down. It was unbelievably frustrating! I'm soo glad I didn't follow his advice. Even if the PI didn't help his situation, it certainly must have boosted his immune system in general and definitely didn't hurt him. " Kathleen Maki Potts
 She sent his results to the FIP fighters for opinions.
 "Pika's A/G ratio is 0.9. Anything above 0.8 almost always rules out FIP. A positive titer for FIP only means exposure to FCoV. It is not predictive of FIP. An extremely high titer, along with other suspicious lab results would make me think different. Also the 7b ELISA was negative. I would definitely explore some of the CNS stuff and it looks like your vet is doing a good job and looking at other things. You can always print out Dr. Addie's flowchart and provide to your vet if they start to explore the possible diagnosis of FIP again. The slightly elevated liver values can just be dehydration or a low grade infection."
Moki is a 'famous' facebook cat who seems to have a similar mystery wobbly problem but which didn't resolve, also initially diagnosed as FIP.

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