Gus's foster carer Nicole kindly answered my questions in detail - texting on a phone! That's dedication for you.
Diet- no special diet. Gus always ate just Purina dry indoor formula. Once he got his Dx, he was spoiled rotten and I added canned friskies plus whatever protein I happened to be having for dinner- shrimp, ham, turkey, ect. Whatever he wanted. He was never put on an antibiotic that I can recall. When Dr. Ciance of Allenwood veterinarian hospital (in Allenwood NJ 732-528-7444) Dx'd him she put him on 2 ml of pred a day to stimulate appetite and make him feel better. She also prescribed doxy ( doxycycline? a broad spectrum antibiotic ) in pill form but I couldn't get him to take it, and her opinion was to not force it on him, let him enjoy his remaining time. We may have tried liquid, I can't recall. But he was never on antibiotics for an extended period of time.
Then I took him to Dr. Falk (Ocean County Veterinarian Hospital Lakewood NJ ). He was so kind and compassionate, even recommended a support group for me. He looked at the initial bloodwork and agreed that it looked like FIP. (see Gus's labs in previous post) He suggested adding pentox in addition to the pred. So, he was on 2ml of pred and 1 ml of pentox daily. This went on for about 5 months, the whole time Gus very slowly lost his belly bloat, gained muscle tone, and became more energetic. The two meds combined cost about $90/m from Diamondback, including shipping. (60 ml bottle of chicken flavored prednisolone and a 30 ml bottle of chicken flavored Pentoxifylene.) Always got the meds in about 3-4 days flat rate mail but I do believe they offer offer expedited shipping as well. They were great and very easy to deal with.
Gus tolerated the pred well, he did NOT tolerate the pentox. I would say on average he would vomit 7/10 times after I gave it to him. Broke my heart. I tried mixing 1ml of pred with 1/2 ml of pentox 2x daily, that was a little better but he would still throw it up occasionally. I played around with the timing and what seemed to work best was giving it to him about an hour after he ate.( Note: when we tried Mishka on pentox we follwed the advice to use a cream - she had no upset other than she didn't exactly like cream smeared on her ears ) Please note how careful they were about not taking Gus off any meds until he was definitely better on bloodwork and they wean slowly.
He isn't on any meds at all now, hasn't been since October 2014. When Dr Falk did new bloodwork and declared him either misdiagnosed or "cured", we decided to ween him off all meds. I stopped the pentox almost immediately since he hated it so much- did every other day for about a week and that was it. I went much slower with the pred, as u know u can't just stop it cold turkey. I slowly decreased his dose over a month, down to 1ml, then did 1ml every other day for about 2 weeks, then 1/2 ml every other day for about a week, and that was it.
I Have fostered about 75-100 kittens over close to 3 years... as far as I know none of them have ever been Dx'd with either form of FIP. I did have 2 pass away from dehydration and Giardia (they passed away 2 days after I had them, they were in very bad shape when I took them in). Every other cat/kitten has been a success story as far as I know. I have 3 other cats and none of them have ever had any major ailments -unless u count my 12 yr old Oscar just having 5 teeth pulled Poor guy.
the Fab4 including Gus
Yes, I stopped fostering. I actually had 12 wk old brother and sister kittens in my house when Gus was diagnosed, I immediately had the rescue take them back (a friend's mother has since adopted them both)!
Gus is strictly and indoor cat. I live on a busy street. I fostered his pregnant mother and he has been with me every day since birth. My mother kept his mother and his sister, and I keep in touch with the woman who adopted his brother and other sister. As far as I know none of them have had any major health issues to date.