My kitten is sick possible FIP, opinions needed please!

tiara00February 3, 2010

My 3 month old Persian started acting weird about three days ago. I noticed later in the evening because my daughter was sick that day and I was tending to her. Bella (my kitten) was acting weak and breathing very rapidly, not eating but drinking a little. The vet wasn't open so I stayed up all night to watch her and took her to the emergency vet as soon as it opened up. The vet took a chest xray and seen fluid on her lungs. She said it was most likly FIP and recommended it was best for me to put her down bc of the condition she was in. I refused and she gave her a chest tap. They got about 70 mils of fluid off of her lungs and sent it to the lab as well as blood work for testing. She put her on an antibiotic for her fever and gave her lasics for the fluid. The vet checked her yesterday and said to give her chicken broth and see if she would eat food. She wouldn't touch the food but she did lap the chicken broth and she is lapping water also. Today she said there seemed to be less fluid and Bella has a bit more energy she is walking to the litter box and she is walking to her water but other than that mostly laying around. I also got some test results back. This is why I feel its not FIP. I have done a ton of research day and night and from everything I've seen the fluid is mostly either a milky white or light to straw yellow, and frothy if you shake it. Her fluid was a peachy pink/orange which I know could be mixed with blood, but the vet said there would have to be a lot of blood and she didn't really bleed. She showed me the fluid and I asked her to shake it. It wasn't frothy nor was it milky it was a clear vial of peachy pink fluid. I also got some of her test results back today. Her Protein was normal it is 6.2, her Albumin is normal which is 2.4, and her golbulin is normal which is 3.8. From everything I've read, considering the condition she is in now which is still considered poor even though she is doing MUCH better, at least one of those should be high for it to be FIP. She did test positive for FIP but most cats do without it ever flaring up. There were some things that were high that weren't suppose to be though. Her segs is lower than her bands and the vet said that isn't good the segs is suppose to be higher. Her bands are 49 and her segs are 31. Not sure what that means? Also her bilirubin is high. Her total is 3.82, direct is 2.05 and indirect is 1.77. Her glucose is high too, 164.0. I'm not sure what all this means yet I haven't looked it all up yet but I would love some suggestions/opinions. She is high and low on other things as well but I just put the key things for the FIP into this post if you need anymore information for ideas I'll be happy to post it.

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I don't know anything about it, but, maybe you could go to a Feline Specialist.

I hope your kitten's okay.

Here is a link that might be useful: LOOK UP FELINE VET

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 6:30AM
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I just found this...

Here is a link that might be useful: ANOTHER LINK

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 6:33AM
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From my personal experience of losing a young cat to the very likely case of dry FIP, I can tell you that I also read a lot and learned a lot. And there really is no way a test can indicate a positive diagnosis. However, the "wet" (effusive) form of FIP is easier to recognize than the "dry" form. By the way, the glucose level is nothing to worry about--it is normal (you have to take stress into consideration). I would certainly trust the vet to recognize the wet form of FIP (a fatal condition), especially after drawing fluid. What has he/she said about PNEUMONIA???? (treatable).
Hopefully, Meghane will read your post... She is the professional.
My very best to your kitten, and to your family.. and please, keep us posted.

I'm pasting part of an article on the wet form. In bold, the description of the fluid.
Other biochemical findings in FIPV-infected cats depend upon the presence and severity of internal organ involvement. It is often difficult to differentiate primary changes caused by FIPV from the secondary effects of general disease debilitation. Elevated BUN and creatinine levels may reflect dehydration and prerenal azotemia or may indicate FIP-associated renal parenchymal damage. Increased serum liver enzyme and bilirubin values may be caused by pyogranulomatous liver involvement or be secondary to hepatic lipidosis caused by chronic anorexia.

FIP effusion fluid is thick, tenacious, straw-colored to deep golden, and clear to slightly cloudy. Fluid analysis reveals a nonseptic, exudate (specific gravity 1.017 to 1.047) with a high protein content (5-12 g/dl) and moderate cellularity. Cytologic examination demonstrates nondegenerate neutrophils, macrophages, variable numbers of lymphocytes, plasma cells, and a few red blood cells. A study of protein electrophoresis of pleural and peritoneal effusions from cats demonstrated that a fluid albumin content of >48% or albumin/globulin ratio of greater than 0.81 was highly predictive in ruling out FIP as a cause for the fluid accumulation. Alternatively, a gamma globulin fraction of 32% or greater was highly predictive in indicating that the effusion was due to FIP. Because FIP effusion fluid is produced by vascular leakage, the effusion protein pattern roughly parallels the serum electrophoretic pattern.

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) obtained from cats with FIP in the CNS may be normal in patients with focal or subependymal lesions. If meningeal involvement is present the CSF often contains increased protein (> 25 mg/dl) and inflammatory cells (> 5 cells/µl).16 Neutrophils and/or lymphocytes predominate the pleocytosis along with lesser numbers of macrophages and plasma cells.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 9:17AM
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Thanks bbaird that was a very encouraging site, she did have fluid on her lungs though. I was thinking it sould be something called Chylothorax, since her protein isn't high at all nor any of the other main things that should be high with FIP. She is doing well today by the way, she has more life in her, purring, drinking regularly but still not eating. I am syringe feeding her some food for sick animals the vet gave me mixed with pedilyte and a little water. She is perking upnicely. I have also read that with FIP the fever dosen't respond to anitbiotics it just goes up and down and she hasn't had a fever for two days. I also asked her about pneumonia, because I have her a bath not even a couple days before she got sick and I blow dried her but she wouldn't let me get her underneath so well, I got most of it but I asked just to be sure. She said that for it to be that fluid would actually have to be on the lungs, there was fluid between the lungs and the bone I think. But when I saw the xray it looked like her lungs were full I mean I am no dr. by any means I just feel like this lady is giving me a run for my money because everything she is telling me should happen with FIP isn't happening like with the test results and I'm afraid she may have something wrong with her liver. I know she is a bit young for that but couldn't something have been passed genetically through the parents? I am planning on taking her to a specialist I just dropped 1000 dollars into her because the the vet gave me a list of stuffshe would like to do and she is still giving me more but she is only treating it like its FIP she isn't really trying to figure out if its something else which I dont like because I feel its very likely its something else. But my boyfriend is getting a care credit card so we can take her to a specialist. Should I get a second opinion from someone who isn't an emergency vet? This is the link for the Chylothorax that I was thinking was a possibility.
But the color was a bit off I mean it was that pinky color but it was completely clear you could see right through it no murkiness to it whatsoever.

Here is a link that might be useful: chylothorax

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 12:44PM
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I would get a second opinion.

As for food, you can try Beechnut Turkey baby food and a little canned pumpkin (NOT PUMPKIN PIE MIX) mixed together and warmed (NOT HOT!).

Sorry for all the caps and !'s :)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 1:58AM
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Thanks I will do :)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 2:32AM
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You're welcome, but, as I said, I really don't know anything about FIP.

I'm just throwing things out there and hoping that something will stick because you don't seem to be getting many responses to your post.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 4:23AM
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We lost our kitten to FIP in Dec 2003. The ELISA test we had done came back negative, but as many people familiar with FIP know, that doesn't mean anything (in our kitten's case, her antibodies might have been so bound up in the protein, there weren't any left to bind to the test, or with all the mutations in the virus that causes FIP, it just wasn't recognized by the test). Once FIP was mentioned though, all the pieces clicked into place: lack of growth, bloated belly, episodes of lethargy, inappetance, and fever... We took her to The Animal Medical Center in NYC where they drew fluid from her abdomen. It was straw-colored, so we pretty much "knew" we were dealing with FIP.

Using the symptoms for diagnosis is anecdotal, however. The only way to be sure is having a necropsy (biopsy after death) done on the liver. We opted not to have that done, as it wouldn't have changed anything at that point.

I have no answers for you, but wish you luck. I hope it is not FIP and is something treatable. My thoughts are with you.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 9:33AM
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Yes thanks and I'm sorry for your loss. I do have a question though, was the episodes of lethargy all throughout the kittens life or did it just all happen at once? I had no warning whatsoever one day she was fine, loving, playing and acting like a normal rambunctious kitten, and the next she was weak not eating and and so on. She has always been a light weight kitten but her growth is on track so that isn't an issue. I never noticed her breathing hard until that afternoon either. I would have noticed bc she follows me everywhere. I am hoping to get more test results back today, they were trying to rush it. Her fluid was a peachy pink but it was bold and clear. Also what is the ELISA test? Was her protein and things high on the blood work as well? I've looked at many things on the internet and I have never seen a cat with FIP that had normal protein, albumin, and globulin. I'm sure its possible with such a hard to narrow down disease, I'm just hoping its something different.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 2:49PM
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Well I got the rest of the test results back. They aren't sure what it is. Since none of her blood tests came back like a FIP cat would have, and the pathologist today said that if there is bacteria in the fluid its not FIP but if there isn't then it should be FIP. She had bacteria in her fluid. He said that FIP is still at the top of the list BUT none of the results came back as FIP except for the main screen, which pretty much all cats have. He said there could be an underlying condition and still be FIP. But I dont think it is. So now I think I'm going to get copys of the results and take her to a feline specialist.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 8:21PM
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We only had her from mid-Sept until late Dec 2003. She was born towards the end of July (though our vet's office insisted she was at least a few weeks younger than she probably was in actuality because she was so small when we adopted her). She was fine when we got her, active, playful, eating well. If I'm remembering correctly, she threw up one evening (shortly after we returned from the vet for a dose of wormer) and then acted "sick"--not eating, sleeping a lot or just a general lack of activity. We took her to the vet, she got fluids, we coaxed her to eat and just nursed her back to health, tried to get her to play, and she finally became her perky little self again. This same pattern repeated itself throughout the few short months she was with us, each time it was more difficult to get her to come around to her former self, and she was definitely more lethargic than she had been, even after she started eating with a decent appetite. It seemed she'd be fine for a short period of time, and then not.

In November we got another kitten (so they could grow up together). For a few short days, it was great. They played together really well. Their first weekend together, they spent the morning wrestling and chasing each other, but by early afternoon our first kitten just pooped out. I don't think she ever did regain her full energy level after that. We might have had a brief boost at one point or another, but I think that was really the beginning of the end. She spent more time sleeping or huddled in front of the vent at the bottom of the refrigerator or baseboard in the bathroom, and wasn't interested in playing with our other kitten (who adored her and shadowed her every move). The last week or so that we had her, she was running a fluctuating fever (non-responsive to antibiotics or prednisone?), and we were syringe feeding her and trying to tempt her with roast chicken. The dr at AMC was pretty much convinced that she had FIP based on her history and her symptoms. I think the dr just drew the fluid from her belly to give us something more "definitive." She showed us the syringe before she tested the protein level (which, if I recall, was high), so we saw that it was straw-colored.

Needless to say, I hope they are able to eradicate this awful disease someday soon....

I will keep my fingers crossed that your little one does not have FIP, and that whatever she does have, is easily curable.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 10:46PM
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I am very sorry :(

Bella has never acted funny like that though she was always active with my older cat and played and when she would sleep or want attention she would crawl on my chest and sleep or stare at me to pet her. She had been fine the days before I bathed her and she pouted for a bit but was fine after that. I'm really hoping that its not FIP as well. They have her on diuretics and she will breathe well for the most part, but she is starting to breath slow and kinda heavy. Could that be because I'm keeping my room so hot? I'm trying to keep it warm because she is perking up and trying to fight me off when I feed her now. She keeps going to my door I noticed there is very cool air coming from the bottom. I am going to try turning the heat down to see if maybe her breathing gets better because it was fine until I got my room really warm.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 11:15PM
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Thank you. 7 years later, and it's still tough when we think about her.

I forgot to answer you re: ELISA test. It's a test they do for FIP. I don't recall the test details (and I'm sure Meghane or laurief would be able to explain it much better than I could). The virus starts as a coronavirus, which many or most cats have been exposed to, but, only a small number apparently are genetically predisposed to have it mutate into FIP. The rest have some GI "distress" and get over it, but may shed the virus throughout their lives. Because the virus itself is constantly mutating, the tests for it are unreliable at best (e.g. the test is testing for antibody "A" but the virus has mutated and now only antibody "B" is present). There are many false negatives with the tests, as in our kitten's case.

It's probably worthwhile to have her breathing checked out again if it's slowing down/becoming heavy. Maybe it's something as simple as adjusting the diuretics dosage?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 9:50AM
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I hope they find a cure for this soon its horrible. She came back positive for that test, but thats the only thing thats came back in favor of FIP being whats wrong with her. She got the fluid back on her lungs again so I took her back to the vet. There is a different vet in the pratice I have been taking her too and he is MUCH better. He tapped where the fluid was again and flushed it with saline a few times until it was the correct color and shot antiboitics into the space as well. He showed me the fluid and it was pretty much the same color a bit deeper pink now and thick looking as well. She had a horrible smell coming out of her mouth and he smelled the fluid and said it was pretty much pure infection. Now she is on two antiboitics, IV, and she is hospitalized. I got a call from him about 30 min. ago and he said that she is doing great. She is starting to eat on her own and lap water. She lapped water for me but she would not eat. He said it wasn't enough food intake so he had to force feed her a bit but she is progressing. She is washing herself and breathing great. He wants to keep her about 3 to 5 days since it took about 5 days for the fluid to return this last time. He sent the fluid back to the pathologist to do a growth on the bacteria in the fluid to see what it is. I'm praying for the best!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 9:35AM
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Will keep her and you in my thoughts. Please continue to let us know how she is doing.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 10:52AM
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tiara00, how is your kitten doing?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 9:28PM
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My Ragdoll cat died of FIP - a necropsy confirmed it after her death. She had similar symptoms to those of your cat. She was hospitalized twice with IV's, antibiotics, etc. and got better while she was hospitalized but got sicker again when she came home. Her fever was very high and she got a very cloudy eye as well. She lost weight, became lethargic, etc. The disease progressed relatively slowly, over a period of around 6-8 months from the time of the first symptom. She had "dry" FIP and it is much harder to diagnose than "wet" FIP. The results of the necropsy showed that a number of her organs had been affected by the disease; it was incredible how much was wrong with her due to the FIP. It was a horrible experience. I hope this is not the case with your cat, but the symptoms do sound similar. I had another cat, a rescue cat, that died of "wet" FIP and she did have the straw-colored liquid but the "dry" FIP does not do that. Unfortunately there can not be a confirmed diagnosis without the necropsy. I hope your cat recovers and that it is not FIP.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 10:00PM
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Please note that some FIP (and other virally infected)cats have responded to Polyprenyl Immunostimulant or to Virbagen Omega (interferon). You might look into those if baby Bella has something beyond bacterial. Best wishes.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 5:01PM
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My darling girl CeeCee has been diagnosed with wet FIP as you have all said the vet said prepare for the worst. Well she came home after having punk fluid taken off her lungs on Tuesday it's now Friday night in new Zealand and she is eating, drinking and breathing fine. She never had a fever. The treatment left her exhausted and sick but has perked up remarkably. I want to believe this is not FIP and all your comments have been so reassuring. If nothing else but to believe we are all dying it's just a timing thing. I hope CeeCee has time and if not it's been an epic four years. I am simply addicted to her love. Best wishes to you all

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 4:18AM
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Fingers are crossed for your CeeCee, ccmum. Will keep her and you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 1:44PM
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