This journey has been long and emotionally exhausting. We spent many days crying thinking we were going to have let him go. We can’t even begin to tell you the emotional toll this has taken on us and how our hearts were breaking. We would appreciate your prayers for a full recovery. We have spent $6500 between vet bills and the FIP meds so we are asking anyone who is able to donate to please do so!! Our rescue has spent so much time and money helping many cats in need and now it’s our cat that needs! We also hope to bring awareness to anyone who has a cat that is ill and your vet hasn’t been able to pinpoint what’s wrong!!
FIP is Feline Infectious Peritonitis. There are different forms of FIP. Oliver has dry that evolved into neuro. The dry form is sometimes harder to diagnose than the wet form. This virus has been considered fatal and untreatable until a couple years ago. There is medicine available to treat FIP but it has not been FDA approved in the United States so your average veterinarian will recommend euthanization. Thankfully being a cat rescue we have resources available to us that allowed us to purchase the medication to treat the FIP. The medicine isn't cheap but it is worth every penny! The treatment consists of 84 days. Both injections and pills are available. There are many different brands at different price points. FIP often goes undiagnosed and there are certain indicators in bloodwork and symptoms that point to it. Please reach out to a cat rescue that has a medical staff which has experience in treating this virus if you have a cat that is ill and has not been given a definite diagnosis!!
-First grand mal seizure – lasted about 25-30 seconds
-Brought to vet for first set of bloodwork
-Second grand mal seizure – same – 25-30 seconds
- Vet prescribed 15mg of Phenobarbital every 12 hours for epilepsy (maybe FIP instead?)
- A couple days later, Phenobarbital side effects kicked in (well, what we are assuming are Pheno side effects – some could be FIP related)
- excessive thirst
- loopy/balance off/not coordinated
- excessive scratching
Vet said Pheno side effects would balance out after 2 weeks. But 4 weeks later, still getting worse
- Follow up bloodwork indicated high Pheno levels. Reduced Pheno dose to half (7.5mg), still 12 hours apart
- Blood indicated UTI, started Clavamox antibiotic 62.5mg twice a day
Weekend of May 15/16
- Starts to go downhill quick
-Barely eating and drinking
-Not feeling good symptoms (crying for attention, staying close, purring/kneading)
- Swollen lymph nodes under chin
- Started an obsession with licking shower grout lines... form of PICA from FIP?
- Scratching himself raw in some areas
- No litter box usage
-Stopped Clavamox incase that was causing extreme stomach issues
-Saw vet, more bloodwork, majority of lymph nodes were swollen, nodes aspirated, chest x-ray (normal), got sub q fluids & Cerenia
-Sent home with and started Zofran twice a day, not eating/drinking at all at this point. Also started Keppra in hopes to wean off Pheno
May 19 :
- Began syringe feeding
- Litter box usage returned
- Just sleeping all day, walks around occasionally
- Started FIP treatment that evening
WEEK 1 (MAY 20-27) Weight = 12lbs 1.3 oz
- May 20: First night of GS. Capella injections
- May 21: Drank from water bowl and nibbled on treats for the first time in 4-5 days
- Started scratching nails and grooming again
- Number of times up & about increased every day with less hiding
- Still only nibbling on treats – not real food yet
WEEK 2 (MAY 28-JUNE 3) Weight = 12lbs 1.3oz
-Began weaning off pheno - reduced morning dose
- Started weekly B12 injection
- Out & about more and more
- Back to his old daily routine of getting on window perch every morning to bird watch
- Eating food mixed with treats
- No more hiding
- Interacts with brothers
- Playing teaser toy
WEEK 3 (JUNE 4-JUNE 10) Weight = 12lbs 8.7 oz
- Reduced evening pheno dose
- Meowing for attention
- Asking to eat – still food/treat mixture
- Awake more during day
- Back to old routines and using cat trees, instigating play fights with brothers
- June 10: Administered pills instead of injection for the first time
WEEK 4 (JUNE 11-JUNE 17) Weight = 12lbs 9.1 oz
- Eliminated morning pheno dose
- Shower grout lickings begin to decrease
- Playing increased – More active but still not running
- Frequently licking body and twitching skin.. Itchy?
- Began half pills, half injections schedule
WEEK 5 (JUNE 18-JUNE 24) Weight = 12lbs 9.7oz
- Eliminated evening pheno dose - no more pheno!
- Shower grout lickings continue to decrease
- Still active & playing, ran a few times playing with brothers
- Playing with toys from ground without me encouraging
- Now excessive body licking/grooming and pain near injection sites
WEEK 6 (JUNE 25-JULY 1) Weight = 12lbs 12oz
- Body licking continues... Itchy?
- Injection sites beginning to really bother him – can’t touch them the following day – Early in week, not as active as usual – sore from injections – began light therapy
- Pretty much awake just as much as brothers throughout day
- Towards end of week, activity level back up – Occasional running for short period of time
- Back to getting into trouble – emptying water bowls and taking apart water fountains.. A bad habit of his!
-2 weeks of no pheno and no seizures
WEEK 7 (JULY 2-JULY 8) Weight = 12lbs 12.6oz
- Running a lot more!
- Activity level almost same as pre treatment
- Still no seizures
- Started administering low dose of Gabapentin in order to give injections
- Starting to do injections 2/3 of the days and pills other 1/3
WEEK 8 (JULY 9-JULY 15) Weight = 12lbs 12.9oz
- Still going strong, not much change!
WEEK 9 (JULY 16-JULY 22) Weight = 13lbs 1.1oz
- As wild as ever during treatment time period
- instigates play frequently and wrestling with brothers
WEEK 10 (JULY 23-JULY 29 Weight = 13lbs 2.2oz
- Awesome week activity wise! Wild child!
WEEK 11 (JULY 30-August 5) Weight = 13lbs 3.3oz
- Completely back to normal 24/7
WEEK 12 GRADUATION AUGUST 12!!
ENTER 84 DAYS OF OBSERVATION!