One of our foster kittens was diagnosed with Feline Intestinal Peritonitis (FIP) – Our Quest to Save His Life
When I tell people we’ll be there to support them & the kittens they adopt from us for the life of the cat, I mean it.
Tiggywinkle, one of our recent litters, adopted only a few months ago. He was first diagnosed with Feline Intestinal Peritonitis (FIP) after going to the vet for ongoing diarrhea featuring a fascinating clear jelly.
What is Feline Intestinal Peritonitis (FIP)?
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease caused by a feline coronavirus that affects wild and domestic cats. This type of coronavirus is different from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in people.
Feline coronavirus is very common and usually doesn’t cause any serious issues, aside from mild diarrhea. But when the feline coronavirus changes to a specific strain of the coronavirus, FIP can develop. In about 10% of infected cats, the virus will multiply and mutate, resulting in an infection known as feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV) that spreads throughout the cat’s body. It can cause an extreme inflammatory reaction in the tissues surrounding the abdomen, kidney, or brain.
FIP is Almost Always Fatal for Cats
Although FIP is not believed to be contagious, it is a very serious disease. When a cat gets FIP, it is progressive and almost always fatal.
How do we treat Feline Intestinal Peritonitis (FIP)?
Coronaviruses, as we’ve all learned, are hugely prevalent. So most cats have been exposed to this particular coronavirus; only a few win the lottery & have it mutate into FIP. None of Tiggy’s siblings or mama have any symptoms; Tiggy is a very special little boy.
An Experimental Treatment for FIP is Gilead’s drug Remdesivir
The veterinarians we consulted spoke of an experimental treatment now for FIP, not FDA approved, not available on the market, but with good science behind it. It probably would at least be on the way to availability were it not the pharmaceutical company Gilead.
A Much-Hyped COVID-19 Drug Is Almost Identical to a Black-Market Cat Cure. Cat owners are resorting to China’s underground marketplace to buy antivirals for a feline coronavirus. (The Atlantic, 05/08/2020)
It’s a drug chemically very very very close to Remdesivir, which treats coronaviruses so it makes sense it works on FIP. It’s not perfect, but it’s really promising & I’ll take promising over nothing.
Efficacy and safety of the nucleoside analog GS-441524 for treatment of cats with naturally occurring feline infectious peritonitis (US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 02/13/2019)
After getting Tiggy some supportive care meds, we went home to think. Tiggy’s Fur-Mom started her research & sent me links to meds, studies… she’s a force of nature. We are purchasing the exact same meds used in it.
I can explain why I’m doing this, but it’s really obvious – love.
And I hope we’re part of people beta-testing a potentially life-saving treatment.
I wouldn’t advise doing this unless you have someone who really understands it. I sorta get it; our Vet Friend – who shall remain anonymous – really gets it. She read the study in a half hour & sent questions to the guy who wrote it. If there’s ever a history emergency, I’ll read those papers, but Vet Friend has the science ones *down.*
Hopefully on Tuesday the Team Tig will meet at my house. Vet Friend will talk The Mighty G & I through how to give Tiggy a daily subcutaneous shot for the next twelve weeks.
One more thought – I am perfectly open about what we are doing & why. It is not approved. If any bit of this comes back around, I say Good. The first call after my lawyer will be to the Washington Post. 🙂 That’s my solution to it: make it louder. Make it louder that Gilead refuses to license medication for animals because it wants to be able to make even more money off of people.
Thinking about kitten adoption? Contact us!