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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21745
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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why does cats stomach swell with fip

Resolved Question:

why does cat's stomach swell with fip
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

The reason why we see abdominal distension in cats who have FIP is due to the responsible virus causing inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis). This inflammation affects the blood vessels to keep their fluid within themselves leading to the serum portion of the blood to leak and accumulate in the body cavity (we can also see accumulation within the chest or lungs in some cases). As the disease progresses, increased amounts of fluid accumulates within the abdomen and this is what will cause the belly to appear distended and get very swollen.


Severe swelling can go on to compress softer organs (especially the gastrointestinal tract) which can lead to additional issues like appetite decline or constipation. As well, I must sadly note that since this fluid build up happens because the blood vessels are damaged by the virus, we cannot tap or remove the fluid from belly, else more will refill from those leaky blood vessels until circulatory collapse resulted from excessive fluid loss.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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