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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 30340
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My newly adopted 18 week old Kitty (Merlot) has been diagnosed

Customer Question

Hi, My newly adopted 18 week old Kitty (Merlot) has been diagnosed with Coronavirus. I have been googling and reading loads online, but most information refers to FIP. The lab results I was given for the Titre test show 1:25 in a black box and then to the right <1:25. My Vet says that this means he has a low concentration of antibodies. A fecal test reported that he is shedding the virus.
I am extremely worried about my 2 other cats. I haven't allowed sharing of litter trays and I clean them out as soon as they poo and I bleach the litter trays at least once a day. But I know its highly contagious, so I am sure that they will now have it. My Vet offered to test the other 2, but I declined as I didn't think I would be any better off for knowing if they are positive or negative - if they are positive I am going to worry myself silly as there's not a thing I can do to prevent them from developing FIP and if they are negative my instinct would be to separate the new kitten - but in a small House with 3 cats and 2 dogs, this couldn't happen; I am sure no one would adopt him quick enough (and anyway I love him too much) and if I did separate him, i could still carry the virus to my other cats on my clothes - so I didn't see the point in stressing them with a trip to the vets.
Currently Merlot has Diarrhea, although it is improving since I started him on Fortiflora and he's on a 10 day course of Stomorgyl (3 days left) He also had a cough for about 5 days, which turned to a sneeze yesterday, but nothing today. He weighs about 2.4kgs and is quite lively, growing steadily and seems very robust & happy.
The only blood results I have as follows (Comes from a German Lab):
Alaninaminotransferaza 54UI/L
Bilirubina total 0.01 mg/dL
Phosphatase Alkaline 42.38 UI/L
Creatinine 0.57 mg/dL
Serum Amylase 388 UI/L
Serum Glucose 155.66 mg/dL
Aspartate 37 UI/L
Urea 31 mg/dL
Urea Nitrogen (BUN) 14.49 mg/dL
I wanted to ask for a full blood test, but I am worried about stressing him.
My Questions:
1) He's currently on Royal Canin GastroIntestinal Wet Cat food. On Dr Addie's FIP site site she says to change over to Applaws especially Chicken & Pumpkin, but my vet says stay with gastro. I'm not sure who to follow. I also have the problem that they eat each others food - if I stay with gastro. will it hurt my other cats to be on it long term?
2) If 1:25 is a low antibody count, does it mean his chance of getting rid of the virus are better?
3) I read that Colloidal Silver and Colostrom are good for cats with Coronavirus - any views?
4) Should I wait until he is at least 12months before getting him neutered (indoor cat) to reduce stress?
5) Someone told me that some of his blood results are low, but my Vet didn't say anything... should I be doing something to help the low scores?
6) My Vet hasn't come up with any treatment plan or action plan so I feel like I am flapping around in the breeze a bit... I know its hard for Vets to diagnose etc. But I would have hoped for a plan of some sort to at least monitor the situation. What would be the best course of action? I thought to try and keep the diarrhea under control and then get Merlot's poo tested monthly for shedding and possibly get the others poo tested too??
Until 2 weeks ago I had never heard of this virus and I feel so helpless as its really in the hands of God/Fate which Cats go on to develop FIP. the worse bit is I brought an infected Cat into my home where there was no Coronavirus and now I might have just signed their death warrants.
I've tried to rationalise all this, with the fact that so few actually develop FIP... but I am constantly cleaning, bleaching, watching litter trays, checking them for changes in their tummies - my days are just filled with OCD cleaning and I am literally going mad with worry - it is just not sustainable but what alternatives do I have.
Any help would be appreciated thank you!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I understand your concerns and will address them as you presented them...1) The use of serology for coronavirus (FCoV) must remain circumspect. In most cases, it's not possible to interpret the results of FCoV testing because the virus is ubiquitous in the environment and present in 50% or more of cats in some populations. Titers don't provide the type of information we require even when deciding whether any cats have FIP, whether a particular cat will develop FIP and which cats are shedding feline enteric coronavirus. 2) A titer of 1:25 suggests that Merlot had been exposed to FCoV; the finding of the virus in his feces in association with his diarrhea supports infection but we'll also find viral shedding in asymptomatic cats. 3) Your other cats have already been exposed to the shed virus but are likely to have been exposed to FCoV previously - often within hours of being born.4) Treatment for his diarrhea is supportive. It's expected to be self-limiting.5) His biochemical testing is normal. There's no reason to subject him to further testing at this time.4) A special diet isn't required for acute diarrheas. You can feed the Royal Canin or any other high-quality diet you want to feed.5) There's no reason to consider either colloidal silver or colostrum - neither of which have any scholarly studies to support their use.6) Neutering prior to sexual maturity is desirable in males if only because the odor of an intact male's urine can be pungently repulsive.7) I don't see biochemical results I would consider "low". Please clarify. 8) I believe that you've been unnecessarily alarmed by Merlot's vet. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.
I can't set a follow up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update at your convenience.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you so much for your help, you really put my mind at ease. You helped me with one of my other cats previously, so I know your advice is great - Thank you

I've got him on a high quality 'Sensitive' diet and I give him some supplements to help the diarrhea (Peridale Granules, Prokolin+, Slippery Elm Bark & Fortiflora). His stools are becoming more 'formed' but still quite wet, I'm hoping the Peridale will help firm up his stools and the Prokolin & Fortiflora will help the good bacteria in his gut. If these don't help, I will look at changing Vets as I'm finding my local Vet very unhelpful.

In a couple of weeks I will get Merlot's feces retested to see if he is still shedding the coronavirus - hopefully it will stop at some point.

The good news is he is putting on weight, lively and has a lovely silky coat. I will get him neutered as soon as his stomach settles.

Thank you very much once again for your help.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
It's my pleasure. Do you really need to spend the money to see if he's still shedding the virus? What will you do that you're not doing now if he still is shedding? I'm such a devil's advocate...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Haha! I'm still worried about my other cats, so at the moment I'm doing OCD cleaning; I know they have probably been exposed already, but I don't want to tempt fate by letting them share litter trays etc.....so if he stops shedding I feel I could relax a bit - I guess the test is more for me than him. Thank you so much for putting everything in perspective, since your initial reply I haven't been half as worried about it mutating to FIP - Thank you

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
You're quite welcome. No need to rely at this time.