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Rebecca
Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 13582
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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My Cats blood results have just come back with suspected FIP.

Customer Question

My Cats blood results have just come back with suspected FIP. My Vet doesn't know a lot about the virus, can you please confirm? I'm not sure how to attach the blood results here?
He has fluid in his lungs. No temperature, intermittent eating and drinking, lethargic.
I don't want to drag out is life for my sake. I know FIP is a 100% death sentence and I am just seeking advice on whether I would be ok to put my best friend to sleep, sooner rather than later? At the moment he is comfortable, but with medication he is only coughing a little. I just do not want him to go down hill and then die whilst I pump drugs into him.
The Vet has him on Medrone & Nisamox his water tablets finish tomorrow - should he be continuing with them?
Please, any advice and guidance would be appreciated. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I am sorry to hear you are worried about Cola. My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian with 30 years experience, and I will do my best to help. FIP is usually a disease of younger cats, but it is sometimes seen in mature cats. It is a fatal illness, and unfortunately there is no test to confirm that a cat has this disease. Seeing your blood tests would be helpful. There is a paper clip icon that might help you to attach them here if you take a picture of them. Cats with FIP often have fever, that is usually one consistent thing about FIP. If Cola's temperature is normal, then this might be something else. One thing that would tell us something about his illness is to get a sample of the fluid in his lungs for analysis. It could be blood, or just clear fluid, or pus, or "chyle" (fluid that circulates in the lymph system), or the fluid we see with FIP which is straw colored and has a high protein level. If he has fluid in his lungs, removing it will also make it easier for him to breathe. With no fever, and his being 8 years old, I might be looking for some other cause of fluid in his lungs such as heart disease, a tumor in his lungs, other viral diseases, etc. Let me know if the fluid in his chest has been analyzed, and what other questions you have. Rebecca
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hopefully you can see the attached blood test. Would taking a sample of the chest fluid hurt him?

Thank you for your help and advice

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
Thank for these. The protein is normal; usually with FIP it is elevated. Often the white cells are elevated with FIP, and they are not on this report. If there is fluid in chest, getting a sample of the fluid would be where I would start if that has not been done.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
Did your vet test for feline leukemia virus?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No he hasn't been tested for Feline Leukemia - I will ask him to do that.

I thought the WBC was high?

Does it look like he has anemia? I know thats another indicator of FIP.

I was thinking to ask my new Vet to drain the fluid to see if its yellow - but will this hurt my cat at all? I don't want him to feel pain.

Thank you so much for your help

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, I have been at my clinic all day and it was too busy to get online.
No, he is not anemic; his red cell counts are all normal. You can see anemia with FIP, but it is not as typical as things like fever, high protein, etc.
Sorry, he does indeed have high white count, which indicates chronic inflammation. Not at all specific for any one condition but is seen in FIP.
Draining the fluid is something I have done many times, and now with ultrasound it is easier and safer than ever. Getting a sample, and having it analyzed, should help tell us whether this is FIP or something else.
I just have never seen FIP in a cat this age, every case I have seen has been a kitten or a cat less than a year old. Here is the story:
FIP is caused by a Corona virus, and there are many Corona viruses. Most cause a mild case of vomiting and diarrhea and that is it. The Corona virus that causes FIP, when it infects certain cats (and we have no idea what is different about these cats) actually mutates into another virus, the FIP virus. This mutated virus then gets into the cat's immune system, and actually turns the cat's own immune system against itself causing FIP. Since young cats have immature immune systems, they are more susceptible to this occurring.
Just like with feline leukemia virus, it is something we tend to see in young cats, with immune systems that are not fully mature. If this were my own cat, or my own patient, I would be looking for another diagnosis, and I would start with a sample of that fluid.
Let me know what else I can answer or help with. Rebecca
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
How is Cola doing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you so much for asking. I took him to see another Vet today. He said he didn't feel it was FIP. He said Cola looks too healthy (silky coat, no weight loss, eyes a little dull but nothing too bad) also bloods are not fully supportive. He wants me to wean Cola off of the Medrone and Fruscare over 5 days and then go back on Wednesday week for another X-ray and more blood tests. I'm to go back if I am worried in between time.

From the X-rays my previous Vet did, it looks like the fluid is 'IN' the lungs, not around. I think I read somewhere that FIP flid is usually around the lungs - not sure if that is right. I definitely feel much more positive.

Thank you so much once again for your help and advice, I was willing to give up and put him to sleep until I read you comments. THANK YOUx

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
Yes, the FIP fluid is usually around the lungs, free fluid inside the chest. I am glad your new vet does not think this is FIP. Let me know if I can help with anything else, and how he is doing. Kindly consider rating my answer (always appreciated!); you can still get back to me with questions and updates after rating. Rebecca
Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 13582
Experience: Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the great rating.

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