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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 25208
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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Swollen stomach Temperature 40+ Difficulty in standing up

Customer Question

Swollen stomach
Temperature 40+
Difficulty in standing up
Watery eyes
Lethargic
Swollen larynx
No stools for 3 days
Loss of appetite
Currently on IV as urine is very concentrated
Urine & blood tests have so far drawn a blank
Bacteria has been sent for analysis to establish what virus it may be but test results may take too long to return
6 month old female kitten - neutered one month ago - fully vaccinated
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Cat
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
She has also vomited today
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
She is drinking a lot of water
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
On Friday she was very lethargic & was taken to the vets - they said if shes eating ok over the next 2-3 days it is nothing & sent her home
Whilst her new owners were driving her home they noticed she now had a fever & took her to a different vet that they were close to & her temp was 41 so they gave her injections & she went home
Saturday she was walking like she's was drunk & owner rushed her to the vets thinking she had overdosed on meds from the previous day
She has been involved the vets ever since
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
in* the vets
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this Thea. "Swollen stomach" is the clue not to be ignored. Has the swelling been shown to be the result of an abdominal effusion - free fluid in the abdominal space? If so, the wet form of the FIP virus is the most important differential diagnosis. Fluid would need to be aspirated and sent to our pathogist for analysis of the cells within it and its physical qualities.

Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 25208
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
Dr. Michael Salkin and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
My first thought was FIP too - the family that adopted her on 11th September are 2 1/2hrs away and are frustrated that their vet hasnt been able to pin point what is wrong and be able to treat her correctly. They mentioned that the vet has tested her for a virus passed from mum to offspring and it was negative - is there a snap test available for FIP that they may have used? I Will ask them to speak to their vet tomo & see if they can test as you have described to rule FIP in or out.
Is it true that FIP is not necessarily passed on throughout the litter? She has two brothers and two sisters. They were born as feral kittens and I have fostered them from 5 weeks old until they were rehomed. They were initially kept seperate in my yard and have been socialising with my 7 house cats since they were 3 months old. Would you suggest that everyone is tested to establish if they are carriers or FIP positive (and what stage)?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

No, in fact, testing for FIP is problematic. There's no "FIP test". We use titers, the complete blood count, and the signalment (symptoms) of our patient to paint a picture. The wet form is easier to diagnose. We can use the fluid in the abdomen to test for feline coronavirus antigen by immunofluorescence within macrophages - the only manner in which to confirm FIP in the live patient.

Correct, only in the most extreme cases do we see horizontal spread of this virus (from cat to cat). In the great majority of cases, FIP arises as a mutation in the ordinarily well-tolerated coronavirus. The genetic predisposition to suffer this mutation can be passed to offspring, however.

I don't recommend testing. Titers against coronavirus tell us next to nothing. All cats in many populations of cats will test positive for this virus.

Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I know it's touch and go with FIP but without actually seeing the results is there a course of treatment that you would normally try? Any literature that you would recommend for the vets to read if they are not ofay with the treatment of FIP? We live in Cyprus.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

No, while prednisone might extend the life of some cats for a few weeks/months, this virus is invariably fatal. The vets need only google FIP virus and look for veterinary school publications rather than lay forums.

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