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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 22616
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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my cat has a diagnosis of FIP yet test is not yet backHe

Customer Question

my cat has a diagnosis of FIP yet test is not yet back He is still eating, drinking, doing his business, and is alert. he is on a drip in the vets on furosomide and his abdomen has reduced its fluid. he has been eating cat litter in the past few weeks could this be the cause I am desperate as i had to take him 17 miles for the weekend to be cared for by the joint practice as there were no vets available in my practice he spoke to me all the way - not crying - I know his language could this be anything other than fip as he does not seem to be displaying most of the symptoms? Thank You Andrea

his temperature on Friday when i last saw him was 60   is that normal?

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 with your wee one today.

Are you sure that was his temperature (as that is not a number we'd see in either fahrenheit or celsius)?

Has any of his test results come back?

Did his vet tap his abdomen to see what the fluid looked like?

Can you tell me what it looked like?

Just to confirm, Wilbur's current signs are eating cat litter and a distended belly with fluid?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

milky fluid on test which was sent away

i just saw 60 on the temperature chart

he is very dehydrated

sorry i sound so confused i am desperate

thank you


Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Andrea,

No worries on sounding confused, I know this will be very stressful for you and I do thank you for that additional information. I will now reply to this information you have given, but if you have any more questions, just click reply and we can keep discussing this.

Now I think that was a misreading on your part, as 60 is not a temperature that is consistent with cat life. For Fahrenheit, the normal temperature is 100.5-102.5 and for Celsius its 37.8 to 39 degrees. So, as you can see, this just doesn't fit. It is also too low for a heart rate. And while it is twice the normal respiratory rate for cats, I would expect him to be in respiratory distress, panting, and potentially on oxygen if that was his breathing rate. So, it is hard to decipher what that 60 was referencing.

Otherwise, we can consider that fluid that was tapped. FIP is just one differential if you have abdominal fluid. That said, if the fluid was milky, I wouldn't have FIP on the top of my list here (especially as it tends to cause a yellow, sticky, clear fluid when it arises). Instead, milky fluid would raise concerns of lymphatic disease (if a lymphatic duct has ruptured), bacterial infection (since infection will often cause an opaque white/yellow fluid), some tumors (ie lymphoma, caricnomas, etc), and heart disease (where late stage heart disease can cause a change from the usual clear fluid to a milky one). As well, if the fluid is in the chest as well, we can see this with lung tumors.

Now if they have sent samples away for analysis, hopefully the fluid is going to be examined as well as any bloods (they usually do). The reason this is important is because even if the sample is not suggestive of FIP, it will be analyzed to give you an idea of what is present. This means they will be able to rule out if it is bacterial or cancer induced fluid (based on the cells in the fluid that are seen). Furthermore, as they compare the blood and fluid fat levels (triglycerides, cholesterol), they will be able to confirm if this is a lymphatic based issue.

Further to all of this, you may want to speak to the vets about possibly ultrasounding Wilbur. They can scan his chest to rule out late stage heart disease and potentially check for tumors lurking there. As well, they can also scan his abdomen to check for any tumors there (and this would be a better option then xray if we have fluid in the belly, as this will obstruct the xray from seeing the organs). Of course, which to do would be based on what other findings they may have found when examining him (ie heart murmur, mass, enlarged organs, etc).

Overall, based on his age and your history alone, FIP doesn't quite fit with what Wilbur is suffering with. So, while the test is pending, we do want to make sure that the fluid is analyzed to identify what type it is and whether there are any tell tale cells. Furthermore, it would be worth discussing a heart or abdominal scan to help pinpoint which of these other causes are potentially causing these signs.

I hope this information is helpful.

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

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have had a horrible day I went to fetch Wilbur from where he was in a vets 17 miles away

he has suddenly become very flat and stopped eating.

on the way home i had an accident in the car cos i thought he had stopped breathing and hit a kerb, into a bush and shattered tyre which meant he was off his drip for well over an hour

still no news on the test and i want to bring him home until there is as they dont seem to be able to do much for him at the vets any more than i can

If he comes off the drip will he become ill quicker or can i feed him water with a syringe just so he can come home to familiar surroundings as he did respond to me on the way home

Thank you

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
Dear *****,

That sounds absolutely terrible, I do hope that neither of you were injured in the car accident. In regards ***** ***** him home, do speak to his vet about this. While oral hydration would be difficult (often cats aren't amenable and we'd want them to be having at least 48ml per kilogram as a daily requirement, and more if they are dehydrated), they may be able to just give him a dose of fluids under the skin (subcutaneously) to keep him stable for you at home until the results are back.

As well, they could treat him with anti-nausea medication +/- appetite stimulation medication to encourage him to eat once he is home (not to mention he may feel more inclined to eat if he was at home with you). So, as long as he isn't on something absolutely critical (like oxygen), then do speak to them about having Wilbur home with outpatient care while awaiting results so that you can spend some quality time together until you have an answer from the lab.

Take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i am devastated
my poor beautiul golden ginger boy Wilbur died in the early hours of yesterday morning possibly just a half hour before the vets arrived for the day - he was still warm.

He was on a drip of vit b, glucose, steroids and two other things i forget and i was told i could not manage it at home.

he was crying/moaning for the two hours that i spent with him on monday evening and i will never forgive myself for leaving him

i am so upset in addition that the test came through today as negative - but was told it could be a false negative and they were treating him for any other possibilities.

What does false negative mean and if i had taken him in two days earlier and had the test sooner what could they have treated him for otherwise

the fluid was not milky as i said earlier but thick and yellow.

thank you

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
Dear *****,

I am so sorry to hear that Wilbur passed away. If the fluid was thick and yellow afterall, then as we discussed before that would raise concern of FIP (or liver based issues or cancer). Now in regards ***** ***** positives, these are possible to see in severe cases of FIP. This occurs not because the cat doesn't have the virus, but because they have so much virus that it binds the antibodies in the blood/fluid (what the test checks for and measures). And if these are bound, then the tests will come out negative despite the cat being terribly affected with this virus. So, it is quite possible to see but the only way to confirm this disease for these cases would be to have him sent for autopsy (and his tissues tested for virus via immunohistochemsitry).

Again Andrea, I am so very sorry to hear that poor Wilbur may have succumb to FIP. I know this will be heart breaking but please do know that you have done everything you could for him. And please do take comfort in all those great memories and times you shared with him and not just this sad moment in time.

Please take care,
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much for the time you spent advising me

I do appreciate it.

We buried Wilbur today and my heart feels empty - but I must think of all of those lovely memories and not let this evil disease block them out

Thank you


Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
As always, you are very welcome.

I know it will certainly feel like a void having lost him so abruptly, it is never easy. Still please know that you gave him a great life and did absolutely all you could for him. And I am sure that he was as happy to be your kitty as you were to have him in your life.

Take care,
Dr. B.