Last week, one of our team member’s noticed her four month-old kitten, Bagel, acting lethargic. She had already been taken to the vet a few weeks ago for a checkup, but when we saw her belly getting larger (without modifying her diet), we knew something was off. The kitten was taken to a new vet, who insisted on running blood and fecal tests immediately. As it turns out, Bagel was diagnosed with FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis). Neither of us had heard of this disease, but when we researched it online, we felt devastated.
For those of you who don’t know, FIP is a viral infection caused by a feline coronavirus. While it’s common for cats to get the virus (and fight it off), there is a rare possibility of mutation to occur, which is when it gets serious and becomes FIP. Once a cat has FIP, the outcome is almost never good. Thankfully, there may be a solution on the horizon. To learn more about FIP, including symptoms and risk factors, read here.
Although the initial prognosis wasn’t promising, we were not ready to give up. We got into contact with a vet that specializes in treating cats. They told us that there may be hope and to bring Bagel down immediately. We brought her down within the hour and that’s where we were introduced to FIPWarriors, a website dedicated to helping cat owners treat and cure their babies of FIP using GS. GS (GS-441524) is an experimental anti-viral drug given via shot or orally that can cure cats of FIP. According to the FAQ PDF (found on the website), kittens and cats should be treated for a minimum of 12 weeks, unless otherwise advised by a vet. After bringing Bagel home, we immediately got to work, contacting the site admins to get her started on GS. We are happy to report that she’s on her third nightly injection and while it’s still soon, Bagel appears to be doing better! (pictured below)
For our February donation, we wanted to give half to FIPWarriors to help cat owners afford treatment for their sick kitties and half to ZenByCat, an organization dedicated to raising awareness, researching, and fighting against FIP. We hope that with enough donations and community support, we can work to eradicate FIP.
If you have a cat that was recently diagnosed with FIP, please know that there is hope. Many cats have been cured of this terrible virus and are now living happy and healthy lives. Unfortunately, not every kitty wins the battle and FIPWarriors provides community support. Please go check out their website for information on treatment and more: https://fipwarriors.com/
Also, we want to continue fighting for this medication to be readily available to vets. For more information on how you can help, visit: https://www.zenbycat.org/
Please note, we are not medical experts and we are not giving any medical advice. The information discussed in this blog can be accessed by the public online. If you think your kitty may have FIP, please visit your vet immediately.