Friday, January 16, 2015

FIP Myths and Mysteries/Cat Skills Book Review and Giveaway

As promised, today we're featuring Part 2 of our guest blog by author Leslie Goodwin. Following FIP Myths and Mysteries and a bibliography with links where you can find additional information, you will have a chance to win a copy of her book, CAT SKILLS: Loving Care for Cats.



FIP Myths and Mysteries 
by Leslie Goodwin

Feline Infectious Peritonitis has only been identified since 1967 and because of the two types and its relative rarity, FIP remains shrouded in mystery and myth. Here are some of the most common misconceptions:

Myth number # 1: Testing my cat for corona virus titers will diagnose FIP: WRONG. If your vet suspects your cat has FIP, don't waste your money on a corona virus antibodies titer test. Ask for bloodwork instead. About 80% of cats will test positive for antibodies to corona virus but may never become ill with FIP. FIP happens when the virus mutates. It is most likely to mutate when a cat is under extreme stress like being in a shelter, after surgery, in a new home, or when they stray. Testing for corona virus titers can support a diagnosis because a cat with no corona virus titers cannot have FIP.

Myth number #2: FIP is contagious. My other cats will catch it. Despite its name, FIP isn't contagious...exposure to the corona virus, however, can be spread, passing in feces dust when cats track it from litter boxes and then lick it off while grooming. You can test the feces for presence of corona virus if you want to know if a cat is shedding virus. Some cats shed virus constantly, others for a time period after being exposed and some never shed. There is no hard and fast rule on virus shedding. But after a cat dies of FIP, it is recommended to disinfect all boxes and discard used litter and vacuum the entire house and wait to bring in a new cat for at least 8 weeks, while the virus is still viable. Again, just because your cat lived with an FIP cat does not mean your cat will get sick.

Myth number #3: FIP is genetic and all related cats will also get FIP. Not necessarily. A genetic tie is not proven yet...though some researchers believe it does run in families and some believe it is passed by the father of the kittens. However, purebred cats coming from catteries or cats who live in multiple cat households or shelters and are exposed at a young age to many others are more likely to be exposed to the virus and thus...at more risk of developing FIP if the virus mutates.

Myth number #4: There is a vaccination against FIP. Wrong. No effective vaccine is available.

Myth number #5: FIP can be diagnosed from a fecal test. No way. A fecal test for corona virus will only show that a cat is shedding virus.

Some female kittens are diagnosed with FIP during spay surgeries when vets observe damage to organs or lymph nodes. In one case I know, the vet could remove the infected lymph nodes and with supportive therapy, save the kitten's life. She is the subject of a study soon to be published. She has survived for three years so far being treated with Polyprenyl Immunostimulant and shows no sign of disease. Her recent blood work is normal. She had the dry type. She may be the only case of her kind.

It's rare for any cat to survive FIP. There are some palliative treatments and a few drugs to experiment with but no cure. Cats are usually given prednisone which will improve their appetite and quality of life. Vets can extract the belly fluid and give the cat Lasix to make him more comfortable. The two drugs used are Polyprenyl Immunostimulant and Feline Omega Interferon. PI is also used effectively to boost the immune system to treat feline Herpes. FOI is not readily available in the US. Human grade interferon has also been used but is not considered as effective. PI treats the dry type only.

Since I have been researching the disease and communicating with dozens of victims on the support site, I personally know of only one cat with wet FIP who survived for more than seven months. He lived for three years on daily doses of FOI. Drugs might be more effective if we could get diagnose cats sooner...the challenge with FIP is the speed at which it kills...usually within two weeks of being diagnosed. Still, a new Facebook group of FIP survivors was just formed and some researchers believe that FIP may someday become a chronic condition that can be managed. ©2015 Leslie Goodwin, author of CAT SKILLS: Loving Care for Cats

Links to learn more about FIP:

http://www.abcd-vets.org/fact_sheets/English/EN_FIP_Feline_infectious_peritonitis.pdf
http://dr-addie.com/downloads/FIPdiagnosisflowchart.pdf
http://dr-addie.com/WhatIsFIP.htm
http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2013/06/discovery-offers-hope-against-deadly-cat-virus

Book: Feline Infectious Peritonitis and Coronavirus, everything a cat owners needs to know by Dr. Diane D. Addie

Yahoo Support Group:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FIP_Support/info
FIP Fighters on Facebook

Info on PI: http://www.vetimmune.com/go/

To support research/ Bria Fund http://www.briafundsupporters.com/

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Blurb: Whether you've just adopted your first kitten or you've loved cats forever, you'll savor this inspiring guide to living happily ever after with a cat. Veterinarians, humane society experts and cat lovers share wisdom to keep your cats happy and healthy for a good long time...there's even a road map to the confusing cat food jungle. Heartwarming, funny and sometimes poignant, even highly technical topics like feeding are thoughtfully and thoroughly examined. A wealth of information at hand: Troubleshooting, Toxins, Poisons and Dangers, FAQ's and a Catalog of web resources. You'll even find money-saving tips that will pay for this book twice over. Your purchase helps fund research for a deadly, incurable cat disease called F.I.P., Feline infectious Peritonitis.

SPECIAL BULK DISCOUNTS on the paperback for animal shelters. You can include it in your adoption packets or sell in your gift store!

Tortie Shorties
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!

Whether you are a lifelong cat owner like me or experiencing the joy of being owned by a feline for the very first time, I guarantee that you will find this book to be a wealth of information that will enable you to be the best pet parent you can be. It is incredibly well-researched but not at all dull like so many pet care books. (The section on nutrition and what to look for on cat food labels alone is invaluable.) It's written in a conversational style and infused with fun cat quotes and illustrations. Did you know that there are certain words ("passwords") that most cats will respond to? Have you ever considered how cats are like the French and dogs resemble Americans? Every cat deserves the best life possible and this book gives cat lovers tons of extra tips and tricks to help make that happen!

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, January 23rd for your chance to win a paperback copy of CAT SKILLS: Loving Care for Cats. (US entries only, please.)

23 comments:

  1. Thank you for all the information on FIP. I'm so glad that research is being done to try to help make it possible for kitties to live longer with this disease.

    The book sounds great; I'd love to win a copy to read!

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  2. FIP is a horrible disease. But thanks for this info that clears up those myths about it. Cat Skills sounds like a great book.

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  3. we hope some day there is a way to keep cats from dying from this stupid disease..... it sounds like a great book

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  4. What a lot of good information in such a short article. Thanks so much!

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  5. Thank you, Melissa and Leslie! I certainly learned things about FIP I didn't know. The book sounds wonderful and I know anything I can learn, to give my cats the best life possible, is important!

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  6. Wonderful and informative article and the book would be a treasure. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  7. I can only hope that one day a vaccine will be discovered to help wipe out FIP.

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  8. Thanks for this giveaway and the great information. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. I would love a copy of this books...sounds perfect for me!

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  10. Melissa's readers are pawesome! Thanks for commenting, sharing and for all that you do for cats! Thank you Melissa! Leslie Goodwin

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  11. Excellent post! Thank you for sharing this. There are many myths surrounding FIP and that makes it even scarier. We are glad to hear there is ongoing research.

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  12. Sounds like a book every cat parent should have. The FIP information was well done, I hope to never need it though.

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  13. Wonderful post - we have 4 cats so it was very informative.

    brookeb811 at gmail dot com

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  14. This is a terrific post! There are so many myths and misconceptions about FIP. Thank you for helping get the truth out!

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  15. Very good information about FIP ! Purrs

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  16. I enjoyed part II. I learned a lot about FIP.
    There is also another killer of cats and kittens too. Heart worm. I was surprised at the number of cats and kittens that have been infected.

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  17. Everyone needs more Cat Skills. Including Mommy!
    Thank you for the FIP info. I'm sure a lot of 'dopters would benefit from this info!

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  18. Good luck to everyone who has shared and commented. You are entered to win a free copy! To sign up to comment go to the bottom and click where it says Subscribe to post comments.

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  19. What a wonderful book! Thanks so much for sharing it!!! We will have to get a copy.

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  20. actually there is an FIP vaccine and there has been for many years. absolutely NO ONE recommends giving it though and why they still make it I have no idea.. but it is out there.

    eight weeks after the death of an FIP diagnosed cat? why? only the corona virus sheds, and most cats have been exposed to it.. once it mutates it does not shed, so it can not infect another cat. Proper disinfection is always a good idea, but eight weeks seems a little excessive. I had six cats when my cat died of FIP and all of my remaining cats were fine.

    I find the instance of the kitty diagnosed with being spayed very interesting fascinating that she was healthy enough to undergo surgery with a diagnosable case of FIP.. the timing must have been incredible.

    So far the ONLY way to properly diagnose FIP is through biopsy.. and most cats are not healthy enough for that so it is done via the necropsy once the cat has passed. Vets still speculate that FIP can be diagnosed another way, but all of the experts say no.. it is such a reclusive diagnosis and one where if the vet doesn't have much of an imagination they can end up at far sooner than someone who is willing to think outside the box. I always tell people if you get a diagnosis of FIP, run for a second opinion.. it very well could be something else that IS treatable..

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