Saturday, 24 November 2012

Having a girl's look

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” J.R.R. Tolkien

The long words really get to me sometimes "Bovine dialyzable leukocyte extract"? Is that a nice name for bloody extract of squished cow? There seems to be a possibility of a scam in the supplements labelled 'transfer factors' - some FIP cats are getting
I think however there is legitimate research: As Prof Lipkin says - raw meat is full of goodies!
Bovine dialyzable leukocyte extract (bDLE) is a dialyzate of a heterogeneous mixture of low molecular weight substances released from disintegrated leukocytes of the blood or lymphoid tissue obtained from homogenized bovine spleen. bDLE is clinically effective for a broad spectrum of diseases. To determine whether bDLE improves survival and modulates the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine genes in LPS-induced, murine endotoxic shock, Balb/C mice were treated with bDLE (1 U) after pretreatment with LPS (17 mg/kg). The bDLE improved survival (90%), suppressed IL-10 and IL-6, and decreased IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-12p40 mRNA expression; and decreased the production of IL-10 (P<0.01), TNF-α (P<0.01), and IL-6 (P<0.01) in LPS-induced, murine endotoxic shock. Our results demonstrate that bDLE leads to improved survival in LPS-induced endotoxic shock in mice, modulating the pro-inflammatory cytokine gene expression, suggesting that bDLE is an effective therapeutic agent for inflammatory illnesses associated with an unbalanced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine genes such as in endotoxic shock, rheumatic arthritis and other diseases.

Hoping the ever helpful Dr Norris will comment soon. The amazing claims for some supplements are worse than hair product ads. It pays to be skeptical and do your due diligence though the horrible knowledge that FIP is a rapid disease means this is a real dilemma. In hindsight I would like to erase the two week delay popping homeopathic drops on an intermittently febrile cat while I tracked down and checked out feline interferon (FOI). Hence I hope this blog will be helpful to others in some way rather than just more to read and worry over.

A Miracle Kitten

"Every event which might claim to be a miracle is, in the last resort, something presented to our senses, something seen heard touched smelled or tasted." ~
C. S. Lewis

Carol Drymon of Windhaven Exotics was given some of the first Polyprenyl Immunostimulant as part of the initial field trials. The vet who introduced her to PI is Meredith Beard DVM. The kitten dubbed  "Miracle" who had a presumptive diagnosis of wet FIP in 2009 is still alive and well as of April 2013 Carol tells me Miracle is living in San Diego now in a loving home. I hope to get a picture sometime :)
"The most astonishing event during my use of the PI to this date, was with a six week old F6 Savannah kitten born September 1st, 2009 that had the wet form of Feline Infectious Peritonitis, FIP. Her full sister had been put to sleep shortly after starting the PI protocol (because of confirmed FIP). This kitten’s abdomen was extremely swollen and she was becoming very lethargic and ill. At the veterinarian’s, she was diagnosed by Dr. Beard as having wet FIP after a tummy tap that withdrew the typical yellow viscous fluid that FIP is known for.

I decided to give her a chance with the PI. I kept this kitten (now named Miracle) on the PI, even after the prescribed two week protocol time period had ended. After the first five weeks, there was a noticeable reduction in the swelling of her abdomen. She was eating starting to play again, too. After two months, the swelling was almost gone and the kitten was gaining weight and began to appear more normal in her body, even though she was still only half the size of her four other siblings. I continued with the PI, adjusting the dose as she grew, and she was growing. After January 2010, I was only giving her the PI every other day, the dose being given was according to her weight. She was acting normal. She looked normal. She was never sick and was playing with other kittens in one of the big kitten rooms.

To date, Miracle is no longer on the PI. She has grown considerably, although she is still slightly on the small side, and she is extremely healthy. As far as I’m concerned, her wet FIP was cured by the use of PI."
You can read Carol's complete article on PI with Miracle's story here 
Originally appearing in Bengal's Illustrated - back issue available

Perhaps the criteria used for diagnosis of wet FIP were not 'hard' enough for Miracle to make the Sass and Sass "PI Hall of Fame" FIP survivors page - whatever the reason I was only given this information after begging for a trial of PI on facebook FIP fighters page. Prior to that we were continually reminded that PI was ineffectual for wet FIP.

Where iz my cheezeburger?

 " A great many things in my life would be different if only I could open the door to the refrigerator. "~ Henri, le chat noir


 Grains and carnivores - not a happy mix

It is nice to have Mishka back to normal - hunting around the house in the wee hours for snacks ... bang bang bang at 4 am opening cupboards, finding her in a pile of kibble ....

oh crap - waiting for the sound of puking
She was vomiting again on tuesday evening / wed morning. Perhaps it was a bit of plastic from chomping into the loaf of fruit bread on the bench, or the bread itself.  Thankfully settled by midday but for many hours I thought it was all over though she is stronger; still playing with me after 4 chucks! took five to take her down a bit, and she remained well hydrated. Previously one or two chucks made her a limp fur rag. She was examined and cleared by our vet for continued treatment, so drained again wed pm and perked up straight way as usual - so we put it down to scoffing kibble accidentally left out for the other cat on top of the illicit snacks. We are not serving even a  mouthful of this junk food even as a treat anymore though she does miss it since Friskies Indoor was all she ever ate when she came to us.

Mishka wasn't particularly fippy belly leading up to the vomiting so it caught me by surprise. Might be magical thinking but let's pretend the fluid is slowing down marginally. After a week we only drained 465 mls. The time before we took off that much after only five days. No hairball has come up, and also no grass yet even though she has also scoffed her nommy new wheatgrass today which astonishingly seemed to make her feel better almost immediately.

Firstly i stopped the curcumin and pentoxifylline cream since they can both upset the tummy with no difference in Mishka's constitution except she is happier ( the pentoxi cream was was getting increasingly unsettling applied even just twice daily instead of the required three. i wasn't going to renew the prescription as it hasn't made huge inroads into her disease for the emotional cost - just tried replacing it with curcumin as the anti-inflammatory. We haven't missed the prednisolone.

Curcumin extract suggested by a friend was originally rejected because i thought it would be hard to dose ( not true ~ she likes the flavour or ignores it but it stains fur pink! ) and I have read it may be immune suppressive although possibly in away that is ok For starters it hammers the TH1 and TH2 systems even handedly 
Too many long words - waiting on comment by Dr Norris. We can't get Thorne brand Curcuvet in australia but herbs of gold sell an easy to get product containing the same bioavailable Meriva extract Thorne uses.

And still waaaiting for the customs clearance to get PI - come on Santa!

Ebony and Ivory

"I have no opposable thumbs but I oppose everything." ~ Henri, le chat noir

William Braden of Seattle has a successful series of faux french short films featuring the moody tuxedo Henri and his white housemate only known as l'Imbicile Blanc - two yin yang cats who present his philosophies from a catseye view such as this vet visit -

which got me to thinking if Mishka ever gets as world weary as Henri we will be pulling the plug, but right now she's easily pleased -sunshine, noms, a quite place to nap, perhaps an exciting bit of string or a paperclip.

Our own yin yang pair of cats are equally complementary; the dark tortie 'first ladycat' Tish ~ a moggie who hasn't seen a vet in over a decade and prefers raw meat, preferably hunted down by herself is 19 while the unfortunate fippy blond birman Mishka is just 2.

Our years of experience with Tish in no way prepared us for pedigreed princess Mishka - canned fish addict and hairball hoarder. Apparently moving home, dumping flea powder and worm medicine into Tish who can outgun a copperhead snake does not stress her system to breaking point. She greets all our visitors with graceful purring but ...

Mishka is freaked by new people and funny smells. For her to have come this far with treatment is a testament to her underlying pluck - the inner snow leopard in our little fluffball.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Christmas Wish for Mishka

"Has The Cat been a good The Cat? That is the question...." ~ Tummymountain 

Oh I so think she has! Do visit the Tummymountain link - i didn't want to steal their picture of cat's wishes - it is heartmeltingly cute and accurate.

Cats live in the moment so Mishka's not counting sleeps to Christmas and neither is she stressed out waiting for the latest wonder drug that might help her win out over FIP ... but I am! We are waiting on PI - the Polyprenyl  immunostimulant (which we were told doesn't work for wet FIP) we now know has apparently cured one cat named Miracle, and an enzyme preparation called Serapeptase. Pray customs have some xmas spirit though they are not noted for it :(

and we have reached the end of the financial tether - actually i think we passed that redflag months ago but apparently cats are colour blind. If you were thinking of sending me a christmas card save a tree, if you were going to take me out for a cup or coffee and cake, save my aching joints by hitting the donate button below instead - paypal doesn't take much off it and they are secure.

Just by donating $5 you can help Mishka pave the path for other FIP cats with experimental treatment. Dr Norris Associate Professor in Veterinary Microbiology SYdney University says PI is definitely worth a try in Mishka - 3 months survival is a very good result so far. Mishka has the rarest and most advanced sort of fip affecting both lungs and abdomen. PI is only available in america and its use for FIP is considered 'off label'. We can raise a few extra hundred to also set up a stockpile of PI for rapid response for australian cats. The drug's price is quadrupled by taxes and customs forms which have to be purchased each time the PI is ordered so if can spread this out it over one big order this helps and importantly avoids delays in treatment which are fatal for FIP cats. If you are going to treat FIP do it early. Viruses multiply by doubling - do the scary math. Dr Norris is importing two boxes with her own money.

Once protocols for treatment are established through trial and error the survival rate goes up - it's not just all about double blind research studies. Sick cats like Mishka also just have to do the hard yards of the learning curve in the early days.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Lessons from Dr. Lipkin

"SARS was contained not because of a drug or vaccine but because we identified people who were infected or at risk, and we isolated them." ~ Prof Ian Lipkin MD

"When DISCOVER features editor Pamela Weintraub interviewed Lipkin last year, his dog, Koprowski was desperately sick. Lipkin had a treatment plan: not an antiviral drug or chemotherapy, but red meat. “It has antibiotics, it has growth hormone, it has everything"
Ian Lipkin is a virus hunter who was instrumental in helping China get control of SARS beginning with easy low tech things like soap and water for handwashing. He treated one of the first cases of AIDS successfully for a while with the new but existing technique of plasmapharesis to remove the antibody complexes that were causing his patients neurological symptoms.

Let's follow Lipkins lead and treat FIP with these things. Raw meat Mishka wont eat so until i can get hold of raw goats milk shes happily eating a kitty powershake - undenatured whey and colostrum powders, a teaspoon of each mixed with a teasoon of water daily, and raw egg yolk - yum!

FIP shares some similarities with SARS they are both corona viruses, and AIDS a disease of marked immune dysfunction.

Here's Mishka - Half the cat she was. She's leaking about 100 mls of fluid and protein a day into her peritoneum from damaged blood vessels - if we opened her belly up we would see little lumps called granulomas everwhere as the body tries unsuccessfully to destroy diseased cells that are nestled in the tissues like splinters. Collateral damage inflames the blood vessels - so far everything we have tried has not stopped this.
I have to wonder if plasmapharesis would have any success - UC Davis uses it for dogs with myesthenia gravis just as it is used in humans with this disease which inspired Lipkins AIDS treatment.