Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Tomten might not have FIP

Goodnews/badnews update from Cassie nearly a year after Tomten was diagnosed with dry FIP and put onto interferon highlighting the difficulty with diagnosis:

"Tomten is hanging in there. I gave him the last of my interferon on Thursday night and now I am in a waiting game for the shipment to arrive from UK. I am praying it will be here on Monday. I injected him last week on Thursday, then Sunday then Thursday again. Just like last year after an injection he clearly responds for a few days so I am anxious to get him back on an every other day regimen. By Wednesday of this week he was spending all of his time in his favorite cat bed only getting up to use the litter box. He is eating but was being fed with "room service" several small amounts a day. After we injected him... he woke up at 3:30 am and got into bed with us. Friday am he woke up and followed me down to the kitchen to eat his breakfast. Last night he cuddled downstairs on my lap and even carried his favorite toy around for a few minutes.... its amazing to see his response after the injection so now we just have to pray we get the interferon quick!

On another positive note.. Dr. Ratti connected with Dr. Addie and shared Tomten's history... Dr. Addie doesn't think its FIP but has suggested another lymph node PCR biopsy but this time using a lab in California with a researcher who is has a lot of experience with FIP. Dr. Ratti is beginning to wonder if he could have a foreign body lodged in his intestine which could be causing the granuloma.. Here is to hoping we get the interferon fast and its not FIP."

just click the cloud button for the other posts about Tomten.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Tomten's Birthday

"...for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one." ~ Einstein on the death of his friend Besso

Just wanted to drop a note to say that Tomten & Gizmo celebrated their 6th birthday last week! Yeah! Happy Birthday Tomten & Gizmo! For those of you who are newly diagnosed and feeling at a total loss. I wanted to share that bit of news. Tomten was diagnosed July 1st 2012 with dry FIP. He has been on the feline interferon and pred ever since. While he has his good days (totally normal mischievous Devon Rex) and his slow days (sleeps all day and scares us to death) his quality of life seems good. We never thought we would see this birthday so we celebrated with a nice long walk outside on his leash, a can of tuna fish, and plenty of cat nip! I don't know how long he has but we treasure each day! Thanks to everyone who helped him see this birthday! ~ Cassie (details of treatment here )

Many happy returns to Tomten and his littermate Gizmo (who doesn't have FIP)! Cassie is so thoughtfully posting his updates to keep our spirits up  as we watch the steady stream of kittens dying from FIP on the FIP fighters facebook community.
This month Mihoshi Barner - the little Ferret with FIP who has been on PI for over a year, passed away leaving a very sad owner behind. Ferrets do not live as long as cats so in ferret years I wonder how old he was? Mishka was 27 in accelerated cat time when she died, which is some sort of cold comfort. Tomten and Gizmo are the equivalent of 41 human years old wow, nearly middle aged by the catyears calculator ( in the right column menu overthere ) - no wonder he's catnapping all day. Hiphip hooray! Kill Da virus!
Gizmo on left Tomten on right

Sunday, 19 May 2013


The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious of the rose – Kahlil Gibran

Is this cat very unlucky or very lucky? She's got wet FIP but it's been found early and treated with PI and she remains well. 
Bella ticks some typical boxes for FIP - she's young, she's Birman, a breed predisposed through inbreeding depression to FIP, she got sick after a major stress - neutering. Interestingly she had false positive testing for FeLV before this which turned negative some months later. After spaying her omentum had balled up on her bladder and had to be removed. Abnormal looking lymphnodes biopsied at that time were reported as FIP "confirmed with immunohistochemical stains – which is about as solid a diagnosis as we ever get for this disease."
Bella's facebook page - alive and well feb 2017 long may she purr!

Fortunately her vet Dr. Tracey Gillespie, internist at Indianapolis Veterinary Referral, knew of the Polyprenyl trial. She wrote to Dr. Legendre and Bella was allowed to start treatment in mid-March 2012 although she didn't qualify to be a formal study cat, her young age and lack of clinical signs of the wet form of the disease made her a good candidate for treatment. Mishka was knocked back when I originally asked a few weeks after diagnosis - should I be cross about that since she responded later when the drug went on sale? I guess they had some regulatory problems prohibiting sales, and limited funds but I would have made a donation.  
 "She adores clucking at birds, chewing all manner of plastic and paper, fishing for pellets out of the dog food bag, and of course flaunting her natural beauty." Although she remains largely asymptomatic her Mum Sue is guarded about the prognosis (and somewhat worried the chewing obsession is another genetic oddity):

" She is doing well right now but we know this is simply remission or suppression of the disease which has no cure. We focus on letting her enjoy every moment of being a cat. Her alternative was being put down by the breeder if we returned her. We noticed that she does have more energy and seems perkier after PI treatment. Not that she needs much more energy leaping for feather wands."

There's a bit of question mark about the chewing fetish Bella has for fuzzy things being a genetic problem as well.
I can only pray since FIP was caught early she follows Miracle's outcome. Miracle was not positively diagnosed but she was sicker, and is alive and well. Another Birmilla I am following in Australia has a similar early diagnosis from exploratory surgery; Leo is on feline interferon and a low dose of PI. 

Update feb 2017 Bella is still kicking on! please see her facebook page which was created sometime after i first wrote this post.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013


Tam is a beautiful "Neva Masquerade" or "Colour Point Siberian" who is currently in remission from possible wet FIP (lung) living in France with Virginie. At the end of January 2013  6 month old Tam was diagnosed by her regular vets with wet FIP.  FIP specialist Dr Addie is in France and she is also consulting on the case.
Tam had trouble breathing and a high fever up fever up to 40°C. Her lungs were full of filthy lemon yellow liquid drained twice in 3 days. Amazingly she responded rapidly to antibiotics and prednisone, looking quite well by day 5, and perfectly healthy by day 18.  As you can see Tam is still a picture of health and beauty in April.
Happy May 1st ("Lily-of-the-valley" day for us in France) from Tam!
As usual poor Virginie went through the terrible agony of despair and uncertainty of how to proceed surrounding a diagnosis of FIP which I hope to help ease by chronicling some cases. There are some differences in Tam's presentation to Mishka's which I'll list later.

The Siberian is one of the 3 forest cat breeds that were originally wild breeds from Russia. From Tam's case I have also learned of the new Russian drug Skulachev ions (Visomitin, SkQ1)and eventually also found exemplary breeders Forest Wind who provide a 10 year genetic health guarantee including for FIP! (See breeders database for contact details.) Tam had four and a half shots of Feline Omega Interferon,  a lot of raw beef and is on two drops daily of "Skulachev ions" which are a targeted mitochondrial antioxidant currently used for human eye diseases in Russia. (A similar item Mitoquinone is more frivolously applied to the face to cure wrinkles by the New Zealanders. The lower regulatory hurdles for cosmetics allow the fast tracking i suppose.) Her latest blood tests show significant drop of the AGP level ( a non-specific marker of inflammation raised with infection) compared to 3 months ago.
Virginie tells her story:
Tam, a female 6 months-old kitten is healthy, but little bit more tired as usual. Breath seems heavy. 10 pm, we're trying to think this could wait open hours, but no, something is not right, we went to vet emergency : fever is there, and liquid in chest too.
the day after (saturday), x-rays confirmed the pleural effusion. On Monday (day + 3), we sent blood and pleural liquid to the Vet. University of Glasgow for a FIP profile.
Results are "clear" : for my vets, FIP is confirmed. So prednisolone + antibiotics in routine treatment for supporting the kitten.

Last week X-rays (day + 10) shown improvement : liquid is still there, but far reduced.
At day+18, Tam is as healthy as a kitten could be, ... running in the garden, purring on our laps, eating a lot, fighting with our 6 others cats (all have been coronavirus tested, and are negative to mild-loaded).

We are waiting to start feline interferon treatment (the bottle is ordered)
Or is it something else as FIP-cats are not likely to run the way she is (according to other breeders I asked for advices) ???
There was no bacterial culture of the effusion sample sent to Glasgow University for a FIP profile as suggested in the comments of the lab report so some question marks remain as to whether she had a bacterial infection since there was a high white cell count seen. Dr. Diane Addie has slight reservations about the diagnosis of wet FIP (perhaps based on Tam's speedy response to antibiotics and prednisone?) Tam's own vets are sure what they saw in January was a kitten with wet FIP.  "at that time, we were convinced it was FIP and no hope left, we didn't ask [for the culture]. Later when Tam was so well, it was too late : no more liquid remained (no more in Glasgow, and no more in Tam's lungs !)" The vets nicked a vein when drawing off the effusion, so Virginie says a little bit of blood may be the cause of the high cell count but personally I have reservations about the logic. Looking at it the white cell count seems too high compared to the red to be from simple contamination. Also really if they were so sure it was FIP then why send off an effusion sample all the way to another country for an expensive test? and furthermore especially  on a tight budget wouldn't it make more sense to go for the bacterial culture because you'd have a fighting chance of a good outcome if you treated for it? They gave Tam antibiotics for FIP - I'd think they'd want to be sure it was the right one, or is that just the standard response for a cat with a fever? Mishka had the high fever and mild cold like illness months before she got fluid in the lung (and belly.) At that stage there was nothing to culture except perhaps a straight blood sample. She spent a night at the vet's and was given a shot of a long acting antibiotic.  Months later when she presented like Tam with a day's worth of extreme difficulty breathing the vet drained the chest urgently - it was a transparent fluid amber tinged with blood from the needle. She analysed Mishka's effusion sample in house for cells and protein. Based on that excluded infection - she didn't request the sample be sent for further testing.

From what I can gather Tam only had 4 and a half doses of interferon beginning mid February spaced a week apart starting before being pronounced "in remission". Although Virginie says her vet is following the Isheda protocol it doesn't sound like it to me as that protocol begins with second daily injections. She wrote: 
March 16 Thanks. By now, Tam is still perfectly well. She received her 4th weekly interferon injection last saturday. Dr Addie adviced to continue interferons once a week ; but my vets told the published use of interferon is only 4 injections, and preferred to stop the interferons, to re-do a series in few months if needed. I really don't know what to do !!!
nothing has been published yet on the use of interferons in FIP cases : the manager knows about Dr Addie and Dr Jacqui's work, but as nothing has been validated, and against the lab commercial interests, she advised my vet not to continue interferon (because Tam is asymptomatic ; she is "completely OK", no sign at all of any FIP matter), and to re-do if needed later.
March 20 I was in touch with Diane Addie (I'm currently trying to translate the fip-book in French) ; the problem is that cases of remission already happened in the past without any interferons - and failures with interferons too : so it is difficult to affirm that interferons are really the key.
I read about Ishida and german study. I guess interferons may help, but just help, not cure.
I also have to take in account that going to the vet weekly is a trial for Tam : this will not help her, for sure (as soon as she sees the crate Tam is hiding deeply, running into a rush - she really suffers to go to the vet, I think she had a bad experience during her transport from her board cattery to my home, and it is not the time to re-educate her right now).

Money is not really the problem: I want to be sure this would be really useful.

She is doing well for 2 months now, there is no difference before/after these 4.5 (she received what remained in the bottle last saturday - just half a dose) injections of interferons. I even don't know if these made her good or not : there has been no improvement, as there was nothing to improve (she already looked like she was healthy five days after the first "FIP-day").

I'm not that convinced interferons are key in FIP case. Tam is eating a lot of raw beef, I wonder if this is not better.

We did 4 interferons injections (once a week) current march (she was still "healthy" before we started - actually, she was ill only few days, she soon got better, and better, despite her results at FIP-profile ).
On Dr Addie advice and with her help, we've just started to give Tam some "Skulachev ions" ; we asked for FIP-profile at Glasgow vet university just before we started, so maybe we could see a difference between before/after.
Yes there was a big difference,
  • from Alpha-1 AGP  2240 in Jan 
  • to 540 before SkQ1 
  • then 500 which is normal on april 22nd (after 15 days of skulachev ions) and Albumine/Globuline is 0.84
Even though AGP is not a specific FIP marker ( it is raised with other infections ) it is great news consistant with recovery - way to go Tam! Virginie says "Champagne!" Take home message may be that we are in danger of giving up too easily once the idea of FIP is on the table; repeated drainage and at a pinch it seems prednisone, antibiotics and don't forget the raw beef, are potentially able to cure something + they are cheap. Even interferon added to the mix did no harm to Tam. "I cannot affirm interferons, or skulachev ions have cured her; my opinion is that Tam has recovered on her own, we've just helped her. I cannot affirm either Tam is cured ; she is still here 4 months later, growing, eating, playing and her results are very encouraging, that's all"

 Update March 2014 A year later Tam is still alive and well.

Her photo also reminded me of FIP's link to another lovely spring flower, the snowdrop, Galanthus Nivalis which may hold a cure for both FIP and cancer. see 'treatment' page.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Dorothy - Somewhere over the rainbow

Today I got the news that Marcelo's cat Dorothy has also lost her 8 month fight with wet FIP.  Marcelo is in Brazil, not a native english speaker so it was hard to piece together her story. From what I gather Dorothy had a litter of kittens and developed wet FIP of the abdomen last year around the same time as Mishka. The effusion resolved on corticosteroids and human interferon by late october 2012 when Marcelo wrote to the facebook group for advice:

"Hello everyone, news on Dorothy condition. She is still doing fine, playing and eating, but she is not gaining any weight, is there anything I can give her as a supplement to food? Thanks for any help you can share."
Members reccomended Nutrical and a change from her kibble diet to something like Hill's a/d. John Robbie's mum reccomended colostrum powder (which I then started to give to Mishka who was not a fan of Nutrical as JR has been doing fantastic on PI) 
 "I've used Colostrum powder mixed wither with some water (force feed if they won't drink it) or added to wet food. I have used it on John Robie since he's eating well, but I used to give it to my FIV+ cat when he started declining as well as to unhealthy rescue dogs and cats. It really helps with weight gain and overall health and builds a healthy immune system."
Dorothy was given Nutrical twice daily. On November 22 it seems she was also started on PI and the steroids were weaned. In december 2012 she was on 1.0 ml Interferon and reduced from 2 ml to 1.5 ml of PI. but Marcelo did not say  how often she was taking these. In January the dose was further reduced to 1ml of PI and still 1ml of Interferon. In february after Mishka died Dorothy was still alive and very well. "Dory is better than ever, she is still on PI and Interferon, also on Nutri-cal. She seems to be in normal health now."  

Alas she suddenly crashed - like Mishka. Perhaps this is the best that PI can do for wet FIP, perhaps it's better to just leave it out and use the steroids early with interferon.

"My friends, yesterday was a very sad day for me and my wife, Dory health was downhill since last week, it was fast and cruel, so we had to put her to sleep. It seem that even miracle cats ends like this with this terrible disease."
Goodbye Dorothy dear ... if anyone deserves to wake up in heaven FIP cats do.

"Someday I'll wish upon a star And wake up where the clouds are far behind me."


Thursday, 28 February 2013

Leap of Faith

"Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it." - Tori Amos

I wrote this just before Mishka died on Feb 1st but I've decided to post it unchanged. Update: a few edits and see the comment from Dusty's mum below!
Dusty is the reason we are treating Mishka. Dusty survived wet FIP of the lungs in part thanks to injections of feline interferon and oral prednisone in 2007. I first wrote about him in a post about
Hope http://onecatlife.blogspot.com/2012/10/hope-is-black-swan.html

Virbac sent me the case history and amazingly here was a cat I could believe in because I knew the vet practice in Sydney (I think my mum even took our old cat there on occasion. Chloe was a stray my brother took in who lived to be 17 on a commercial diet without ever getting regular vaccinations btw)  so I phoned the vet, Simon Craig who verified the cat was still kicking and had made it off the interferon. Based on Dusty's outcome we did the math and decided we could afford the treatment on the basis of expecting a dead cat or a cure in a little over two weeks - but there you have it, each case is unique and Mishka has not progressed as well - but she's not dead either, so the budget is completely blown by five months worth of extra drugs. We have apparently converted an acute illness into a chronic one - as allopathic medicine does so well.

Possibly due to her more advanced disease ( she has abdominal FIP as well) her own genetic challenges (she is a Birman, Dusty is a Scottish Fold) or that two week delay or not using the steroids first up. Dr Addie does mention in her wet fip case study, which I only recently read, that the wet FIP response to FOI is higher for cats with FIP of the lungs, and doesn't seem to work as well on abdominal FIP.

My suspicion is this is because abdominal FIP can be cryptic for longer in that area without causing distress. Mishka had abdominal fluid for a few weeks to a month perhaps before we knew she was sick.

It wasn't until her lungs really filled up that we rushed to the vet. Perhaps she was also dehydrated somewhat and thirstier than usual. Here she is the night before, mucking about and looking ok:

She may have been sick for much longer as the earliest signs are so hard to detect as abnormal, if indeed they were - she started being more sleepy (thought that was natural as a cat growing older and not being a kitten any longer), more cuddly and purry - well she got to know us and that's a nice thing, she was very hungry and insisted on 4 am snacks - well she's a growing cat. She got so chubby she was stuck in her cat door - that was cute (ok my son had at that stage twigged something was up. "mum Mishka is not a cat anymore" ? "Definition of a cat - fits anywhere the head fits" ??!!! )
Definition of a cat - fits anywhere the head fits

 Mishka's Leap of Faith

and so we followed the example of Dusty. I feel like a cartoon character that's headed over the cliff - can't stop running to look down now or gravity will reassert itself. Hoping to make it to the other side on pure momentum. Courage kitty - leap!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Die another day - Toby and 0029

"I'm checking out. Thanks for the Kiss of Life." ~ James Bond (Die Another Day)

oh heck - just as the rest of her seems to be rallying kitty has a 'funny lump' under the skin which is possibly getting bigger. The vet is ignoring it strenuously and I'm not thinking straight - perhaps I should have jumped on it last week and investigated while she was under for the drain. The thing neither of us want to face is the prospect of a malignancy.

Seems she is simply dying more slowly, as our vet puts it - or living to die from something else like Toby - who was an uneutered Tom cat from Woodstock Ontario Canada. Toby lived the bachelor lifestyle, out partying every night and returning home in the daylight hours for food. When he got wet FIP he survived due to the ministrations of his owner, homeopathy and a change of diet (he stopped Taste of the Wild dry food and the pokeweed prescribed by a naturopath amongst other things); Toby fast tracked from having a FIP belly drained in August 2011 to normal function, including the partying, by September a few weeks later. He had places to be and cats to see - ladies to romance, guys to fight I guess and in April 2012 walked off into the night, sporting a swollen leg from an encounter of the 007 kind, never to be seen since by his human, Monika.

There was similar kitty, known only to me as "29" who was one of the original cats on the Polyprenyl Immunostimulant study. 0029 had dry FIP with neurological symptoms, who during treatment got well enough to get back to the killing business but met his match in a coyote. "when he was sick he was hanging around the house, once he started feeling better, it was hunting again, it was bringing little presents to the owners on a regular basis." ~  Dr Legendre WINN Feline Symposium transcript

But of course I am the eternal optomist. Unlikely things happen such as Miko the red burmese being reunited at the grand old age of 17 with his family in Essex, UK after a staggering ten years AWOL thanks to his microchip. Who knows, Toby is merely MIA he may reappear into Monika's life somewhere down the road.
from humortrain

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Die with your fur on

“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” ― Diana Scharf

mmmm Feliway spray! ( Valerian ) *Still has a bit of discharge L eye - in retrospect this was definitely a symptom she had more issues with virus of some sort as previously her ocular discharge had completely cleared up.
We are celebrating five months. When i started blogging in august it was to help clear my muddled head and for somewhere to park morbid thoughts rather than dumping on the only two people in the world who seemed interested in the situation my son and my friend Tigger. It seemed important from the start to set some Quality of Life (QOL) goals - to get her well enough to go into the garden, to let her die with her beautiful fur on, not motheaten by the attentions of violent treatments like a cancer patient, to feed her nommy things
Unexpectedly i seem to have fallen into writing about treatment and chronicling survivor stories. Mishka may be turning into one herself. I think her frame is starting to fill out again on the ketotifen for one week.
19 jan 2013 comfy, fluffy and full of fish
MAJOR MILESTONE achieved: Mishka's fur has grown back where it was shaved for the chest drain and the IV. The bald patches from infected scratches and runny poop accidents are invisible. Not a trivial goal - her fur is the easiest gauge of how healthy she is over a long period.

19 Jan 2013 It's windy!

My son is no longer ashen with grief. He's always smiling when he holds her now even as we head off to the vets ... a trip that I used to preface with "Now you know we might not be coming back with her." Apparently he stopped listening to that some weeks ago.

off to the vet :)
magic box arrives at vet
One reason to treat was actually that no one knows what is best. One really can't say for certain, though many vets do, that there is no cure because most obviously there are survivors - scars from unsuspected healed FIP have been found at autopsy for unrelated issues; so whether you want to say "it is a spontaneous remission" or acknowledge the ultimate power of the body to heal, it amounts to the same thing. I choose to help Mishka's body to heal itself for as long as she is mostly happy.

Of course there were a lot of holes we fell into and there will be more but it's been pretty great the last three weeks. We seem to be floating on a raft made from all the straws I have clutched at. Now if this Contiki will just make it on the currents to the farther shore please ...

new years day 2013 "u got big green thing in ur nose hahaha!"

new years day 2013 "Dude forget the box - look out the window"

Friday, 18 January 2013

Back from the brink - Lilly

"If you are going through hell, keep going." - Sir Winston Churchill

Lilly and Alethea's journey shows it is possible to come back from the brink but it is only if the owner will devote to two hourly nursing including horrible syringe feeds for as long as it takes. If one can't do that i think don't bother looking for miracle drugs - immune stims need time and basic building blocks in the cells to work a miracle.

"I initially gave Lilly 5ml of PI twice a week. Honestly she seemed to improve in the first week so much I was shocked." ~ Alethea via facebook January 16, 2013

"I want to give an update - if only to give others much hope. In November (2012) my cat Lilly who is about a year and a half old was diagnosed with dry FIP. I was told based on her condition that she would be dead in a few days. She was not eating and I was giving her subcutaneous fluids hourly.

I was told by my vet that the meds are probably not gonna work and that if Lilly recovered it was because she does not have FIP. I don't know really - all the test indicated she did. The uveitis in her eyes was so severe and she was dying right before my eyes.

I gave her her first dose of PI on November 18th and continued to force feed her with a syringe this high end prescription cat food. The food is a/d critical care and I would mix it with water and give it to her by syringe at least 1/2 a can a day.

After a week of being on PI and me feeding and caring for her around the clock she began to show improvement! I was hopeful. Lilly had what looked like uveitis in her eyes and it began to clear. She started eating a little on her own. I continued feeding her by syringe [twice a day] for one month even though she was eating on her own - and giving her the PI.

The uveitis and her blood filled eyes cleared in two weeks from the the time she started the meds. I gave her two [5 ml doses] a week for about a month and a half but now it's only once every seven days. I only give it to her once a week now because a. she seems completely well and b. it's insanely expensive. Lilly weighs about 7 pounds - probably 8 now because she has gained weight.
She hates the taste of PI - but I have learned to give it to her quickly and make sure she gets a treat after. 

Lilly is now 100% - she seems as if nothing ever happened. She runs around and plays just as she did before she got so sick. I pray for her every day that she will live a long and healthy life with me - and so far it looks good.

Best of wishes to all of you - it is so hard to watch the animal we love so much get sick. Just a side note - Lilly was not on steroids except for maybe a week and I never gave her any antibiotics either when she seemed to have a cough. I also took her in for IV fluids in her veins every time she sunk to near death so I could manage her condition better. The little hairless spots on Lilly's leg is where they shaved her for the iv:)" ~ compiled from two Facebook posts from Alethea January 2013

To really fight FIP tooth and claw on behalf of a kitty who really doesn't understand is a hard decision as the outcome is far from certain - Sampson's owner sort of regretted making him miserable with the PI. Others who have ultimately lost their kittens have as well. I can only say whatever happens be kind to yourself, forgive yourself everything and be at peace. When I look back I will look all the way back and remember the happy times, for there were many.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


Paloma is a blue cream Persian named after Picasso's wife. We like to name our cats after artists. 

This lovely little cat is alive and well thanks to an article her family came across in a cat magazine about Polyprenyl Immunostimulant which she showed to her vet and careful dedicated nursing.

"I am posting this success story on behalf of my mother, Marilyn Schmitt. Her beloved cat, Paloma, first got sick with FIP at only 6 months of age. Things were touch and go for a long time, and we didn't think we would have Paloma for very long."

"We got her through those 6+ months by hand feeding her and wrapping her in ice blankets to get her temperature down. She also had a strong will...her sickness was sporadic prior to starting the PI." 
"When Paloma was over a year old, however, she started this treatment, and it has made all the difference in the world. She has been thriving on the medication for 13 months now, and this once listless cat now has ample energy for her repertoire of favorite activities that include playing with any toy that is a ball, playing a variety of games on "her" iPad for as long as the parents will let her, and being brushed, surprisingly enough. She has a new lease on life, and we are very grateful that Paloma had the opportunity to receive this treatment."

"Although she is now thriving, she still begs to be hand fed."
and yes there are interspecies electronic tablet games for cat v. human  free to download from http://gamesforcats.com/ 

New Years Tomten

"Winters come and summers go, year follows year. but as long as people live at the old farm in the forest, every night the Tomten will trip around between the houses on his small silent feet."

Cassie from New Jersey just updated Tomten's status and the news is great!

"Hi everyone,

I just got back from Tomten's ultrasound. Good news. No GI tumors. His Lymph nodes are still enlarged but have visibly shrunk since last September's scan.

Bad News: Dr. Harrison who has secured the the Virbagen Omega from the UK and helped Dr. Ratti with his treatment plan is leaving Animerge for Chicago. (Good news for all the felines in Chicago!!)I have reached out to Dr. Ratti to see if she can take over ordering his meds. I bought a 24 week supply so hopefully we have some time.

I have also suggested to Dr. Ratti we do the feces PCR to see if he is is still possible for the virus. Though my bank balance might want to defer that for a few weeks as the ultrasound and 24 week supply of his liquid gold was steep!

He had a great weekend. Wrestling with his brother, counter surfing, hunting bugs... Right now he is cuddled up next to his brother Gizmo and the two of them are on the ottoman looking out the window at our lake and watching the geese. Its too cute.

I hope everyone's furry friends have a good day as well.


Monday, 14 January 2013

Reccomended Vets for FIP

" The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. " ~ Ann Landers 

When Karmen's 10 month old kitten Bunny died of wet FIP in the lungs in December 2012 her vet from Companion Veterinary Hospital PS planted a tree as as tribute. This was a sweet thing to do for someone who had to put down a young cat in such distressing circumstances.

Contrast this with veterinary practices who would stack charges onto ordering our interferon because you can. Reccomended FIP experienced practices on a database, you can add your reccomendations there.


"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...it's learning to dance in the rain. " ~ unknown

This is Frank, a three legged Canadian alley cat who is going through treatment with PI for dry FIP.

Frank has started PI back in April 2011 on the Winn Foundation Study by Dr. Legendre. Here's his new family's report from Jan 2013.

"In the summer of 2008 Frank was found in an alley by some very kind people. He was taken to a vet clinic as a very sick little boy with a fractured hind leg that was very infected, unfortunately they could not afford to care for the kitten and relinquished him to the clinic for care. The vet clinic took excellent care of this little boy setting his leg and nursing him back to health. 

Soon after he was well enough to leave the clinic we were asked to foster him. Frank came into our home with a cast on his back leg but full of energy. We had 4 dogs at the time but he fit right in, he soon became the boss of the house. Soon after his cast was removed Frank began to limp again. He was brought into the clinic to investigate and it was discovered that the infection had spread to the bone and the only solution was to remove the leg. After his surgery he returned to our home, by now we couldn't imagine life without him and the decision was made to make him a permanent part of our family. He was as active and playful as ever even playing with our miniature schnauzers. 

In the winter of 2011 we noticed that Frank had lost weight and brought him to the clinic for examination. He was diagnosed with dry FIP. Thinking it was a death sentence for him we were prepared for the worst but desperately looked into treatment options. Dr.Kremeniuk at Park Pet Hospital found out about a drug trial for cats afflicted with this terrible disease and Frank was accepted into it. Since he has been on the PI he has returned to his normal self and we are so happy! Frank loves to go camping with us in the summer, he wears a harness and eagerly explores the campsite. He is so loved by the whole family and we are so grateful for PI giving him a second chance at life. He is a fighter and is determined to live as long as he can. Thank you Dr.Sass and everyone involved with PI for saving his life".

I'm not yet sure if Frank is still on the PI and at what dose. He's been through a lot and he's obviously determined to enjoy life to the full - thanks to his wonderful new family and vets for giving him that chance! Goodluck to you Frank.

Friday, 4 January 2013


" For everyone of us that succeeds, it's because there's somebody there to show you the way out. " ~ Oprah

 Blade lies in Michigan USA with Joni Swanson, still hale and happy in Jan 2013 over two years since first diagnosis. When I stumbled across Blade's story I was amazed and hopeful to see he was having weekly drainages of his effusion. At that time Mishka was up to her 4th drainage and i was unsure if we were going to slowly starve her to death by doing more because that was the most any other cat I heard of ever had to have before they either died or got better. So seeing Blade in such good health after 2 whole years gave us courage to proceed even though I do not have details of bloodwork or diagnostics. His veterinarian is Dr Paul Crawshaw at the Wyandotte Animal Hospital in Wyandotte, Michigan.

"Forget the ridiculous amount of toys, I just want to sit in the basket!"

October 9 2012 Joni Swanson writes:

"He will be 8 on October 30th, couldn't believe we were dealing with this at his age, but other than his little belly, you would never know he was sick. We have 5 cats and he is the most feisty. We have gone from once a week to once every four weeks, as of last week. 

The dr uses the ultrasound machine while using a catheter to remove the fluid. Every once in a while they say he starts flipping his tail and becomes vocal, but is a good boy for the most part. The fluid removed is between 1/2-1lb...was 410cc, used to remove 300-400 per week....when they bring him back, he acts perfectly fine. Jumps off the table, is a little nosey, then goes to his carrier. Dr gave me some medication to give him before i take him next time, said it will take the edge off. Otherwise he hasn't been given anything. It is about $86 each time......don't even know how we did it financially 2 yrs ago when he was going every week, guess I always hoped for a miracle.....it kept me going. I call him my million dollar kitty. 
He gets 1ml of interferon and 1ml of prednisone. The vet charges us $20 for the interferon (good for 2 mths) and the prednisone prescription is $32. Also crush 250mg of Rutin, a dietary supplement vitamin, to put on a spoonful of canned food 2-3 times per day. 
Was told by another vet that I didn't have to bother after he confirmed the FIP, but I continue to do what I had been for the previous year. I could talk all night about my little Blade.....sorry to keep blabbing......my heart breaks for all the babies lost to this horrible disease."

November 23, 2012 Joni Swanson writes:

"He is doing good....had 320 ml removed on Tuesday. He had a plateful of turkey and is napping now Talked to the dr about the different vitamins I have seen and asked about PI (polyprenyl immunostimmulant,). He said he would look into the PI, but said Blade is doing so well, why change anything."

Blade update: good news from visit on January 2nd 2013

"only 200ml was removed, down from 260ml removed 3 weeks prior, ultrasound showed less fluid and Blade weighed the same as the did after the 260ml was removed. Dr says he is an exception....just can't figure it out, but whatever it is, it is working. I know FIP is not curable, but Blade sure gives me high hopes! I also cut back on prednisone and interferon, used to have no problem giving him the medication, but when he started running and hiding from me, I wasn't going to force it down him. Could the steroid cause more fluid buildup? I don't know, but other than that darn fluid, you would never know he was sick. He is the king of the house"  

Long live the king :)