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 

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'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 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 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 :)

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


“Some people don't really know enough to make a pronouncement of doom” ― Norman Cousins, Anatomy Of An Illness

Madiera is a year old kitty who had spontaneous resolution of ascites. She was diagnosed with wet fip end of march 2012 around 12 weeks of age.

It is lovely to read about a genuine recovery that demonstrates the bodies natural healing compared to healing that is often termed 'spontaneous' but where the patient has worked jolly hard at repelling the problem. I am reminded of Remarkable recoveries - a speech by Ian Gawler - he recovered from osteogenic sarcoma and his story kickstarted a holistic cancer cure movement in Australia. i think i read in Ian Gawler's biography "the dragon's blessing" something like spontaneous remission - there was nothing spontaneous about it!
She lives with Nicole Griffin-MacKenzie who sent this picture in to the FIP fighters Facebook group (our correspondance copied with permission)

August 19 2012

This is a pic from now, 5 months later and the fluid is still completely gone. ( she loves showers ) we are very blessed. Just wanted to share because I feel there is hope
NICOLE: She's not on anything just takes pedialyte 3x a day for her stools to stay normal. The first time she was tested by the veterinarian it was with a sample from the fluid in her abdomen, then dr Legendre requested a second test to be done ( due to the fluid disappearing ) and again the tests pointed to FIP , we were going to do the PI and that's why we were speaking to Dr. L but he stated to let it be if she is doing so well
Still doing great ( knock on wood)
October 8 2012

  • NICOLE: We got her in February, at 8 weeks so she will be a year next month. We didn't change her diet at all. We stuck with the same kitten food that she was on. The only thing we changed was giving her pedialyte. When we thought she had weeks to live I we were giving her a tablespoon of vanilla ice cream at night but that changed as soon as we noticed her abdomen going down. She was urinating a lot during this time ... Which I'm sure has nothing to do with it
  • ME: wow what brand vanilla icecream! who knows you may have stumbled onto THE CURE. i'm only half kidding. the urine was the fluid going out. what breed is she? there is 'spontaneous resolution' ie her immune system kicked in on its own; thymus gland is still there i think at 8 weeks, it is not so active in older cats. when did she get sick?
  • ME: i better explain my self about the vanilla icecream - if you read the anatomy of an illness as perceived by the patient by norman cousins and see what he did. i have been searching for the equivalent of funny things for a cat. icecream may be the thing.
  • NICOLE: I think it was hood Boston vanilla bean
    November 28, 2012 at 1:03pm

    Madiera was still well and taking her 3xdaily pedialyte when Nicole sent me copies of the tests in December 2012.
  • open in a new window and use the zoom function of your browser
    otherwise download from here - Madiera's blood tests

and here is Madiera all grown up in Jan 2013 - a sleek young lady