Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Pikachu - a wobbly cat

Pikachu does not seem to have FIP although one vet he was taken to made this diagnosis. He was a wobbler (ataxia) because his brain or inner ear ( vestibular system responsible for balance) had damage after a viral illness but is getting better on PI (polyprenyl immunostimmulant) since early Nov 2012 " For the first few months, his ataxia waxed and waned, but now all that remains is a head tilt and the deafness. The head tilt seems to get worse/more exaggerated when he has a UTI or some other issue affecting his general health. He is doing really well now, although it took months to recover, and he still has a few neurological deficits. My only worry is that the virus may reactivate in his system and he won't be able to fight it off again"
"He was first diagnosed in September/October 2012. We took him to an emergency vet because he was ataxic (wobbly) and had nystagmus (shaking eyes). They originally diagnosed him with Idiopathic Vestibular Disease and said it would resolve within two weeks. When he didn't get better, we got a referral to a neurologist who did an MRI, Spinal Tap, FIP titer, toxoplasmosis test, etc., and said it was in his central nervous system and diagnosed dry FIP. After he became ill, we noticed he had lost his hearing completely. We were basically told to say goodbye to him, but you can't give up as long as you have hope. 
The neuro was ready to give up on Pika and really had no interest in PI or Dr. Legendre. I found the information on Dr. Legendre's success with PI and PUSHED the neuro to contact him and write the rx for the PI. Even after he contacted the university, he called me back and told me it was too costly and I should just put Pika down. It was unbelievably frustrating! I'm soo glad I didn't follow his advice. Even if the PI didn't help his situation, it certainly must have boosted his immune system in general and definitely didn't hurt him. " Kathleen Maki Potts
 She sent his results to the FIP fighters for opinions.
 "Pika's A/G ratio is 0.9. Anything above 0.8 almost always rules out FIP. A positive titer for FIP only means exposure to FCoV. It is not predictive of FIP. An extremely high titer, along with other suspicious lab results would make me think different. Also the 7b ELISA was negative. I would definitely explore some of the CNS stuff and it looks like your vet is doing a good job and looking at other things. You can always print out Dr. Addie's flowchart and provide to your vet if they start to explore the possible diagnosis of FIP again. The slightly elevated liver values can just be dehydration or a low grade infection."
Moki is a 'famous' facebook cat who seems to have a similar mystery wobbly problem but which didn't resolve, also initially diagnosed as FIP.


"I'm so happy I could bounce!" ~ Tigger

This is a story I got from one of the FIP yahoo groups. It has stayed in the drafts folder of this blog for over a year. I didn't manage to contact Tigger's mum for more details, a picture and so on. Post is copied verbatim as I expect Tigger's mum wants the story out there. So sadly I don't have details of diagnosis, no bloodwork - that's a caveat, it may not be FIP but it's hard to think of what else could have made him so sick for 6 weeks; my notes say wet FIP.  I can see the precipitating immune suppressing causes are pretty common ones. The move was big one as I recall; I think Tigger had to take a plane ride and was received at the other end unwell. He is a little older than usual. Most importantly Tigger's successful treatment has commonalities with other survivors - antibiotics combined with IV fluids and an immune stimulant - in this case interferon ( i think probably it is feline interferon since this cat is in Europe. ) special food (again wish I knew the details!) and intense daily attention.
Hi. I have a rambunctious male 5 year old cat. His name is Tigger. 5 months ago, I moved to Turkey. He had a shot for Luekemia (sp prob wrong) Anyway BAD idea. Don't ever get your cat a shot for this without getting him tested for the corona virus. I'm not sure if I spelled that right either but it's easy enough for you to google.
Anyway, the move and shot sent him into full blown FIP. His eyes were rolling to the back of his head, sky high fever, skin and bones, boy did I thought he was a goner. We started interferon and vitamins, antibiotics and Iv every day for a month and a half. Each day I spent 2-3 hours at the vet. 5 months later, he is alive and fat and happy. Each day I give him 2 vitamins. One in the morning and one at night. And they have garlic in them, yes, garlic.
If you make a serious commitment to keep your cat alive, I believe you have a pretty good shot of beating this with the help of interferon. I also give him food for sensitive systems and NO treats!! TReats do not help any cat. I have a second cat that seems to be fine and probably live to be 20. Tigger is living on borrowed time but I treasure ever extra moment. I also keep their cat box VERY clean. 2ce a day I clean it. My heart goes out to all owners with fip cats. It's heart wrenching, I know.
My other thought, a year of case history reviews later, is that I feel vets are not paying enough attention to fluid and salt (electrolyte) managment in FIP cats. Sick inapetant cats are easily dehydrated as they are desert animals designed to get most of their fluids from freshly killed prey. Vets seem to devote all the owner's resources to diagnostic gymnastics while their patient slips away from under their noses. Any reasonably sick human wheeled into an ER would be instantly hooked to an IV while this is worked out.
Also on the home front I doubt this cat was left to waste his remaining energy dragging himself to a litterbox too far, up a flight of stairs to the bedroom or being needlessly stressed by a bath (this is not sarcasm - I do actually know of someone who went to the trouble of getting PI then bathed their FIP cat. Predictably it took a downhill turn from there and is not listed on my survivors log.)

picture by felicia ruiyi - deviantart