Gus is the kitten of a pregnant shelter cat who was kept by hs mother's foster carer Nicole after she rehomed his mom and siblings. He was a more mature cat, and physically strong when he started getting sick. He never got very dehydrated or stopped eating so he stood a much better chance when Nicole went in to bat for him with Prednisone and Pentoxyfilline. These anti inflamatory drugs are easy to get and relatively cheap. pentoxifylline was an early choice for treating wet FIP that didn't pass trials - we still tried it, as have others on the facebook group.
Gus was a big cat- at 2 yrs old, he was 13 lbs! At one point, I sensed something wasn't right with him. He seemed lethargic (wouldn't interact with new kittens, in the past we had called him "Uncle Gus" because he always took the foster kittens under his wing, grooming and playing with them). He also felt bony along his spine- and his belly was bloated. I will admit, I wasn't too concerned at first. I thought worst case scenario, maybe he had gotten worms from one of the foster kittens he loved to groom. After a few weeks when he was still wasn't being his usual self, I took him to the vet.
October 26, 2103 The day my world crumbled.
I went in expecting a Dx of Giardia or a tapeworm... relatively easy fixes. Instead, I was told Gus had wet FIP. The vet actually withdrew fluid on the spot from his belly and showed it to me - thick, yellow, protein filled fluid. And he weighed 10.5 lbs. Still hate myself for not noticing the huge weight loss.All his lab values were abnormal , and he had a fever to boot.
|Initial lab work|
I cried ( that is an understatement) in the exam room for about half an hour before i was gently escorted out.The only hope the dr. could offer me was palliative prednisone to improve appetite and the kind offer to come to my house to do the euthanasia when the time came.
I immediately started him on pred, and frantically searched for a second opinion/treatment options. A friend of mine worked for a local vet, and she told him my story. I reached out to him, and after a lengthy phone consultation he mentioned a drug called Pentoxifylene. He said it might help prolong his life. It's a drug normally prescribed for humans, for autoimmune disorders. A pharmacy in Arizona (Diamodback Drugs http://www.diamondbackdrugs.com/contact-us/) compounds it into animal dosages. I brought Gus to see him in the hopes that he would disagree with the original Dx. He broke my heart when he said all signs pointed to wet FIP and he couldn't go against my primary vet's Dx. BUT - he suggested the Pentoxifylene, saying it could potentially help prolong his life.
After 9 months on prednisone and pentoxifyllene Gus visited this vet again. His A/G ratio which had been very low, was back up and the other values that had been abnormal were all good.
|New lab work|
All lab values were normal, and the ultrasound showed NO fluid in his abdomen. His old chart had a WBC of 30,000 and very abnormal liver/kidney functions. And a fever. His WBC is now 9,000, within normal limits. He is also back to his playful mischievous self, a very happy cat. The difference between the two was amazing. The vet said if he did not know Gus's history he would say he was a perfectly healthy cat.
I am grateful for every day I have with him, and I don't mean to offer false hope. I know FIP is a terminal illness. All I know is that he is seemingly happy healthy and no longer shows any signs of the disease. Part of me hopes he was misdiagnosed, but another part of me hopes that maybe he did (does?) have this dreadful disease and there is in fact, hope. I am slowly weaning him off the meds while monitoring him constantly for any signs of a relapse. My heart goes out to everyone who is dealing or has dealt with this terrible disease. I'm fully aware Gus may be (probably is) living on borrowed time. I just feel like I need to share this in the hopes that it can help another.Gus part 2 http://onecatlife.blogspot.com/2015/05/gus-pentoxyfylline-success-part-2.html