Friday, 8 May 2015

Pharoah tries stemcells for FIP and the cure for FIP is found!

With FIP there is no point being conservative except for the sake of the cat's comfort. So it was no surprise to hear that yet another innovative therapy is being tried - adipose stemcell therapy for dry FIP. The cat is called Pharoah and his vet is Ed Pattison of City Vets, Exeter UK

But how interesting is this - the vet who pioneered the use of adipose stemcells for arthritis in dogs in australia, Simon Craig, was the same chap who cured Dusty of wet FIP - see survivor's page

and how dull and unsexy is this - Hip arthritis in dogs by the way you can simply prevent with adequate vitamin C and a proper diet.
Dr Belfield has the word on vitamin c in animals and was kind enough to answer my emails when Mishka was diagnosed. he did try it for FIP of course and it was the one thing he had no success with after it was established :( That's what we are up against.
I have NO DOUBT this is the same with FIP - we can prevent it  simply - no rocket stemcell science required and finally someone in authority is brave enough to say it 
"The best treatment for FIP is not to get it in the first place: if you are going to buy a pedigree kitten, make sure your Vet sends a blood sample to the University of Glasgow Veterinary Diagnostic Services to get a certificate saying that the kitten tested negative for feline coronavirus (FCoV) antibodies: we need to put consumer pressure on bad breeders and reward good ones." Dr Dianne Addie rocks!
- see prevention page
  • stop inbreeding 
  • stop crowding 
  • stop malnourishment of starvation and stop feeding COOKED CRAP & KIBBLE to cats - they weren't designed to eat cereal; they are not birds.

Gus - pentoxifylline success part 1

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 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

Gus - Pentoxyfylline success part 2

Continued from part 1
Gus's foster carer Nicole kindly answered my questions in detail - texting on a phone! That's dedication for you.
Diet- no special diet. Gus always ate just Purina dry indoor formula. Once he got his Dx, he was spoiled rotten and I added canned friskies plus whatever protein I happened to be having for dinner- shrimp, ham, turkey, ect. Whatever he wanted. He was never put on an antibiotic that I can recall. When Dr. Ciance of Allenwood veterinarian hospital (in Allenwood NJ 732-528-7444) Dx'd  him she put him on 2 ml of pred a day to stimulate appetite and make him feel better. She also prescribed doxy ( doxycycline? a  broad spectrum antibiotic ) in pill form but I couldn't get him to take it, and her opinion was to not force it on him, let him enjoy his remaining time. We may have tried liquid, I can't recall. But he was never on antibiotics for an extended period of time.
Uncle Gus
Then I took him to Dr. Falk (Ocean County Veterinarian Hospital Lakewood NJ ). He was so kind and compassionate, even recommended a support group for me. He looked at the initial bloodwork and agreed that it looked like FIP. (see Gus's labs in previous post) He suggested adding pentox in addition to the pred. So, he was on 2ml of pred and 1 ml of pentox daily. This went on for about 5 months, the whole time Gus very slowly lost his belly bloat, gained muscle tone, and became more energetic. The two meds combined cost about $90/m from Diamondback, including shipping. (60 ml bottle of chicken flavored prednisolone and a 30 ml bottle of chicken flavored Pentoxifylene.) Always got the meds in about 3-4 days flat rate mail but I do believe they offer offer expedited shipping as well. They were great and very easy to deal with.
Gus tolerated the pred well, he did NOT tolerate the pentox. I would say on average he would vomit 7/10 times after I gave it to him. Broke my heart. I tried mixing 1ml of pred with 1/2 ml of pentox 2x daily, that was a little better but he would still throw it up occasionally. I played around with the timing and what seemed to work best was giving it to him about an hour after he ate. 
( Note: when we tried Mishka on pentox we follwed the advice to use a cream - she had no upset other than she didn't exactly like cream smeared on her ears ) Please note how careful they were about not taking Gus off any meds until he was definitely better on bloodwork and they wean slowly.
He isn't on any meds at all now, hasn't been since October 2014. When Dr Falk did new bloodwork and declared him either misdiagnosed or "cured", we decided to ween him off all meds. I stopped the pentox almost immediately since he hated it so much- did every other day for about a week and that was it. I went much slower with the pred, as u know u can't just stop it cold turkey. I slowly decreased his dose over a month, down to 1ml, then did 1ml every other day for about 2 weeks, then 1/2 ml every other day for about a week, and that was it.

the Fab4 including Gus
I Have fostered about 75-100 kittens over close to 3 years... as far as I know none of them have ever been Dx'd with either form of FIP. I did have 2 pass away from dehydration and Giardia (they passed away 2 days after I had them, they were in very bad shape when I took them in). Every other cat/kitten has been a success story as far as I know. I have 3 other cats and none of them have ever had any major ailments -unless u count my 12 yr old Oscar just having 5 teeth pulled Poor guy.
Yes, I stopped fostering. I actually had 12 wk old brother and sister kittens in my house when Gus was diagnosed, I immediately had the rescue take them back (a friend's mother has since adopted them both)!
Gus is strictly and indoor cat. I live on a busy street. I fostered his pregnant mother and he has been with me every day since birth. My mother kept his mother and his sister, and I keep in touch with the woman who adopted his brother and other sister. As far as I know none of them have had any major health issues to date.