FIP abreviation of
Feline - cat like
Infectious - sort of Cats with FIP catch a feline coronavirus (FeCoV) usually from their mother or some other cat who has had a mild illness from it, carries it and sheds it from their gut. In a FIP cat FeCoV mutates into a nasty form which behaves differently, invading that cat's macrophages - the white blood cells that normally help to clean up infections, turning them rogue, rather like a cancer. Now it cannot be transmitted easily, if at all, to another cat since it is held inside a cell and not a free living virus being shed by the cat. Breaking news - more recent evidence that virulence is playing apart in increasing incidence of FIP seen as 'outbreaks' where FIP is transmitted cat-to-cat by a mutated FeCOV II which is cat-dog coronavirus cross (which begs the question of cat-dog-human coronavirus) more
Peritonitis - inflammation giving rise to protein and fluid leaking from the blood vessels into the lining around the guts. A fippy cat often looks potbellied.
There's two disease states seen with FIP
Wet FIP - which is the form Mishka had. The immune response is really poor in this cat and it quickly gets a lot of fluid around the lungs and/or abdomen which effectively starves or suffocates them. They can't usually survive this state very long - a matter of weeks. Mishka was unusual in that not only did she survive over 5 months she was quite well and active for most of it. Wet FIP might turn into
Dry FIP - which would be my worst nightmare. Better immune responders don't secrete so much fluid, but have a cruel slow disease story as the virus loaded rogue cells now have enough time to invade the brain, the eyes and other organs which fail one by one. Dry FIP might turn into wet FIP.
Good Clinical InformationA very thoughtful and thorough consideration from vet Ronald Himes http://www.2ndchance.info/fip.htm
Yvonne Drechsler's 37 page document on FIP http://ws.westernu.edu/WesternU-News/docs/11-11-1-Drechsler-Feline-Coronavirus.pdf
See Dr. Addie's YouTube video on how FIP happens and her website
WINN feline foundation FIP symposium
14th Oct 2011
audio + transcripts of lectures by two american FIP researchers - Al 'Polyprenyl' Legendre and Dr Niels 'there is no cure' Pedersen http://www.chicagonow.com/steve-dales-pet-world/2011/10/transcripts-of-fip-symposium-with-legendre-and-pederson-now-available/