Survivor Stories

These are case histories gleaned from my involvement with a FIP affected cat. They are not scientific studies but they were extremely useful to me in seeing the possible POSITIVE path(s) ahead. I did not find them all at once so of course there are things we wish we had known earlier and so forth. Some things which we tried based on these case histories did not work for Mishka - like Pentoxifylline.
I set them out for the pleasure of knowing some cats DO MAKE IT and for you to read in time of need to share them with your vet. There are contact details for vets when I can get them.

Caveats: FIP is hard to diagnose without fluid or tissue samples from paracentesis, surgery or necropsy ( post mortem ) so some FIP stories might not be about FIP eg. Tomten - who was a misdiagnosis, and Natasha who lived with Gringo ( a survivor below ) so was treated as FIP as well. Natasha passed last year of natural causes at the age of 21. "Dr. Legendre has not included her data on his paper since he doubted that she had FIP (he had no doubts about Gringo). Natasha's necropsy revealed no FIP, as I recall. Dr. Legendre was correct as always."  
The natural history of FIP also includes cats who live for many years without specific treatment - up to 7 years with dry FIP according to Dr Pedersen. (see spontaneous remission case - Madiera)

All cats whose stories appear here I know are still alive and well at time of page review may 2013  except Toby who is MIA. Some are completely cured and on no medication like Dusty (who's owner contacted me through this blog to say he is alive and well :) Most, like Blade and Oliver are stuck in a chronic 'managed' state as a cat with diabetes, heart or renal failure might be. The big question is how busted are her immune organs? Can they 'regenerate'? I think so as the cells involved are derived from high turnover organs and/or highly responsive to signalling molecules so this can be very quick (days), even instantaneous (minutes), but for complete healing, to have the bodies immune balance again under proper control I think seems to take over a year.

Reading through these case histories it seems that three or more years of therapy are needed before removing the drug support. Certainly there's enough accumulated evidence in my mind to say don't fiddle with the dose of anything when you have it stable - be very cautious in deciding to reduce doses. I honestly wonder if the the two days I missed giving Mishka her interferon because my son was away at camp tipped her over.

the Polyprenyl Hall of Fame cats must be one year+ on treatment and dry Fippers. (update 2017: appears my blog has inspired them to catalogue their stories better - you can now go to http://fipsurvivorguide.com/meet-the-fip-survivors/ and request the book) there are other stories there.

Example maintenance dose of PI used:
- Gracie Mae was on PI for over a year, completely withdrawn, lived for another year and passed of HCM
-Joey started on PI 3 mg/kg, three times a week. After a year or less, his vet reduced his dose to 3 mg/kg once a week and has been using the smaller dose for 6+ months by now
-Gringo (originally published in AL 2009 paper), on PI since 2006. Currently, and for several years, has been getting 7 ml twice a week. The owner writes: "And we went to the vet last month and he weighed 17.3 lbs. And he’s 10 years old". Recalculating the dose: 1.8 mg/kg twice weekly.
-Doll, on PI since 2009. Per owner: "Doll is on a dose of 3 cc twice a week. She is asymptomatic on that dose. Her weight is about 12 pounds. But, she is actually a very small cat who put on a lot of weight when she first started on PI. As long as the weight holds constant, the PI is still effective. If she loses any weight, I will know to raise the dose of PI". Recalculating the dose: 1.1 mg/kg twice weekly.

other cats for whom the diagnosis was uncertain:
Toby - Die another day survived possible wet FIP but whereabouts unknown
Tam - ? wet FIP Jan 2013 survivor, first cat to get Skulachev Ions
Tomten - misdiagnosis of dry FIP July 2012, originally on feline interferon 
- case history well worth reading. Tomten has granulomatous enteritis not caused by FeCov. I moved Tomten out of the survivor's list when he rather unexpectedly began to deteriorate but he's currently a good news story again. "FIP likes to cause granulomatous inflammation, but not all cases of granulomatous inflammation are due to FIP. When granulomatous inflammation is seen on an intestinal biopsy, the specimen should be stained with a special stain that detects coronavirus in the tissue. If the stain comes back positive, the cat has FIP"
John Robbie - dry FIP April 2012 - a real character, did very well for many months but tragically died aug 2014 so moved from survivors group

Update: this is my further mission - I remain hopeful that the manufacturers will DROP THE VET/DISTRIBUTOR DRUG MARKUP and allow direct wholesale price purchase as we were able to arrange for Mishka. It is doubly unethical on the part of vets since we are always fundraising for FIP research. Unfortunately the local vet at NW Animal Hospital Devonport attempted to charged us a ridiculous AU$300 markup for the ordering of interferon ( a simple phone call and stick couriered package in the fridge !) In this digital age drug pricing is transparent - the sharing economy is going to have to find an ethical way of addressing drug prices.

25 comments:

  1. Our two kittens, Rose and Bud, got wet abdominal FIP 12 years ago. Bud quickly succombed, but Rose is still going strong. She has some residual health issues ( stomach and eyes) but all thigs considered, we're still piching ourselves. I was told when they got sick that it was 100% fatal, and a few years later that she was the only known survivor in our metropolitan area, We had an autopsy done on her brother to confirm it, so we know this is what she had. For just a year, they had a vaccine. It turned out to have serious flaws, so it was discontinued but she was given it once she recovered. She only had the one dose. I would like to know if the vaccine is why she has survived this long, and if there are other 1 year survivors out there. What is the longest FIP survivers have lived past their illness?

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    1. dear anonymous - thats great news about Rose. wow 12 years!! I have no idea if the vaccine is responsible for her survival. It would be lovely to write up her story in full if you can reply with an email address (which won't get published) Longest survivor of wet FIP that I know of is DUsty whose mom contacted me through the blog recently to say he's still well (the link to his story is in the post - her comments below the story) Hug for Rose!

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    2. Did you give any kind of treatment to Rose or did she just run the course and somehow make it out the other side? My kitty has fip and they drained fluid from her belly and chest yesterday and told me that euthanasia should be considered soon, though she is still eating and drinking but she is just skin and bones... it's breaking my heart she is not even 2 years old this is not fair

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  2. Thought you might like an update of Dusty. Well its nearly 7yrs (Mar 2007) since he was diagnosed with FIP and he will be 10yrs old in May14. In Sep 13 he slipped a disc in his back and at the time they did a full blood analysis which showed no signs of FIP, in fact the indicator for FIP was below normal. His back recovered quickly and he's currently well, healthy and on no medication. Lizzy, Sydney

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    1. Claudes mum is i Australia. She ust commented hes doing well on pentoxyfilline and she would like to contact other survivors.

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  3. I'm sitting here and waiting on a call from my vet to confirm (as much as possible with FIP) whether or not my 3 1/2 year old cat Charlie has FIP. If he does, I am going to pursue treatment with Polyprenyl. The vet mentioned the treatment to me and I have been doing research on my own and came across this site. Reading these stories has given me some hope that a miracle can happen.

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  4. Hi,
    I have a question if possible. My kitty died of FIP a couple of weeks ago. She was at least 5 years old, as we had found her as a stray and she has lived with us healthy and happy for the last 4 years until 3 months ago.
    I was reading though everything here and I notice you say FIP is hard to detect, even in autopsy. We had her autopsied and they said she had the coronavirus in EVERY tissue sample they had, the actual virus. Is that possible?
    Also, has anyone heard of poisoning causing the start of FIP?
    Thanks,
    Carol

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    1. Hi Carol, I am so sorry your kitty died. FIP is confirmed at autopsy. I don't know the answer to your other questions - perhaps you could ask the brains trust on the FIP facebook group? Link is in 'support and solace'

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  5. Hi TTFN, I am interested in the story of Gus. He was on the same meds that my cat, Claude is currently on. Claude appears to be making incredible improvements from diagnosed wet fip. The fluid had drained away on its own and he's currently very active and happy. Is it possible for me to be put in contact with any of these humans of fip survivors? I'm in Australia too. Susan

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    1. Awesome news! Did you have diagnosis confirmed by pcr of the fluid? You can make contact via the facebook group go to 'suport' for the link then after marlene adds you to the group search the posts for"gus" and nicole

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    2. Ps the facebook page for polyprenyl will also put you in touch with survivors. Or you could try emailing your request to contact Dusty's mum who is in sydey via her vet Link is on Dusty's page.

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    3. What meds is ur cat on?

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    4. She was on interferon and polyprenyl but she died

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  6. What is PI?
    I have a cat infected with fip .
    And there is no good vets here .
    Plz help!

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    1. PI stands for polyprenyl immunostimulant - the details are on the treatment page. You can also look at any other pages tagged PI via the cloud menu.

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  7. My cat ia suffering from FIP aswell, he is just 5 month old and he tried to fight with it everyday: try to eat and drink a lot of water despite carrying that big belly with all liquid inside. My heart is broken everytime seing that. Giving us hope so he will get better.
    Can you please advice me if u know any medication should he take? Any how should I manage his food?
    Thanks u much :(

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    1. My cat as a kitten had Fip (he still has it) he never took medicine and he is still fine, he is 8+ and he only takes anxiety medicine, the best medicine for your kitten is love and care.

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  8. You should read one of the survivor stories and follow what that cat did - i suggest to make the kitten more comfortable put it on prednisone and drain some of the fluid out carefully. Be careful to sedate the cat adequately not to take too much out at once and dont take the cat to a BAD vet. This will make the cat more comfortable right away. Some iv vitamin c would be good. If you can get it polyprenyl is terrific. Otherwise put the cat down early rather than late :( hugz.

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  9. My cat is tobey, he is older than 8 and he has Wet FIP. My cat does not take medicine for the sickness but he does take anxiety medicine, he is obviously not a normal cat, he looks like he has a birth defect but we cant exactly point out what makes him different

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  10. Is there anything I can do to relieve the distended abdomen on my FIP kitten? She is seemingly healthy except for the distended belly which is beginning to worry me.

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    1. Please checkout treatment page and ask for help on facebook group. Draining fluid is a quick option. But must be very carefully done get a great vet. Other therapy will be needed.

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    2. Checkout Gus his vet can be contacted for advice http://onecatlife.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/gus-pentoxyfylline-success-part-2.html

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  11. My kitty Jasmine almost 2 years old got sick in December, went through tests, said she has FeLv, then catch scratch fever, and now they say wet FIP. They drained a large syringe of amber colored fluid out of her chest today, and two days ago a different vet drained the fluid from her belly. She is eating well and using the litter box. Both vets told me she has no hope of recovery and that she can stop taking her prednisone and Zithromax, stating to love her for a few days till she inevitably stops eating then to make the very very hard decision to put her down. Is there any hope for my baby, she's still so young and my heart is breaking...

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    1. Yes there is hope some cats just get better the prednisone seems to be a common drug involved with many of our survivor stories its cheap dont stop it if the cat doesnt mind taking it if kitty recovers dont stop it too soon either.

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  12. Hi

    I am in south africa and desperately looking to get hold of the PI for my kitten? Can you please direct me to the vet and the Dr. This kitten is a fighter and I need to give him a fighting chanse!

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