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Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) Kills more than 300,000 cats. What is FIP?

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Reports show that more than 300 thousand cats have perished from FIP (Link), but why? Read along to learn more about FIP, how it is diagnosed, and whether a treatment is available. FIP-infected cats could reach the US, and is working hard to bring a reliable PCR test for the virus. The test will only be valuable when combined with active symptoms and will help eliminate other causes of disease.

What is FIP FoCV? Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a fatal disease that affects cats. It is caused by a mutation of the feline coronavirus (FCoV). The mutated virus, called FIPV, can cause a variety of symptoms, including fever, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and fluid buildup in the abdomen. FIP FoCV stands for Feline Infectious Peritonitis Focally Confluent Variant. This is a more severe form of FIP that is characterized by the formation of large, confluent areas of inflammation in the abdomen. FIP FoCV is often fatal, but there are some treatments that can be used to prolong the life of affected cats.

How is FIP FoCV spread? FIP FoCV is spread through the fecal-oral route. This means that cats can become infected by coming into contact with the feces of an infected cat. FIP FoCV can also be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.

What are the symptoms of FIP FoCV? The symptoms of FIP FoCV include:

  • Fever

  • Weight loss

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Fluid buildup in the abdomen

  • Lethargy

  • Anorexia

  • Depression

How is FIP FoCV diagnosed? There is no definitive test for FIP FoCV. However, your veterinarian may be able to diagnose the disease based on your cat's symptoms and a physical examination. Other tests that may be used to diagnose FIP FoCV include:

  • Blood tests

  • Fecal tests

  • Abdominal ultrasound

  • Cerebrospinal fluid analysis

How is FIP FoCV treated? There is no cure for FIP FoCV. However, there are some treatments that can be used to prolong the life of affected cats. These treatments include:

  • Supportive care, such as fluids, antibiotics, and pain medication

  • Immunotherapy, such as anti-CD20 therapy

  • Gene therapy

What is the prognosis for cats with FIP FoCV? The prognosis for cats with FIP FoCV is guarded. The disease is often fatal, but some cats may respond to treatment and live for several months or even years.

How can I prevent FIP FoCV? There is no way to prevent FIP FoCV completely. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your cat's risk of infection,

such as:

  • Keeping your cat indoors

  • Vaccinate your cat against FCoV

  • Avoid contact with cats that are sick or have recently been sick

  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling cats

If you are concerned that your cat may have

FIP FoCV, please contact your veterinarian. FIP FoCV is a serious disease, but there are treatments that can help. With early diagnosis and treatment, your cat may have a good chance of survival.

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