FIP – infectious peritonitis in cats. Symptoms

Cats, like humans, need constant medical supervision. However, sometimes, despite regular blood tests and vaccinations, the guardian is unable to protect the pet from any disease. Diseases such as FIP have their effects, and people are often powerless.

One of the worst diseases in the cat world is undoubtedly FIP or infectious peritonitis. FIP mainly affects young animals from two months to two years of age and is fatal in its course.

Cat FIP ​​- what is it?

Mysterious abbreviation FIP (from English) Infectious peritonitis in cats) is a deadly disease that often affects young cats that have not yet developed immunity. However, this also applies to older people. Cat viral peritonitis is caused by FCoV coronavirus – Cat coronavirus. Inflammation occurs as a result of infection with the FIP virus. Recurrent fever, weakness, and weight loss are common symptoms of FIP.

Cat coronavirus is divided into two types in terms of pathogenicity. The first is FECV (Enteric coronavirus in cats), a common intestinal biotype in the environment. This biotype is not very pathogenic and most domestic cats have been in contact with it. The virus accumulates in the cat’s intestinal epithelial cells. It is mainly excreted in the feces, and the infected animal can spread the virus in a short time, even within two days after infection. As a result of the reduced immunity of the cat, the virus is mutated, resulting in a virus that causes FIP – FIPV (Infectious peritonitis virus in cats). Once mutated, the virus has the ability to spread throughout the body. After the development of inflammation, inflammatory granulomas (dry form) appear in various organs (liver, spleen, intestines, kidneys, eyes) and in the nervous system, serositis (exudative form), inflammation of small blood vessels.

FIP cat disease – how is it transmitted?

The coronavirus, which is responsible for FIP, usually attacks after a mutation in an enteropathogenic strain in the host’s body. Sometimes the infection occurs directly between animals (with feces, urine, saliva, nasal and conjunctival secretions). Cats can also be infected by licking and biting open wounds. Stress causes infection. Although the infection is usually caused by direct contact, keep in mind that the surrounding coronavirus can live for about two days. Anyone interested in whether FIP is contagious to humans should know this it’s just a cat disease.

FIP – symptoms of the disease

FIP is a disease that can be divided into two clinical forms – exudative “wet” and non-exudative “dry”. They both start with similar symptoms. These include loss of appetite, weight loss, unresponsive fever, pale or yellow mucous membranes, and a matte coat.

The non-exudative form of FIP has no characteristic featurescomplicates the diagnosis. With the disease, the animal’s body is gradually depleted. Uveitis can also develop. There are also neurological disorders (behavioral changes, convulsions, impaired motor coordination). Cats with a non-exudative form of the disease live about 2-3 months.

With the exudative form of FIP, fluid accumulates in body cavities (peritoneal, pleural, pericardial).. The abdominal wall grows. Respiratory problems also occur when fluid appears in the pleural cavity. The liquid seen in the exudative form of FIP has a characteristic yellowish color. It is flexible and transparent, contains a lot of protein and sometimes fibrin. A cat usually lives with the disease for up to a few weeks.

How to recognize peritonitis in a cat?

FIP is a cat diseasewhich is very difficult to diagnose (especially in the non-exudative form). With the exception of other diseases that have similar symptoms, a correct diagnosis can be made, so FIP is often misdiagnosed.

It is good to know that the causes of peritoneal fluid can be different, and the presence of fluid does not necessarily mean the worst. The cat should be examined carefully first – perform blood tests, biochemical tests and ionograms. Determining the serum albumin / globulin (A: G) ratio may also be helpful. It is also worth creating an echo of the heart. The animal’s blood should also be tested for hemobartonella. Ultrasound examination can also be useful, as it allows you to assess the condition of the internal organs, as well as to determine the pathological composition of the abdominal cavity (ascites). If you suspect FIP, the collected exudative fluid is submitted for examination. Used for its evaluation FIP testthat is, the Rivalt test.

FIP in a cat – treatment

Cat FIP ​​is an incurable disease. The survival time of the animal from the onset of clinical symptoms is very short. Pharmacological treatment is used to improve the comfort of the cat’s survival – A wide range of medications and vitamins, depending on the specific situation. Cat interferon Virbagen Omega, glucocorticosteroids. The relief is also emptied from the body cavities. After the right Diagnosis of FIPThe best help for a sick pet is euthanasia, which reduces suffering.

Prevention of the disease includes:

  • testing of breeding cats;
  • early weaning of positive and untested females (approximately 5-6 weeks);
  • reducing the number of cats in livestock;
  • frequent cleaning and disinfection of garbage cans.

Main photo source: jxfzsy / Getty Images

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