Hi everyone.  I'm new to this group, and any advice that anyone can give me on this disease would be greatly appreciated.  I've been sick with worry every since I found out on Friday that my kitty might have FIP.  Anyway, here's my story (sorry, it's sort of long): I have a 7-month old female kitten named Kissa.  She was spayed a little over 2 weeks ago.  They told us when we took her home after the surgery to try to keep her quiet so she could heal and not pull at the stitches. Unfortunately, as it turned out keeping her quiet wasn't a problem because all she did was lay around sleeping all day.  I was concerned, but I thought she was probably just run down from the stress of the surgery.  She was acting a little lethargic before the surgery, but we did not really think about it untill after the fact. I took her back a week later to get her stitches out and mentioned to the vet that I didn't think she was feeling well.  He took her temp. and she was running a fever.  He decided to put her on Amoxicillin and gave her a Cortisone injection to bring the fever
down.  I took her home and she seemed to be feeling much better b/c she was more active and playful that day.  The next day though she was lethargic again and still felt feverish to me.  I gave it another day on her antibiotics and then called our vet back.  He wanted to see her so we took her in, and she was still running a fever so she got another Cortisone injection.  Over the next couple of days there was no improvement and she was still very feverish.  In fact, at one point she looked so bad that my boyfriend and I took her to the emergency after-hours clinic to see what they could do about the fever.  The next day our vet finally decided to do some more extensive bloodwork on her, and in his opinion the results all pointed to FIP, as she had already tested negative for feline leukemia and FIV.  I understand that FIV is very hard to diagnose for certain without a biopsy, etc. She doesn't seem to have lost her appetite and hasn't been retaining any fluids that I know of.  I'm wondering if I should go to another vet to get a second opinion??  Shouldn't further testing be done besides just the standard bloodwork that they did?  For treatment, he put her on Tetracycline with Dexamethasone.  Does anyone know if this is a standard treatment for FIP?  I'm also very concerned because I've read that Dexamethisone is an immune suppressant, and if she doesn't have FIP for certain, then suppressing her immune system wouldn't seem to be a good idea.  Any advice or help that anyone can give me on this would be appreciated.
Thank you in advance,
Joyce
>

I hope your kitty doesn't have FIP. As you stated, a definitive diagnosis is hard to come by. I don't have and first hand experience with FIP, fortunately, other than what I have read on this newsgroup. I would do a Google search on it if I were you. Here is one:
Cornell Feline Health Center Feline Infectious…
They do state that steroids and antibiotics are a common treatment. I really hope your cat improves, it's too sad. I think oftentimes vets diagnose fevers of unknown origins as FIP if the cornoa virus titer is high but that is not a definitive diagnosis...as yhou know. Hopefully, she just has some other sort of infection that will go away with the use of the antibiotics. Please let us know how she is doing and I'll be thinking about and praying for your little girl as will others on this newsgroup, I know.
Candace
(take the litter out before replying by e-mail)
See my cats:

"One does not meet oneself until one catches the reflection from an eye other than human." (Loren Eisely)
He wanted to see her so we took her in, and she was still running a fever so she got another Cortisone injection.  Over the next couple of days there was no improvement and she was still very feverish.  In fact, at one point she looked so bad that my boyfriend and I took her to the emergency after-hours clinic to see what they could do about the fever.  The next day our vet finally decided to do some more extensive bloodwork on her, and in his opinion the results all pointed to FIP, as she had already tested negative for feline leukemia and FIV.  I understand that FIV is very hard to diagnose for certain without a biopsy, etc. She doesn't seem to have lost her appetite and hasn't been retaining any fluids that I know of.  I'm wondering if I should go to another vet to get a second opinion??  Shouldn't further testing be done besides just the standard bloodwork that they did?  For treatment, he put her on Tetracycline with Dexamethasone.  Does anyone know if this is a standard treatment for FIP?  I'm also very concerned because I've read that Dexamethisone is an immune suppressant, and if she doesn't have FIP for certain, then suppressing her immune system wouldn't seem to be a good idea.  Any advice or help that anyone can give me on this would be appreciated. Thank you in advance, Joyce

As you have already surmised, diagnosing FIP is very difficult, and most of the time cats diagnosed with FIP do not have it. Yes, a fluctating fever unresponsive to treatment can indicate FIP, but it can also indicate other problems. After a few days on amoxicillin, I would have thought your vet would have switched to another antibiotic right away. Our cat was once hospitalized with a high fever that did not respond to other antibiotics but responded almost immediately when switched to Baytril, so sometimes it's a matter of trying several.
When you say your cat had standard bloodwork, do you mean your vet is basing his opinion on the unresponsive fever and a high coronavirus titer? As you probably know, the high titer also does not necessarily mean FIP.

If I were you, I would presume she does not have FIP (because most of the time, that's not what it is) and either seek a second opinion or ask your vet to do more testing. Good luck.
He wanted to see her so we took her in, ... on this would be appreciated. Thank you in advance, Joyce

As you have already surmised, diagnosing FIP is very difficult, and mostof the time cats diagnosed with FIP do not ... that's not what it is) and either seek a second opinion or ask your vet todo more testing. Good luck.

Yes one of my cat was diagnosed with FIP because it had a high titre level, had full blood tests done and everything else was fine.. 3 months later had more blood tests everything fine and titre level was normal, my other 2 cats titre levels were normal on both tests.
Yes one of my cat was diagnosed with FIP because it had a high titre level, had full blood tests ... blood tests everything fine and titre level was normal, my other 2 cats titre levels were normal on both tests.

Right, that's what usually happens when a cat has a high titre, because the test just measures exposure to the relatively benign feline coronavirus. Rarely does the coronavirus mutate into FIP. Most cats with a high titre will later test normal (or zero) because they have cleared the coronavirus. As in the case with your cat, those cats may be wrongly diagnosed with FIP when in fact they don't have it.