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Kaeli, how do cats get this? Is there anything we can do to keep them safe from it?

Yngver replied to this explaning the mutation of coronavirus and how most cats have been exposed, but a very few will develop FIP.

FIP is still not understood well. For a long time, vets thought it could be passed from one cat to another and that it was its own virus, but very recent research is proving that it cannot be and isn't. A cat develops FIP on their own from coronavirus. Mutli-cat households with one FIP+ cat almost never have another cat get the disease. Recent research theorizes that cats with overactive immune systems may be more at risk. I have more notes and a few links at my site if you want more.
http://www.ipwebdesign.net/wildAtHeart/catHealth diseases FIP.html

It IS a misdiagnosis more often than not. My own vet told me that they fall back on a diagnosis of FIP if the cat is sick and they can't find anything else wrong with it. Knowing that saved my Rowan's life. The only way to be certain is either through a biopsy, necropsy, or if the cat has effusive FIP and lives to the last stages, by the extreme abdominal distension.

~kaeli~
Jesus saves, Allah protects, and Cthulhu
thinks you'd make a nice sandwich.
http://www.ipwebdesign.net/wildAtHeart
http://www.ipwebdesign.net/kaelisSpace
A friend of mine's cat just got diagnosed with FIP, supposedly the wet kind and in the last stages. The ... she should get a second opinion anyway. Do you think it's possible the vet could have misdiagnosed something like this?

Yes, it's quite possible, since the only definitive tests are biopsy or post-mortem analysis of tissue. And even then, one testing lab reports that only a third of the samples sent in test positive for FIP. So even when FIP is strongly suspected, it often is not FIP. How was this cat diagnosed?

If it were me, I'd certainly get a second opinion. If it's not FIP, it may be something treatable, or it may not, but if it were my cat I would be very reluctant to accept a diagnosis of FIP since it's more often than not something else.
Kaeli, how do cats get this? Is there anything we can do to keep them safe from it?

FIP is a mutation of the relatively benign feline coronavirus. Most cats are exposed to the coronavirus at some point, ... it isn't FIP. However, examination of the fluid may help a vet decide whether or not FIP is more likely.

I second (third, fourth) the point that FIP is extremely hard to diagnose and is often diagnosed incorrectly. My cat, who was retaining fluid, was diagnosed with FIP (the type that's supposed to result in death with in a couple of weeks) five years ago. Whatever was wrong, it wasn't FIP.
I second (third, fourth) the point that FIP is extremely hard to diagnose and is often diagnosed incorrectly. My cat, ... supposed to result in death with in a couple of weeks) five years ago. Whatever was wrong, it wasn't FIP.

The shame of it is that too often when a cat is presumed to have FIP, both the vet and the owner give up. Many a cat has been euthanized needlessly, or not treated, when in fact the cat may have been saved because it was not FIP.
Thanks very much for the info, Kaeli. I was hoping that her vet might have possibly misdiagnosed the FIP Emotion: sad
Lauren

See my cats: http://community.webshots.com/album/56955940rWhxAe Raw Diet Info: http://www.holisticat.com/drjletter.html http://www.geocities.com/rawfeeders/ForCatsOnly.html Declawing Info: http://www.wholecat.com/articles/claws.htm
A friend of mine's cat just got diagnosed with FIP, ... it's possible the vet could have misdiagnosed something like this?

Yes, it's quite possible, since the only definitive tests are biopsy or post-mortem analysis of tissue. And even then, one ... my cat I would be very reluctant to accept a diagnosis of FIP since it's more often than not something else.

Thanks, Yngver. I'm calling to call her today to see how the cat was diagnosed. My friend had taken the cat in and had her 14 year old daughter with her. When she asked what the diagnosis for her cat was, the vet said "your cat is going to die." Needless to say, her daughter became quite upset. I think the daughter needs to know the truth, but I don't think learning it like that was a good way. The vet was also blaming my friend for letting the cat outside. I don't know if he even did a biopsy but I'm going to ask her.

Lauren

See my cats: http://community.webshots.com/album/56955940rWhxAe Raw Diet Info: http://www.holisticat.com/drjletter.html http://www.geocities.com/rawfeeders/ForCatsOnly.html Declawing Info: http://www.wholecat.com/articles/claws.htm
The vet was also blaming my friend for letting the cat outside. I don't know if he even did a biopsy but I'm going to ask her.

While I think letting your cat go out unattended is irresponsible, it doesn't cause FIP. Most cats who are exposed to coronovirus don't develop FIP. And most are exposed quite young while in catteries and shelters. That was not right of the vet, IMO.

~kaeli~
Jesus saves, Allah protects, and Cthulhu
thinks you'd make a nice sandwich.
http://www.ipwebdesign.net/wildAtHeart
http://www.ipwebdesign.net/kaelisSpace
Thanks, Yngver. I'm calling to call her today to see how the cat was diagnosed. My friend had taken the ... for letting the cat outside. I don't know if he even did a biopsy but I'm going to ask her.

Well, I would be very suspicious of a vet that gives a diagnosis of FIP right on the spot, without any lab tests. I don't know what the vet did to come up with that diagnosis, but just examining the cat is certainly not sufficient.

As pointed out, whether or not the cat goes outside has little to do with a diagnosis of FIP. I really think your friend should get a second opinion.
I second (third, fourth) the point that FIP is extremely ... weeks) five years ago. Whatever was wrong, it wasn't FIP.

The shame of it is that too often when a cat is presumed to have FIP, both the vet and ... been euthanized needlessly, or not treated, when in fact the cat may have been saved because it was not FIP.

Are you stating fact or opinion here?
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