Feline Infectious Peritonitis
By Alfred J. Plechner, D.V.M.
This is a virus that can only cause its
illness if the cat has a hormonal imbalance with high adrenal estrogen
deregulating the immune cell referred to as the T cell. Since this cell is now
deregulated, if the cat comes into contact with any of what is referred to as
retro-viruses, unfortunately the cat may succumb to this disease.
Tests are done routinely for FELV and
FIV but for now the only test that is done for FIP is actual exposure to the
virus. The fact that the cat may have a positive titer (test) to FIP may only
indicate exposure and not the actual disease.
The profession then tries to relate a
positive FIP titer to actual effects of the disease which can range from having
increased fluid in the abdomen to increased fluid in the lungs, or a dry form
with no fluid.
Many times the disease is diagnosed when
an autopsy is done, which seems to me to be a little late.
If there is a concern that a cat may
have FIP, then definitely do my recommended blood test and if the IgA level is
below 65 mg % an intramuscular injection may be in order. Like all the
retro-viruses that involve a cortisol imbalance, FIP does also, but to control
this virus, a T4 thyroid supplement, given twice daily, is very important to
help sustain the cat’s life. 70% of the cats on proper hormone replacement can
lead a normal life with normal longevity. It is said that all FIP cats will
perish, but this is definitely not the case.
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