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Specific Diseases 

 
 

  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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