FELINE INFECTIOUS PERITONITIS (FIP)
"Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a disease that kills 1 in 100 to 1 in 300 of all cats under ages 3-5. The incidence can be five to 10 times greater among young cats coming from catteries and shelters. FIP is virtually 100% fatal, and there is no treatment or cure. FIP can manifest suddenly -- weeks, months or even years after initial infection. Therefore, cat lovers usually experience the heartbreak of this disease long after they have developed strong emotional bonds with their pets."
Scaatycats Boodelicious of Heart'nsoul
07/29/08 to 05/05/09
I was in love the moment I set eyes on her at the airport that cold December evening. This perfect, beautiful, loving chocolate kitten was all mine! I was in heaven. She was not only beautiful, but she appeared to be in great health. Obviously very well cared for and loved.
However, it wasn't long before the diarrhea started. At first, we thought it was stress. Who wouldn't be stressed after flying and coming into a new home with strange people. Unfortunately, the diarrhea persisted. Only during the time she was on antibiotics did she appear to be feeling better but the moment the antibiotics were stopped, she became "ill" again. She just wasn't a "normal" kitten. Her days were spent sleeping, eating and using the litter box. Very rarely did she play or run around.
She loved her food and ate constantly. BUT... she did not grow. By the time she reached 10 months old she weighed approximately 4lbs. The vets did blood tests and regular check ups and other then being small, they could not find anything wrong with Boode. FIP was suspected when she was about 7 months old, but her organs all felt "normal" and there was no fluid accumulation.
It was on Friday May 1st, 2009 that I took Boode back to the vets. She was extremely bloated and I was concerned that she might be pregnant, although I could not figure out HOW since my stud was kept away from her. The x-ray showed no kittens, only an abdomen full of fluid. Her 4lbs was up to 5lbs and that extra pound was all fluid. The vet extracted some of the fluid to send away for testing. The fluid was clear in color, not the "normal" color for FIP fluid. But, the vet was quite certain that Boode had FIP due to all of her "symptoms" and I was told to prepare myself because there is no cure for it. I was devastated.
We took Boode home and over the weekend she became worse. I called the vets office first thing Monday morning and asked to have the fluid drained to give her some relief. We brought Boode in and the vet was able to drain 125ml of now frothy straw yellow fluid from Boode's abdomen. As she finished, the fax came in stating that Boode was "low risk" positive but that the test results, symptoms and fluid were good indications that Boode did in fact have wet FIP. We needed to decide whether to euthanize then or to allow her to live out the rest of her life, which the vet made clear was not going to be very long. We took Boode home for the night to decide since the fluid was already drained and she seemed to be feeling a bit better.
Unfortunately Boode went down hill over night. Having small seizures, trouble walking and not making it to the litter box. We made arrangements to have her "put to rest" and at 5:30pm on May 5th, 2009 Boode went peacefully. She continued purring right until the very end.
Needless to say, my heart was breaking and the tears would not stop flowing. The vet gave me some time to say good bye and we then took her home with us, buried her and planted a beautiful flower on top of her grave.
RIP BOODE BABY... ALWAYS IN OUR HEARTS!
FIP is something that every breeder will eventually see. Is it their fault? NO! I was of course upset that I lost my sweet baby girl to this terrible disease but Sue and Kerry were so very kind, understanding and supportive during the whole ordeal. Rather then turning me away and "pretending" it didn't happen, they stepped up and not only stood behind their contract and offered to send me a replacement kitty, but they took samples from all of their cats and sent them into UC DAVIS and they had their fabulous stud, Boode's daddy, neutered to try and prevent this from happening again. They also kept all of the offspring produced by this stud to monitor for a year to ensure they too did not contract FIP. Scaatycat cattery, in my opinion, is as reputable as a cattery gets. YES, a kitty from their cattery died of FIP BUT, at least one kitty from EVERY CATTERY that has been around long enough will die of FIP (whether the breeders want to admit it or not) and unlike many breeders out there, Sue and Kerry took responsibility.
Below are two pictures of the fluid extracted from Boode's abdomen.