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FIP Warrior:


I was driving to pick up my mom to go visit my dad in the hospital, and as I approached a busy 5-way intersection, I saw some small animal bouncing in the middle of the intersection, repeatedly nearly getting hit. I stopped the car and scooped up what turned out to be a tiny tuxedo kitten, with the most adorable heart dot trio on her nose. I was going to get her to a rescue because I already had 2 cats, but she turned out to be FeLV+ and no rescue would touch her (though it was unclear at 5 weeks if this viral status was accurate). Turns out it was, and we endured a long, playful, cuddly, quarantine at my parents' (where I had an extended care-taking stay) while my other girls were vaccinated for FeLV, etc. I struggled to find a fitting name for her, so she became BabyCat, and she was such a loving, amazing, precious girl. She was in otherwise perfect health, and I was preparing to start LTCI treatments to see if they would help with her viral status/immune health. In the meantime, I had her spayed, and sadly none of the vets (in parents' town) warned me that surgical stress in an FeLV+ cat can trigger FIP. So what I assumed was post-op hesitancy/lethargy on her part (compared to her typical goofball acrobatics), was the beginning of the end. Her breathing soon became rapid, and the emergency vet said her chest cavity was full of fluid. She spent overnight in an O2 tent with abx & steroids, but there was no mention of FIP, and no tests were run. It wasn't until 2 days later at my own vet for follow-up that I first heard of FIP. Tragically, I lost her the next day because her breathing was getting worse and she was running out of fight. She was just shy of 7 months, so her name was more fitting than I'd known. I'm devastated by the lack of information I got about her condition and the risks, and have tried to learn as much as I can do that her death wasn't meaningless.