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FIP Warrior:

Boba Biscotti

In loving memory of our dearest little Boba, he was truly a bundle of joy. The most loving and sweet kitten. We got Boba through a reputable breeder. When we saw his photos and videos from the cattery, we immediately fell in love with him and were excited to receive him once he reached 10 weeks old. We were advised he was a little underweight before the breeder sent him over from Alberta to British Columbia. We were so excited that we prepared everything well in advance of his arrival – we simply wanted to take him home as soon as we could. With no consideration, we thought we could just simply feed him more and he would be able to catch up to the weight of an average kitten his age.

Few days after we received Boba, we went to see the vet for his second set of scheduled vaccines. To our surprise, the vet said he was not ready for them as he was underweight, had a fever, and a kitty cold that also caused his right eye to swell up. We were given Clavamox (antibiotic) for his cold and Isathal Eye Gel for his swollen eye for one week. One week later, his symptoms didn’t improve much, and when we revisited the vet, we were told that he was still underweight and that he should be medicated for another week. Boba was also referred to see an eye specialist for his swollen eye, and was then prescribed Voltaren Eye Drops three times day as they found inflammation in his right eye. His symptoms continued, and when we revisited the vet again for a check up, the vet recommended testing for FIV and FeLV to rule them out. We were relieved when they came back negative, but were still frustrated by this mysterious cold –Boba’s symptoms had no change and his airway became more congested with runny nose and super watery eyes.

To get a second opinion, we decided to swap to a vet clinic that specialized in felines to see if they could help Boba with this stubborn cold of his. After being on Clavamox for three weeks, the feline specialist told us to try Doxycycline (administer orally for another 10 days), which is more targeted towards respiratory, UTI, eye and intestinal type infections. Two days in with the medication, Boba finally seemed to be getting better. He was more energized, ate more and had no more sneezing. The only thing we noticed was that he started peeing an pooping outside the litter box, which was very unusual for him. A few days after we finished the medication, we noticed his kitty cold symptoms were slowly bouncing back we also started to see his belly begin to bloat.

Right away we went back to the clinic and hoping to get a refill of Doxycycline, some deworming pills for his belly and inquired about his peeing episodes. Seeing Boba in such a weak state, the vet suspected an underlying condition, and told us to do a full blood panel test and urine test to rule out any severe concerns. She told us peeing or pooping outside the litter box for cats meant either he was stressed/ has UTI/ in pain.  Also on the same week, we revisited the eye specialist for a checkup. Since his eye looked much less inflamed, we were optimistic that we would be able to stop his eye drops. Instead, we were told, that not only was his right eye not fully better, but inflammation had begun to develop in his other eye as well. The specialist suspected it to be caused by FIP or Toxoplasmosis, which would be determined by the full blood panel we requested.

As we waited for the test results over the weekend, Boba’s condition deteriorated even more rapidly. He completely lost his appetite, wasn’t drinking water, had trouble walking, and was resting most of the time. His belly also continued to bloat to almost double it’s usual size, and even then, he was losing weight. It was then that we feared the worst, and had a feeling that Boba wouldn’t be around much longer. As soon as the test results came back, the doctor contacted us urgently, saying that Boba is in a very poor condition, with the results pointing towards FIP as the cause for all of his issues, including anemia, liver & kidney failure, a suppressed immune system, bloating and fluid accumulation in the abdomen, high bilirubin levels that caused jaundice, and loss of coordination.

Our brave little trooper Boba fought till the very end, and was only 4 months old when he passed away. We really miss him, and hope our story can help create awareness about this life threatening illness within the cat community.