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Bubba's story starts on October 22nd of 2020. After losing a good deal of weight, he suddenly stopped eating and we went to emergency vet. They didn't have answers but stabalized him to go to regular vet next day. Bloodwork, ultra sounds, x-rays, followed several times into December with no diagnosis, but ruling out Kidney and liver disease, Lymphoma, multiple Myeloma, etc. Appetite stimulants and cerenia were the treatment.
January brought us to Internal Medicine specialist.. Endoscopy, Bone marrow biopsies, more ultrasound and bloodwork, diagnosed with irritable bowel, more appetite stimulants and prednisilone. Seemed to improve slightly for a couple of months but then crashed when trying to wean him off steroid. Sent to neurologist who said she didn't think it was neurological but said his bloodwork looked like FIP...First time I had ever heard of this.
Back to Internist for recheck and bloodwork, feeding tube placed so I could get nutrients into him. Internist did one more ultrasound and found a thickening of his intestines/colon. A colonoscopy was done to biopsy the lesion and finally in May 2021, a definitive diagnosis of Dry FIP. Almost a relief to have a name of something so I could fight with him after watching him suffer for so long.
Reached out to FIP warriors on a Sunday night, contacted back on Monday morning, was put in touch with someone local Monday afternoon to get meds and supplies to get started.
Bubba had been laying on the bed in same position, hadn't moved in 2 days, even when feeding through tube, after his first injection within hours he got up and walked to nearby food dish and ate some solid food. within days he was back up to walking around some and eating food. After first week on GS, we left feeding tube in place for 1 more week even though we were not using it, then pulled for good.
Before illness, Bubba was a 6 year old, 16lb, heavily muscled cat. At start of treatment he was 9lbs, had lost almost half his body weight. within several weeks of treatment he was back up to 12 lbs, and by end of treatment he was back to 15lbs.
Today is October 22nd, 2021 and Bubba was pronounced CURED today after 84 days of treatment and 84 days of observation. Almost 1 year to the day from Emergency vet visit. It's been a long and expensive road to get here. Although the GS treatment can be expensive, I spent almost 3 times what it cost before treatment trying to rule out other illnesses. If I had been more aware of FIP, or the vet had brought it up sooner, this might not have needed to take so long. Although the money part wasn't easy (thank god for retirement accounts), my biggest regret was the months that my boy suffered being sick and me being helpless except to keep putting him through test after test that wasn't helping him. This disease must become more well understood, acknowledged and the treatment made legal, licensed and mainstream. The need is just to great.
To all parents battling this, stay strong, you got this. I live alone and learned to feed through a tube, give injections, and administer meds in different forms, and as hard as it is for us, remember it's hardest on your poor kitty who doesn't understand but feels terrible. Very minor sacrifice on our part. I wish you all God speed and best of luck on your FIP journey!!!