In January 2020, we noticed that Cat Stevens looked a little off. His fur was looking less groomed, and it looked like he had been losing a bit too much weight. When we took him to the vet in early February, they weren't certain what was wrong with him. A week later we moved him over to intensive care at Vista Veterinary specialists, and he received a diagnosis of Dry (non-effusive) FIP a few days later. At the time, our vet thought we were going to have to put him down.
After frantically looking at the peer-reviewed literature, I found the Pedersen et al. (2019) paper which indicated that GS-441524 could be used to effectively treat cats for FIP. Several hours later I had made it to the FIP Warriors facebook page, and was being connected with a supply of GS-441524, that I was able to pickup that evening.
We started treatment with Cat Stevens on February 19th, 2020. After one injection, he was feeling good enough to leave intensive care, and we took him home to continue treatment. The next several weeks were remarkable! We saw Cat Stevens go from a curled up ball of misery to a normal-seeming, active cat. As he re-gained his strength, the injections became harder and harder. We looked at various options for restraining him. We looked into cones, and kitty tortillas. The most important thing was to continue to give him this miraculous, life-saving drug.
Eventually, we got into a routine that worked best for us: no restraints. We set aside a room in our home for injections, and removed anything that he would be able to hide under/inside of which would make injections impossible. We found that by using a pair of thick gloves, and numerous churus, we were often able to get an injection into him while he was distracted by the treat. The injections worked best when we didn't rush them, and just bribed him into a corner with churus.
By early May, we were looking forward to finally being done! Unfortunately, by day 3 of the observation period it was apparent that he had relapsed. We believe the relapse was because he had undetected neurological symptoms, and that we had not been treating at a high enough dosage to pass the blood brain barrier. This is a known issue with treating cats for Dry FIP, which is why many vets now suggest a starting dosage of 10 mg/kg for dry cases.
We began our second round of treatment for Cat at 10 mg/kg, and decided after the 1st month to step it up to 15 mg/kg to make sure we were at sufficiently high concentrations to cross the blood brain barrier. After another 84 days of injections, and a whole lot of yowling, mis-haps, and stress, we were finally finished.
We completed Cat's 84-day observation period on October 30th, 2020. Our boy can now be declared officially cured!