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Curio came to us at 2.5 months in early January 2020. We had a cat, Millie, who was about nine months old at the time. We knew that having a playmate would be good for Millie, and Curio turned out to be the perfect match. He and Millie bonded quickly, often chasing each other around the house, tumbling one atop the other. It was quite the scene since he was about 3 lbs and she was 11 lbs. Still, he held his own. Curio also bonded quickly with the two of us. He was cuddly and loving whenever he wasn't playing. He purred like a rock tumbler and slept between us at night.
In the middle of February, Curio went to the vet for his booster shots. He had a very slight fever - 103 - but the vet attributed it to stress and gave him the vaccine. About a week later, we noticed that he wasn't playing with Millie anymore. When she chased him, he ran away and hissed. He lost interest in playing with anything; all he wanted to do was sleep on whichever human was currently sitting down. We thought that he might be playing hard during the day when we were at work. However, a couple days later on a Friday, I had to stay home to recover from a minor surgery. Curio slept on me all day. I noticed that despite having a belly, his hip bones and shoulder blades protruded. I called the vet. They didn't have any appointments until Monday, so I took him to a different vet who put him on antibiotics and an appetite stimulant. That weekend was awful; Curio ate a little bit, but he continued to sleep all day and his belly swelled even more.
On Monday, March 2nd, our vet diagnosed Curio with FIP. She told us that she could not help but pointed us in the direction of someone who might be able to. I wept all the way home. Then I reached out to a ZenByCat ambassador who immediately got us started on treatment. I joined FIP Warriors and began learning everything I could about FIP and FIP treatment with GS.
Curio had wet FIP with no neurological/ocular symptoms. He had all the classic blood markers for FIP along with the sticky yellow fluid in his abdomen. He began injections on the evening of March 2nd. For a week, I spent my work days terrified that I was going to come home and find out that we had lost him. But each day I came home and found him awake and ready for pets. His energy improved quickly, and by the second week he started batting at toys again. The story of his treatment is long, as are all the stories of FIP treatment. He had terrible diarrhea during the second week while he reabsorbed the fluid in his abdomen. He refused to eat anything but ham baby food for two days. He threw up several times and had to be put on anti nausea meds for a few weeks. His respiratory rate was regularly 60 bpm, prompting a trip to the emergency vet and several to his regular vet (he was eventually diagnosed with asthma after his treatment ended). His teething was delayed, leading to a tense couple of weeks while we waited for his baby teeth to fall out as we watched his adult teeth erupt and listened to him grinding his teeth while eating. (They did eventually all fall out without intervention.) He got three sores, and I made shirts for him out of some of my socks. And he hated the injections. He fought us regularly despite being given gabapentin. Sometimes the injections sites bled. We cried many nights.
And it was all worth it. All of it. By the end of the third week, Curio was gaining weight steadily. He was playing with his toys and with Millie. He was eating like a champ. Watching his recovery was remarkable. I worried about him constantly, and he constantly amazed me by continuing to get better and better.
Curio is now 13 weeks post-treatment and officially cured of FIP. When he was diagnosed, Curio was 3.5 lbs. Today, he weighs in just under 9 lbs. He and Millie play chase every morning (and sometimes in the middle of the night). Multiple times a day, he begs for one of his humans to play fetch with him (and he always gets his way). He still purrs like a rock tumbler.
We are grateful for everyone who made his treatment possible. Because of the researchers, ZenByCat, and the FIP Warrior community, Curio is thriving.