This is one story I never wanted to have to tell!
My gorgeous sweet boy, Loki, a one year old Norwegian Forest Cat, has been diagnosed with Dry Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP).
He’s been poorly for nearly three weeks now and has spent most of that time being prodded and poked by the vets trying to figure out what is wrong with him. Loki is such a sweetheart, he never complains, never lashes out, he just lets everyone get on and do their thing.
Loki first presented with extreme lethargy and extreme weight loss. He literally went from being an energetic, talkative and super loving big cat to an emaciated, lethargic bag of bones almost overnight. He wouldn’t eat, barely moved, stopped talking and just looked like he was dying. His spark had been put out.
The vets found a mass in his abdomen, my heart literally broke in two when the word “Lymphoma” was mentioned. Loki was taken straight in to theatre for an investigation operation. They found the mass to be super enlarged lymph nodes. One was removed but the largest one had to stay due to its position in the intestines but they removed part of it and sent them all off to the laboratory for testing. He had blood test after blood test after blood test, I felt for sure that they were vampires just draining Loki of all his blood.
He tested negative for all the serious feline diseases, as I knew he would because his breeding is absolutely the best in the world without a doubt.
His biopsy came back clear of Lymphoma. I cried my eyes out with pure relief only for the vet to say “I’m really sorry but we suspect dry FIP and there’s no good outcome, it’s untreatable, incurable and fatal”. My tears of joy stopped right there and I am unashamed to say that I broke down.
Here’s the good news!
Loki’s breeder is world class, the best there is, a breeder that actually cares about their cats. We are in constant contact. This breeder told me that FIP is no longer the death sentence it once was due to the 50 year research that one amazing man Dr Pedersen has devoted his life to. He has found that the GS-441524 drug not only treats FIP but in most cases, actually cures it. This breeder sent me links to his web page and all his research which lead me to the amazing (I know, I keep using that word but I can’t think of a better word to use) Facebook group FIP Warriors 5.0. I finally found some hope for Loki.
Within minutes of my first “please help me” post I was put in touch with admin for my area. This lovely lady explained everything that I needed to know after taking Loki’s history and me uploading all of Loki’s recent test results and outcomes. Within the hour of that first contact with FIP Warriors, I was put in touch with my nearest stockist and arranged a time to go and collect Loki’s new drug treatment. Seriously, my head was all over the place with thoughts of “who are these people”, “how do I know they are genuine”, “what am I about to give me cat”, “omg, I’m arranging to meet a stranger for an unknown (to me) drug, at nearly 10 o’clock at night, that I am supposed to inject into my cat???? What the hell am I doing” all whilst trying to convince my sceptical husband that this was not a scam, this was worth trying and that Loki is at deaths door and I’m not prepared to give up on him. I felt like I was on a mission to find my drug of choice and was meeting a new dealer. I suppose in a way I was but for my cat not me. By the way, the couple that we met to get the drug were brilliant, they totally understood my worries and concerns but they talked me through it.
I have to inject this drug into Loki every single day, at the same time, for twelve weeks. I’ve never given an injection in my life, to say I was apprehensive is an understatement. This treatment could save Loki’s life but it’s not cheap, it’s not outrageously unattainably expensive either. What price do put on your beloved cats head? For me, Loki is priceless so I didn’t care and would worry about the financial situation later (Reckless? Probably! Understandable? Absolutely!). The FIP Warriors Facebook group donated the first two vials to get Loki started on treatment asap as the earlier treatment starts, the better.
I have to say that I do have the support of Loki’s vet but he can’t prescribe this treatment because the company that makes it refuses to get it licensed for animal use.
Loki is now, thankfully, in the observation stage of his treatment which is another 84 days of monitoring and regular blood tests. Fingers crossed for an uneventful journey.
My pets are my life, I have two Norwegian Forest Cats and Bichon Frisè dog. Being of ill health and mostly housebound (the journey to collect the drug was the first time out for me in a long time and took every ounce of strength I had) all I have are my pets (loving husband and fantastic family too of course) and I will and have done anything to keep them happy, healthy and always so so loved.