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We found out April 21st that our Luna (age 15 weeks at the time) has Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) after taking her to the MedVet ER for abdominal distention. It was our worst fear and it is fatal with no cure. We started off giving her steroids for palliative treatment and then started Feline Interferon to help slow the progression and give us some time with her. We wanted to give her every chance as long as it’s humane and she is not in pain. We truly have the perfect Savannah with Luna as she has exceeded our expectations. I see now how people get so attached to their pets. This is a horrible feeling and we’ve only had her 5 for weeks, but are beyond attached.
I contacted the UC Davis (California) Veterinary College after doing hours of research into this horrible disease and searching for clinical trials. I had read that they were making great progress on a trial drug for FIP over the past few years. I left a message on April 23rd with the details of Luna’s diagnosis and history and got a call back on the 24th! I learned that they had completed their trial on the first drug (a protease inhibitor called “GC376”) and that it was no longer available for use in trial or treatment and that it’s findings were being published. However, they were in the process of another trial drug (an antiviral; we will leave it at that) that is just as promising. Luna is the first privately owned, naturally acquired FIP cat to receive this drug. We are so honored and excited that she met the criteria for this small research trial and I get chills when I think about the timing of it all.
We needed to get her to Sacramento, CA ASAP after receiving the call and approval and have her admitted to their clinic for 5-10 days of drug trial and monitoring. We did that on April 28th, seven days after her FIP diagnosis. She responded extremely well and fast, and was able to come home at the 6-day mark. We are continuing to administer the drug at home, (currently at the 6 week mark now) have her labs repeated at specific intervals by her local vet, and results reported to Dr. Pedersen at UCD, for a total of twelve weeks.
This seemingly positive outcome gives a glimmer of hope, not just for Luna, but for the future of cats diagnosed with FIP. We could still theoretically lose Luna if the drug fails to eradicate her FIP, but at least her short life will have had a purpose. I can only imagine what this could mean the future of other FIP diagnosed cats.