In the summer of 2019, I was finally ready to adopt again after grieving the loss of my 2 FIP angels. My Siberian Forest Cat Petey came home on May 25th and was the picture of health and perfection. A month later, I fell in love with and adopted a DLH rescue kitten who had been hand raised by a vet-tech after his litter was found abandoned The 2 boys bonded immediately and were inseparable.
Everything was great until August 6th, when Petey missed a meal which was completely unlike him. He was 5.5 months old at the time and would normally eat his body weight in food if I'd let him. He went to the vet that afternoon, fearing the worst, but my vet assured me that I was having FIP Paranoia. His fever was 104F and his CBC and Chem panel looked fairly normal except for extremely high WBC and neutrophils. He was diagnosed with a bacterial infection, given a Convenia injection and sent home. Whew, it was nothing! But no, that would change soon enough.
The next morning, his fever was 106.5, he again refused food and water, and he was extremely lethargic. I admitted him into the hospital and for the following 4 days, despite 3 antibiotics, IV fluids, nutritional support, and cooling pads, he got progressively worse to the point where he was just laying face down in his litter box and he was not expected to survive the week. On Aug 11th, the dreaded phone call came. Petey had palpable fluid in his abdomen. A new CBC and chem panel were run, and abdominal fluid was sent out for a PCR. All of the classic markers were present and he was diagnosed with wet FIP.
After Lily and Jack died, I'd stayed involved with FIP Warriors largely because I found it cathartic to help other cats beat this monster. I never imagined I'd be needing the support of the group first hand again. Thankfully though, because of my involvement I knew that experimental gs from China was readily available. I told my vet that Petey was going to try black market GS and that I fully understood if she could not be involved with his treatment, but her response shocked me. "If there's anything we can do to save him, I'm not going to let this baby die needlessly. How soon can you be back with some GS?" I found some that was located about 2 hours from home, jumped in my car and drove to NY that night to get it.
He got his first dose the next day. Within 12 hours, his fever broke and his temp was normal again at 102. After dose #3, he ate the full plate of food that was left for him during the night and was crying for more the following morning when the hospital staff arrived. After his 5th dose, he looked and acted like a perfectly healthy kitten and he was discharged home, where he continued to do amazingly well. We continued to go to his vet every day to check his weight, temp, and administer his injection. Petey's entire team was 110% supportive and thrilled with his miraculous progress.
On day 25 of treatment, his CBC and chem panel showed tremendous improvement, but he still had some liver and kidney values that were irregular. We stayed the course with his daily injections and on day 65 of treatment, he had a new CBC, chem panel and ultrasound done. The results of all diagnostics were absolutely flawless, with no trace of FIP whatsoever!
After consulting with Dr Pedersen, we decided that Petey would be neutered during his GS treatment. He'd matured right around the mid-point of treatment and was becoming extremely aggressive and dominant. He was neutered on day 72 and continued his injections for the remaining 12 days, the theory being that he'd be protected by GS while his immune system recovered from surgery.
He finished his treatment on November 3rd and I'm happy to say that he is officially FIP-free! Today he is a perfectly healthy, crazy, 8.5 month old kitten with boundless energy, a voracious appetite, and an endless desire for belly-rubs. The 84-day journey wasn't easy...but giving my sweet boy the chance at a long healthy life was totally worth it!