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On December 13th, 2019, I heard the word, "Coronavirus" for the first time. I had taken our two year Maine Coon to the ophthalmologist for treatment of what I thought was an eye infection. Instead, she suspected dry FIP.
Thinking back, Rudy's symptoms started several months before with an increasingly greasy coat and unexplained weight loss. I had taken him to the vet several times, and we agreed to keep an eye on him and run a full blood panel in several months. Then, the day after Thanksgiving, he started squinting and seemed unusually antiosocial. I rushed him to the emergency vet, where they flushed his eye and we treated him for conjunctivitis. He stopped eating by the following Monday, so I took him to my regular vet, who administered fluids. He seemed better. We continued to treat that eye, but it still seemed problematic, so I got on the wait list to see the specialist.
After we returned home on December 13th after a battery of tests, Rudy stopped eating and drinking on his own. I tended to him overnight, and researched and read everything I could find about FIP. I also found FIP Warriors and asked to join the group and was accepted. I reached out to an admin, who provided preliminary information regarding available medications. It's no exaggeration to say that it's a lot to take in! The next day, Sunday December 15th, Rudy looked especially emaciated, and then hid in the lining of our daughter's box spring mattress. When I pulled him out, he looked like he was dying. I asked our 2 and 4 year old daughters, who love him very much, to say goodbye. My mom and I then drove him to our local emergency vet again. We were prepared to let him go before the vet on duty assured us that she had seen worse, and thought he may still make it. She admitted him into ICU, and I began the process of securing supplies and medication. During this time, Rudy's left eye became dilated, and then his right. It became very clear that he could not see at all, as his retinas had detached in the front and back due to uveitis.
Four days later, I obtained everything I needed to start GS injections. We performed the first injection while he was in ICU. Within 24 hours, his fever broke, and he started eating and drinking on his own. He was released shortly after his second dose.
The improvement was immediate, as he started getting his energy back. He was, sadly, completely blind, and walked into walls and stepped into his food bowls. With two young and very active children in the house, I worried. A lot.
Then, on Christmas Day, Rudy jumped into an open window (it was unseasonably warm for Ohio). It was then that I saw that his eyes were no longer dilated, and his pupils were tiny slits! Oh happy day!!!
Rudy continued to gain weight and energy during treatment. We didn't have any off days, either. Administering injections was a struggle, but once they were done, he seemed fine. We had some bumps along the road, but he kept improving overall. We conducted bloodwork several times during treatment and at the conclusion of treatment, and all appeared normal. His eyes also healed, with the exception of a little scarring on the left side. We completed treatment on March 11th, and completed observation on June 2nd. Rudy has gone from weighing 10 lbs on December 15th, to weighing 16 lbs by mid-August. His fur is thick and soft as it should be, too. We do not know what the future holds, but we are so encouraged by what we have seen so far. Rudy is a huge part of our family, and we couldn't imagine losing him.