Miss Bean was adopted with her sister Vanilla from a litter of 5—2 girls and 3 boys. She was the runt of the litter and after her spay surgery she never recovered her energy. She was diagnosed with wet Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) on June 28th and, with her condition rapidly deteriorating, we had no choice but to schedule her euthanasia for the following day at 3pm. However, that morning we received a message from one of our regular Facebook followers on our @ZenByCat page. She said she knew a vet, Dr. Pedersen, up near University of California Davis who might be able to get Miss Bean into a drug trial for young kittens with wet FIP. Through the help of many kind humans and lots of luck, she was accepted into the trial. But, we had to get her to the clinic, 400 miles north, by the following morning. So we packed up her little box, large play pen, food, and toys and made the drive, arriving late into the night at the Sheraton Sacramento, who were kind enough to let Miss Bean stay in the room. The next morning she had a two-hour evaluation with Dr. Pedersen and several of his students. Dr. Heather Kennedy, the vet who helped connect us to Dr. Pedersen, agreed to care for Miss Bean for the first critical few days of treatment. She was a very sick kitten. On the second day she was playing like a normal kitten but on the 4th day her temperature shot up to 105.5°. Over the next 3 days her fever remained stubbornly high, only dropping a degree or less. When she was picked up on July 8th, her fever had broken, but she had no energy and had begun to shiver. Dr. Pedersen decided she was too sick to go home. I said what I thought was my final good bye, leaving her in his care with the understanding that he did not feel she would make it through the weekend. But, the next day, I received an email message from Dr. Pedersen that started with “you got your first miracle “. Her energy was back and she has been improving a little each day. They now expect her swollen abdomen to disappear over the next few days. She will be on the protease inhibitor for the next 7+ weeks. In that time, they expect her to become a healthy kitten with no detectable evidence of the dreaded, deadly FIP. The moment of truth will be when she is taken off the drug. By then the hope is that her own immune system would be able to kill the virus during the 9 weeks it was held at bay by the viral drug.
Since becoming involved with Dr. Pedersen we have become friends with Walt and his cat Flora, another trial patient. She had a very similar near death fever at the beginning and has since made a miraculous recovery. Her 9-week trial ends in 2 days, on July 13. We are hoping Flora will continue to blaze a trail for Miss Bean.