What is FIP Disease in Cats? What Are the Symptoms of FIP?
FIP disease is a viral infection that occurs in cats. It occurs when a virus called feline coronavirus (FCoV) mutates. This virus is usually found in the intestines of cats and causes an infection with mostly mild symptoms. In some cases, however, the virus mutates into the FIP virus, affecting the cat's immune system, causing serious health problems.
The exact trigger of the Mutation causing the change is still unknown. General observations indicate that low immunity resulting from stress, sterilization and poor living conditions can lead to the initiation of the FCOV mutation in FIPV. From our treatment studies, we see that pure breeds are more prone to this deadly mutation than mixed breeds. FIP can occur in cats of any age.
There are two main types of FIP disease: wet FIP and dry FIP. Both types are closely related to the cat's immune system and are more common in cats with compromised immune systems. Cats who are young, old, or with compromised immune systems are more vulnerable to FIP.
What is wet FIP?
FIP is a feline disease called Feline Infectious Peritonitis. Wet FIP is the most common and dangerous type of this disease, often occurring in kittens between the age of 6 months to 1.5 years old. Wet FIP results in fluid accumulation in the cat's abdominal and thoracic cavity. This liquid is usually yellowish and sticky, causing discomfort by lowering the cat's body temperature.
The cause of wet FIP is usually related to the cat's immune system. If the cat's immune system is unable to deal with the FIP virus, the virus spreads and causes inflammation. Wet FIP is most commonly seen in cats that are young, old, or with compromised immune systems. This causes the virus to spread faster and the cat's body to react more violently.
The symptoms of the WET form of FIP are more easily identifiable due to the bloating of the stomach. Bloating is caused by fluid buildup in the abdomen and chest. Because the Wet form of FIP can be diagnosed early, the survival rate of cats is very high when treated with GS-441524.
What is dry FIP?
Dry FIP is another type of FIP disease. Dry FIP, unlike wet FIP, progresses without fluid accumulation in the cat's body. Instead, hard, nodal structures called granulomas form on the cat's body. These granulomas can cause damage to the cat's organs and tissues.
The course of dry FIP is usually slower and its symptoms less severe. However, dry FIP can also cause serious health problems and reduce the cat's quality of life. The cause of dry FIP, like wet FIP, is related to the cat's immune system. If the cat's immune system is unable to cope with the FIP virus, the virus spreads and granulomas begin to form in the cat's body. This causes inflammation and damage to the cat's organs and tissues.
The dry form of FIP is more difficult to identify. There are several symptoms that can definitively indicate Dry FIP until the advanced stages of the disease. Therefore, late diagnosis of Dry FIP is often the main cause of higher mortality compared to Wet FIP. In the early stages of dry FIP, cats develop lesions in their kidneys and liver, causing loss of appetite and physical inactivity. Eventually the virus enters the central nervous system, causing clouding of the eyes (ocular FIP) and loss of body control of movement (neurological FIP) and ultimately complete paralysis and death.
What are the symptoms of FIP disease in cats?
FIP disease occurs in cats with a variety of symptoms. The symptoms of wet and dry FIP can differ, but both types have some common symptoms. Here are the common symptoms of FIP disease:
Anorexia and Weight loss
Significant weight loss is another common symptom of FIP in cats. This is because the cat's body is not able to properly absorb nutrients from food. Loss of appetite is common in cats with FIP. Cats refuse to eat, may experience nausea, and this leads to weight loss over time.
Fatigue and Weakness
FIP disease in cats often causes loss of energy and fatigue. Cats become less active due to illness and tend to sleep.
High Body Temperature
Cats afflicted with FIP can develop a high fever that reaches 40 degrees Celsius. This is usually due to inflammation caused by the virus in the cat's internal organs, including the lungs, kidneys, and liver. If you notice that your cat has had a high fever for several days, take her to the vet for a thorough checkup.
Abdominal and Chest Swelling
Cats with wet FIP have fluid accumulation in the abdominal and thoracic cavities. Abdominal distension may develop due to fluid accumulation. This can cause the cat to appear bloated or uncomfortable. This makes it difficult for the cat to breathe and move.
FIP can cause fluid to build up in the cat's lungs, making it difficult to breathe properly. This can cause rapid breathing or signs of difficulty breathing. Cats may show symptoms such as wheezing and coughing when breathing. If your cat is showing signs of breathing problems, it's important to seek immediate medical attention.
Problems in the Pupil
FIP disease can cause inflammation and damage to a cat's eyes. Cats may experience symptoms such as eye discharge, redness, and sensitivity to light. This condition is known as Ocular FiP.
Jaundice in Cats
We can observe this in yellow color changing areas on the cat's body such as the gums, ears, nose, palms and pupils.
Joint Stiffness and Balance Disorder
Neurological FIP can cause stiffness in the cat's joints, making it difficult for them to move easily. FIP disease can cause granulomas to form in the cat's nervous system and brain tissues: This causes the cat to display neurological signs, eg; balance problems, paralysis and seizures can be observed.
We have to see this by looking at the results of hematological blood tests done on cats.
Stress in Cats
If your cat is experiencing stress, this may be one of the factors we can observe in cats. Like acting out of habit, it may indicate that the cat is stressed.
Cat Urinary Tract Problems
You can see this when the cat seems to have started to urinate infrequently as usual.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is FIP Disease Contagious in Cats?
FCoV or Feline Coronavirus is a type of virus that can be spread through the saliva, feces and urine of infected cats and can be transmitted to other cats through contact with contaminated environments. FCoV can cause several types of diseases in cats, including Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), a very dangerous disease in cats.
How is FIP Disease Transmitted in Cats?
FIP disease usually spreads between cats and can be transmitted in several ways:
The most common mode of transmission is through contact with the feces of an infected cat. Healthy cats can acquire the virus by licking or swallowing the virus found in litter boxes or on surfaces contaminated with feces.
The FIP Virus can also be transmitted through airborne particles and aerosols. The virus can spread through the air when infected cats sneeze or cough, and it is possible for other cats to inhale the virus.
In rare cases, the virus can be passed from infected mother to unborn offspring or through breastfeeding.
People, things, or other pets that have come into contact with an infected cat can transmit the virus to healthy cats. That's why it's important to wash your hands after contact with your pets and keep their environment clean.
Is FIP Transmitted from Cats to Humans?
For humans, there is no need to worry about FIP disease. FIP virus is not a disease transmitted to humans in the light of the researches done so far. There may be different coronaviruses for humans, but FIP disease is not a type of virus that infects humans.
Still, it's important to always follow the rules of hygiene and wash your hands after contact with your pets. This will help protect you from potential diseases.
How Long Does a Cat With FIP Live?
The life expectancy of a cat with FIP varies depending on the severity and type of the disease and the cat's immune status. This period can vary from a few weeks to several months for Wet FIP. The life expectancy of cats with dry FIP can range from a few months to a year or more, depending on the progression of the disease and the cat's immune status.
Symptoms of FIP may vary depending on the course of the disease and the cat's immune status. If you notice any of the above symptoms in your cat, it is very important that you take them to the vet for a thorough examination. FIP is a serious condition, but early detection can help increase the chances of a positive outcome. If you have any questions or concerns about FIP and its treatment, feel free to contact us on WhatsApp or visit our Instagram page for more information.