Cat-infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a worldwide deadly progressive viral disease. The disease can occur not only in domestic cats but also in wildlife such as cu, lion, and cheetah.
What is FIP?
Feline infectious peritonitis occurs predominantly in kittens under three months of age, but is a disease that can develop at any time. FIP is a complex viral disease caused by a particular viral strain called cat coronavirus. In most cases, coronavirus causes mild, treatable symptoms, but in some rare cases it turns into a malignant form that weakens the immune system of the cat and spreads throughout the body to death. According to pet professional media spruce pets, FIP is caused by viral mutations in the body and is coupled with the response of the immune system. And this binding reaction causes inflammation in other organs.
There are two types of FIP. The acute type, commonly referred to as 'wet' FIP, develops suddenly and causes dyspnea due to fluid accumulation in the abdomen and thorax. On the other hand, the chronic type is called 'dry' FIP and the lesion develops in the organs of the cat leading to neurological symptoms such as seizures or paralysis. Most cats infected with FIP usually have acute FIP.
Cause of FIP
There are two types of viruses that cause FIP, which can not be distinguished by laboratory tests. One of them, the virulent virus, is known as the catheter coronavirus (FECV) and is mildly toxic. When infected with this virus, there are no symptoms other than mild diarrhea. Another malignant virus that causes disease is the cause of FIP and is called the feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV). It is known that when FECV is mutated into FIPV in the feline, FIP is induced and replication begins in the cells of the cat. However, the main cause of this mutation remains unknown.
Signs and symptoms of FIP
Cats exposed to this virus show no signs or symptoms. Some mild symptoms of upper respiratory infections, such as sneezing, tears, and runny nose, may be seen, but some cats suffer from mild bowel disease such as diarrhea.
Cats seem to be suddenly appearing because they are good at hiding their pain. It may also show nonspecific symptoms such as loss of appetite, weight loss, depression, fuzzy hair condition, and fever.
Depending on the type of FIP in which the cat is stuck, the symptoms vary. Cats with wet FIP have symptoms similar to those of the dry type, such as weight loss, fever, and lethargy in the early stages of the disease. In addition, constipation and diarrhea accompany anemia. As the disease progresses rapidly, the abdominal cavity swells up, but there is no sign of pain. And the body fluids are choking on the chest, making it difficult to breathe. If a cat has these symptoms, it will usually die within two months.
On the other hand, dry FIP proceeds at a slower rate. And non-specific symptoms such as chronic weight loss, fever, loss of appetite, and lethargy. These symptoms may vary depending on the organ in which the granuloma developed. When granuloma occurs in the central nervous system, symptoms such as paralysis, loss of sense of direction, balance sensation, seizures, and behavioral change are seen. On the other hand, granulomas can also occur in the liver, kidneys, and chest. If a cat exhibits such chronic symptoms, it can live up to one year.
Treatment and diagnosis
The best way to diagnose FIP is by biopsy. The veterinarian can microscopy the tissue samples of cats and conduct other special tests. If a biopsy is not possible, the condition can be diagnosed by other methods, including clinical symptom analysis and laboratory testing.
So far, no method has been developed to treat FIP. It only provides a supportive treatment to temporarily relieve the pain. There are also a number of treatments available to reduce the abdominal immune response.