FIP Answer


Signs of FIP appear weeks, months and, in rare cases, years after the initial infection. During this quiescent phase, cats may have no symptoms or vague signs, such as stunting or increased susceptibility to other common infections. Many people believe that FIP will cause signs of upper respiratory disease in the early stage; This is technically incorrect because upper respiratory diseases are usually caused by herpes virus, chlamydia, mycoplasma, etc., rather than directly by FIPV.

As time goes by, some cats win and others lose. However, “defeat” may occur for a long time; Only in the end, when the cat’s defense ability collapses, will there be more characteristic signs of FIP. This surrender to the virus explains why cats with FIP rarely recover because the loss of immunity is extremely difficult to reverse. Although not valued in the past, we now know that cats in the end stage of FIP usually have severe immune dysfunction. This explains why common bacterial infections may complicate the disease situation of cats with FIP.

Cats with FIP clinical cases may initially exhibit nonspecific symptoms, such as growth retardation, loss of appetite, depression, rough hair, weight loss, fluctuating antibiotic resistance, fever, and increased susceptibility to secondary infections such as respiratory diseases. The more specific signs of FIP depend on the form of the disease (wet and dry) and the organs involved.

The most common form of this disease is called “wet FIP”. Wet FIP is caused by abdominal visceral inflammation, and chest organs are rare. This inflammation exudes a large amount of characteristic mucus yellow fluid (exudate). Therefore, the main clinical symptoms of wet FIP are ascites and abdominal distension (abdominal involvement) or dyspnea (chest involvement).  

FIP can also take a more chronic form, called “dry FIP”. As the name suggests, dry FIP has nothing to do with the effusion in the abdomen or chest, but is related to the intima of the kidney, spleen, liver and terminal intestine, eyes, lungs and heart, as well as local masses in the central part. Nervous system. Uveitis (inflammation in the eye) affects the eyes, making them look cloudy and changing the color of the iris. Inflammation can enter the brain and spinal cord and lead to a series of progressive neurological abnormalities. FIP accounts for more than half of the cases of inflammatory intraocular and nervous system diseases in cats under 3-5 years old.

Cats with FIP do not appear to be highly contagious to the cats they come into contact with. Although this is mainly based on clinical observation, it has also been confirmed by laboratory research. No contact propagation was observed in the experimental environment. In addition, cat to cat transmission means that each FIPV isolated from the FIP population outbreak is genetically the same. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have not yet observed this. However, researchers now know that FIPV exists in the feces of some cats with FIP, so horizontal transmission is theoretically possible and can explain the uncommon FIP epidemic, that is, many cats in the same environment develop FIP within a few days or weeks.

FIP is caused by mutations in fecv. Although fecv mutation to FIPV is common, fortunately, only a small number of cats exposed to this mutant virus will be infected with FIP. Fecv is undergoing constant mutations, and several genetic forms of the virus may coexist in the same animal at the same time. Most of these mutations have little effect on the behavior of the virus and are only used to genetically reflect the region of virus origin. However, some viruses have significant effects on the biological behavior of viruses. One study showed that 20% of kittens infected with fecv produced FIP mutants. Of course, only a small number of mutations will continue to produce FIP, depending on host resistance factors (genetic or non genetic).

This genetic change from fecv to FIPV is called internal mutation theory. The internal mutation theory has two corollaries: 1) every cat with FIP, even if it is in the same nest, closely related or co raised, has a unique mutation, and 2) FIP level (cat to cat) transmission of FIPV mutants is not common. Researchers at the University of California, Davis reconfirmed inference 1 and conceptually confirmed inference 2, but not in practice. The reconfirmation of the internal mutation theory comes from the recent outbreak in three kittens in a litter of Scottish folding eared cats and half siblings in the second litter. All four FIPV have very similar but genetically unique gene mutations. These mutations are not present in viruses in the form of feces excreted by healthy exposed cats.

Coronavirus is common in all cat populations, and the most important one in cats is correctly called feline intestinal coronavirus (fecv). Fecv exists in almost all cat houses with 6 to 8 or more cats, and up to 40% of kittens are abandoned to shelters. Enteroviruses in cats live in the digestive tract and are excreted with feces. Cats can excrete the virus continuously or intermittently for 4-6 months or a year or more. Recurrent infections are also common. Fecv is easily spread through garbage and garbage dust, and can be carried from one place to another through people’s bodies and clothes. Virus contaminated material can easily be transferred to the paws and fur of susceptible cats and then ingested while combing their hair. Kittens are infected by other cats at about 9-10 weeks of age.

FIP affects purebred and randomly bred cats. However, the disease usually begins in young cats, so it is closely related to cat reproduction and shelter. Improper feeding can also exacerbate the disease, especially due to overcrowding (shelters, large cat families). We also know that genetic susceptibility may account for 50% or more of the risk of FIP in a pure variety studied.

Although FIP occurs in all breeds, there is no doubt that some lineages, and therefore some mating, are more likely to produce kittens that eventually die of FIP. These genetic factors are likely to be the result of inbreeding into variety development. Therefore, cat houses are at the highest risk because they are highly affected by all three risk factors (kitten production, intensive housing, genetic susceptibility). Any given kennel is very likely to suffer at least one FIP outbreak within five years, and the mortality rate of the kennel may be several times higher than that of the general population.

The FIP risk of the shelter is second, the highest incidence rate is the cat adopted during overcrowding and long time stay. Most shelter kittens are bred randomly, many of them from wildcat pools. In general, randomly bred kittens are more genetically diverse, so the feeding factors leading to FIP are more important than genetic factors in this population. Feeding factors are greatly affected by the seasonal influx of kittens.

The age of the cat at the time of initial exposure to fecv may play an important role in whether the cat died of FIP. Kittens usually begin to shed fecv at about 9-10 weeks of age, which advances their actual exposure time by a few days to a week. The immune system of kittens matures rapidly during the age of 6-16 weeks. Therefore, most cats’ first exposure to FIP mutants occurs when their immune system is still developing. This lack of development increases the possibility of FIPV mutants gaining a strong foothold in vivo. Just as there is age sensitivity, there seems to be age resistance. FIP is rare in cats over 3-5 years old. Most cases occur before 16 months old.

FIP is caused by feline coronavirus. Various coronaviruses exist in most types of animals and humans and usually cause acute respiratory or intestinal diseases. FIP is the cause of one death in every 100 to 300 cats in the United States. The incidence rate of young cats from cat houses and shelters may be 5 times higher than that of cats. It is the main cause of ascites (ascites) and intraocular and nervous system inflammation, and the disease of cats under 3-5 years old. FIP is almost 100% fatal and there are no good preventive measures. FIP’s emotional loss is particularly large because it breaks out weeks, months or even years after the initial infection. People who have a cat disease usually have a strong bond with their pet after a long time.

Avoid stress and overcrowding. Divide the cats into small and independent groups. Consider isolating the kitten from the mother at weaning to avoid exposure to the virus. Don’t mix young kittens with older kittens. If you can limit exposure to coronavirus before the age of 12-16 weeks, you may reduce the possibility of FIP when the immune system is better developed. Breeders should avoid mating with cats whose close relatives die of FIP or produce kittens with FIP. It is also important to follow a recognized vaccination programme and implement good feeding management to limit other infections. Clean and disinfect cages and dustbins regularly. Coronavirus is easily killed by bleach and other disinfectants.

A vaccine has been developed and can be used. However, it must be used for kittens at least 16 weeks old (most cats have been exposed to coronavirus at this age), it is ineffective for cats that have been exposed to coronavirus (most cats), and its efficacy is low for common serotypes of FIPV, even when all factors are optimal. In short, it doesn’t work in the environment that needs it most (cat house and shelter), and it’s unreasonable in elderly pet cats who can hardly see FIP. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, do not recommend it.

If you lose a cat due to FIP, remove any cat related items that you cannot clean or disinfect, such as scratch posts or plush toys. Clean and disinfect all other items in the environment as much as possible. Time will take care of the rest, because this type of virus will not exist in the environment for a long time. Suggest a few months, which is the standard for most infectious diseases.

Generally speaking, you can see the effect within 1-3 days, such as starting to have an appetite and no longer have fever。

There is a possibility of recurrence, especially the probability of non overflow (dry) FIP is relatively high. The causes of recurrence may mainly involve the variation caused by immunity, environment and coronavirus reinfection. For example, after recovering from a cold, it does not mean that you will no longer catch a cold in the future. We will provide guarantee. See our guarantee for details.

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