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How contagious is FIP?

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Agaj, Jan 7, 2021.


  1. Agaj

    Agaj PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,

    2 months ago i adopted two kittens who had been rescued from the docks in my town, one was slightly older than the other so we don't think they were from the same mother/litter.
    After 2/3 weeks the older kitten Dodie started getting poorly. she had diarrhea and lethargy. I took her to the vets and they gave her antibiotics for a week and she seemed to improve. After finishing the antibiotics she went downhill very quickly so was started on a two week course and the vet decided it was FIP. He was doing a stool sample to rule out worms but she sadly passed away just before the antibiotics finished.
    The younger kitten Olive had a short period of diarrhea and was also given some antibiotics and i was informed it was likely FIP too. since then Olive's stool has returned to normal, she is a very happy and playful kitten with no symptoms to say she might have FIP minus a slight swelling to her tummy (i have never owned cats before and while she did have a 'potbellied' appearance before she was wormed this tummy is not nearly that bad so im unsure if it is swollen at all or if its just a normal kitten tummy). Its been over 2 weeks since she'd had any diarrhea and 1 week since Dodie passed away. I am still waiting on her stool sample results and further tests for Olive.

    Basically I have done a bunch of research on FIP and it seems each article says a different thing about how infectious FIP itself is. Some say it is just the initial Corona virus infection that spreads and potentially mutates and some say FIP itself is highly contagious.
    I think I'm just looking for some peace of mind while i wait for these test results to come back to whether the chances are high or low for Olive to have it too.
     
  2. QOTN

    QOTN PetForums VIP

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    If you read Neils Pedersen's papers or lectures on the subject, he is one of the foremost authorities. Coronavirus is very infectious but only mutates within individual susceptible cats to become FIP. I think it is generally thought that cats with FIP do not excrete virus but there was a study in a cat rescue (sorry not sure where but could be Malaysia?) that was having many cases and there was a suggestion then that FIP could be passed between cats. Pedersen states the mutations were proved to be different so the cats' stressful circumstances must have caused the spate of cases.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090023314001786

    This is a list of studies etc you might find interesting if you have not already seen them.
    https://ccah.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/cats/resources/general-feline-infectious-peritonitis-resources
     
    #2 QOTN, Jan 7, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
  3. Agaj

    Agaj PetForums Newbie

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  4. lenanowa

    lenanowa PetForums Member

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    FIP is not contagious cat to cat, feline coronavirus (FCOV) is. The majority of cats have or will be exposed to FCOV at some point in their lives, with little to no symptoms. In some rare cases, FCOV can mutate to FIP - its usually triggered by stress / lower immunity (that’s why it tends to happen in kittens and older cats).There is, however, genetic predisposition in up to 50% of cases.

    That said, my FIP survivor Luna is a half sibling of my other cat, and he’s fine (touch wood).

    Best you can do is keep the litter tray clean, provide good diet, and avoid multiple stressful events at one time (for example I wouldn’t want to move house and neuter the same week etc. )

    Is Olive eating and playing as normal? Stool test will give you information on whether she has FCOV (which she does) so a bit useless, but I’m guessing the vet is looking at other possibilities too. Typical symptoms or FIP are inappetence, fever that won’t go down with antibiotics, fluid in abdomen or chest in case of wet FIP (wet form is a lot easier to diagnose than dry), some markers in bloods like low A/G ratio.

    Unfortunately, vets very often jump to “it’s FIP” conclusion especially when there’s history of disease in the household.

    If you’re on Facebook, I’d recommend joining UK FIP Warriors group and they’ll be able to help with advice on whether it could be FIP or not.
     
    #4 lenanowa, Jan 9, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
  5. Agaj

    Agaj PetForums Newbie

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    Olive is eating and playing normally. She has had normal stools for over 2 weeks now. The vet is ruling out worms for her. Thank you for responding x
     
  6. Callidora

    Callidora PetForums Member

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    I’m so sorry to hear about your baby, I lost my beautiful Maine Coone to dry FIP 10 years ago when he was 5 years old and the pain never left me. I echo what others have said, FIP In and of itself isn’t contagious, it’s a process within the individuals own immune system in which, in its simplest explanation causes the common feline coronavirus (essentially a cold) to mutate and replicate. It’s believed there is a familial or genetic factor involved in many cases, but I had my boy and his sister from the same litter, she was fine, and I had two more cats from subsequent litters and neither of those developed FIP either.
     
    Agaj likes this.
  7. Agaj

    Agaj PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you, its been a really hard time but im hopeful for Olive. I spoke to the lady who rescued them and shes certain they weren't from the same litter as there were alot of kittens of various ages rescued (she is contacting other adopters to let them know and what signs to look out for) so hopefully Dodie was the only one who mutated to FIP.
    Im hoping I will be able to adopt another cat in a few months time as Olive is definitely missing having someone to play around with but I'll need to make sure its safe to bring another cat into the house.
     
  8. Agaj

    Agaj PetForums Newbie

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    I thought I’d just post a little update. Olives test came back and she didn’t have worms, the vet advised the best course of action was to wait and bring her back if she wasn’t getting worse/better after 2 months. All the symptoms she did have are now gone and she seems very happy. There’s still a bit of time to go but I’m very hopeful!
     
    lenanowa, gskinner123, Arny and 4 others like this.
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