Day 19

Petey has been eating and playing normally, but I had some concerns today that he felt warm to my touch and his belly felt a bit bloated. While we were at the vet for his injection, he also had a basic exam. His heart and lungs sounded perfect; no swelling of his liver or kidneys, and there was NO fluid in his abdomen. His temp was 100.7 and he’s gained another 4.5 ounces since the beginning of the week (he’s eating voraciously!).  His doctor gave him a clean bill of health and is encouraged by the progress he’s made in such a short time. 

His injection today was 1.1ml of shire in the right shoulder but with his additional weight gain, he will increase to 1.2ml starting tomorrow.   

Day 16

Above, Petey sits with his partners in crime; Gem (tortoiseshell) and Jaxson (buff); while intently watching birds in the back garden. 

Petey weighed in a 7 pounds 7 ounces today, a 1.5 ounce gain in 3 days.  He is playing hard and eating voraciously, just as a growing kitten should.  

He turned 6 months old today and thanks to GS, he looks and acts like a perfectly happy, healthy 6 month old kitten! 

Current meds: 1.1ml of marks gs, fortiflora probiotic twice a day in food. 

Day 13

Petey went to the vet today for a quick check up, as he approaches the 2 week mark in his treatment.  His temperature is still perfect and he’s gained nearly a pound since August 14th.  Previously 6 pounds 7 ounces, he’s now up to 7 pounds 5.5 ounces.  His heart and lungs sound perfect and he has no palpable ascites. Everyone was ecstatic with his progress and we have every reason to believe that he will kick FIP’s ass! 

He will have a new CBC and chemistry panel run on September 5th, which will be at the end of his 4th week of injections.  If he ends up needing to go the full course, it is a 12 week protocol.  At the rate he’s progressing, there’s a good chance he may be able to stop early.  

Current meds: 1.1ml of marks gs, fortiflora probiotic twice a day in food. 

8th Dose

Petey after 8 shots

If a picture says a thousand words, this picture says that Petey is kicking FIP’s ass!  He had his 8th injection last night and he continues to do amazingly well. 

Prior to FIP, Petey had a stocky, muscular build.  He didn’t lose any weight despite his inappetence, but he did have visibly noticeable muscle loss that was apparently offset by the weight of the abdominal fluid.  At his weigh in this evening, he’d only gained an ounce since his last check on Friday, but his hips and spine are no longer bony and his muscle tone is well-defined again. 

Dose #6

Petey and Jax

First Time Injecting Him On My Own

I’m not going to lie, the idea of giving Petey an injection on my own, without his vet’s assistance, was daunting.  For 3 hours, I struggled with the best way to hold him, give the injection, and not hurt him.  Throughout these hours, I flinched way more than he did.  I contemplated taking him the the veterinary hospital and having one of the vet’s there give it to him.  But that would be an all night affair, costly, and stressful on both of us.  

I decided to give him a pouch of Delectable Lickables, tuna flavored. He is crazy about these and does not get them very often, since they are basically the McDonalds of cat food.  As he lapped up his tuna flavored slurry, I injected his left shoulder with 0.9ml of GS.  Not so much as a flinch or a meow out of him, and he never broke stride with eating his treat.  Success!  

During the night, his energy level was off the charts.  He resumed his 4am crazy kitten antics so much so that he woke me up several times during the night.  It was totally worth it to see him running, jumping, chasing and wrestling with Jax (pictured above) and Gem.  

Six doses down and he is back to his old self and well underway to kicking FIP’s ass. 

Dose 5 – Petey Comes Home

Petey comes home

Petey had another fantastic day, despite eliminating all of the non-essential medications last night.  His temperature is perfect at 101.2, he’s eating very well without any appetite stimulant or anti-nausea meds, and his energy level is back to normal.

Tonight was my first time administering the GS injection, with the supervision and guidance of a vet tech.  We started with a shot of B12, just as a practice round.  Piece of cake.  It went in effortlessly and Petey didn’t even flinch.  He took his Denamarin in a pill pocket and didn’t fuss in the least. Next was the GS and I will admin, it kind of sucked. The medication is very viscous and hard to push, and Petey did cry and pant a bit while I was injecting him.  After a little ear and head scratch, all was forgiven and he was running around the exam room, using the scratching post, and climbing all over the kitty tower. 

He’s perfect and it was time to come home, finally! 

Five shots down, 79 more to go… but my little dude is kicking FIP’s ass like the Warrior that he is.  

 

Dose 4

Eliminating Non-Essential Medicines

On Thursday, August 15, 2019, Petey’s doctor stopped all non-essential medicines, as per Dr. Pedersen’s GS441 field study protocol.  

Since he has been eating properly and getting his full nutritional needs without any vomiting or diarrhea, Cerenia, Cyproheptadine, and the multi-vitamin were eliminated this evening.  

He has no outward signs of anemia, so B12 and Pet Tinic were also eliminated. 

Gabapentin was given orally about an hour before his injection, to help reduce the sting.  He received his 4th dose of GS, 0.91ml, at 7pm along with Denamarin to protect his liver. There is still concern for a concurrent infection so he did continue with a dose of oral Veraflox (anti-biotic). 

His temperature has come down further to 100.2 and he is eating, grooming, and acting like a perfectly healthy 5.5 month old kitten.  With the changes in his medication, he will stay in the hospital for another 24 hours for observation and monitoring. If he continues to thrive as he is now, he will be coming home tomorrow.  

Dose 2

Petey after 4 doses of GS

Petey received his 2nd dose of GS at 6:00PM last evening. 

I spoke with his vet tech at 11:00AM today and she couldn’t wait to tell me about his progress.  His temperature was 102.1 this morning (awesome) and not only did he eat the entire bowl of food she’d left for him last night, but he devoured a full size can of a/d for breakfast and was still asking for more, so she gave him a second can and he finished all of it too. 

She said that he was bright, alert, and watching all that was going on around him, meowing at her and rubbing his face against the stuffed animal that she put in his cage with him.  

When I visited with him this evening, he had ate another full can of food for lunch and was working on yet another for dinner.  He was meowing and chirping at me when I approached his cage, and when I unlatched the door, he pushed it open and leaped into my arms. He couldn’t decide what he wanted more…ear scratches, chin scratches, or belly rubs and he was practically twisting himself inside out to get all of them at once. 

His doctor was giddy with excitement over how quickly and successfully he’s transformed.  After only 2 injections, he looks and acts like a perfectly healthy kitten! It’s too soon to run new blood or chemistry panels on him just yet, but she checked his abdomen and the fluid is subsiding.  

He received his 3rd dose of GS at 7:00PM tonight, along with oral Denamarin (liver protection), his final Baytril injection (anti-biotic), Veraflox, oral Cerenia (anti-nausea), B-12 injection (for anemia), oral Pet Tinic, and a multi-vitamin. 

One Dose Down

Petey before starting GS

Dose 1: The Following Day

Recall that Petey had his first dose of GS at 6:00pm last night: 0.9ml of mutian brand.  

When I spoke with his veterinarian at 10:00AM this morning, his fever had finally broke and his temperature was now at 102.2, which is well within the normal temperature range for a cat.  He had picked at his food during the night, but not so much that supplemental syringe feeding wasn’t necessary. 

I visited Petey at 4PM. When he heard my voice, he leaped to his feet and was head-butting the door of his cage, stretching a paw through the door to grab my arm.  When I opened his cage door, he climbed into my arms, flopped onto his back and asked for a belly rub.  His Siberian triple-purr filled the room for the first time in a week.  He was giving nose kisses and soaking up the attention and snuggles. 

He was a bit unsteady on his feet but it appeared to be weakness more so than potential ataxia or neurological symptoms, and he tired easily. 

At 6:00PM, he had his 2nd dose of GS along with his B12 injection,  Baytril injection, Cerenia, Cyproheptadine, Veraflox, Pet Tinic and a multi-vitamin. Denamarin was added for liver protection with the GS. 

When it was time for me to leave, he was sitting at the door of his cage, meowing at me and reaching his paw out the door. Heartbreaking to have to leave him behind, but a good sign that he was so much more animated tonight.  

Petey’s Journey

About Petey

Petey is a 5.5 month old, purebred Siberian who is super intelligent, outgoing, affectionate and lives for belly-rubs. He came home on May 25, 2019, at 13 weeks of age and has been a perfect kitten since birth.  He is a total Mama’s boy and since I work from home, we are inseparable 24/7. 

His medical history includes his 3-way kitten-series vaccine, FELV vaccine, Profender kitten dewormer, and a 3-dose Marquis treatment for coccidia (Petey did not have coccidia, but was treated as a precaution due to his playmate tested positive). Prior to this week, he’s never been sick whatsoever. Not so much as a hair ball. He’s been incredibly healthy and is developing perfectly for his age. 

He was scheduled to be neutered on August 19th, but that procedure will now be put on hold until he has completed treatment for FIP.  He will not be getting a rabies vaccine, as it is too risky to give him while his immune system is compromised by FIP.  

The Dreaded Diagnosis & It's Precursor

On Tuesday, August 6th, Petey was not interested in breakfast.  Typically a voracious eater, he has never refused a meal. Ever. He’s been known to open cabinet doors and tear into a bag of food when he feels the need for an extra snack and if given the opportunity, he will climb into the fridge and attempt to help himself to people-food. He’s ripped a fork out of my hand more than once to get a bite of my meal.  Like I said, Petey LOVES food, so missing a meal is a big red flag that something is wrong.  In addition to inappetence, his third eyelids were more pronounced than normal, and he felt feverish. 

At the vet, his temperature was 105.9.  X-rays showed no foreign objects, blockages, swelling, or fluid. A full CBC and chemistry panel were run, results of which were perfectly normal except for a high white blood cell count and high neutrophils. He appeared to have a bacterial infection and was treated with Convenia (long acting anti-biotic), Cerenia (anti-nausea) and sub-cutaneous fluids. I monitored his temperature throughout the night and by bedtime, it had come down to just over 104. The anti-biotics seemed to be working. 

On the morning of August 7th, his temperature spiked at 105.9 again. He still showed no interest in food, and he was becoming lethargic. I admitted him into the hospital for additional diagnostics and care.  He was treated with sub-cutaneous fluids, Baytril injections (additional anti-biotic). cooling pads, Cerenia (anti-nausea), Cyproheptadine (appetite stimulant), and was syringe-fed throughout the day since he would still not eat on his own. 

Thursday and Friday, August 8th and 9th, ongoing inpatient care continued but his fever remained at 105-106+.  His doctor observed that his mouth was very red and inflamed and he was walking as if his joints were stiff/achy. These new symptoms were consistent with Calicivirus, which is treated with the same anti-biotics and supportive care that he was already getting.  In addition, his doctor did introduce a third anti-biotic, Veraflox.  His demeanor was quiet and lethargic, though he was content when I held him during my visits. In his cage, he laid in his litter box and barely moved. 

On Saturday, August 10th, his doctor detected palpable fluid in his abdomen, which was confirmed by x-ray.  Enter the fear of FIP…  A new CBC and chemistry panel were ordered, and a fine needle aspirate of the fluid was sent for cytology and RT-PCR. There was no noticeable change in his demeanor – still quiet and lethargic.

The hospital was closed on Sunday, so I was not able to visit with him. 

Monday, August 12th the results of the new blood and chemistry panels came in, and they looked entirely different than just 4 days prior.  His white blood cell count and neutrophils had come down into normal range after 5 days of anti-biotics, but his a:g ratio had dropped to 0.7, bili value was high, and he was anemic. The classic markers for FIP that were nowhere in sight on Tuesday were now presenting themselves on the results from Saturday.  The PCR results were still pending, but given the ascites, blood and chemistry markers, and non-responsive fever (still 105-106), we decided to start GS based on the presumptive diagnosis of FIP. 

Petey received his first dose of GS at 6:00PM, Monday, August 12th.  He is currently 6.4 lbs and is dosing at 5mg/kg, with a drug concentration of 16.7 mg/ml so his injection is 0.9ml.  Gabapentin was given orally one hour before to help minimize the sting of the injection. He was also given a shot of Vitamin B12,  Baytril, oral Pet Tinic, and a multi-vitamin.