Petey Is CURED!!!

It’s finally here…day 84 of the observation period has come and gone and Petey is officially CURED of FIP!!!

He is now 11 months old and is a healthy, rambunctious, mischievous kitten who is thriving. 

He’ll be getting new labs done on Thursday and he’ll have another k-laser session for the one sore that still remains on his neck. More to come after his exam. Right now, there’s a belly to scratch…

 

6 Weeks Post-GS

Today marks the halfway point in the 84-day observation period following treatment.  We celebrated with pizza and cake to honor all of the hard work and dedication of #TeamPetey. Without his amazing vet and vet techs, his journey would have been exponentially more difficult, and may not have ended as well as it has. This amazing team went above and beyond their call of duty every day, to make certain that he had the best care possible. There are no words to express our gratitude for their care and commitment to my little fluff-nugget. 

Petey made a guest appearance to soak up some hugs and kisses from everyone. He’s doing amazingly well and has gained another half pound, currently at 11 pounds on the dot. 

He’ll be 10 months on the 24th and has started to outgrow his crazy-kitten stage, though he and Jaxson still manage to run a triathalon around 3am every day.  Stealing my straws and pens never gets old either. Mostly though, he prefers to spend his time snuggling and that’s perfectly ok with me. 

Six more weeks of observation and we will be officially declared cured!  

 

 

Day 84 – The Final Dose

We’ve finally made it!  Today is day 84 and Petey’s final injection! He has been such a little trooper throughout the entire course of treatment but I’m sure that he won’t miss going to the vet every day.

During the past 12 weeks on GS, Petey has grown from 6 lbs 5 oz to 10 lbs 8 oz.  His starting A:G ratio was 0.7, currently 1.0 and expected to rise more in the following weeks. 

His CBC and chemistry panel are perfect and have been since his 8 week check-up. His ultrasound shows perfectly healthy organs and GI tract with no signs of FIP. Outwardly, he looks and acts like a healthy, crazy 8.5 month old kitten who plays hard and snuggles even harder.  

We now start the clock for the next 84 day period, during which he will need to be watched and monitored for any potential relapse. On January 26, 2020, we can officially announce that Petey is cured!

Day 75 & Petey’s Neuter Surgery

Petey turned 8 months old yesterday and had reached maturity about 4 weeks ago. He had been acting aggressive and dominant, and he was humping non-stop.  

After much discussion with my vet and a consult with Dr Pedersen, I opted to have him neutered today, while he still has 10 more injections left to complete his treatment. Since neuter surgery is a known trigger for FIP, it made sense for him to undergo the surgery while he will still be protected by GS throughout his healing period. Lab results from last week confirmed that he is in perfect health and able to undergo the procedure safely. 

His surgery went beautifully and he came home tonight, acting as if nothing had happened at all. 

He’s currently 10 pounds, 3 ounces and getting 1.5ml of GS per day, with 0.25ml of B12 mixed in to reduce the sting.  Now with the larger dose, he is starting to fuss a bit during the injections. Thankfully there are only 9 more to go and he will be done!

 

Day 66 and New Diagnostics

Due to scheduling, Petey’s 8 week exam was a little closer to 9 weeks, or day 66 of treatment.  Petey had a CBC, chemistry panel and ultrasound to gauge his progress clinically. 

I couldn’t be more excited with his diagnostic results.  His CBC and chemistry panel are perfect, with all values within normal limits.  His ultrasound found no lesions, inflammation, of pockets of fluid. Clinically, there is absolutely no trace of FIP! 

Physically, Petey looks and acts amazing.  He has just surpassed 10 pounds and has a perfectly muscular, sturdy Siberian build. He is the most active and inquisitive of my 4 cats, always getting into something, but he loves his snuggle time too. 

Based on his current lab results, Petey could likely end treatment early. After much discussion with our vet and a consultation with Dr. Pedersen, instead I’ve opted to have him neutered during the course of treatment and finish the full 84 days.  

 

 

Dose 41

Almost at the halfway point of his treatment, Petey continues to do amazingly well. His energy is boundless and the others can barely keep up with him. He’s learned how to turn on the kitchen sink, not by design but on his own, and is quite fond of playing in the water.  He’s also discovering his boy parts, but he cannot undergo neuter surgery until his treatment is concluded and we are past the observation period.  

He weighed in today at 8 pounds, 12.5 oz and his vet continues to be impressed with his progress and health. 

Dose 35

Petey had a quick temperature and weight check with his injection today. His temp is perfect at 100.2F and he continues to gain weight, now up to 8 lbs 7oz. 

With his weight gain, his daily dose of shire is now up to 1.3ml.  He and the rest of the brood are still getting Fortiflora probiotics in their food, though some days, he devours his food faster than I can even stir in the probiotic.  

 

 

Dose #30 – One Month Down

Petey had a new CBC and chemistry panel run on September 2nd, or day 25 on GS. Those results are in and look amazing.  All typical markers of FIP have resolved, though he does have a slight elevation in his SDMA value.  Dr Pedersen has reviewed the lab work and is not concerned with this temporary elevation though, so Petey will continue with treatment as planned. 

He has gained more weight and is now at 8 pounds, 1 ounce.  He’s currently using the lesser expensive brand and progressing equally well with it.  His dose has nearly doubled from where he’d started; originally at 0.7ml and currently at 1.2ml. This brand is slightly more viscous and he does have a couple small scabs at injection sites, though I do not know if it’s due to the difference in brands or the increased dose he’s getting.  At any rate, the lesions are small and will resolve on their own in a few days.  They’re a small price to pay for a long, healthy life ahead of him. He doesn’t mind the injections and welcomes the treats he gets immediately after. 

Overall his health, appearance and activity level are 100% perfect for a 6 month old kitten!   

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.