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Is FIP Contagious??

jacq&nick

Savannah Teenager
This is a rather long and very difficult tale, but I'll try to provide the reader's digest version.

In December of 2013 (for Christmas!) I purchased my first Savannah kitten, she was an F4 and absolutely beautiful. We were told at the time that her "bad poops" were due to the breeder just recently having moved her cattery. Worrisome, absolutely. But the story checked out so we brought her home. Took her to the vet, when they didn't resolve we gave her antibiotics and probiotics, and were told (at the time) that it was probably a food allergy.

Against my better judgement, we started to socialize her with the rest of the family. Her tests were all coming back negative, so there shouldn't be any harm. Besides, she was bored and my other children wanted to see what was behind the door!

We battled with the poops for months. Dewormers, poops tests (direct, float, and sent out) and nothing was coming back in the tests. We changed her food and the poops resolved for a little bit, so maybe the food allergy was the right diagnosis. Then the REALLY bad stuff started. Fever, lethargy, inappetance, anemia. We had CBC's ran. FiV and FeLV. Metro, pumpkin, steriods...you name it. She passed after 4 weeks of being hand fed and being holed up in my bedroom. The vets best guesstimate, because there is no real test for it, was the dry version of FIP. She had just turned 7 months old.

A month later, the breeder sent us home with another baby and told us "this has never happened, and not twice to anyone", so we brought home the other girl, an F5. Same Daddy, different Mommy. We kept her completely separated (she was in my room) from the rest of the house. 3 weeks later she too passed. This time the wet version of FIP (it was confirmed by an aspiration of the liquid in her abdomen). She was just shy of 5 months old.

(yes, I somehow managed to stay upright. yes the breeder is perfectly aware of what has happened. NO I am not bringing home anyone else from her cattery.)

Here's the question, I have 3 other kiddos in my home. All over the age of 5 that are DSH rescue kitties. I have kept them out of my bedroom (and sterilized the heck out of the room with my steamer and various sanitizers). I am worried that because my first baby was socialized with the rest of the family that one of my DSH's may come down with FIP. Am I being a paranoid worry wart, is FIP (not just the corona virus) contagious?

I know that FIP is caused by a spontaneous mutation of the corona virus, but my one boy has been acting a little off and I'm terrified that he's contracted FIP. How long would it take to see signs of infection??
 
D

Dantes

Guest
I'm so sorry for your loss :( If it helps any to have a story about someone else this happened to... My friend had 1 DSH and 4 Ragdolls and adopted 1 more (from the same breeder as 4 the Ragdolls), she (the new ragdoll) died from FIP within a few months. The other cats were unaffected. A month or so later, she adopted 2 more ragdolls, siblings, from a completely different breeder, and one of the siblings died from FIP within a few months. The other cat, so far, is fine. Again, the older cats are unaffected. The second breeder, one that I know, is highly respected. I don't know if there is any way to know for sure what happened, whether it was that she didn't wait long enough, clean hard enough, whether the cats were stressed or had some other issue, or whether it was just a random thing. But as it relates to your story, the older, more established cats are still fine.

Unfortunately, this disease is really freaky. There seems to be no real way to predict when it will happen. I hope they find a way of controlling it soon.
 

jacq&nick

Savannah Teenager
Thank you for your sympathy and helpful insight. My kiddos are my family and we've been through a lot over the last year. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself should anything happen, after all I brought home 2 infected kittens.

I'm not all that certain what the deal is with the breeder. I had thought she was reputable and did my homework, but there is definitely something amuck with the whole cattery. Yet, she continues to advertise her litters. I only hope she is educating her customers and is being honest about the problems she now knows about.

My vet works with the group at Cornell University that is doing a study on FIP. From what she has told me, 5 years worth of data had been compromised due to cross contamination. So they are back at square 1. I had never heard of FIP until recently....
 

jacq&nick

Savannah Teenager
@ NikkiA, thank you for your sympathy.

@ Kristin Yes, it was horrendous. I've never had anything beat me down the way FIP did. With everything else, there was always something to do or try, with FIP you don't even have an opportunity to deal with it. By the time the real symptoms really show (fever that you just can't get under control), inappetance, lethargy) it's a matter of days if not weeks.

Fortunately, with the first baby I was at home 100% of the time. So I was able to spend what little time she had left with her. The second baby went too fast.
 

Rafiki

Site Supporter
I cannot even begin to grasp what you have gone through. My deepest sympathies and I really, really hope the rest of your family remains healthy!
 
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