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Is FIP Contagious??

Patti

Admin
Staff member
I am sooo sorry for your losses, I have known this heartbreak personally as well. I will say though that the Corona virus is very prevalent (up to 90% of cats are estimated to be infected by it) and if your other kitties are rescues then they very likely had it before you ever brought a Savannah home. The kicker is we still don't completely understand what causes the Corona virus to mutate - it seems that there needs to be a combination of things. First an immune system that is sensitive to it which may have a genetic (heritable) component to it, and second some sort of stressful event that triggers the mutation (such as moving to a new home).

My little girl was five months when she passed away (this was several years ago). She was born by C-section and had to be bottle raised (possibly the beginning of the compromised immune system). I took her to a cat show (we flew) when she was four months old (stressful event) and she got sick shortly after we returned. She had three siblings, none of them ever developed FIP. She also had a younger brother (same parents, different litter) who is also completely healthy (as are all the rest of the cats in my home).
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
I am so sorry for your loss...FIP is a terrible disease and I know they get closer to a cure, but it cannot happen fast enough...
 

jacq&nick

Savannah Teenager
@ Patti, I am so sorry for your loss. That is terrible!

Thank you all for your sympathy. It has been absolutely *heartbreaking*. The whole reason I went to a breeder was because I lost one of my DSH's to cancer. We did everything we could, kitty chemo, change her diet, supportive therapy, etc. and I literally died the day she left me. I was looking around online and found the funniest video posted about a SV named Ruby. You may have seen it, it's titled "why I don't have any hair".

I looked at a lot of websites mainly because the videos about Ruby. I just happened to find my breeder, who had a picture of one of her queens that looked just like the little DSH girl I had lost. We went to her cattery and after meeting my baby I was a goner. Completely in love with my little girl, who chatted up a storm and never was more than an inch away from me. She helped me through a really dark period and for that, I will always be thankful.

That's just the thing, both of the Savannah's came into my home with poops issues. The first one it was loose stools, intermittent diarrhea, 6-8 weeks of normalcy, and then BAM we had the sickest kiddo on the block. The FIP kicked in while her environment was completely stable. Nothing out of the ordinary and no stressful event I can point to as the trigger.

The second one dragged her butt on the floor the day we brought her home, had normal but exceptionally heinous smelling poops, and two weeks later the fever and diarrhea kicked in. The only real stressful event was her coming home with us (which I realize is very stressful), she hadn't ever made it to the point of being a part of the family. She had to have come to us with the virus, and as fast as she went she had to have had FIP prior to us bringing her home.

I know that my rescue kitties could have been exposed to the corona virus, but I am positive that none of mine have. None of them are shelter babies, all of them came to me from my vet or were wild babies.

If I read the document that was posted on this thread correctly, genetic disposition plays a huge factor into the mutable properties of the original viral infection. I am going to see if my vet has an in at the Auburn study to see if I can get my hands on their white papers. If I am successful, I will post it on this thread.
 

jacq&nick

Savannah Teenager
Triple word score! THANK YOU Witchywoman for the original pdf file!!

I looked up the University of Auburn's vet medicine website for FIP and found the following information:

"Our lab has developed a quantitative PCR targeting subgenomic mRNA of the M gene of Feline Coronavirus with high sensitivity. Thus, our PCR specifically detects and quantifies the replicating virus as opposed to only detecting the presence of viral genomic RNA that may or may not be associated with active viral replication. This approach diagnoses FIP with very high specificity."

Meaning they are able to diagnose FIP and not just the existance of the Corona virus.

The test looks to be priced very reasonably "We offer multiple PCRs at a reduced cost: 2 samples ($130), 3 samples ($190)" and they include the submission form for the vet to use at the time of taking the sample. It would be a small price to pay for some measure of sanity back.

Go here

http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/feline_infectious_peritonitis_virus2#.U-VZNziPLmJ

I am going to call my vet in the morning and will let you all know how things turn out!
 

Chris Elliott

Savannah Super Cat
I too lost my beloved Rosie to FIP. A terrible disease. So sorry about your losses.

All my research says the same--most cats have the corona virus, and the mutated virus is not communicable, despite the I in FIP, even if the cats are genetically very close. Cheetahs can get FIP, yet don't pass the mutated virus to each other, despite their lack of genetic diversity.
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
Chris, I'm so sorry about Rosie...we once took up a collection here for the win feline foundation...perhaps we will do it again when they do their next study
 

jacq&nick

Savannah Teenager
I'm so sorry about your Rosie! My vet said that it has wiped out entire prides in the wild, which scares the crap (no pun intended) out of me. Every time someone goes to the litter room, I'm terrified of what I might find. I know I'm being overly protective, but I can't help it. They're my family!
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
The mRNA PCR test that was developed in 2005 held great promise, however it has been shown not to be as accurate as had been hoped in more recent evaluations. This study mentions that test in particular related to a high (53%) false-positive rate. I'm afraid the only conclusive test for FIP remains histopathological studies (biopsies): http://www.hindawi.com/journals/vmi/2010/809480/

The Winn Foundation has ongoing research in FIP and many of us here donate regularly to their Bria Fund to help with this research: http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/pages/briafund.html FIP was first identified in the 1960s so I am hopeful that a cure or vaccine will be developed sometime in the future, but how soon that will be is impossible to know.
 
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