Learning More About Feline Infectious Peritonitis And Your Cat's Risk

Pets & Animals Blog

Most cat owners know the importance of maintaining regular vaccinations for protecting their cat against disease. Veterinarian medicine has become advanced, providing medical care for cats that is helping them live longer and happier lives. However, taking steps to protect your cat from some viruses takes more than just a vaccine. Learn more about the virus feline infectious peritonitis, FIP, and what you can do to help protect your feline friend.

Defining FIP And Its Cause

FIP is caused by certain strains of the coronavirus. While most strains of coronavirus do not manifest as life threatening illnesses in your cat, the ones responsible for FIP do. The coronavirus strains that cause FIP can settle in your cat's white blood cells. When the cells carrying the virus are moved throughout your cat's body, they cause severe attacks of inflammation. The fight between the inflammation caused by infected white blood cells and your cat's immune system create the disease FIP.

Looking At The Two Forms Of FIP

Two types of FIP exist: one being effusive (wet) and the other being non-effusive (dry). You should know that many cats never show symptoms of FIP and many survive the disease, some becoming carriers of it. However, some cats do succumb to FIP and when they do, it can be deadly. To date, there is no known cure for FIP. For now, the most your vet can offer for FIP is supportive treatment aimed at relieving the symptoms and making your cat as comfortable as possible.

While some cats never exhibit symptoms of FIP, especially if they are carriers, others suffering with the non-effusive form of the disease can exhibit fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and a dull coat. The non-effusive form of FIP presents with little fluid accumulation in the peritoneum cavity and is slow to progress. In the effusive form of FIP, a major defining symptom is remarkable fluid accumulation in the peritoneum cavity, causing your cat to have a 'pot-bellied' appearance. Many cats suffering with an effusive form of FIP do not show visible symptoms like fever and lethargy at the onset of the disease.

Lowering Your Cat's Risk Of FIP

If you have one cat and he or she stays indoors most of the time, the risk of him or her getting FIP is low. The cat living in a household with multiple cats has a much higher risk of getting FIP, as does the cat that goes outdoors to mingle with cats from around the neighborhood. Follow these tips for helping to keep your cat's immunity strong for helping to evade FIP:

  • Maintain yearly vaccinations. While there is no effective vaccine against FIP by injection, there is an intranasal vaccine that has been found to provide less than average protection against the disease. Researchers are still working to find a vaccine that will be successful at providing complete protection from FIP.
  • Take care to feed your cat a well-balanced, nutritional diet.
  • Avoid having too many cats to lower your feline's risk of FIP due to overcrowding.
  • Always maintain sanitary conditions around and in your cat's litter box.

Taking the best care of your cat can help to lower his or her risk to many diseases, including FIP. If you worry about your cat's good health, discuss with your vet, one like Cat Care Clinic, about what you can do to lower the risk of disease and learn more about the proper nutrition your cat requires to maintain optimal health.


11 December 2015

A Guide to Avoiding Pet Emergencies

Animal emergencies happen quite often, and I have seen a lot of different injuries at the veterinary office I work at. Vehicle incidents, falls, and fights with other animals can all cause these injuries. Some of the most surprising emergencies I see though, are when pets eat substances that make them ill. Dogs and cats can both get sick by ingesting flowers, essential oils, and certain types of food items that humans eat. I even see some animals that become ill when they eat shoes, towels, and their own toys. I know that the vast majority of pet owners love their animals dearly. Most medical emergencies are purely accidental. You can easily save your precious feline or canine from harm as long as you know how the most common injuries occur. The articles posted here can help you with this, so start reading to make sure your pet remains healthy.