FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) in cats is caused by feline coronavirus (FCOV). It is estimated that 90% of cats carry FCOV in their system. FCOV is found in both indoor and outdoor cats. Generally, the FCOV not harmful. However, when FCOV mutates into feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV), it becomes deadly.
The exact trigger for the mutation is still unknown. General observations indicate that low immunity due to stress, neutering, and poor living condition may cause the onset of the FCOV mutation into FIPV. From our treatment studies, we see that pure breeds are more prone to this deadly mutation than mixed breeds. FIPV can occur in cats of all ages.
There are two forms of FIPV infection: WET and DRY.
The symptoms for the WET form of FIP is more easily identifiable due to the bulging of the stomach as pictured in below. The bulging is caused by the accumulation of fluids in the abdomen and chest. Because WET form of FIP can be diagnosed early, when treated with GS-441524, cats have a very high survival rate. To confirm the presence of FIP virus, doctors usually extract fluid from the bulging area and conduct a FIP Ag test. You can read more about FIP testing here.
The DRY form of FIP is harder to identify. There are few symptoms that can definitively point to Dry FIP until later stages of the disease Thus, late diagnosis of Dry FIP is often the main cause of higher mortality rate when compared to Wet FIP. In the early stages of Dry FIP, lesions develop in cat's kidneys and liver, causing a loss of appetite and physical inactivity. Eventually, the virus enters the central nervous system, causing eyes to become murky (ocular FIP), and body to lose control of movement (neurological FIP), and eventually full paralysis and death.
The DRY form is very dangerous preciously because it is difficult to diagnose early. FIP should not be ruled out without proper blood tests and a review of the A:G ratio.
Before recent discovery of GS, FIP in cats was almost always fatal (>90% mortality rate). With the discovery GS-441524, FIP is now an easily treatable disease. Based on the US clinical study, FIP cats treated with GS-441524 achieved a survival rate greater than 80% and relapse rate of less than 18%. Based on our experience, if FIP is treated early, the recovery rate is higher than 90%. With continued research, we expect that one day FIPV will be as easily treated as a common cold.
What to know how we achieved higher than 90% survival rate? Ask us here.