FIP, or Feline Infectious Peritonitis, is a disease caused by the feline coronavirus. Usual cases of feline coronavirus are not very serious – at most they may cause diarrhea.
But when this virus mutates into a very specific strain and causes FIP, the disease becomes serious.
FIP is an aggressive disease and it is almost always fatal. Knowing the final signs of FIP will help you decide when to consider euthanasia for your suffering cat.
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a serious and often fatal disease caused by the feline coronavirus.
- Euthanasia may be considered for a cat with FIP when symptoms are so intense that the cat is unable to live a normal life without extreme pain.
- Other signs that may indicate it is time to euthanize a cat with FIP include refusal to eat for more than a week, extreme weakness, uncontrolled urination, body not responding well to treatment or hospice care, increased frequency of seizures and spasms, and paralysis.
What Are The Final Stages Of FIP?
FIP comes with two sets of symptoms – the dry or non-effusive symptoms and the wet or effusive symptoms. In the initial stage, your cat may show only dry or only wet symptoms.
In the final stage of FIP, the affected cat starts showing both dry and wet symptoms, which makes it all the more painful for the cat to bear, tougher for you to manage, and trickier for the doctor to treat.
The Wet Or Effusive Symptoms Of FIP
- Buildup of fluid in chest and abdomen
- Difficulty breathing
- Pot-bellied appearance
- Loss of appetite
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The Dry Or Non-Effusive Symptoms Of FIP
- Weight loss
- Bleeding or pus in the eye
- Blindness or partial vision loss
- Poor muscle coordination
Apart from these two sets of symptoms, the end stage of FIP also causes the cat to experience neurological symptoms, such as:
- Seizures and spasms
- Uncontrolled urination
- Complete loss of vision
- Complete refusal to eat or drink
If your cat seems to be experiencing these symptoms, it may be time to consider switching to palliative or hospice care, or maybe even euthanasia.
Check out the in-depth guide: When To Put Your Cat Down? The Complete Checklist
When Should You Euthanize Your Cat With FIP?
FIP progresses aggressively and is almost always fatal. So, sooner or later, your cat may succumb to the disease.
But when the symptoms get so intense that your cat is unable to get through its daily life with excruciating pain, it may be kinder to take the hard call and put your cat out of its misery.
The prognosis of FIP is grave: most cats only live for a couple of weeks after the diagnosis of end-stage FIP. Even cats with early diagnosis usually have only a couple of months to live.
With such a low life expectancy for the disease and such harsh symptoms, euthanasia is often the kinder call to make.
Interesting Read: How To Euthanize A Cat At Home?
As unfortunate as it may be, oftentimes, you may not have a lot of time on your hands before having to take the decision to euthanize your cat.
The diagnosis often happens pretty late, and by the time the treatment starts, the disease already does a lot of damage to the health of the affected cat.
Some signs that show that you may have to euthanize your cat include:
- Refusal to eat anything for more than a week
- Extreme weakness due to chronic loss of appetite
- Uncontrolled urination and inability to use the litterbox
- Body not responding well to treatment or hospice care
- Increased frequency of seizures and spasms
These symptoms reduce the quality of life of the cat so drastically that euthanasia becomes much more viable than any treatment or hospice care.
Interesting Read: How To Euthanize A Cat With Over-The-Counter Drugs?
Frequently Asked Questions
Is FIP contagious?
The mutated FIP virus is not contagious to other cats. However, the original unmutated feline coronavirus is highly contagious.
Which cats are at risk for FIP?
FIP is most frequently observed in young cats under the age of three. FIP, however, can affect cats of any age, breed, or gender. Any cat that contracts the widespread feline coronavirus infection is susceptible to developing FIP.
Which breeds of cats are at greater risk of developing FIP?
There are certain breed preferences where Bengal, Rex, Himalayan, and Ragdoll cats are more vulnerable.
How is FIP diagnosed in cats?
There isn’t a single test that can reliably diagnose FIP in cats on its own. The most accurate diagnosis is made by combining various techniques and taking into account the cat’s medical history and physical examination.
How can FIP be cured in cats?
Sadly, currently, there is no cure for FIP in cats. Cats diagnosed with FIP often succumb to the disease or have to be euthanized.
Interesting Read: Did My Cat Know He Was Being Put To Sleep?
The diagnosis of FIP in your cat is one of the worst nightmares coming to life. FIP is incurable and often the cat that is diagnosed has only a couple of weeks to live.
You should give your best efforts in providing hospice care to your cat.
But when the hospice care also starts to show no effect, when the painkillers stop working and your cat’s body stops responding to any medicine – that is when you may need to take the hard call of euthanasia.
Interesting Read: Should I Stay With My Cat When It Is Euthanized?
A Cat Owner’s Final Guide: What To Do After Cat Euthanasia?
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