What is FIP?
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), is a deadly disease caused by the feline coronavirus. It is not similar to human coronavirus like COVID-19 and cannot infect humans. Feline coronavirus is fairly common, and does not cause any serious symptoms, aside from mild diarrhea.
However, in about 10% of cats, the feline coronavirus will multiply and mutate into FIP. This virus can cause an extreme inflammatory reaction in tissues surrounding the abdomen, kidney and brain of felines.
It is not believed to be contagious, but the mortality rate of this disease is nearly 100% if left untreated.
For more information about FIP, please click here
Symptoms of FIP
There are two forms of FIP, wet and dry.
A cat with wet FIP will have a bloated belly. This is caused by the accumulation of fluids in the abdomen of the cat. The fluid may also build up in the chest, which causes breathing difficulties.
The fluid is caused by damaged blood vessels, which causes inflammation and fluid leakage.
This form of FIP causes inflammatory lesions around the blood vessels of the cat. This infection affects the lungs, kidney, skin, liver and even the brain.
This form of FIP can cause neurological damage in cats and seizures. Cats may also experience extreme thirst, vomiting, weight loss and jaundice (yellow coloration especially in eyes and gums)
Diagnosis of FIP
It is advisable to send you cat to a vet if they are sick or experiencing flu like symptoms (fever, sneezing). This is because FIP can seem like a normal flu in cats.
You vet will most likely conduct a blood test to determine the disease. FIP can be determined by a low or high white blood cell count, increased protein levels as well as yellowing of gums or eyes.
An x-ray or ultrasound might also be required to further determine if your cat has FIP.
Treatment of FIP
FIP has long been considered an untreatable disease, basically guaranteeing the death of the cat.
However, recent antiviral drugs like GS-441524 have proven to be effective at curing FIP.
Supportive care like fluid draining as well as blood transfusions may also aid in treating the infected cat.
What is GS?
GS or formally known as GS-441524 is a fairly new treatment for the deadly disease, FIP. It is a drug produced by Gilead Sciences.
GS is similar to the drug Remdesivir used in the treatment of COVID-19. It is an effective antiviral and tests have shown that GS can inhibit the multiplication and harm of the virus causing FIP.
As it is a relatively novel treatment for FIP, it is not yet approved by the FDA due to Gilead’s Sciences refusal to license the drug. It is also quite costly due to its novelty.
GS can be administered either orally or via injection. Most forms of GS medication are sold in the form on injections. The dosage is based on the mass of the cat. You can calculate the dosage of GS needed for your cat here
GS must be administered daily for a total of 12 weeks or 84 days for full recovery. Even then, it is advisable to do a check-up at your local vet before, during and after treatment with GS.
Where Can I Get GS?
There are many ways to obtain GS, but the easiest method is via the online market.
Katzen Cat Sanctuary orders their GS from BasmiFIP. They sell vials of GS in various concentrations.
It is important to determine the correct dosage for your cat, as well as use a proper syringe. It is also important to consult your veterinarian before administering GS.
You can learn how to administer GS here.