Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)



Hpathy Ezine, May, 2008 | Print This Post Print This Post |

My work with FIP “terminal cases” (which is when they are diagnosed) started relatively recently, my first success being in early 2003. I’ll present the principles I use which I developed in my work with this illness, but first here’s a little background, to explain the situation to those not already “in the know” about what FIP is really about, as understanding the disease is key to repertorizing a matching remedy. I hope too that what I learned may be useful to others not only in handling FIP but with other comparable disease situations. BACKGROUND According to the Journal of Veterinary Medicine 2007 Nov-Dec issue, “There is no therapy with proven efficacy to treat cats with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).” In this issue, page 1193,  a German study presented is the latest (failed) attempt to repeat the only known claimed success, in Japan in late 2003, when four older cats in a group of 12 cats with FIP, were said to have survived the disease by use of prednisone and interferon. The Japanese study was not formal, had no controls or protocols and follow-up was indirect; the four survivor cats were not seen but owners claimed they were still alive. The German study had 37 cats from various owners in a placebo controlled double-blind trial, but not one FIP-infected cat (treated or control) survived more than 2 months after diagnosis, whether using prednisone, interferon or a combination. Hence the disease is still considered universally fatal to cats. The standard procedure […]

My work with FIP “terminal cases” (which is when they are diagnosed) started relatively recently, my first success being in early 2003. I’ll present the principles I use which I developed in my work with this illness, but first here’s a little background, to explain the situation to those not already “in the know” about what FIP is really about, as understanding the disease is key to repertorizing a matching remedy. I hope too that what I learned may be useful to others not only in handling FIP but with other comparable disease situations.

BACKGROUND

According to the Journal of Veterinary Medicine 2007 Nov-Dec issue, “There is no therapy with proven efficacy to treat cats with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).” In this issue, page 1193,  a German study presented is the latest (failed) attempt to repeat the only known claimed success, in Japan in late 2003, when four older cats in a group of 12 cats with FIP, were said to have survived the disease by use of prednisone and interferon.

The Japanese study was not formal, had no controls or protocols and follow-up was indirect; the four survivor cats were not seen but owners claimed they were still alive. The German study had 37 cats from various owners in a placebo controlled double-blind trial, but not one FIP-infected cat (treated or control) survived more than 2 months after diagnosis, whether using prednisone, interferon or a combination. Hence the disease is still considered universally fatal to cats. The standard procedure for a veterinarian diagnosing FIP, is to suppress the immune system with high dose steroid (prednisone) and to give antibiotics “to control secondary infection”, but even though this is a chronic disease, death can occur in just days, especially with the most common effusive form of FIP in kittens, called simply “wet FIP”.

It will help to briefly outline what this illness is about, as the name is a misnomer and understanding it is essential to appropriate homeopathy. Then I’ll discuss what experience has taught me with more than 400 cases since Jan 2003. Included are before and after photos to illustrate progress. It is my hope to encourage other homeopaths not to give up on cats with this illness even though, currently, successes are very hard-won.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis comes in three forms, none infectious, and none peritonitis, and none of this is well understood by the majority of vets either! The misnomer name harks from before 1998 when the true nature of the disease first became known. They got the “Feline” part right – and thankfully this horrid illness does not occur in any other species currently.

FIP is a unique disease in that it is triggered when a commonly present gut corona virus in cats (FeCoV for “feline corona virus”) is forced by external stresses in the presence of an imbalanced immune system, to undergo mutation to a much more dangerous virus (FIPV for “feline infectious peritonitis virus”), which in turn tricks the immune system into attacking and killing the cat, this way:

* the cat’s macrophages, which should normally engulf and overcome any virus invader, are instead used as incubators for virus replication – and

* the antibodies produced that should normally be used against the virus, are instead used to attack and destroy the cat.

That’s the disease in a nut shell, it is a chronic disease by its autoimmune type but can kill very much faster than most autoimmune diseases. It also presents with a huge variety of symptoms and thus deserves deeper understanding to help with remedy selection issues, and with nutrition issues – both equally important in FIP handling as well as FIP prevention.

So I’ll expand on that brief definition with suggestions on prevention or management of illness at each step. I am concentrating here on “wet FIP” as this is the trickiest to deal with, and the fastest killer of the three types.

VIRUS INVOLVEMENT IN FIP:

The commonly present gut virus which is involved in supplying material to mutate into the FIP virus (FIPV) in cats, is a feline enteric corona virus (FeCoV) found in almost all cats. FeCoV usually is not a health problem, though if present in high enough numbers in the gut, it can cause gastroenteritis symptoms and can become a potential stress factor for the cat. This virus can be transmitted from cat to cat, but since it is ubiquitous anyway, that is not an issue contrary to common allopathic belief.

However – if you add enough stress factors, you will see mutation of FeCoV to the FIP virus and that is an altogether different issue to deal with, though the FIP virus is not transmitted cat to cat – each cat has to mutate their own FIP virus to get the disease, and that requires many factors to be present. It’s relevant here as FIP is easy to prevent and it behooves the homeopath to make sure anyone presenting a cat with FIP at least knows how to prevent this devastating disease.

Food to control the FeCoV stress:

FeCoV spreads between cats and kittens via litter, grooming, contact, etc., so is quite ubiquitous. In groups of cats where it is symptomatic at all, it can be readily brought under control with diet. In addition to a 34% or more animal protein diet, cats need a colony of appropriate bifidus gut bacteria (not acidophilus) to make for them what we humans get from fruit and vegetables (which cats cannot digest and should not be fed). The bifidus in turn, need up to a teaspoon a day each of pure rice bran and plain cooked pumpkin as fuel, and no herbs or preservatives to kill the bacteria, and they will then ensure the high protein diet is used to make butyrate, acetate and propionate for a healthy gut that supports healthy organs. The bifidus will also out-compete any excess of FeCoV present. This good nutritional base controls FeCoV and improves general health but does not help the potential for FIP mutation triggered by other factors. FeCoV can be induced to mutate into the FIP virus even when present in very small quantities. It only takes one. Hence prevention of FIP requires a balanced immune system in addition to appropriate nutrition.

Prevention of Feline Infectious Peritonitis

External Stresses damage the immune system, a prerequisite to FIP. I’ve put prevention up front as it helps with understanding of the disease and hence with management of it, as one must remove maintaining causes.

This catch-all phrase “external stresses” applies to anything the cat’s body or mind perceives as stressful. This includes:

* chemical stresses such as drugs, vaccinations, insecticides, toxins in most commercial cat foods.

* emotional stresses such as weaning before 3 months old, change of home, constantly being chased by another cat, being frightened by air travel or vet procedures or un-gentle introduction to a houseful of bigger cats or dogs.

* nutritional stresses such as food less than 34% animal protein from good meat, fish, egg and liver, incomplete foods, foods containing feline toxins such as alfalfa, garlic, yucca, rosemary and other herbs.

* physical stresses such as being left out in severe weather, being caged, undergoing surgery, being expected to digest fruit or vegetables, getting a sudden change in diet, or having difficulty finding frequent protein meals. (Cats break down body protein between meals if they do not have several high protein meals a day)

* any other severe stress I may not have listed.

An analysis of over 400 cases of FIP that I have seen since early 2003, shows that the typical cat with FIP is a kitten who has had three or more listed stressors, often a lot more than three, within a short time, usually a month – or an older cat who has had long-term stressors (perhaps nutritional, perhaps being bullied)  with a more recent trigger (perhaps a vaccination or inappropriate drugs such as antibiotics for a suspected viral illness.)

The typical shelter kitten for example, has been early weaned, changed home to the shelter, caged, given poor food, vaccinated, given drugs for the vaccine reactions (assumed to be upper respiratory infections), given anesthetic, spayed, “dewormed”, injected with a microchip, and re-homed again to a new owner who likely also changes the diet, takes the kitten to a vet, and gets more multivalent vaccinations and “a clean bill of health” or more antibiotics – often all within a few days, and invariably within less than a month.  Kittens from a breeder are often no better off in terms of serious stresses during a short period.

If there are enough stresses, the FeCoV WILL mutate to FIP virus in the kitten or cat.

Without these (usually allopathy-induced) stresses, any number of FeCoV will NOT mutate to FIP and there will be no FIP.

So management of these stresses is a sure-fire way to prevent FIP.

FIP INCUBATION TIME

From these stresses to FIP, it is a 7 to 15 day period to the first phase symptoms of fever, weight loss and leucopenia (not currently recognized by vets as FIP) and invariably assumed to be an “upper respiratory virus” for which antibiotics are usually and inappropriately prescribed. After this, the cat seems to recover as the fever goes, the leucopenia goes and the weight usually returns. However it all reverts and comes back worse than before. It takes an average of 36 days (but can stretch out three months or so) from the stresses to diagnosed effusive form of FIP, called “wet FIP” …. and it takes considerably longer for “dry FIP” or “neurological FIP” to be diagnosed. Each form can affect cats at any age, but “wet FIP” usually affects young kittens – often in groups – due to the typical vaccination stresses, spaying and home changes they all endure.

Thus vets currently fail to spot early FIP at all and indeed have no test for it, and also currently fail to associate it with the prior stress triggers. (Dr Diane Addie is an allopathic vet with more than 16 yrs research in FIP and she is the exception who does recognize the stress triggers.) FIP is thus only diagnosed as of this writing, when the animal is essentially terminal. This is the stage at which the vet advises euthanasia, offers steroid and antibiotic suppression, and the client comes to a homeopath seeking a better prognosis.

Until it is diagnosed at the early fever stage, FIP cases will all be terminal and difficult for the homeopath to work with, and many cases will be lost due to the lack of time and the speed of the illness combined.

The symptoms are very variable due to the variation in susceptibility of different organs in different individuals, and I strongly suggest lab tests be used to determine what organs are affected, to assist in remedy selection. The trigger list above (which is by no means exhaustive, but gives an idea what to look for) is also extremely variable and potentially relevant in finding the simillimum.

IMBALANCED IMMUNE SYSTEM – A FIP PREREQUISITE

Cats who get FIP, per my experience, ALL have an imbalanced immune system, skewed in a specific direction, towards excess  Th-2 helper cell expression and away from Th-1 helper cell expression. They should be in balance. Those who understand this can skip to the next paragraph.  I’ll offer a brief explanation, with minimum terminology here, including relevance to FIP disease management:

The immune system has a complex interacting system of chemicals called “cytokines” which determine what kind of immune defenses to produce if there is a problem to be handled. Th-1 cytokines include things like interleukins and tumor necrosis factors, primarily used in chronic disease and in engulfing invaders where they enter and the Th-1 “base camp” for production is the thymus. They make sure for example, that enough defensive cells via cytokine “Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha” are produced to overcome cancer cells, or that via cytokine “interleukin-2″ enough macrophages are made to engulf invading viruses (think pac-man activity). This is the aspect of the immune system – the cellular defense and chronic disease defense system – the “Th-1″ side of things – that needs to be in good health to overcome the FIP virus – or to prevent it from being a possible disease. Sadly vets usually give prednisone which skews the system even more away from Th-1 necessary activity.

If there are too few Th-1 cytokines to do the job they need to do, called a “Th-2-skewed” immune system, then cytokines like interferon with go-between capabilities, “tell” the immune system that the Th-1 first defense system is overwhelmed (when in fact it is only inactive due to damage), and the Th-2 system will go into overdrive for a major war to try to compensate for the huge battle it expects. But since there is not an overwhelming number of invaders or viruses in a skewed system – it’s just too damaged to make the Th-1 cytokines or macrophages to deal with invaders – the immune system misreads the problem and will end up making too many antibodies. It does this via Th-2 cytokine messages to the bone marrow where antibodies are made. FIP and other chronic diseases that involve too many antibodies or that involve auto-antibodies (antibodies against self as in FIP, also HIV and the feline version FIV) all have this feature of a Th-2-skewed immune system. Allergies and cancer for example, can also occur only in a Th-2 skewed system.

HOW AN IMMUNE SYSTEM BECOMES TH-2 SKEWED

Don’t skip this part – it applies to anyone who does not want a chronic disease!

If we can prevent Th-2 skewed immune systems, we have done the major aspect and most important part of preventing all Th-2 skewed diseases, FIP being one of them. In addition, if we can restore balance to a skewed system, which I believe the successful homeopathic simillimum will achieve, we go a long way towards restoring overall health.

So what is it that skews the system and can we avoid it to prevent chronic disease including FIP?

The first answer to this is that anything that damages the Thymus gland, causes Th-2 skewing as it reduces this major organ responsible for Th-1 cytokine management and production. The spleen is also involved but the thymus is the major aspect and is routinely severely damaged by modern medicine. Animal research shows for example that a single injection of prednisone can remove 90% of thymus function, and that vaccination of a pregnant animal damages not only her thymus but that of all her unborn offspring in the womb.

Research shows that all vaccines damage the thymus. In cats, so many vaccines are used, and they are started well before immune system maturity at three months, that there is often no thymus left to detect. A vet who has done multiple feline necropsies once told me “There is no thymus to speak of in adult cats, it atrophies after kittenhood.” No it does not atrophy, that assumption is due to the massive vaccination damage that is so universal in cats.

Unvaccinated healthy cats have a normal thymus and good chronic disease resistance. Vaccinated cats have little or no chronic disease resistance, and every “annual vaccine” reduces the resistance further.

In my opinion and experience there is no such thing as a needed vaccine, and without them we had no FIP – it’s a new feline disease. Homeoprophylaxis is far superior in maintaining and building health and resistance to both acute and chronic illnesses. As Hahnemann explains in the Organon, a remedy given to healthy individuals, increases their robustness and health. In the case of FIP, the remedy I recommend most highly for FIP prophylaxis is FIP/FIV/FeLV 30C which is a remedy made from organisms for all three autoimmune viral diseases in cats. (FIV is the feline version of HIV, and FeLV is Feline Leukaemia.) This remedy from a combination starter substance, is a single remedy with wider “similar symptom activity” than could be obtained using a single strain of a single virus as the starter substance for remedy making. In my view, this wider symptom coverage is one reason for the effectiveness to date, of this remedy in preventing FIP and the other two illnesses).  To date I have very rarely been approached to address FIP cases at the very early stages, and had no way to prove it was FIP, except that the precursors were all there and the FIP/FIV/FeLV 30C remedy restored health in days. With an advanced FIP case, there is no point using this remedy except as future prophylaxis. It needs a simillimum, supplements, nutrition and a lot of nursing, to rebuild health.

THREEE FORMS OF FIP

Each type of FIP has different symptoms and will point you to very different remedies. There is no genus epidemicus for FIP. This is very important. Even the FIP in different regions may be a different virus clade with different presenting symptoms, different virulence or a different order of attack of organs. Then too, each constitutional type of cat, will have different strengths and organ susceptibilities and the FIP illness takes advantage of such susceptibilities.

I find that if one can determine the life-long constitutional type of the cat – in addition to the simillimum main remedy for the total disease condition seen – this constitutional-type remedy can be given to the cat as an additional “crutch” to support the cat during this illness. The intention of this is to bolster its constitutionally susceptible organs, and to give it a little extra edge in resisting the FIP damage, while the simillimum works to restore health. It’s like a crutch for a broken leg, it may heal nothing directly, but it prevents some damage, and emotionally strengthens the will of the cat, so as to assist the healing process directed by a carefully matched simillimum remedy.

HOMEOPATHY FOR EACH TYPE OF FIP

“Effusive FIP” also called “wet FIP”:

This is the FIP version most likely to be seen in kittens, who are the most frequent victims of this illness. The homeopath has no time to lose as the kitten can die within days of diagnosis despite the fact this is really a chronic disease. While cases vary widely, a typical kitten presents with a drooping huge fluid-filled abdomen, a concave (drooping) back, dragging tail, unkempt “staring” coat, backbone sticking up and with evident muscle wasting despite the “fat” abdomen, either losing muscle despite a ravenous appetite, or soon after that, with zero appetite, and is really near starvation. There is often recurrent or persistent very high fever. Clinically, tests will show clear, sticky, yellow, high-globulin-content effusive fluid in the abdomen and/or thorax (where it restricts lungs and breathing), and very high blood globulin and low albumin, and may give you a picture of what organs have been damaged enough already to be near or at  failure.

Many homeopaths have written that they have tried Apis in effusive FIP because of the abdominal swelling and high fever, but it has not helped because the source of the fluid is leaking blood vessels after auto-antibody attack, and so the real issue is “loss of animal fluids” and starvation in presence of recurrent high fever, as opposed to “hot inflammatory swelling” as would suit Apis. It is very important to understand the nature of the illness and know the specifics of the case to select the best remedy. Remedies I have found effective vary widely – for example Cinchona officinalis, Lycopodium clavatum, Baryta carb and many others – and I cannot stress enough the importance of individual repertorizing for each case. Do it well and carefully as the disease is unforgiving time-wise, and you are likely to get one quick shot at it. Use all the information you can gather so you do not end up feeling like you have a distant dartboard and one dart with which to hit the bullseye.

In older cats an even wider range of remedies has been needed than in kittens with effusive FIP, and I do not find that surprising, considering the triggers in older cats are less predictable, as are organ health issues, hence there is less commonality than in kittens who are mostly (but not always) ill due to a common set of triggers as discussed above.

SUPPRESSED SECOND DISEASE

Effusive FIP also often follows another acute disease and takes over and suppresses the acute disease. Look out for this as you can lose a case that is coming right if you are not ready to handle the underlying disease as soon as it emerges in the weakened cat once you overcome the FIP. This is something the homeopath needs to be acutely aware of – and sometimes taking a good history will be an indicator of this. In this situation, FIP presents as the only illness (as indeed Hahnemann also described in the Organon when one dissimilar illness is stronger than another), and the homeopath may work hard to build back health against FIP, only to find that within mere hours of seeing positive results, the suppressed disease emerges at its most virulent. The homeopath can easily lose a case despite beating FIP, if they are not ready for this event. (There is no time to order remedies after this happens; make sure they are handy).

For example, a case I had of a tiny kitten called Annie, presented as effusive FIP. The constitutional type of the kitten was Sulphur and her simillimum for the FIP picture was Lycopodium.  As these two remedies follow well, they were alternated in her case, with Sulph 200C once a day and more frequent use of Lyc 30C then Lyc 200C in accordance with symptoms, as needed. Her FIP symptoms were typical for a shelter kitten as described above, and all resolved over a few weeks. The day she started playing games and acting normal, was one of rejoicing till that night she had a hacking cough that racked and rattled her little body violently, and her owners feared she would not survive the night, she was so bad. She had late-stage Bordetella bronchiseptica, (abbrev BB) which is also usually fatal in kittens under 6 months old. The sudden violent change in symptoms was indeed a return of a suppressed weaker disease of BB. She’d had a hacking cough – looking like an unsuccessful attempt to throw up a hairball, and severe lethargy, before she got FIP. Bordetella bronchiseptica 200C was used for the new illness, and it resolved in a week. Since then Annie has become and remained a strong, healthy cat.

DIAGNOSIS OF FIP

The homeopath often needs to spot FIP before a formal diagnosis is made by a vet. It pays to be proactive when the symptoms fit, and to initiate homeopathy as soon as possible, as well as high protein assist feeding. The effusive form includes the feature of fluid collecting in the abdominal and/or thoracic cavity, often misdiagnosed and inappropriately treated as worms or overweight till the cat’s backbone is standing proud and the cat is near death.

The dry form has no such accumulation, but has the general symptoms of muscle wasting and internal organ deterioration, and often uveitis is present in one or both eyes.

The neurological form involves seizures, especially starting with eye seizures (pendulum movement of pupils), a common symptom before diagnosis is made.

The divisions for FIP types are relatively arbitrary. Which form a cat has, depends on the cat’s susceptibility (as indicated by several factors) – and is a matter of what parts of the body are destroyed first, and which parts of the immune system are damaged and how much and in what order. All parts of the cat are attacked in the course of the disease.  Also any form can convert to any other form during the course of this illness. This is something else to be ready for – as there will be very little time to respond when it happens, and again availability of a newly matched remedy can be a problem for the client – and for the homeopath who needs to drop everything and repertorize…. timing can be everything in FIP.

So one is basically chasing a moving target of changing symptoms to use in choosing the best current remedy, and the rate of deterioration can be so fast that it is necessary to be very alert and on top of each case and even to try to pre-empt changes if possible. By this I mean, one gets a feeling for what damage is going to happen in a particular cat, and it is beneficial to include that as a rubric even BEFORE the symptom shows up. This can save an otherwise impossibly late stage case, and is worth the risk that the symptom might not develop. The risk in omitting the potential danger is higher than the risk of including a symptom that is not there yet.

In FIP the pre-empting of a symptom is often the cause for rejoicing later when the case resolves. It helps to educate the client in what you are doing and why, and in close observation so they know what to look for. Also use laboratory tests so as to be able to predict which organs are weakest, and in what order they are most likely to be attacked. It may be liver, kidney, pancreas, blood vessels, bone marrow, nerves, muscles, etc, and the remedy selection must coincide. It helps to pre-empt symptoms by using lab results in FIP. For example if you see the lab report shows raised liver enzymes, you know there is liver damage and you need to use a rubric for liver inflammation even though there may be no inappetance, constipation or other liver-related symptoms to see. This is an essential strategy in FIP, as the disease can change much faster than the homeopath can respond if one waits for symptoms.

FIP IS A STARVATION DISEASE

In all cases there is muscle wasting and starvation as an obvious symptom as the body is attacked by its own immune system antibodies. This makes nutrition and appropriate supplements, also key to success in this illness. Muscle wasting needs a high protein diet from animal protein – from real muscle-meat – of prey-size. Prey-size matters as the amino acid ratios of the prey-size protein are closer to those of the cat, and thus there are less digestive left-overs to stress the kidneys. The liver is also damaged in all FIP cases sooner or later, and it helps to feed liver, one way being to use the commercial Hills a/d mixed 50/50 with hot water for palatability and for dehydration prevention. This slurry is also a suitable base for other supplements such as glutamine to slow muscle wasting, and Moducare to help balance Th-1 cytokines, and antioxidant vitamins. It can be assist-fed in small frequent meals. Look for anemia as it is common in FIP, include in repertorizing and Pet-Tinic is the best anemia supplement I know.

Supplement selection depends on what organ systems need support. Some cases have severe anemia, others pancreas damage, and the list goes on. Find out what needs support and suggest supplements accordingly. For example lecithin to help digest fats in presence of a bad pancreas. Introduce any new food to a cat VERY gradually. That applies also to unfamiliar supplements. Cat systems take a month to fully learn a new digestion trick, so if you do not have that time, it may be wise to use a cat-specific digestive enzyme supplement in the meantime. A good one without feline toxins is Dr Goodpet Feline digestive enzymes.

Look at each case individually to see not only what remedy fits best, but what systems need what support.

“DRY FIP”

Here there is no effusion fluid, and this usually affects an adult cat.  Muscle wasting and lethargy might be all the client tells you about at first, but look deeper. Repertorizing needs to take into account the chronic nature of the disease, the muscle wasting, the immune system damage features, the condition of internal organs, the triggers for the specific case, the blood and other lab work results, and the cat’s response to the disease, especially emotional response. For example, do they shun company they used to enjoy, and what do they do all day compared with what they used to do.

“NEUROLOGICAL FIP”

This has need of an approach similar to that described for dry FIP but with these extra notes.  As you are dealing with nerves, there is need for nerve nutritional support, with magnesium gluconate or magnesium chloride – and Vit B6 as supplements for example, and it is wise to assume that the cat will be exceptionally sensitive to your homeopathic remedy. It has jumpy, damaged nerves already after all. It can be helpful to use one or more dilution cups for the remedy (diluting the aqueous remedy a teaspoon or even a drop, to a cup of water, no succussion, and dosing drop-wise from there.) Build up to the right dose rather than starting too high as neurological FIP aggravations can invoke the most violent seizures. Be aware that neurological FIP will often be worse at moon phases such as full moon, (as will effusive FIP being fluid-related) so coach the client in how to dose more often (in neurological FIP) or with larger doses (in effusive FIP) at such times.

Be very alert to changes during neurological FIP. They can happen faster than you can write an email. What starts as eye pendulum seizures or a slight leg twitch, may become a 5 minute grand mal seizure with no warning.  Train your client to watch for abnormal movements before they become seizures. Things like the cat walking across a room, and stopping half-way for no apparent reason as if frozen for a while, are worth noting, and consider a pre-emptive increase in remedy dose to counter a worsening of neurological damage. In FIP it is better in my opinion to risk a remedy aggravation than a new stage of neurological damage due to hesitating to go up in dosing amount, potency or frequency.

An interesting finding in neurological FIP that I have seen, is that dosing frequency seems to be very critical. For example in one case, dosing daily caused aggravation but dosing every 2 days allowed seizures. Dosing twice one day and once the next made a lot of improvement but only when dosing was even more closely fine-tuned than that, did seizures completely cease, and healing start.

So the sensitivity of seizure cases such a neurological FIP, can hardly be stressed enough. It affects remedy selection which must be a great fit, remedy potency selection, remedy dilution and dose size and remedy frequency. And of course adjustment for external stresses including moon phases.

Finally, expect a neurological case to be a long one. Nerve damage takes a lot of time to heal. Keep working on it, do not assume that “nothing is happening” if things are slow to respond. Look for gradual improvements. It may take up to a year to resolve neurological FIP – where wet FIP can resolve in as little as one month if no steroids were used.

BE AWARE THAT THE VET WHO DOES NOT UNDERSTAND FIP IS THE NORM!

SO YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND IT INSTEAD

Your clients will not understand that even the name is a misnomer – nor likely their vet.  There are still vets so in fear of this disease that they advise cattery owners to euthanize all their cats! They do not understand how a cat gets FIP, or that it is not contagious. So why the misnomer name? It helps save lives if the homeopath can set the record straight.

The effusive form of the disease presents with a very swollen abdomen, full of sticky, yellow fluid and was the first form discovered and described in the early 1960s. The disease has struck fear into vets and cat owners ever since. We discovered only in 1998 that the fluid is leaked from blood vessels attacked by auto-antibodies. The peritoneal cavity will show inflammation due to the high protein fluid but it was previously assumed to be some kind of peritonitis infection, hence the peritonitis part of the name. Cause and effect were confused. The peritoneal wall is irritated by the leaked fluid, but there is no peritoneal infection as was assumed before the 1998 research.

The disease also is most common in kittens, with many kittens in the same crowded cattery or shelter often presenting with the disease, hence the assumption was made that it is infectious, and that was included in the name. We now know that it is the common triggers for FIP in a cattery or shelter, especially vaccination protocols, that cause multiple cases to occur in one location. It’s not transmitted cat to cat. Each cat has to mutate its own FIP virus from FeCoV due to whatever vaccinations and cage stress etc it experiences. Experimentally, FIP can be caused in a cat by injecting a live FIP virus culture into the tissues, but that is not the same as being exposed to some virus shedding of another cat. It is quite safe to let a non-infected cat live with its sick friend if this is emotionally beneficial to both. To put the client at ease, you can suggest use of the prophylactic remedy FIP/FeLV/FIV 30C, aqueous, by all cats including the sick one. This can be added to a water bowl separate from the main water bowl. The cats will know when to take a dose by drinking from the medicated bowl.

DIAGNOSTIC TESTS

There is confusion between FIP and FeCoV tests among vets. FIP is currently “diagnosed” by several different tests, many of which do not even look for FIP, but assume that presence of high amount of “any corona virus” whether FeCoV or FIP or both or some other corona virus, is indicator enough. Since this is no indicator at all for FIP specifically, cats with FIP are often too sick to help by the time they are diagnosed, or they have been pumped full of steroid and antibiotic thus sadly making sure there is absolutely no thymus for the homeopath to work with. It is most frustrating for the homeopath, who is often too late to warn owners against steroids.

There are two true FIP tests, based on a 7b protein fraction in FIP that is not present in FeCoV. These are at least true FIP tests and not “any corona” tests. There is an ELISA version that looks for antibody to FIP’s 7b protein, and this is a FIP screening test developed in 1998 in USA, and exported to very few other countries. There is also a PCR test that looks for actual 7B viral protein (developed in 1994) and intended for necropsy work, though it can be used on blood samples as well. It seems not all clades of FIP have the 7b protein however, so FIP is under diagnosed in those cases. If the 7b test is positive you have a 95% chance that it is FIP.

FIP is more often under diagnosed with a true FIP test, than over diagnosed. A FeCoV test “for corona virus” is about as useful as measuring fleas on the next door dog for discovering FIP.

Here’s the exception where you can get a positive FIP test in a non-ill cat:

Cats exposed to other cats ill with FIP, can and do make antibodies to FIP, though they do not get the disease. These few cats will test FIP-positive to an ELISA-7b test (for about 6 months or so after exposure in my experience), but they do not have FIP.

(They would however  be negative to PCR-7b test looking for actual virus protein.)

Depending where the homeopath is located, the FIP-7b tests may be unavailable to the client’s vet, as exporting a test requires expense for certification in the foreign country, which has not been done in many places. It is thus mainly a USA test.

After death, FIP is easier to confirm, as internally, tissues affected by the disease become granulomatous.

Early stage FIP is not diagnosed (at time of writing in March 2008). There is no test that shows it soon enough and except for the odd research vet in the Netherlands for example, vets are not familiar enough with the facts of FIP to even know when to suspect that what they are seeing, is an early case of FIP.

Currently then, homeopaths are likely to see late stage cases only, and I hope that what I have written here is useful information towards helping these cats back to health, and towards helping their owners to never see FIP in a cat again.

Prevention note:

Most owners of a cat with FIP, also have other cats, so be sure that even if you cannot save the sick one, you save the rest and any future cats. Be sure to spread the word on prevention, and the stress list examples are also a large part of the answer to preventing FIP: Just do not subject the kitten or cat to more than 1 or 2 major stresses within a single month. For example, if the cat needs to be spayed, do it at 6 months of age or later when it is a physical stress only, and the kitten has had enough emotional experience of life and gained enough maturity and self-confidence not to fear for its life due to feeling sore from the procedure. Don’t do it just after the new cat arrives, when it is still undergoing home-change stress. Avoid unnecessary stresses and spread out necessary stresses, so the cat recovers from each before the next is due.

Just one more comment: I use the term “repertorize” for the entire method of individually selecting a matching homeopathic remedy for the presenting individual’s illness symptoms, and it is not meant to refer only to the use of a repertory, but to include also the proper use of the materia medica as well, in finalizing the remedy selection.

As of this writing, both Mantis on my website, and Annie in Oregon, (two of the first to come right after FIP, in 2003) are both well cats 5 years so far, after homeopathy for FIP. So far, none of the cats who came right on homeopathy, has had any kind of relapse. A few have had the off acute infection or other transient issue, easily handled. Many cats recovered from FIP, but many cats did not make it however, so this disease shows promise with homeopathy but still needs a lot more work.

More about Mantis:

Mantis is the Sphynx cat who had FIP and whose copyright photos I use with permission and thanks, as I present his case here and my principles of approach using homeopathy. Here is Mantis, a skinny kitty in Jan 2003 and with his activity slowed down from normal and he is not yet showing the bloated abdomen of “wet” FIP in this photo. He started to decline in health in late October of 2002 and reached his worst point in Feb 2003. Most FIP kitties have the disease for a while before diagnosis of FIP is made:

Mantis is a neutered male Sphynx cat. He appears hairless, but has a peach fuzz type coat. He lives in New York. Almost a month after the above photo was taken, Mantis started to swell up with abdominal fluid. The vet saw him about 13 Feb 2003, but he made no improvement and by the end of February vet visit he was in very bad shape. His owner, Jesse, contacted me after reading my website article on FIP.  I received an email with the subject heading, “Help I think my cat has FIP!”. Jesse also sent blood work, and two photos to show how Mantis looked mid-January as above, and how he looked on the day Jesse first contacted me after coming home from the vet visit on 27 Feb 2003:

This is Mantis in February 2003, a very ill cat indeed:

You can see that Mantis is really a starving cat, with bones showing prominently. The bloated fluid-filled abdomen is deceptive. He has lost muscle mass and the strength to jump well and has no energy. He lies on the bed, not able to be a normal active cat.

His owner was able to acquire the food, nutrient supplements and a remedy he asked me to repertorize and which he purchased within a day of contacting me. He also declined the use of prednisone (a steroid), and I believe these factors and his excellent nursing (round the clock when necessary at first) made the difference in a touch and go situation.

For today I wish to at least put the photos up on my website in hopes that more people will see that even in a seriously ill cat, it can be worthwhile to follow a homeopathic and nutritional approach and success is possible. Homeopathy does not treat a disease, it aims to build health, and if this is greatly successful, then any disease that is present may not have a good enough foothold to stick around in a healthy individual.

Every case is different and there is never a guarantee of success in building health. However I feel that I have developed an approach that gives better general health to severely ill cats with FIP type symptoms (with or without diagnosis that being the preserve of a licensed vet) than other approaches to support and nurse cats with FIP type symptoms and I would like to share this approach with other homeopaths in the hope that it may help more cats with FIP type symptoms to get the home support they need. Every cat is different and in homeopathy there is no standard approach but rather a very individualized one to whatever situation the cat currently is in.

After homeopathic support for just over three weeks, Mantis has recovered his muscle mass, his backbone is padded with muscle again and his legs are strongly muscled, he has lost the volume of fluid in his abdomen, and is rushing about and playing as a happy cat again in March 2003:

At time of writing, (25 Mar 2003) Mantis is still on a regime to build resistance and to balance his immune system for greater health, and this will be tapered off in time.

Sept 2003 update: Mantis doing well.

May 2006 update: Mantis had a viral infection April 06, but is now well again.

A follow-up article will be in a later edition of Hpathy, including Mantis’s actual case diary.

Photos of Mantis “before and after” and more details are here:

http://www.angelfire.com/fl/furryboots/fipcase.html

MAIN SUCCESS FACTORS

Pre-empting symptoms, using the constitutional remedy as a crutch, nutritional and supplement support, planning for suppressed disease re-emerging, avoidance of all feline toxins, fast response to symptom changes and educating the client on how to see when to dose – are the key elements I use, along with VERY in depth repertorizing with as much information as I can glean to get the remedy right first try.

———————————————

Irene de Villiers, B.Sc AASCA MCSSA D.I.Hom/D.Vet.Hom.
P.O. Box 4703 Spokane WA 99220.
www.angelfire.com/fl/furryboots/clickhere.html (Veterinary Homeopath.)

Man who say it cannot be done should not interrupt one doing it.

Irene de Villiers

Irene de Villiers

Comments

  1. virginia

    July 13, 2010

    I am trying to get in touch with Irene de Villiers, who wrote this column on FIP. I want to consult with her about my cat and order the appropriate medications. Does anyone know a phone number?

    • Karla

      August 1, 2010

      hi Virginia were you able to get a hold of Irene de Villiers?
      Thanks

  2. Diane

    September 26, 2010

    Is it possible to get in contact with Irene de Villiers? I have a cat with the neurological form of this disease who is starting to become paralyzed in the hind end. He has no seizures at this point and is still eating well and drinking. He was diagnosed about 1 1/2 months ago when he had a severe bout of diarrhea. He had no other symptoms. His bloodwork showed a severely high wbc and his protein levels were very high. He has had no other organ involvement according to his labwork. He was treated with antibiotics because of his extremely high wbc and diarrhea and seemed to recover nicely and the vet seemed to think that maybe he could have multiple myeloma (not a good scenario either) instead since his 7b Elisa test was not very high. He did not want to use Prednisone at that time because of the high wbc. He has had a mass (possible submandibular lymph node) that has been slowly growing during this time. He has had no other symptoms until yesterday when I arrived home from work and noticed that he is very ataxic in his hind end. It would be very helpful to be able to speak with Ms. de Villiers to find out her feelings on pursuing this with treatment. Otherwise I cannot continue to allow him to suffer, not understand why he cannot move as he is used to and watch him get progressively worse. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks you.

    • Irene de Villiers

      Irene de Villiers

      September 26, 2010

      Hi Diane,
      My email is
      You are welcome to contact me.
      Namaste,
      Irene

      • Kathy Montes

        April 22, 2011

        Irene,
        I, like most people writing to you, have a seriously ill cat, Louise. She does not have the wet type, she is down to bones, still eating small amounts, but is very lethargic. I also have one of Louise’s offspring, Lucy, I have a gut feeling that she has it as well. First sympton to me is their fur looks funny, kinda clumpy, and she is starting to lose weight. I would love to talk to you or correspond. I know NOTHING about Homoepath! Please advise. If i cant save Louise (which breaks my heart), I can try for Lucy!
        Thank you!!
        Kathy

      • Jesse

        February 20, 2012

        My one year old cat lewis is a pure bread siamese and has been diagnosed with FIP our vet tested his blood and the fluid in his abdomen and/or chest. However he eats on his own happily he plays a bit but is mostly inactive he has not puked and he has not had diarrhea but he is having difficulty breathing, what are his chances of surviving and is there anything i can do besides make him comfortable
        Please contact me im desperate, i love him so much.

      • jeff kessler

        April 14, 2012

        Hello. I would like to get in touch with you to treat our male 9 mos. old cat who was diagnosed recently with terminal FIP. Please contact asap. Thank you. JK

      • Trevor Hall

        July 22, 2012

        Hello Irene,

        My 6 year old female cat (Bobby) has been diagnosed with the dry form of FIP.
        She is drinking, but eats very little.

        Can you please tell me what homeopathy treatment there is and where can I get it?

        Please reply soon.

        Regards,

        Trevor

      • Julia

        November 13, 2012

        Hi Irene,
        can I get the F series in a health store and how much from which?
        Need help soon.
        Thanks Julia

      • Jessie

        January 7, 2013

        Please help! My kitten has fip and i would love to know what homeopathic remedies you used. Time is of the essence.
        Thanks!
        Jessie

      • Deena

        January 10, 2013

        Hi Irene, I have a four year old cat who was diagnosed with FIP and he has the dry kind. Is their any remedies you have in mind because I really don’t feel like loosing him.

      • Jennifer Luke

        February 21, 2013

        Hi irene

        I am a Dvm and hoping to see if you can help my sons 12wk old kitten w effusive wet thoracic fip I am willing to listen and see what you can provide in experience as hope is slim

      • Brad Ruffner

        August 2, 2013

        Hi Irene,

        I as well have a 10 month old kitten in an unfortunate health situation and stumbled into this very helpful site. My bengal, like a light switch, just started showing all the neurological signs of dry FIP. We have been trying numerous things mostly for her comfort but hit a quick dead end with the vet. Your dosing suggestions under the “Neurological FIP” section are a little confusing to me. I am going to pick the supplements up today to try and give her the first dose today. I would greatly appreciate a suggestive clarification. Do you mean to add a teaspoon of one of the two magnesium supplements as well as a teaspoon of B6 to a cup of water and then give her one drop doses of that mix twice a day? Lastly, do you recommend this alone for the neurological cases or paired with one of your other suggestions? A quick response would be a heavenly gift. Namaste, and thank you for your work.

      • Cindy Creighton

        October 17, 2013

        Irene.
        Please help me. My Emma 5months old was diagnosed with wet FIP yesterday.. They used a test Rivalta’s Test for FIP. She tested positive. She had a fever and her belly is bloated as described in other cases you helped.
        Help us.. I gave her one does of prednisone and vet did yesterday.. I will stop. What holistic meds can I get easy and give asap. I have her on Ideal Balance (Kitten and she sneaks the adult of my 15year old cats food) by Hills. Please call me tell me what to do. I don’t want her to die.
        Cindy 386-675-2666, 386-236-8687 home

      • Avatar of miriam gutierrez

        miriam gutierrez

        May 22, 2014

        Ms. De Villiers,
        My one year old cat just got “diagnosed” with Wet FIP and I am being advised to put him down. I just adopted him 2 months ago and this is the sweetest cat ever….could you please help me? I would like to try the homepathic treatment you suggested for Mathis…I’m desperate, please help me

  3. Irene de Villiers

    Irene de Villiers

    September 26, 2010

    Gee I WANT my email included and the system is excluding it for some reason.
    I shall try again:
    Please feel free to email me. You can search for my website using furryboots and norwegian forest cats as search keys.
    That has my email for all to see.
    Also try to assemble it from furryboots at icehouse dot net
    Namaste,
    Irene

    • Olimpo Rojas Rodriguez

      January 29, 2013

      Hi Irene, I’m Colombian.
      My wife has been collecting strays, for several years, we currently have 5 cats and a dog. Year and a half ago my dog ​​died, Tikisa, collection, died of acute urinary tract infection.

      Thereafter, died exactly one year ago Osiris, male cat of 11 years died of feline infectious peritonitis, was the alpha male, began to get sick from when Tikisa died.
      On Friday they confirmed that Simba, male cat has FIP and probably the rest of the cats have.
      The following is a list of my animals.

      Simba, feline, male, 10 years
      Monina, feline, female, 12 years
      Alcachofa, feline, female, 8 years
      Vuvuzela, feline, female, 5 years
      Suyai, feline, female, 3 years
      Hairs, Canico, male, 13 years

      I would like to know more about homeopathy treatment you developed. Could you send it to us by e-mail? We are trying to do everything possible to win the FIP. Please help us.
        Thank you.

      • adriana ballesteros

        March 15, 2013

        Hola Olimpo, como te fue con la enfermedad del Pif con tus gatos?, conseguiste el tratamiento, a mi se me murió un gato con los síntomas del Pif seco, batallamos unos meses, pero no sabia que tenia esta enfermedad mi veterinaria se hizo la desentendida y lo único que le importo fue el dinero y eso le costo la vida a mi pobre Milu yo convencida que tenia gastritis, ni idea que existía esta enfermedad, aquí nadie le para bolas a esto, el remedio es la eutanasia. Yo le di muchas gotas homeopaticas algo entiendo y le alargue unos meses, pero como es lógico me gano por desconocer por completo por donde atacar, tengo un amigo homeopata que nos puede ayudar si le ubicamos con el tema, este tiene laboratorio. En el articulo la doctora Irene da los nombres de las medicina homeopaticas. Tengo una pagina web y me gustaría poder publicar en español estas ayudas.

    • Charla Morin

      May 17, 2013

      please contact me. I have a cat with the neurological FIP. Getting him tested today. Want to get him started on a regime right away. I rescued him and his siblings at 3 weeks old.
      redbud243@comcast.net

  4. Kathleen McTigue

    October 2, 2010

    I just had a female kitty that died of FIP. She had the type with the liquid accumulating in her little belly. She was a Persian. I have a male Himalayan that has lived with her since I’ve had her for the past 8 or so years. He has had feline herpes, but is very healthy right now. How at risk is he for the FIP and how can I give him preventative treatment? Thanks in advance. I am worried that he might get it too.

  5. Donna Lovette

    October 2, 2010

    I woul also like to get in touch with Irene de Villiers, who wrote this column on FIP. I want to consult with her about my cat and order the appropriate medications. Does anyone know a phone number? My six month old cat, Emelia, has been diagnosed with FIP. Her stomach is large. She is barely eating or drinking liquids. The doctor told me that she has a short time to live and to prepare to put her to sleep. I want to fight to keep her around longer. I’d like to use the medications that got her the kind of results seen in this article.

    • Pat Creighton

      October 3, 2010

      You may notice Irene lists her website at the bottom of the article. On her websites are ways to contact her directly.

    • Madalina

      November 27, 2013

      Hello Donna

      My name is Madalina. My Beloved cat Sony stoped eating few days ago he has abdominal fluid the doctors told me is either cancer or the FIP. tomorrow we will have some of the test results . I am devastated and shocked … he is so afectionate and adorable… they told me to be prepare to lose him

      thank you so much

  6. Donna lovette

    October 5, 2010

    I’ve left a couple of messages at the email addressed indicated on her website with no response yet. So I thought I’d try leaving a message here in hopes she would see it. Although I’m running out of time, I guess the only thing I can do is wait and hope she contacts me soon.

  7. jsherman

    November 2, 2010

    Need Help!!! 9 month old cat has FID. Eating little. Tried to start on raw food. Likes salmon from can and little raw chicken. Weak but moves around. Where do I begin. Jann

  8. Jane Beyba

    November 12, 2010

    I suspect my cat has feline FIP as he has the swollen abdomen symptoms
    and weight loss. He is two year old and about 8 months ago I gave him
    the FIP nosode – I am now worried that this has resulted in him having FIP.
    I have been treating him with echinacea aug 30c and arsen alb 30c but have not seen much improvement. I have now started him on china 30c and see a
    slight improvement. I have also given him apocynum canna 30c for the fluid
    in abdomen. I have been treating him for almost a week . I also have the FIP nosode – but am too afraid to give this to him – can you give this to a sick cat?

  9. Elaine J

    December 2, 2010

    Not on this page, but I did find a website with your address. I wrote a couple of days ago, and I’m sure you are inundated with emails. But I need help Irene!. My cat has neurological FIP…. well, he has had seizures anyway and the only test that came back positive was for FIP. As in my email I have obtained the blood work and would love to get working on restoring the health back to my beloved pet. I am willing to post my email address but something tells me it wont show because as you tried to post it didn’t. laner262@yahoo.com If you or ANY of your colleagues can get a hold. ANY help is appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Theresa

    December 18, 2010

    Please help!! Pretty sure my cat has FIP. He was at the Vets yesterday and they strongly. Believe my 5.5 mth Sphynx kitten is infected with “Wet” FIP. He goes back to the Vet on Monday for full bloodwork, UA and another sample of his abd fluid to send off for analysis to confirm if its FIP I want to try something other then steroids!!!! Help.

  11. Kenten & Debbie

    January 1, 2011

    Hi Irene
    Thanks for the very informative site and links, same as most of the above folks we have a ‘wet’ FIP case on our hands. & month old bengal Acacia. Stuck in northern Ireland with no homeopaths available to help treat her (vets suggestions of extermination is not an option) so will have to make up tinctures etc. ourselves. Please help, our little sweethearts life depends on it. A short list of things to buy and doses would be greatly appreciated, I`d do a chinchilla backflip if she pulls through.
    Namaste
    Kenten & Debbie
    Bertstrapdoor@hotmail.co.uk

    • James

      January 2, 2011

      I have a six month old with wet FIP. We are treating him with Interferon. He has not improved yet, and I understand that the success rate is low. Like all the others, I am desperately searching the internet for anything that might work.

      Kenten & Debbie: If you get a recipe for a homeopathic cure or treatment I’d really appreciate it if you could pass it on to me – amaliefranz @yahoo.com

      Good luck to everyone dealing with this terrible illness.

      • tonya yanciki

        April 25, 2011

        yes, Kenton and Debbie if you find anything please let me know as well? tyanicki@my.genesee.edu My Josie was diagnosed last week…Im devastated! and like you said, ending her life is not an option…we need a cure for FIP

  12. Nikki MacMaster

    February 8, 2011

    Irene has a Yahoo Group called FIP-to-HEALTH. Look up “Yahoo Groups”, when there lookup “FIP-to-HEALTH”. Email me and I’ll send you the link.
    nikkimacm@yahoo.com

    Nikki

    • tonya yanciki

      April 25, 2011

      I just sent my request to the Yahoo group and am patiently, yet desperately waiting for response

  13. tonya yanciki

    April 25, 2011

    I would also like to speak with or email Irene de Villiers, but cannot get the email link to work. My baby Josie has just been diagnosed and I am devastated :-( she will be 2 yrs old in July and I just need her to be okay. She is a very special cat to me, which I’m sure everyone who is desperately searching all cites that say FIPV also feel that way about their beloved cat… I am very interested in a homeopathic remedy, and just couldn’t believe when i finally came across this article! Every other cite said just what my vet said, “It’s an incurable disease, she probably has maybe a week to live” He offered to to testing but blatently said it would be no use… There HAS to be something I can do for Josie… Irene, if you have any time to respond to my comment, PLEASE do! My email is tyanicki@my.genesee.edu for Irene, or anyone else who has helpful input… was thinking of using some of the things mentioned in article but do not want to cause further harm… PLEASE HELP?!

  14. Kristin Millett

    May 1, 2011

    My cat was just diagnosed with FIP and is declining rapidly. Three days ago she was given prednisone and an antibiotic to make her more comfortable. This is the only article I’ve read that has given me any hope for Izzy. Is there anyone there that I could work with so that it’s not too late for my girl. This is so heartbreaking for me and my family! Please try to contact me. Thank you.

  15. Diana Georgieva

    May 5, 2011

    Dear Irene de Villiers, first I want to thank you for your work for our best friends. I gave a friend a young cat and because of long travel from Bulgaria to Germany by car and much stress, he got FIP. Now, they are fighting the battle for life and I hope they win.
    I’m writing to ask you a question for my cat Passi at home. She is 6 years old and few months ago, she got a sore on her paw. 5 different vet Doctors treated her for different things and nothing helped, even got worst. Now she has few more on her body and a sore above her eye. I asked them for test and they told me they found cancer and infectious cells. I’m not sure how you call this cancer? My Hpathy vet has given us Cilicia for a month and I just give her vit.C, Flax oil, Omega 3 and Colostrum in little yogurt for about 2 weeks. Also I washed the wounds with peroxide water 3%. As for now not much changed on the outside. Could you give me advise what else I can do to help her heal? She is in a good spirit – eats and plays as normal but is limping because of her wound …
    Thank you again, DD

    • Renee

      November 29, 2012

      Try liquid silver ( natures sunshine) apply directly with cotton ball to sores 2x a day and 1/2 a teaspoon in drinking water daily my cat suffers the same thing, my cat now only has a breakout for two days at a time because i start the liquid silver as soon as i see symptoms.. I resently rescued a baby squirrl that had an infection on its cheek, again liquid silver on a peice of cotton applied to cheek 2x a day and 1/4 of teaspoon in water bowl daily and the sore and infection cleared in 4 days the swelling disapated in 1 week.. Now baby squirrl (peanut) peanut in now in squirrl school with other squirrls learning how to be a squirrl since the mother rejected her.. with a loving wildlife rehabilitate center, Liquid silver is an amazing natural antibiotic, great for people too.. Hope this helps oxo

  16. Valerie Glasgow

    May 16, 2011

    Dear Irene, we adopted a poor tiny cat from a shelter in January and took her in to the vet due to her sneezing. I had the vet do the full blood work to see what she might be fighting and the vet thinks it is FIP. This cat had been someone’s pet. She was spayed and front declawed when someone brought her in to the shelter near death from starvation. I’m not sure how she survived outside as she is a whooping 5.7 pounds. She had frostbite so severe on her ears that most of her ears are now gone. She is the best cat, very sweet and acts grateful that she has food, water and a warm place to sleep. I obviously want to do whatever I can to save her life. I can email you the blood work results if you would like to see these. I just need to know where to start now in getting this cat back to health.

  17. Ashley

    June 22, 2011

    Hi! I have a cat and my vet thinks he has FIP so I contacted you a few times. I sent everything to your email adress and I was wondering if you could reply back because I wanted to try the homeopathy remedies that could help my cat. If you would email me back soon that would be great! I included my email in the email I sent you! Thanks and I hopefully will talk to you soon!!

  18. Dani

    August 12, 2011

    I think my cat might have the dry form of FIP. He is very lethargic and his muscles are really weak. He won’t eat at all (only drinks water) and he hasn’t been going to the bathroom. There is also something wrong with his eyes. I have no idea what to do! Please help!

  19. Danielle

    February 16, 2012

    Hello Irene,
    My poor sweet 11 month old kitten was just diagnosed with wet FIP. I am completely devastated and your site so far has been the one one giving me any hope in helping my litte Luna. She is a medium sized silver spotted tabby who weighs 4.3 lbs who also has a mass in her kidney. I was wondering if at all possible you could put together a list of regimen medications and give me an update on the relative price. I look forward to hearing from you.

  20. debbie borho

    March 3, 2012

    plez plez get in touch with me asap, my baby jasper whos just under 2 years of age just got the dreaded dry fip. this is devastaing to say the least, i feel for all the other people here, i hope they have found sucsess through your aid. i pray for the same for our baby.

  21. Christine Fredrickson

    April 16, 2012

    I am in full blown crisis trying to save my effusive FIP cat. He is at my vet now getting the fluids drained and subc. hydration. My vet is also a homeopath so I have emailed his office this article and they are going to print it out for his review. Thank you Irene. I hope he understands these therapies as they are over my head! Is there a way for me to contact you? Thanks, Christine

  22. Christine fredrickson

    April 18, 2012

    Sadly I put Manny down today and buried him in my garden. Less than 5 days from diagnosis to death. Seemed normal a week ago. My beloved little lion! No time to figure out what to do. Tap and drain made him decline even more rapidly. I buried my husband 3 1/2 years ago and thought after that I would be immune to pain like this but I am profoundly heartbroken all over again. Manny was not yet 7 even rarer for FIP in an adult – not even middle age cat. Wondering about stressors – I’ve been renovating my kitchen for the last month and my small bungalow is literally torn apart. I wonder if this had an effect after reading this article again tonight. I sent this to my vet yesterday but Manny had already been treated with steroids last Thursday before I found this. Now it’s too late. My vets office did say they are now ordering the C and F china series that Irene speaks of for future cases and they said it’s because of Manny even though they have had 3 other FIP cases ( or assumed FIP cases) in the last month. Such a horrible disease!

  23. Erica

    May 2, 2012

    I took my cat to the vet yesterday and they told me she was 92% that she fip. She will be a year old at end of the month. The vet told me age probably wont to the weekend. He told me I should put her down. I didn’t put her down I just couldn’t. She is going to the bathroom but she lost weight and she not playful and she sleeps all the time. She is eating and drinking a little I also went out but a bottle and milk replaced and she is drinking her up. I need to know how to help her I don’t want to loose and could the vet be wrong.

  24. francesco

    June 10, 2012

    hello Dr. Irene,
    My name is Francesco and 2 years ago I lost our precious Asia because of effusive FIP.
    She was only 4 months old when first symptoms showed up and she died after a few weeks.
    I didn’t want to try any steroid or similar teraphy since I considered it useless…
    Asia had taken her first vaccination 1 or 2 weeks before the disease appeared…
    This winter I rescued a wonderful, long-haired kitten, Coco. She was doing well as she was the last arrived in my 8-cats home community.At some point, 1 week after her first vacination, 3 or 4 weeks ago, she started to be very lethargic, and measuring her temperature I realized she had fever.
    As you wrote, as usual at the beginning vet prescribed us useless antibiotics, which didn’t help. After a week blood work showed all FIP signals (high fecov title, A/G ratio very low and more).
    One week later thoracic effusion started to show up. Actually Coco is waiting for her dead sentence named wet fip….I’m usually really sceptical regarding homeopathy and I’m not actually sure it could help Coco as she is now, but I’m really convinced about all what you wrote, about causes and origins of FIP, and on the fact that too many veterinarians simply don’t know anything or close to anything about this disease. Many of them consider a fecov+ cat a cat with FIP…
    This may sound absurd but is real. I really think you gave an exact portrait of this disease. I 100% agree on the stress factors (VACCINATIONS!!!!!) as I wrote, I’m now asking if you think there is anything I can do for my 6 months old Coco….
    Best regards

    Coco just rescued, on last january: http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/408162_2845428749084_2072115581_n.jpg

    • menab

      September 6, 2013

      vaccines cause a shifting of the immune system towards the TH2 side —–if they did not do that they would not work. Now for the cat that is already TH2 shifted then gets vaccine –then gets FIP —– then gets really sick —-now has a big problem……. the cat cannot clear the virus from its system because the vaccine caused serious TH2 shifting……one needs to find a way to shift the cats immune system to the TH1 side of immune system for some period of time to clear the virus…….
      beta glucan is one serious immunostimulating agent to really shift from TH2 toward TH1 side of things……. there are several other natural /homeopathic /traditional agents out there to also shift things towards TH1 —— but i think a cat has to have a TH1 shifted immune system to clear the virus and recover.
      –just some thoughts from a cat lover.

  25. RAFIDAH

    October 18, 2012

    Hello,
    My cute 10 months old kitten was just diagnosed with wet FIP, jaundice and leukemia. I am completely frustrated and your site is the one giving me any hope in helping my litte Adek…She is a medium sized persian cross cat who weighs 3 kg. I was wondering if at all possible you could email me a list of regimen medications. I look forward to hearing from you as she is fighting with the disease and really want to save her… TQ.

  26. Melinda Czeczon

    December 27, 2012

    Hello.
    I have a female cat approximately 3-4 mos old and we are suspecting that she has FIP the wet kind. I hope to get in contact with you in the hope that maybe you could help her.
    Your article is very refreshing and somewhat comforting.

    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Melinda

  27. Andrea

    January 4, 2013

    I adopted an 8 weeks old female kitten 3 months ago from the local shelter. Within hours after arriving home she was sneezing and developed pneumonia. She recovered, but had discharge from her eyes and nose for the next 3 months. Last week we noticed changes in her left eye. She could not see and developed a severe anterior uveitis. An eye specialist saw her and suspected FIP. We had FIP7B Elisa test, toxoplasma and CBC/chem done and received results today. Most all was good on the tests but the FIP test result means nothing. Vet thinks she has dry FIP and put her on Famiciclovir 125mg 1/2 tablet daily,Clavamox 1 tablet daily, and Prednisolone Acetate 1% eye drop every 6 hrs. I’d like to use homepathic treatment before it spreads further. If anyone has suggestion please let me know.

    Irene de Villiers

  28. Heloisa

    January 24, 2013

    Hi Irene, I’m from Brazil and my little kitten has been diagnosed with the wet FIP. It is been 1 week since we noticed the fever and swelling abdomen. The vets started the treatment and so far so good. I really enjoyed your article about the disease and we do have hope that he is going to fight to live. I would like to know more about the homeopathy treatment you developed for Annie. Can I e-mail you? We are trying everything to make him beat the FIP. Please, let me contact you to try another approach for the disease. Thank you.

  29. Amy

    January 24, 2013

    Hi, my cat has a swollen belly. And has been really lethargic yesterday and today. He also started throwing up today. He also is keeping one of his eyes closed. We recently tried working him and don’t know what’s wrong. Do you think it’s FIP? Is there anything we can do if it is and also do you think it can be anything else?
    Thank you so much for your help in advance!

  30. Kate

    February 2, 2013

    Hello Dr. De Villiers; My kitten 6 month old spayed male, adopted from the shelter a month ago, was diagnosed with FIP yesterday. He has a fever of 103 (yesterday it was 105). The vet made her diagnosis based on the high fever and abdominal fluid accumulation that was shown on an X-ray. If you could be so kind, please send me instructions on the dosage of the homeopathic remedies you recommend for FIP for my kitten. I really don’t want to lose him, he makes me so happy, because of truly wonderful good nature.
    thank you very much, Kate.

  31. Lisa

    February 17, 2013

    My 4 month old Ragdoll kitten has been diagnosed with wet FIP. Please can you provide me with your homeopathic care to hopefully help her.

    Respectfully

    Lisa

  32. Laurie

    March 12, 2013

    Hi Irene,
    My cat, Suzie has had a fever of 103 for two weeks. My vet gave her antiobiotics and subQ fluids. Took blood and her white blood cells were low and I think her hemoglobins were off? She’s doing another test to see if she had the fpv virus which she thinks she has according to the blood work. Please help me figure out what to do! Poor suzie is very sick. She’s 3 years old. She was given to me two years agi from my sister who only had her first set of immunizations done. I didin’t know this till now. I have four other cats. They have all their immunizations, could they contract this virus from her??? PLEASE EMAIL ME!!! Thank you! Anyone else has any advice please email me at Laurie_paint@yahoo.com

  33. claire mathieu

    March 18, 2013

    Hi Irene, Thank you for sharing with your blog.
    I don’t know if you can give me some answers but
    One of the young cat I found in Paris just contracted the disease apparently he has the sympotms and the vet did examinated him. He was in contact with another young cat who died in December and had FIP disease. Now, I know its a fatal disease but on internet some people success to save their cats. do you know anything about it to try to help me saving this life?
    With homeopathy which products exactly ? I think he has wet FIp as his belly is big.
    I would like to try to save him with homeopathies . Thank you for your help
    Claire phoebe67720@hotmail.com

  34. Mare

    March 31, 2013

    Re: contacting Veterinary Homeopath, Irene de Villiers – be aware she receives upwards of 500 e-mails PER DAY from people the world over also searching for help for their kitties. If you still wish to contact her, her e-mail address is listed on her website…
    http://www.angelfire.com/fl/furryboots/ Look for it and an alternate e-mail address listed directly underneath the pictures of her Norwegian Forest Cats about 1/2 way down the page.
    Or join her feline-oriented online discussion group on yahoo.com called CATWELL… http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/CATWELL/
    There is another Veterinary Homeopath, Sharon Hamel, there now as well.

  35. Tushi

    April 4, 2013

    IRENE, NEED IMMEDIATE HELP, HOW CAN I REACH YOU?

    I am a teenager from northeast India (Assam) and we have a healthy common Indian cat as a pet (we found her as a stray when she was just 3-4 weeks old). I hardly knew anything about cats then and she grew up on cow’s milk, fish and chicken but never had any problems and was never sick, had no diarrhea or vomiting and is always active and playful. Now she is almost a year old and recently gave birth to two initially healthy looking kittens, one of which (the male) died at 6 weeks. That kitten was weak from birth and never played or moved around much. The other ( a female) was extremely playful and active but now at 7 weeks old, I think, has all the symptoms of FIP. She drinks momma’s milk, but her bones are showing up, she has stopped playing, her head is always droopy, does not want to eat or drink anything, not even water, moves a little and then sits around staring blankly at nothing, and sometimes screams a lot.

    I really need your help because in this part of the world it is impossible to find a vet who knows cats. All vets know here is cows and dogs because people don’t like to keep cats here, its unlucky. They don’t even do spaying and neutering and our province doesn’t have cat shelters. When the first kitten was dying (presumably of FIP) and I called the vet, he told me he to give it a human antibiotic mixed with 2ml of water. I did and it died an hour later. I can’t get over the guilt yet and now the other healthy kitten is dying too, we don’t know what to do…My whole family is in pain.

    She seemed to be okay till about last night, but today it is a lot worse. Can you recommend anything that can be done at least to ease her pain? Any cat food we can order online?

    The mother cat is okay, though she is not eating much as well for the last two days.

  36. Julie

    June 15, 2013

    My family has a 5-6 year old Tabby cat who was diagnosed with FLV that had not progressed to Leukemia. For the most part we have been able to keep her relatively healthy. A week ago she had a low grade fever and was lethargic/decreased appetite. The vet found fluid in her abdomen and pulled the fluid for tests. We were given the diagnosis of FIP. She was given a few days to live and has lasted over a week today. She’s eating boiled chicken, treats and drinking fluid. We were told there is nothing more that can be done so we began looking for alternative ways of treatment. Could you help?

    Thanks,
    Julie Hanson

  37. Krisy Clover

    June 20, 2013

    Please help, our sweet little mustard has taken ill and all the symptoms are pointing to the wet FIP. We will get the test results in tomorrow and our hearts are breaking that it will be positive. I’m trying to find help because my vet said there was nothing that could be done for him. He still behaves like himself, but has had no appetite for 10 days. I’ve been taking him for a few hours everyday to our vet to receive fluids. Please, please if there is anyone that has a suggestion, I’m begging for some help!

    • Karl

      July 10, 2013

      Hi Krisy,

      I hope your cat made it. Did you manage to obtain any details? I’m devastated and desperately trying to find some remedies. Please email me on scondemor@hotmail.co.uk if you have any info. Thanks.

  38. TAJJ

    June 30, 2013

    Hi, My cat is diagnosed of FIP(The Wet kind). She is about 8 years old. She has been fighting for about 2 months. But she is very weak and thin now. We don’t know what to do. The vet said she have only a few days. Is there anything we can do? what can I give her? Vitamins? She is not walking and not eating. Very weak. Please Help Thank you so much !

  39. Daisy Lee

    August 12, 2013

    **urgent**

    My cat is diagnosed of FIP(The Wet kind). He is about 3months old. He has big pot belly and enlarged scortum but still willing to eat. He is very skinny now. he has fever for a few days already. I would like to try your homeopathy. Please help us as I think he still has a chance as he is still willing to eat.

    • Debrah

      January 7, 2014

      Please send me your recipe my kitty is very sick. Thank you

  40. Kelly Richmond

    September 2, 2013

    Please help my fip cat. 1yr old . Lethargic, eating one day then not eating the next. I have him on a multivitamins which is helping slightly. What to you recommend??

  41. menab

    September 6, 2013

    I think fip affects certain cats who’s immune systems are REALLY TH2 shifted …. as need TH1 system to clear the virus . I think the TH2 drives inflammation via cytokines, but the cat cannot clear the virus due to weak TH1 system …so end up with bad probs…… I think if one could shift the cats immune system to the TH1 side of the immune system and suppress the TH2 side , for a long enough duration, the cat would probably have a much better chance of clearing the infectious agent with its own immune system. Why are are some cat at more risk ? — i think it has to do with a cat who was born with a th2 dominant immune system and then got an aggressive vaccine schedule early on that really (or permanently TH2 shifted the cats immune system . I think that is why ya just dont see the disease in feral cats very much. The cats need the vaccines ,, but if have a cat who has phenotypic traits that makes one suspect its immune system is already mildly TH2 shifted at birth , then one wonders if one went a bit less aggressive on the vaccine schedule (cat gets all the vaccines but just a bit slower)-if it would make a difference in the risk of getting FIP….. There are medications —homeopathic and natural and traditional agents that can shift immune system toward the TH1 side … One wonders what the outcome of a study would be if the ill cats were placed on several agents including beta glucan (if it is safe for use in cats)plus a few other agents to REALLY shift the immune system to TH1 and suppress the TH2 immune system……

    My sweet cat died of FIP -and the vet had nothing to offer in the ways of treatment —hence my interest in the topic .
    Yes corticosteroids DO shift the system to the TH1 side , but they are also serious immunosupressants in general —- so no surprise that most of time that treatment doesn’t work in the long run.
    with my current cat — i had the vet give the vaccines on a less aggressive schedule because the cat has phenotype that i suspect would place her at risk of already having a TH2 dominant system before any vaccines.
    –just some thoughts from a cat lover

  42. Cindy Creighton

    October 17, 2013

    Please call help! How much and were do I get the holistic meds/ which ones. I give 50 food and 50 water in it? Help.
    386-675-2666

    Cindy

  43. Sharon Williams

    May 1, 2014

    My cat is 20, has bloated tummy , and many of the fip symptoms . I’ve seen two vets both of which have different diagnosis , but both say cN only offer pallative care . I can see my cat isn’t ready to give up , she still wants to play outside and is refusing to go to sleep. I think she’s scared . I just wondered what you used. Anything is worth a try

  44. Avatar of Lucy Blake

    Lucy Blake

    July 2, 2014

    My 3 year old female tabby has gradually developed a very large belly and along with this state has a very fickle appetite – eating very little – her energy level is also low – often lying on the bed all day – she does not look happy either – she used to belong to an aquaintence of mine who had her neutered after the third time shed been on heat – actually during when she was on heat – I feel all this would have been a multi -stress time – and could have made her system very vulnerable – she fortuneately has had no vaccines but would have been given medication including metacam when she was neutered – Im convinced she has wet FIP – though I feel shes still at an early stage – I have for years treated my cats with homeopathy following the advice manuals of vets like George Mcleod and Chris Day – then I trained as an homeopath -for 4 years though didnt complete due to financial difficulties but I also practice radionics – through dowsing – I have created a liquid complex remedy as a sort of organ support remedy which Ive personalised to the cat – I have done this before with hiv and feline leukaemia cats before – dowsing over their hair and it has worked – though of course Ive also used specific remedies that have been appropriate at the time – I dont know whether this is going to work on Millie – but Im going to give it a try – Apis did come up as one of the remedies to include in my complex remedy mix – and China 30C also comes up using radionics as being very relevant – but to use separately as a main remedy – but I have still to work her case out properly -I will of course be ordering the FIP nosode – I used to give all the main nosodes to cats – when they came into my life – in the way that Mcleod used to recommend – but unfortuneately havnt done that routinely for quite some time – particularly as there are mixed views on the use of nosodes – I will have questions to ask but having found this website by googling FIP and homeopathy I decided to join as theres some great information on here and a box came up for me to write in – so I thought Id better put something in it to validate why i was joining.

  45. Avatar of Yoda

    Yoda

    July 11, 2014

    The article is so well-written. I’m always surprised when I see such confident writing in homeopathy – my own successes are few and far between.:) I’ve been treating kittens with the same disorder for a year now using multiple remedies.

    I tried to get on the CATWELL yahoogroups but the yahoo captcha finally defeated me! (Anyway, I never reveal my identity on the net, which was also a requirement.)

    A share: my work on FIP – https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=2077654611003854436#editor/target=post;postID=145297325299303623;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=0;src=link though I can claim to very rare success, it’s an ongoing process. I hope some of the remedies and ideas I’ve put down in the post will help some kitten somewhere.

    Thanks for the suggestion of Plb, Irene. I havent tried it for the hardening in the abdomen.

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