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Odds of a mis diagnosis of FIB ??

June 9th, 2006, 05:14 PM
Hello All
First I wanna thank you for taking time out to read thru my thread,it probably wont be short so I apologize in advance for that....OK

We have a cat thats just over a year old ,its a male that we adopted from a "friends of felines" or some similiar org at the local petsmart
back when he was about 6 weeks old
The cat was fine and was growing nicely, a great personality and all that,things were good.
I,m gonna say it was back in Feb the cat had vomited a few times, not all at once it was maybe once a week ,probably 3 times total and it was late at night
and I/we noticed we had left canned food out on his dish when we fell asleep
something we usually didnt do(we had a cat for 16 years and we always picked up the "soft" food at night) and we just thought maybe the food "spoiled" and maybe he ate late and he got sick.
Well we monitored things and he seemed fine,nothing out of the ordinary and he hadnt vomit for a few weeks
Our family went on Vaction for 4 days and my neighbor took care of him for us, fed him and would sit and play with the cat ,I do the same for him and his dog,anyway I know the cat was being looked after, and the cat never got sick while we were gone(no vomit)
When we returned home the cat looked fine, but after a few days he actually seemed depressed, we kinda laughed it off with the neighbor thinking the cat
missed his company, within a few days he started getting sick again(vomitting) nothing violent and it wouldnt be more than once, you would hear the cat give a kinda moan and then he would get sick
It happened 2-3 times , and we took him to the Vet
They diagnosed it as either a food allergy or that he was having trouble digesting his food and we were told to try changing diet a bit and that if he wasnt getting sick they didnt need to see him again
It was then that he started to loose weight,and seemed a bit distant,not hanging around us, not sitting on my lap,and sleeping in new spots like in far corners of the room....but he wasnt getting sick, was still doing his business in his litter box, and was eating maybe not alot but we figured the diet change and we hadnt found something he really liked (except some "people food like chicken breast/tuna/ etc)
We figured he just wasnt feeling well, this went on about 10-14 days
when we took him back to the vet, they thought it was a thyroid issue and did some blood work and they said they would call with results in a day or 2
After 3 days with no word from them, my wife called
we were told there was no thyroid issue,and that his blood work was a bit off
but nothing that alarmed him and were told to keep up with the diet change etc
Well maybe 4 days later we get a call from a different Dr at the same office
and well they wanted to know how he was ,that they were worried about him
and the overall tone was not good, when we questioned why so glum the Vet said he's pretty sick and his numbers are not good and that we needed to get x-rays and a sonogram.....well of coarse the red flag went up
I called another vet that we had used with our old cat and made an appoint for a few days later, they called the other Vet asked for the records etc
A few days later the new vet calls and says they havent recieved the records

So we played phone tag with the orig Vet for a few days, first they said they sent the files over, then it was we had to come in and sign for them, then the Dr needed to see me , again they called said the files were sent, then they called saying it was a mistake and I needed to come in, then the Dr himself called (the one who said his blood didnt alarm him) well this guy asks how the cat is,when I said not very good, he tells me the cat should be put down, theres nothing I can do for him....well when I asked him why the sudden change of heart and asked how he could make a decision to put the cat down over the phone and the fact he hasnt seen the cat in almost 2 weeks.....well thats when he spits out the cat has F.I.B.
In the mean time the cat actually seems to be doing better, eyes looked clear
fur looked better, eating more and more sociable but still thin
Well it was a day before the next (New )Vet appointment, I called the orig vet told him to stop with the games that I (not my wife) would be there to get my records in 5 minutes and that it would be in his best interest to have my files ready when I get there......he did take that advice to heart
I took the cat to the new vet, and after a exam the vet said they cant rule out F.I.B. and she felt the cat might not survive the test that would confirm FIB, I told her the cat had seemed better, despite being down to 5lbs
Well she gave him a steroid shot, but basically said enjoy what time he has left, he'll loose all appetitte and that he'll be getting weaker until he cant function ( wont get to the litter box etc) and at that time I'd have to put him down....said more than likely it would be within next few days
Well that was 3 weeks ago , he is still with us and functioning pretty well
he has gained 3 lbs, he has been sociable and somewhat playful
he'll attack his scratching post and play with a string when you drag it by him
He's eating alot, even waking me in the middle of night to feed him which when he was feeling bad he couldnt even be found at night
He has jumped up on the couch sat on my lap a few times, he has even jumped up on kitchen table and window sill
I guess I should take him back to the vet for another opinion? Ive done some reading on this FIB, and I dont think he is showing signs of this disease?
Only thing I really notice is his stomach is making what sound like hunger growls like a person gets,I was concerned I read that with FIB fluid builds in the abdomen, again this sounds like when your hungry, and not a fluid
He doesnt seem to have the bloated abdomen that I keep reading about with FIB, and from reading thru posts at FIB support groups most cats have unfortunately not lived more than a few days/weeks after initial symptoms
In our case this stems back over 5 months, I dont want to get my hopes up
as I have read some info that cats have lasted 6=8 months with "wet" FIB
and some over a year with the dry form
Aside from his stomach noises, he doesnt seem to have any discomfort,he has gotten sick twice during the past 3 weeks,(vomit all liquid)
and like I said he is still thin but has put some weight back, but his rear legs have almost no muscle tone despite him still jumping to the table
Any thoughts are welcome, think I should get him another steroid shot?
The Vet said she would be happy to give him more but that she didnt think he'd last long enough to need another...
Thank You all and So sorry for the length of my post

Lucky Rescue
June 9th, 2006, 08:12 PM
I think you mean "FIP" (feline infectious peritonitis)? This is a frustrating illness, hard to diagnose and incurable. I had a cat with this illness - or presumed to be this illness since there was no definitive test at the time.

Steriods can make the cat feel better for a short time, but after diagnosis, the lifespan is usually pretty short.

If steriods are helping him feel better, I say keep on with it, as quality of life is most important in this instance.

I can tell you really love your cat and don't want him to suffer. If he's already down to 5 lbs, steriods usually increase appetite and you can feed him anything that will make him eat - canned salmon, chicken etc.

So sorry this is happening.:(

June 12th, 2006, 01:46 PM
Thanks for the reply
and yes I meant FIP, not sure why I mispelled it after hearing it and researching it as much as I have this past month or so

What has me questioning the diagnosis,aside from no definitive test being done, and the first vet after the problems we had seemed to just throw FIP out there as a "blanket diagnosis", the second vet just said it "may" be fip and because the condition he was in just said even if it wasnt fip he only had days to go

Also he was seemingly coming around before he recieved the steroid shot even if it was only a few days, I am not doubting the steroid may have him feeling better but he was acting and appearing better before the actual shot.
And he seems to be more and more himself with each day, as of Sat he has been jumping up on the couch and doing his 15 minutes of "kneeding" on my belly (God his nails are sharp!!!) and after that he has been curling up on my chest and napping....all things he wasnt doing ,heck he wasnt even moving for days at a time, at the height of this
He has put some weight back on approx 3 lbs
and he is constantly hungry and I mean constantly, I have to be careful not to give in to his wishes because he'll eat till he gets sick

I was told "signs" to look for to let me know when the time has come to let him go would be, loss of appettite,bloated pot belly, anti social behavior, and lack of "business" in the litterbox and that he wouldnt be able to walk/handle his own weight so far no signs of any of that.

I guess what I am afraid of is IF he doesnt have the FIP but instead some other curable problem and we do nothing just assuming he has FIP....
Thats why I figured I'd post here with his symptoms,(the noisy belly/ gas? /hunger type sounds and the fact he's constantly hungry) and maybe it would sound like another condition that my vet may be over looking?

Its all a bit overwhelming, last year we lost our cat of 16 years, the kids are 8 and 10 and grew up with the first cat and it was incredibly hard
I swore up and down I would get no more animals, well the kids wanted a cat again, we ended up looking at kittens and saw one that was the mirror image of our cat that had just passed, we were going to take that cat home,but as I held the cat my oldest boy broke down, he said once he saw me holding this new kittie that it looked too much like me holding our old cat, so we went home and talked to see if he really wanted another cat, well he felt it was just because they looked so similiar so we decided on another cat of his choosing, he fell in love with this kitten and well now 1 year later it appears we are going to loose him as well, and my boy is having a hard time with the whole thing, because he chose(sp?) this one and turned down the other one
its just a really sad situation.....everday he runs downstairs and checks the cat and tells me Dad hes doing better or looking better etc
in plain english this just sux in a major way
thanks for your reply
BTW: How long would the steroid shot last? The vet said to see how he's reacting, if he seemed sluggish etc he could get another shot, The vet had said he could recieve a shot once a week, but again didnt think he'd be around long enough for the next shot....well hes still kicking and is pretty active so were not sure if we should just take him back to the vet or find yet another vet for another opinion? He doesnt seem to have any pain or discomfort but I am sure he's bugging out on the weird noises coming from his belly, but it doesnt seem to be bothering him any
again sorry for the long post, and thanks for your attention/opinions

June 12th, 2006, 02:34 PM
Hi RGC, first off, my condolences on your earlier loss and having to face down possibly another one. If he's strong enough to withstand the definitive test, I would have it done. From what I've read up on the topic, your lil guy shouldn't be doing as well as he is, and given your own implied feelings, I think you think he shouldn't either. Is there another vet in the same practice that could take a look and give an opinion? My vet's office has 4 practicing, all who know my dogs and some who vary greatly in their ideas of what's going on when I take them in. I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts as you figure out your next steps and apologize for not being able to offer any advice, just my support :grouphug:

June 12th, 2006, 04:39 PM
I know nothing of FIP,but if like jawert says,your kitty(what's his name?)is strong enough to take the test,I would go ahead,I don't know what it involves,but if it will give you a defininet answer,you would be more prepared for what might come in the future.
I am hoping he does not have FIP:fingerscr :fingerscr
My 3 cats do on occasion vomit for different reasons,but not alarminly so,weightloss is definitely a bad sign,but if he is again putting on weight,it must be a good sign.
I think I'll read up on FIP and see what it is all about.
Good luck,to you,your family and the kitty:fingerscr

June 12th, 2006, 06:10 PM
Thanks for the kind words/thoughts Jawert1 and Chico

Yes I believe there is more than 1 Dr at the office, although I am under the impression that theres 1 "main" Dr and everything seems to run thru her at some point, this time because of the issues we had with the other Vet Office, we seen the "head " Dr on our first visit......I hope that made sense?

And like I said they wouldnt do the test because she felt he wouldnt survive it, and that it wasnt worth putting him thru it...and they suggested we put him down then, when I told the Dr he "looked" better the past few days I also asked about steroids and they said sure you can give him steroids,but they really stressed he wasnt long for this world....Now I am not saying I doubted
the Dr as he was in bad shape,and my wife and I just figured the fact he "seemed" better was just a "final hurrah" as we have had other animals seem to get a burst of life right before they passed, but now were 3+ weeks down the road and while he is still thin and hes not running up the curtains, he is alot more active He literally was not even moving for 3-4 days at a time, just staying curled up in the corner with the occasional litter box trip
while its not much he is "making his rounds" and he'll let you know hes around he'll "stop" by for a little affection
and when hes hungry he'll let you know....even at 3:30 in the morning he'll
"headbutt" you till you wake , and hes eating plenty and gained a little
So I guess we will be taking him in again, I just dont even wanna upset him right now, once he sees the carry bag he knows whats going on
The wife and I are prepared for the worst and have been pretty up front with the kids, although maybe not altogether truthful, we did explain he is sick and that at a certain point he will need constant care because he wont be able to care for himself and that we cant leave him by himself in the house, so he'll have to go to the "farm" where the Dr can take care of him all the time.
as long as I know hes not hurting I guess I'll play it by hear/eye, because all the stories Ive read/heard about this fip I dont remember any that had signs of improvement, and most if not all had bad results days/weeks after initial signs....initial signs in our case were months ago??
Thanks again

June 12th, 2006, 08:34 PM
I would strongly consider (if this were my cat) finding another vet (perhaps a referral from other family members, coworkers, close friends) and getting their take on it. To be quite frank, yes, some animals get a burst of energy right before the end, my horse did just that and boy it gave me pause for thought, but not 3 weeks worth of renewed energy and appetite. It would've been a very different story had he shown improvement like that, which is why I think another opinion is necessary. Also, I know this is a really, really difficult situation to try and talk through with your kids, but please, don't lie to them if you do end up having to put him to sleep. I've had that talk with my nieces, and hideously unpleasant as it was, my oldest recently thanked me for being honest as it is a fact of life she had to face eventually. I really hope your kitten pulls through, for all of you and thank you so much for doing all that you've done and not giving up :pawprint: