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Help with possible FIP

PrayingforBob
May 30th, 2011, 07:57 PM
I am new to the forum so forgive me if I ramble. I am posting for mainly one reason, to inquire about how long it is acceptable for a kitty not to have a bowel movement.

Background: My kitten Bob is an approximately 11 month old gray tabby Manx (we were told he is a manx by the adoption agency, I don't know if he's full blooded but he does have a stubby tail). Anyway, Bob is my absolute sweetheart and loves to love. He is the most affectionate kitty I have ever owned. As I write this I am crying. My Bob was diagnosed with FIP two days ago. I have noticed around the 14 of the month that Bob seemed warm to the touch and less energetic. My fiance' took Bob to our vet on the 21st because he also appeared to be limping in addition to the fever. Bob was running a fever of 105 that day so they gave him some meds to bring down the fever and gave us an antibiotic. He seemed to start doing better that week, fever seemed less, and he appeared to have more energy. Has never lost his desire to eat, however he began not wanting us to pick him up which is highly unusual because he LOVES to be held, perches on our neck like a little parrot, and at night sleeps either on my chest or directly by my head sometimes robbing me of my pillow.

I noticed on the 27-28 that he was belly breathing which concerned me. I monitored his respirations per minute and they were normal. On the 27 he slept in bed with me but didn't want touched. On the 28 he stood by the bed as if he wanted in bed but didn't want to jump. When I went to pick him up he made a noise indicating he was in discomfort. I quickly put him down and he laid down near my pillow. He started wheezing. I freaked out, called an emergency vet. My fiance' followed me and so did Bob. While i was on the phone my fiance' told me Bob wasn't wheezing and he wondered if maybe he had been whining (which he has never done). Either way, he talked me into making an appointment for the next morning (Sunday). I agreed, made the appointment and they told me to come in early if I continued to be concerned.

I monitored Bob's breathing for several hours and i knew something wasn't right. He couldn't seem to breath whenever he laid down & he would fall asleep sitting up. I took him to the vet at 4 in the morning. Xrays showed fluid around his lungs. They said either pythorax or FIP because his age & due to the fact he is an indoor kitty. They wanted to do a chest tap. I called my fiance' to respond. They did the chest tap and said due to the yellowish color of the fluid they suspected FIP. I told them with all due respect I would like a second opinion, I was concerned the fact that Bob has been on antibiotics for a week could maybe scew the fluid results. Bob perked up so much after they drew the fluid and wanted to be held and wrapped himself around our shoulders. I couldn't face losing him.

I went to the second vet around 10 am after I left the first (i was there forever). The second vet was supposed to be a specialist and was a vet tech I think. Anyway, he drew some blood & concurred with the first vet that it was likely FIP (he said it was FIP, but I've read they can't diagnose until post mortum). He gave us prednisone and told us to make Bob as comfortable as possible.

I had to put a kitten down late last year and I could not face the thought of putting my sweet sweet Bob down. While at the vets (I was at the two vets from 4 am til about 2 pm so I had plenty of time to search on my cell phone for web sites), I found this holistic vet that says that though highly unlikely, there have been cases of kitties being cured of FIP through holistic manners. I decided I've already spent $500 in one day just to find out my sweet baby has a death sentence, I will give this holistic stuff a chance.

So I am supposed to be working with this lady via email from Washington. She sent me a list of holistic stuff to get Bob to help with fever, anemia, etc. and encouraged me to feed him fresh meats. I have called and left messages with holistic vets here in Missouri, however due to the holiday none are open until tomorrow. So in the meantime I've begun trying to treat my Bob with this holistic foods/supplements. I laid on the floor with him all night last night because when I did get into bed & fell asleep for two hours he woke me up crying (again, something he's never done). God this is so hard!!! Anyway, I am praying for the knowledge to know when it's too late and to not put Bob into any kind of misery and I am closely monitoring his every move. He still has a healthy appetite though he has not wanted to drink much water (I have to prompt him & have only gotten him to drink water about three times today and they were small quantities). My fiance' is a medic and he brought home some fluid/IV type stuff that he could possibly inject Bob with to keep him hydrated if it seems that is necessary.

In the meantime, since I've been monitoring his every move I've noticed he still hasn't gone to the bathroom to poop. I think he pee'd once today (I've been cleaning the litter box every few hours to try and help monitor because I have three indoor kitties) but it's hard to be 100% sure if the urine was from him (he did get into the litter box but got out before my fiance' checked.

So, what I ask is first of all, please no one tell me to not prolong his life and make him in misery and that I should put him down. The last thing I want is to hurt my sweet, sweet, lovable little boy. I have been praying for the strength and watching his breathing and comfort level and I know that if/when it comes to it I will do it, though it will break my heart and I sob every time I think of the idea. But I can not lose him without trying something, anything. I am cherishing the time I have with him, am letting him nap his heart content, and we even played a little today when he showed some interest (though not a lot because I don't want to spike a fever). I'm keeping the house as cool as possible and I have blankets on all the floors in different rooms for him to lay on, which he does.

With all that said, I am trying to figure out if there is some kind of holistic approach in order to get him to have a bowel movement. I am brand new to the holistic world and have never given it too much thought in the past. Now I am kicking myself and praying that I would've taken different steps in the past, maybe I could have prevented the FIP if I would have strengthened sweet Bob's immune system naturally. But I can't undo the past and I am just praying for a future.

Can anyone please sort through my rambling narrative and tell me of any possible solutions that won't stress him or his system out that will help him poo??? I appreciate any help, and I pray none of you have to go through this.

PrayingforBob
May 30th, 2011, 07:59 PM
I forgot to add, I think it's been more than 24 hours since he has had a bowel movement.

hazelrunpack
May 30th, 2011, 08:21 PM
I'm not a cat expert and I hope one of our more experienced members will be chiming in shortly, but I don't think 24 hours is a dangerous amount of time.

Something like a little pure pumpkin puree (not the pie filling with spices and sugar added, but the 100% pumpkin) can help loosen him up. Some cats don't like the taste, so some people use pure butternut squash baby food which seems to be a little more palatable to cats. A quarter teaspoon is a good amount to start with.

Has he been eating more raw meat? That might explain why he's drinking less water--there's a fair amount of moisture in raw, which is one of the reasons it's so much better for cats.

PrayingforBob
May 30th, 2011, 08:28 PM
Thank you for your response. I will try that. I know's been at least 24 hours, I think longer possibly.

I just switched to the raw meat stuff today (we have been giving him chicken liver mixed with the homeopathic stuff). The last 24 hours before that I was feeding him Friskies turkey wet food which he loves, in addition to giving him little treats like Greenies when he wanted them. Before that he was on a mainly dry food diet (we were feeding him Blue Buffalo Wilderness chicken recipe).

hazelrunpack
May 30th, 2011, 08:42 PM
Wet food has more moisture than kibble, too, so it might still explain why he's drinking less. You can check for dehydration by pinching his skin lightly and pulling it gently up before letting go. If the skin 'tents'...i.e., it doesn't snap back to smooth right away...then he may be dehydrated. I'm not sure where the best place to test is on a cat, though--maybe between the shoulder blades?

sugarcatmom
May 30th, 2011, 09:12 PM
I am posting for mainly one reason, to inquire about how long it is acceptable for a kitty not to have a bowel movement.

I wouldn't really start to worry until it's been more than a couple days. In the meantime, get some plain chicken baby food (Heinz or Beechnut for example) from the grocery store and mix a pinch (like 1/4 tsp) of slippery elm bark or marshmallow root powder (from a health food store) and a tbsp of warm water in it.

My Bob was diagnosed with FIP two days ago.

I'm so sorry. FIP is a tragic disease, as I'm sure you've learned. But it's also very hard to diagnose, so there's always the possibility that there's something else going on. :fingerscr

Here are a couple of excellent websites by 2 of the preeminent researchers on FIP:
http://www.dr-addie.com/
http://www.sockfip.info/

So I am supposed to be working with this lady via email from Washington. She sent me a list of holistic stuff to get Bob to help with fever, anemia, etc. and encouraged me to feed him fresh meats.

Fresh meat is a good start. If it's going to make up the bulk of Bob's diet, it needs to be balanced, so I hope this lady has some longer term suggestions about that. What are the other supplements and stuff that she has you giving him? While I'm all about holistic, I'd also caution you about taking someone's advice without having examined your cat. There are some excellent holistic vets that practice long-distance healing but obviously there are also some scam artists out there. Just be careful.

My heart really goes out to you. Keep us updated on Bob's progress. :grouphug:

PrayingforBob
May 30th, 2011, 09:49 PM
Sugarcatmom, thank you for your response. I will go to a store tomorrow and purchase those items. I just really want him to be as comfortable as possible and he usually has a bowel movement between 2-4 times a day. I was also speculating that maybe yesterday was such a traumatic day for him that maybe that has something to do with it.

I have read so much on FIP in the last day and a half that at times I am so devastated and depressed I can't imagine reading any more. But than I pray I may find something, anything to help. I am an eternal optimist and I am praying they are wrong. It seems like FIP is kind of a catch all. When I first read about it, the articles stated it was very rare and low chances of getting FIP in kitties. Now I'm wondering if it's something that they tell people their cats have when they don't know what is really going on.

Anyway, I am trying to spend as much time with my Bob as possible and feel bad for diverting my attention, but I wanted to address the holistic advise I've received online. I have left a message at a holistic vet office in my hometown, however given the holiday weekend I wanted to get a headstart on things. So I am planning on calling them tomorrow if they don't call me first. With the online lady, I've considered that it may possibly be a scam, given that I can't verify some of her resources. But she has sent me a coule emails already and honestly I don't care if it's a scam or not (bet that's what the scams prey on). She's charging $250 up front & lives on the east coast, but I figure if I blow another $250 on Bob and it doesn't do anything, then at least I tried and shame on that lady. She will meet her maker some day. But my fiance' and I discusssed it and we are willing to mortgage our house (exagerrating, but you get the point) to save our Bob. I've already spent $500 on the two vet visits, then once the lady contacts me again that will be another $250, then the other holistic vet in my town charges a $250 downpayment at the beginning of the visit (so I've read online, i don't know), so I'm out at least a $1000, in addition to the cat foods and such we purchased today. But truly I feel I must do anything and everything I can.

To address your questions in reference to her plans, she told me to send her a bunch of information about Bob (prior health, habits, measurements, demeanor, unique quirks, etc, etc, etc.) She said she will evaluate the ifnormation in addition to the lab results that I obtained from the vet and attempt to find a solution for my baby. The things she sent me initially told me to (summarizing, it was 7 pages worth of information):
*Feed kitty lots of fresh meat, egs, fish, and baby food with all meat.
*Give Potassium gluconate to help with loss of potassium that FIP can cause
*Give Moducare supplement found onlin which is an immune system supplement
*Give Cinchina officianalis (spelling may be off)to help resist fluid loss into body cavity until she can review information and find a matched remedy
*Give Ferrum phosphoricum to help relieve fever
*Taurine (unknown reason)
*As much Vitamin C as Bob can tolerate

We mixed all of this with the chicken liver and he chomped down a ton of it. We tried to give him some more about 3 hours later but though he meowed like he normally does when it comes to feeding time, he did not eat anything. He would not eat the dry food either (she recommended Diamond brand so we've switched to that. On the plus side my other two kitties seem to love the new brand :)

Bob still hasn't pooed. He looked at the litter box once, but mostly he is just relaxing, which I figure he didn't sleep for about 24 hours either because I was torturing him at the vets, so I'm hoping all of the rest will boost his immune system. Hoping being key word. I could be just fooling myself, and I realize that and break into tears. But I've got to try. I just can't say how much this little guy means :(

Thanks any and all for your responses. I feel I've forgotten something, but sleep deprivation will do that. Take care everyone!

lindapalm
May 30th, 2011, 10:58 PM
I really don't have any good advice on how to help your cat, but I wouldn't be too worried about him going 24hrs without pooping, one of ours went 5 days once. I wish you much luck with Bob, I know how it feels to have one cat that you are especially attached to more than the others, and it must be very hard to see him sick. Take Care, and good luck.

sugarcatmom
May 30th, 2011, 11:10 PM
I just really want him to be as comfortable as possible and he usually has a bowel movement between 2-4 times a day.

:eek: That's a lot of poopin! What was he eating before all this started happening?

I was also speculating that maybe yesterday was such a traumatic day for him that maybe that has something to do with it.

Absolutely that could be a factor.

When I first read about it, the articles stated it was very rare and low chances of getting FIP in kitties.

Unfortunately it isn't as rare as everyone first thought. Part of the problem is diagnosing it (usually via necropsy, which most people probably don't tend to pursue). It's also more common in cattery or shelter situations, where possibly stress and close prolonged contact play a factor.


But truly I feel I must do anything and everything I can.

I completely understand that. I've been through a few health conditions with my own kitties that have added up to a substantial amount of money over the years. I don't regret a cent of it.

To address your questions in reference to her plans, she told me to send her a bunch of information about Bob (prior health, habits, measurements, demeanor, unique quirks, etc, etc, etc.) She said she will evaluate the ifnormation in addition to the lab results that I obtained from the vet and attempt to find a solution for my baby.

Sounds good.

The things she sent me initially told me to (summarizing, it was 7 pages worth of information):
*Feed kitty lots of fresh meat, egs, fish, and baby food with all meat.

I disagree with the fish recommendation. Fish is not a natural food source for cats, and can actually be a very common allergen. And depending on the fish you feed, it can be heavily contaminated with toxins and pollutants. I think giving Bob some Omega3's in the form of fish oil (preferably sardine, anchovy or krill) would be a good idea, but I wouldn't feed him very much fish protein. And definitely not raw fish. Here are some links on that topic:

http://catnutrition.wordpress.com/2007/09/22/eight-strikes-against-fishy-feeding-for-cats/
http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/why-fish-is-dangerous-for-cats/

*Give Potassium gluconate to help with loss of potassium that FIP can cause

Careful with potassium supplementation. Too much, especially if extra isn't needed, can cause some pretty serious side effects. Not to scare you, just want you to be aware of that. Did she say how much to give him?


*Taurine (unknown reason)
:thumbs up Taurine is water soluble, so whatever isn't needed will just be peed out. I give my own cat extra taurine because he has renal issues.

*As much Vitamin C as Bob can tolerate

What form is the Vit C? You'll probably want to stay away from ascorbic acid, which has potential to result in calcium oxalate crystals in some cats. Use a buffered vit C like Ester-C (calcium ascorbate). It's also easier on the stomach.

He would not eat the dry food either (she recommended Diamond brand so we've switched to that.

Gotta say, dry food is not a good idea. If you can eliminate it completely (from ALL of your cat's diets), that would be the best. It's too highly processed, and too high in carbohydrates for any obligate carnivore to be eating, but especially one with health problems. You need Bob to focus all his energy on getting better, not digesting inappropriate ingredients like powdered cellulose (aka sawdust) and grains. If you want to balance out the raw meat, find a quality canned food like Wellness, Nature's Variety Instinct, Merrick, Weruva, By Nature, Nature's Logic, ZiwiPeak, ect. Here is more info on diet that you might want to check out: www.catinfo.org