Feline Infectious Peritonitis (PIF) – Treatment
Cats are, along with the dogs, the companion animals par excellence and one of the most remarkable features of the felines is their independence, however, these animals are also very affectionate and also need care, to ensure a complete state of welfare.
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Like any other animal, cats are likely to contract multiple diseases and a good number of them are of infectious origin, so it is crucial to know how to identify the symptoms of certain pathologies that require urgent treatment.
In this article by YourCatCareguide we talk about feline infectious peritonitis , as well as the treatment needed for this disease.
What is Feline Infectious Peritonitis
Infectious Feline Peritonitis, also known as PIF, or FIP is the most common cause of death in cats due to infectious disease.
This pathology is an erroneous reaction of the immune system and the most accepted hypothesis is that it is caused by the feline coronavirus . Under normal conditions the cat’s immune system is able to completely eliminate the virus, but in some cases the reaction of the immune system is abnormal, the virus is not eliminated and ends up causing peritonitis.
The term “peritonitis” indicates inflammation of the peritoneum, which is the membrane that covers the abdominal viscera; however, when we talk about infectious feline peritonitis, we refer to a vasculitis, that is, an inflammation of the blood vessels .
How Infectious Feline Peritonitis is Transmitted
This disease may become common in large groups of cats, however, also are likely to infect domestic cats that have contact with the outside in a habitual way .
The virus that causes peritonitis in cats infects the feline organism by inhalation or ingestion of the pathogen, which is found in feces and contaminated surfaces.
What are the symptoms of Feline Infectious Peritonitis
The symptoms of peritonitis in cats will depend on the affected blood vessels as well as on the organs to which they supply blood and nutrients. In addition, we can distinguish two forms of disease, one acute and one chronic.
Symptoms of Infectious Peritonitis Feline effusive or damp (acute):
- Fluid leaves damaged blood vessels causing edema
- Swollen abdomen
- Swollen thorax with decreased lung capacity
- Difficulty breathing
Symptoms of Infectious Peritonitis Feline dry or non-effusive (chronic):
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of body weight
- In bad condition
- Jaundice (yellow coloration of mucous membranes)
- Iris Color Changes
- Brown spots on the eyeball
- Eye bleeding
- Lack of coordination in movements
If you observe any of these symptoms in your cat, you should call the veterinarian urgently so that you can confirm a diagnosis.
Diagnosis of Feline Infectious Peritonitis
The definitive diagnosis of this disease can only be made through a biopsy or after the death of the animal, however, the veterinarian will request a blood test to evaluate the following parameters:
- Albumin ratio: globulin
- AGP Protein Level
- Antibodies against coronavirus
- Leukocyte level
From the results obtained the veterinarian can confirm the diagnosis of Feline Infectious Peritonitis.
Treatment of Feline Infectious Peritonitis
Infectious Feline Peritonitis is considered an incurable disease although occasionally a remission of it is observed, so that various therapeutic tools can be used in its treatment.
Depending on each specific case, the veterinarian may use the following measures:
- Highly nutritious diet with nutritional supplements rich in vitamins and minerals
- Corticosteroid drugs to suppress the cat’s immune response
- Antiviral drugs to reduce viral load (Interferon Omega Felino)
- Antibiotic drugs to prevent opportunistic infections as a result of suppression of the immune system.
- Anabolic steroids to increase appetite and prevent loss of muscle mass.
Remember that the veterinarian is the only person able to recommend a particular treatment and will also be the same as what a prognosis can offer, which will vary depending on each case.
Can we prevent Feline Infectious Peritonitis?
One of the most effective preventive tools is the control of those cats that have already been diagnosed with Feline Infectious Peritonitis, this control should be based on a good hygiene of the cat’s accessories and surroundings, such as a restriction of catheter exits. outside.
Although it is true that there is a vaccine against Feline Infectious Peritonitis, studies evaluating its effectiveness are not conclusive and in some cases the application is not recommended. Your veterinarian can evaluate the administration of this in your cat.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
If you want to read more articles that may be more useful to you, please visit our section on Viral Diseases .