For Apollo - Can't Keep a Good Cat Down (FIP)

Meet Apollo, my beautiful 4 year old Balinese baby and cat cam star! Just over two weeks ago he came down with a 105 degree fever, became lethargic and stopped eating. We brought him to the emergency vet where he was treated for a UTI. This still didn't explain why his fever was so high. He was unresponsive to antibiotics and put on an NSAID to help with the fever. After three days, we realized something else was going on. He was then brought to an internal medicine specialist where he was hospitalized in the ICU for another 5 days and more tests and blood work were done. The poor guy wasn't eating and they had to give him a feeding tube through his nose.

He developed a heart murmur while staying at the hospital. His ultrasound came back clear except for some thickening in his intestinal walls. His check for large cell lymphoma came back negative, his echo-cardiogram showed his heart in excellent condition. However, they saw a small amount of free fluid in his chest which they were unable to biopsy. That, along with his blood work readings, go hand-in-hand with a fatal disease called FIP (Feline infectious Peritonitis). FIP has been widely thought to be incurable until now. 

Steroids were thought to have been the only means of treating FIP. Sadly, they just prolong the inevitable and horrific demise of this nasty disease. Fortunately, a cure has been recently discovered by Dr. Pedersen. However, it is not readily available so it's huge cost is not covered by insurance.

You can read more about this deadly disease and clinical trials here. 

After reading about the success of the trials and doing a little more digging, I stumbled on a support group dedicated to saving the lives of our furry friends diagnosed with FIP. I reached out to the members, some of which are veterinarians, and was put in touch with a few people locally who could get me started on this anti-viral drug that has been miraculously saving lives. 

At first I didn't know what to expect. I was giving my cat a dose of unapproved medication outsourced from another country. We have successfully administered Apollo's first week of treatment with incredible results all around. His blood work levels are returning to normal, his appetite is back, he's purring again, he's bright and alert, he's back to grooming himself, he's gaining weight back AND the fever is GONE! His internal medicine doctor has said to continue our treatment.

So now I turn to you: to ask for your help to help me save Apollo's life from this awful disease. He is currently on an 84 day treatment plan, but this medication is not cheap and will only get more expensive as he gains his weight back. So far we have spent over $9000 on vet bills and his first few doses. Our pet insurance covered a portion of the initial veterinary bills, but this medication will not be covered at all and we still have to pay out of pocket for all of his exam rechecks. 

These last two weeks have been full of tears, sadness and next to no hope. I feel like Apollo has been given a second chance and we are finally starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. 

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Roxanne C Spenceley 
Marysville, WA