Help FIP Kitten Karrie
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease of cats that occurs worldwide. FIP is caused in conjunction with a virus known as feline coronavirus. Coronaviruses (common colds) are commonplace and found in the medical history of many cats. In most cats, this infection causes no signs or simply mild diarrhea that resolves without treatment.
However, as in Karrie's case, the virus mutates (changes) inside a cat, and if their immune system reacts in a certain way, they can develop this disease called FIP. Remember that finding coronavirus in a cat does not mean they have FIP. In fact, most cats will get some form of Corona during their lifetime and never have it manifest as FIP. Again, Karrie wasn't that fortunate. She has FIP, which was confirmed with testing the fluid and blood tests.
FIP comes in two primary forms - wet or dry. Karrie has wet. In this form of the disease, fluid accumulates within the abdominal cavity (resulting in abdominal distension - see image below). The fluid accumulates because infection with FIP causes damage to and inflammation of blood vessels (called ‘vasculitis’), resulting in fluid leaking from the blood into the abdomen or chest.
Although FIP can occur in cats of any age, it is most often seen in young cats because that's when they are first exposed to some type of feline coronavirus. Around 80% of cases diagnosed are in cats less than two years old, and many instances in kittens around 4-12 months old. Karrie was five months old at the time of her diagnosis.
For many cats, the FIP diagnosis was a death sentence since the only treatment for years was euthanasia, but now there is hope with a drug that's 80% effective.
The catch? It’s not cheap. It’s between $3000-6000, and the treatment lasts 84 days. That means 84 days of injections, temperature checks and weight check-ins. There are also vet checks and blood work every 4-6 weeks.
This is where you can help.
As a non-profit, all-volunteer rescue money is tight. Karrie's foster family purchased the initial treatment of $100 for supplies and two vials to see if there would be any change by using the serum. After only a few days into the treatment, she was playing, her temp was normal, and her fluid buildup went away. She's been acting normal ever since, but it requires 84 days of injections, which her foster family has been doing, but again, it's a costly undertaking that the fosters can't do alone.
And the bottom line....? Without these drugs, Karrie had no chance of survival.
Our goal now is twofold - the first is to save Karrie's life and continue the treatments. Second, share the results of this treatment with cat owners facing the same fate.
Statistically, this treatment is in her favor. There’s an 80% chance she will beat FIP and live her life as a regular healthy feline. Every little bit adds up, so we’re fundraising to give Karrie that chance.
Please donate today if you’ve got $5 or $5000 (or any amount in between) and you want to help this sweet girl survive. Based on our research with Karrie, you'll also give hope to other owners battling this deadly disease.
Karrie, her foster family, and FOCA would all be grateful for your generosity. And if you don't have $5 to donate, please share this to your social media platforms to create campaign awareness.
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