Kelso is a spunky, playful and talkative MiniCatTown rescue who screamed his way into my heart in the fall of 2019. Literally! He would follow me everywhere during my volunteer shifts, screaming to be picked up and once I did, would purr himself to sleep on my shoulder. He had made his decision, I was his human. I call him my soul-cat. I truly believe we were destined for each other because of the road that would lay ahead. After a couple days of noticing Kelso eating less and less, sleeping more and more, and losing his spark that I loved so much, I took him to the vet to have him checked. Devastatingly, Kelso was diagnosed with wet neurological FIP (feline infections peritonitis) on January 22, 2020, at just 6 months old. Since it's discovery in the 1960s, FIP was always considered a death sentence. I was absolutely shattered. However, I came to find out that new treatment breakthroughs are giving cats a fighting chance at life again.
In 2018, Dr. Niels Pedersen and team of UC Davis, conducted a study with a new drug called GS-441524. This new drug has a roughly 80+% success rate at curing cats of FIP. Despite this success, the patent-holding company has chosen not to pursue FDA approval, instead holding out for human-use profits. Determined to save their precious feline family members, pet parents overseas have instead found a way to manufacture this miracle treatment and now, tens of thousands of cats all over the world have been saved.
Treatment is available in both injection form and pill form, with injections being the preferred method. Both forms use weight to determine dose. The standard treatment course is 84 days of GS, followed by 84 days of observation, to watch for relapse, with the first 21 days of observation being the most critical.
Kelso's treatment began on Jan 23, 2020 when he was down to just 6lbs. He was started on the typical neuro dosage of 10mg/kg. He made it to day 78, before he suffered his first regression. His dosage was increased to 15mg/kg and extended 7 additional weeks. Unfortunately, within 60 hours of his last injection, Kelso suffered his first relapse, with noticeable neurological impairment. We began his second round at 18mg/kg dosage and completed 84 more days, switching to pills at day 40 to give his little body a much needed break from injections. Sadly, one week after stopping his injections, Kelso suffered his second relapse, however this time without neurological symptoms. Small, but significant progress. We are now on his third round of treatment, starting at 22mg/kg, increasing to 28mg/kg, and once more to 32mg/kg, to be safe and ensure we are giving it all we got! As of January 2021 (one year later!), he is still fighting, but he is full of life and we know the third time is the charm! His regimen now consists of GS pills 3x daily (every 8 hrs), daily Ozone Therapy, and 2x daily Proboost (an immunity supplement). Per FIP vet advice, we will continue this regimen for no less than 8 weeks.
Because treatment is out-of-pocket and not covered or provided by vet clinics (although it is widely supported by over 6000 Vets who are now aware this treatment exists) and we are now treating at over 3x what we started at, it has become extremely expensive week to week and we immensely appreciate any support to help Kelso beat this once and for all! My fundraiser goal is currently set to a little less than half of what I owe for the treatment we've completed so far. Due to the impacts of COVID, I was unfortunately furloughed from March-October 2020, causing quite the rough patch during those months. The community was gracious enough to let me continue treatment and pay as much as I could each week, just so that I wouldn't have to stop early and risk losing him before we could finish. All donations go towards both what I owe for treatment completed when I couldn't pay immediately and towards treatment still being completed, including vet bills for bloodwork check ups to ensure his kidneys and liver are not being negatively impacted by the long treatment.
In addition to wanting to do everything I can to save Kelso's life because he deserves many more years here, I am also motivated to continue fighting as this truly is pioneer treatment and there is so much to be learned from every case. We know so little still about overcoming neurological FIP and sometimes the road is so much longer for some of these cases. We want to show that while it can be long, it can be done! In addition to saving Kelso, I would love for his story to serve as inspiration for future neuro FIP babies and their parents who might find themselves in a similar situation and need that hope to keep going, to keep fighting! Thank you for your support and helping us achieve both of these missions! We can't even begin to tell you just how much it means to us!
Love, Kelso and Amanda
For a current read on GS treatment, here is a good read:
Researchers study crowdsourced cure for deadly cat disease
- Arlene C
- Carla Ionita
- Stacey Rogers
- Antoinette Jakobi
- Kathleen Roux
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