Jirou is a 3-year-old Persian who was diagnosed in April with kidney disease. We started a GoFundMe then because our vet diagnosed Jirou with PKD, which we didn’t trust, because Jirou’s parents are PKD negative. Long story short, the vet was wrong, but it cost us an extra $600 to see a specialist to find that out on top of what we spent at the original vet.
Jirou has kidney disease, not the PKD variety. It took some time to come to terms with this diagnosis as Jirou is young and hasn’t been displaying any symptoms. We have been trying to be grateful that we found this fairly early. Since the diagnosis we’ve switched Jirou to a prescription renal diet which is quite expensive. The good news is that his renal blood values improved with his new diet, and we were told the specialist wouldn’t need to see him for another 6-9 months. Great! We were excited! Now comes the bad news…
Suddenly other blood test results weren’t looking good. The specialist said Jirou had become anemic and was losing protein. He had a fever too and was lethargic. Clearly he was fighting something. His doctor prescribed him Clavamox hoping that would fix things. He ended up having some side effects so we switched the antibiotic to Marboflaxacin. Unfortunately, neither antibiotic seemed to make him better other than to get rid of his fever.
Then came the swollen belly and refusal to eat anything other than treats. When we took Jirou to his kidney specialist on 7/16, she said he likely had FIP. Devastating news, but she told us about the FIP Warriors FB group, and I fortunately also had recently become friends with two people with FIP-positive cats who had survived with treatment. I acted quickly to get Jirou the meds he needed to save his life.
We started treatment the very next day. We did three days of injections and have now had Jirou on the pill version of the FIP meds since day 4. The FIP meds have worked wonders. A couple of weeks in we had our boy's full personality and energy back. We did end up having a setback in August and had to increase his pills on 8/19 from two pills to three, so from $30/day for his meds to $45/day. He had gained some weight and our admins now think he also has some slight neuro symptoms, which were the reasons we needed to increase his dose. Within two days of the increased dose we had him back on track again. Today is 8/26 and he is on day 41, one day from being half-way through his treatment!
Before we received the FIP diagnosis and started treatment, we had already spent $3,767.42 on his CKD medical bills since April plus the expenses of his renal diet. Since starting FIP treatment we've easily spent another $2,000 (though I haven't totaled it up yet). In addition to the $45/day in FIP meds, we have to take him to the vet regularly for bloodwork and checkups, we give him a daily probiotic, and a weekly B12 shot.
We appreciate everyone who has offered us encouragement throughout this process and thank you for your donations. We need to raise more soon because it's hard to keep being able to pay for his meds. We buy them 15 days at a time, and they now cost us $675 just for 15 days. Assuming he won't need his meds increased again (which probably isn't the case), we need about another $1,935 for the rest of his meds plus we are still trying to pay back some of the other meds we've paid for which I, unfortunately, had to use a PayPal credit card for (which counts as a cash advance and has fees).
I'm going to update this fundraiser to about $8,000 as that's approximately what this is going to cost us from what we've spent so far through the end of his treatment.
***9/19 Update to what I wrote above. Jirou’s meds now cost $52.50 a day — they had to be upped again due to his weight gain. Also, he is on day 65/84. See updates for further details.
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- Beth Vann
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