On 8/22, Teddy, just 23 weeks old, was rushed to the ER for having trouble breathing. His chest was filled with fluid, compressing his lungs and heart. 45ml of this was removed from his chest to allow him to breath easier, and the suspicion for FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) was further supported.
FIP is a fatal disease of cats, usually affecting the young and the old. It comes in many forms, and definitive diagnosis is very difficult, but some cases are pretty textbook, like Teddy. Just a few years ago, this would have been a death sentence, with the only question being ‘how long do you want to prolong putting Teddy down?’ But today, there is a possible cure. It is experimental, and not yet FDA approved. A well known feline researcher has been studying this drug at UC Davis, with success rates of 80-85%. The protocol requires a minimum of 12 weeks of treatment with daily medications (injections in most cases) followed by a 12 week observation period. If a kitty makes it past this point, they are considered cured. However, COVID has pushed back research in the US, and now FDA approval has gotten even further away. Which leads to dedicated cat owners making the difficult choice to find ways of acquiring this drug from overseas.
For Teddy, trying to save his life was an obvious choice. (While he is on pet insurance, at this time, his insurance had not kicked in for illness, so all costs were and will continue to be out of pocket) He was placed in an oxygen cage, and on day two, I administered his first injection of the experimental drug, and moved to another hospital to remain in the oxygen cage for 3 more days where he could continue to receive injections. In the afternoon on 8/25, Teddy was released, being able to breath on his own without supplemental oxygen .
The progress he has made so far has been a miracle, and never something I could have fathomed when I was in school learning about this disease. However, miracles come at a cost. And while Teddy is worth the emotional and financial commitment, it is very hard. His medication costs $125/vial, and a vial right now lasts him about 6 days. He is still a kitten, just about 6 months old, and has a lot of growing to do still (which hopefully he will get the chance to do) By the end of treatment, he will likely only get 3 days out of a vial. He will require daily injections for at least 12 weeks, and the financial burden is becoming real very quickly. I hate reaching out for help, but I’ve had some people who have asked me to, for the sake of my own mental and emotional well being, as well as the health of Teddy. If you feel so inclined, please make a donation. If you would prefer to donate via PayPal or Venmo, please reach out and let me know as well. I know it’snot much, but I plan to post Teddy’s progress in terms of his weight gain, as well as pictures from along the way. Please feel free to reach out with questions as well. And above all, please keep Teddy in your thoughts and prayers.
- Melanie Crabtree
- Susan Dornan
- Cheri Adams
- Linda Robison
- Rob Wilmont