Feline Infectious Peritonitis
Description: Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a viral infection caused by a certain strain of the feline coronavirus which invades white blood cells and leads to an inflammatory response. It is more prominent among cats with weaker immune systems such as kittens, older cats, and cats affected by the feline leukemia virus. Feline infectious peritonitis causes damage to the blood vessels (vasculitis) and fluid build-up inside the abdomen or chest.
Purebred cats from breeders have a higher risk of developing feline infectious peritonitis. Be very careful to ask about the history of feline infectious peritonitis infection in a kitten or cat's family or about the cattery history before adopting your pet.
What to Watch For: Signs may not appear until the disease has significantly progressed. Look for sneezing, wheezing, diarrhea, and nasal discharge.
Diagnosis: Blood testing is available to detect coronaviruses in cats, but these tests don’t differentiate between non-harmful coronaviruses and the actual feline infectious peritonitis disease.
Treatment: Though there is no current cure, some medications may alleviate symptoms but this disease is usually fatal.
Breeds prone to Feline Infectious Peritonitis include: