a fight against Feline Infectious Peritonitis

"I am just one of the many faces of Feline Infectious Peritonitis
– We need you to be our voice!"
—Luca, FIP Angel

In the beginning…

Luca was given many gifts, but the gift of a long and healthy life was not amongst them. He was adopted from a rescue group on late September 2012. At the time of his adoption I was informed he was almost 9 weeks old and he was already neutered.

Gorgeous LucaBringing Luca home was one of the happiest of times in my life. I was not looking to adopt a kitten as I was still healing from losing a wonderful orange tabby boy who was with me for 22 years but Faith intervened and this amazing and sweet Russian Blue was placed on my path and nothing was ever the same.

At first, everything seemed normal, Luca was growing and developing as expected or so I thought. Back then, I was completely ignorant about feline coronavirus (FCoV) infection and the dreadful disease caused by it: Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). We visited the Veterinarian a handful of times for the normal check-ups and vaccination protocols. Nothing indicated nor prepared me for what was to come.

Luca sittingAnd then there was “that day”.

On Monday, September 9, 2013, I noticed that Luca was not as enthusiastic about his dinner as he normally was but he ate pretty much all of it so didn’t think it was a big deal, perhaps just a case of upset stomach.

The following day, I noticed Luca was not the usual self. He was a very active and playful young cat but that day he was very quiet. At that point nothing to be extremely concerned about. Unfortunately, in the evening, I noticed something was certainly wrong! He was quite lethargic and without doubt running a high fever. He felt hot rather than warm to the touch as I have experienced when other animals in my care felt sick with some sort of an infection.

First thing the next morning, we went to see our veterinarian, he did a complete examination as well as ordering several tests (including a complete blood panel). In addition, X-Rays were taken to confirm there was not a “foreign body” swallowed. The examination revealed Luca had a fever in excess of 105F.

What followed was five days of countless tests and different types of antibiotics. Days filled with complete despair as our veterinarian couldn’t identify what was affecting Luca and his condition kept deteriorating with each passing day. I didn’t know what Luca had but I knew it was something really serious, probably viral in nature as Luca continued to suffer from intermittent and antibiotic resistant high fevers.

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