There is new information about FIP and how it behaves, and which tells us more than we knew before. Finally we know more about HOW this scourge of an illness actually kills the cat - it uses old neutrophils! (More on this in the main article lower down.) There is progress on the following fronts:
* MECHANISM - WHAT FIP DOES TO THE CAT
* DIFFERENCE/RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FIP CORONA VIRUS AND ENTERIC CORONA VIRUS
* STARTER DO/DON'T LIST FOR CATS WITH FIP ………. MUST BE FOLLOWED WITH A FULL CONSULT! Write for details.
* TREATMENT EXPERIENCE AND OPTIONS.
* PREREQUISITES THAT WILL PERMIT A CAT TO DEVELOP FIP.
First a warning:
RESEARCH AND SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEGDE OF THE WAY GLUCOCORTICOIDS WORK MEAN:
DO NOT USE GLUCOCORTICOIDS/CORTICOSTEROIDS in FIP cases.
eg Prednisone - not on ANY cats with FIP under any circumstances.
Prednisone, Dexamethosone and other glucocorticoids are much like artificial FIP.
They kill the cat kill by the *same* technique as FIP, namely by destroying the thymus gland and
increasing the deadly (deadly in FIP) neutrophils. FIP already does that - do not add something
which does that too!
Current veterinary manuals are mistaken (out of date) in suggesting steroids. Please refuse them and
ask your vet to check the formal research proving how steroids do NOT help in any way at all.
Other things that research shows do NOT help, are the following, so do NOT use them either:
FIP vaccines, Antibiotics, Interferon, Feline or Human Interferon, Separation of kittens from the mother.
ALL these items are proven via experience and formal research, NOT to help.
Is FIP contagious? NO.
This needs some explanation.
Two corona viruses are involved in any discussion of FIP. One is Feline Enteric (gut) Corona Virus = FeCoV.
The other is the disease causing Feline infectious Peritonitis Virus - FIPV
These are two separate viruses. Their genetics is different in a very critical gene though they have about 98% common genes.
The important gene is the one that says what kind of cell the virus can live in.
* FeCoV can ONLY live in the cells at the very tips of the structural parts of the gut lining.
* FIPV can ONLY live in the specific white blood cells that are called macrophages.
What you need to know about FeCOV:
FeCoV can be shed in feces, and transferred from cat to cat by the "oral-fecal" route, via litterbox and grooming activity
SO this virus IS contagious and can be transferred from cat to cat. It is a ubiquitous virus - in other words ALL cats will have it
- and trying to get rid of it is like trying to eliminate dust - it is NOT possible, and that is why separation o kittens from
their mother is not practicable to get rid of it. Within a short while the separated kittens will have it as well (unless they
are going to be kept in a sterile room and never allowed out).
FeCOV will be transferred from cat to cat any time a particular cat is actively shodden virtues. This will not be all the time, but
it will occur unpredictably from time to time, especially after gut health is compromised by something like food toxins or drugs.
My advice is to maintain gut health in cats by feeding NO fruit, vegetables or herbs in the food as they contain feline toxins
(eg Human fruit/veg/herb antioxidants are toxins to cats.), avoiding all drugs, and adding a small amount of well cooked
plain pumpkin and rice bran - the best known proven options to feed healthy gut bacteria.
The healthier the gut, the less active gut corona there will be.
What you need to know about FIPV:
FIPV can only live in blood macrophages, it can not live in gut cells. So it can not be shed, and therefore can not infect other cats.
So that means FIP disease is NOT contagious. SO where does FIP disease come from?
FIPV is a virus mutation of FeCoV which mutates inside an INDIVIDUAL cat, into FIPV. Mutations happen all the time in microbes,
but the more *often* they happen, he higher the chances that a mutation will happen from FeCoV to FIPV, inside a cat. This
mutation will happen more often if there are more FeCoV's in which to mutate and also if there is more stress to trigger higher
The mutation by itself is not enough to cause FIP.
Mutations happen a lot, they essentially happen all the time at a rate that varies by stress level. IMPORTANT: STress is ANY stress as
experienced by the cat - so it is individual, and it can be physical (early spay), emotional (change of home), immune damaging
(vaccines), toxic (cleaners, food toxins, drugs), nutritional (Food toxins, deficiencies or lack of animal protein or presence of plant
protein etc) - and anything else the cat's system or mind finds stressful to deal with.
In any healthy cat, with an INTACT immune system, the cat will fight off the mutated FIPV, and get rid of it - before any FIP disease
can even start.
It has been estimated that 80% of FIP mutations never lead to FIP because the immune system gets rid of the mutated virus before it
can set up shop and replicate in macrophages and cause FIP disease.
In the unlucky cats who have a damaged immune system AND a mutation to FIPV, they can get FIP disease.
The FIP virus (FIPV) takes up residence and multiplies in the macrophage (a type of white blood cell) where the virus takes over the
normal macrophage functions and MIS-directs them to kill the cat:
Normal Macrophages are like the garbage trucks for the body. They are supposed to go about picking up the garbage cans (by
engulfing them), and dumping them out of the body. The "garbage cans" are much smaller white cells called neutrophils, which
normally only are active up to 12 hours, and then the macrophages send signals that the neutrophils have done their job and they
must become inactive and die - and then they are engulfed and taken out by those big macrophages. It's immune system's garbage
collection system for anything that does not belong in the body.
Neutrophils (think neutralize) normally go about neutralizing problems like viruses, bacteria and allergens etc - by engulfing
them. Neutrophils contain toxin granules, so as to be able to kill whatever viruses and bacteria they engulf. ALL this immune system
activity is directed from an immune system organ called the THYMUS.
So if the thymus is healthy, FIP virus mutations will be handled that same way - engulfed by neutrophils, killed by the toxin granules
inside the neutrophils, and then removed from the body by the macrophages who in turn engulf all the used neutrophils within 12
hrs and get rid of them. end of problem - IF the thymus is healthy.
When the thymus is damaged, that does not happen, and FIP disease happens instead:
Viruses in the macrophage, change the function of the macrophage. Instead of getting rid of neutrophils quickly and before they get
old and spill their toxin granules, the FIP-invaded macrophage sends chemical messages to the neutrophils that tells them to carry
on living indefinitely. This is the key to FIP disease. Neutrophils,full of toxin granules, get old, break open, and release the toxins to
kill the cat. Meantime the body is still making more neutrophils, as it assumes it needs a new batch every 12 hours or so. Very
quickly, the neutrophil count gets VERY high - and those are all UNhealthy old neutrophils. EVERY CAT WITH FIP, starts out with a
high neutron hill count in their blood work/lab tests. And it stays high as it is the neutrophils that do the killing.
(High neutrophils can also happen if the cat has a serious bacterial infection like pyometra or an abscess. Ut those are all new young
neutrophils trying to capture all the bacteria, and there is no risk of them losing their toxin granules as in FIP.)
Neutrophils cause a LOT of damage in FIP. It is always near or in or on blood vessels, as the macrophages are in the blood. For
example in wet FIP, the blood vessel walls are dammed enough to cause leaking of blood serum into body cavities (called effusion).
Usually it leaks serum mostly and not many blood cells as they need bigger leaks to escape.
Neutrophils also have granules in them which are normally used to build scabs on wounds. In FIP, the broken neutrophils release
these granules and they can build up into tumor-like scar tissue chunks called "granulomas".
These may be small granulomas scattered about, such as in/on kidneys and liver near blood vessels there - or thy can build up to
big granulomas along the gut blood vessels or lymph areas. Granulomas can actually form anywhere the blood can go. Rare cases
have had them on the penis for example, and they occur with nasty frequency in the brain and eye area, affecting eyes and vision,
and/or causing seizures, or even in more external areas, like inside the nose which is one of the few p[laces they are visible. Vets
have mistaken the internal ones as tumors, but they are not tumors and are not operable.
The important thing is:
FIP has to do with a damaged immune system (usually by vaccines or steroids) PLUS a stress
trigger for FIP to mutate.
A cat with a healthy thymus gland can not get FIP, regardless of mutations, as that immune system component, the thymus, would
cause any mutated virus to be killed and taken out like garbage.
[Homeoprophylaxis is a safe and proven alternative to thymus damaging vaccines, and will allow
your cat to retain its resistance to chronic diseases including FIP - as well as giving the cat a safe way to resist the acute illnesses for
which vaccines are intended.]
In group situations where it might look like there is an epidemic of FIP -the reason for the FIP looking
contagious is not that it spreads from cat to cat, but that the common factors that predispose the corona
virus mutating to FIP, (a damaged thymus plus a stress trigger for mutation, plus a high rate of gut corona activity) are there for all
the cats in that environment.
In the past it was thought that corona virus titer would indicate likelihood of a cat getting FIP. It does not. That is disproved. Cats
with low corona can still mutate FIP and will get the FIP disease if the thymus is not healthy.
On the other hand cats with high corona titer and lotus of mutations may have a healthy thymus and will not get FIP.
The thymus health is the most relevant prevention aspect for FIP. It IS damaged by vaccines, soy, steroids, chemotherapy drugs, and
several other chemicals.
The thymus gland is the area of focus needed for FIP prevention.
This is the part of the immune system that is the seat of all resistance to chronic diseases. (A chronic disease is one that will not be
cured if left alone, but will either go on for ever or kill its victim.) THIS is the aspect of health that needs rebuilding to prevent or
overcome diseases like FIP.
FIP, FeLV, Cancer, FIV, arthritis, allergies, diabetes, chronic kidney failure, hyperthyroid, etc are all chronic diseases and all need a
healthy thymus in order for the cat to have resistance to them.
It is sad, that vaccines intended to help overcome acute diseases - have thymus damage as a longterm side effect - thus forcing cats
to later get chronic disease instead. FIP is one of the few chronic diseases that tends to strike even very young cats.
CAUSES OF THYMUS DAMAGE:
Some things KNOWN through research to damage the thymus include the following, and which thus are to be
avoided, in order to not see FIP:
All corticosteroids (like prednisone, dexamethosone, etc) chemo drugs, soy in food, magnesium stearate in
supplements (helps to get them through machinery into tablets - so buy powdered versions where possible),
and vaccinations especially vaccine adjuvants.
DIAGNOSIS OF FIP
Based on research:
ALL tests for corona virus are useless, including PCR tests, as ALL cats DO have corona virus.
2014 research shows th at effusion fluid corona virus is derived from the gut corona, and can not be assumed to be derived from the
macrophages in a FIP case.
Macrophages of FIP are worth looking at under the microscope however, if found in effusion fluid for example, as those of FIP are
EMPTY, where working macrophages have phagocytosed (engulfed) contents. FIP macrophages are also "spongy" looking, unlike
The tests can not differentiate FeCoV from FIPV by "finding corona virus" RNA. (Not even the FIP-7B test).
There is currently NO test that is a "FIP test"
So do not waste your money on anything purported to be a FIP test, or corona test.
However, again according to research - FIP is easy to diagnose if you know how:
A blood test is needed. It will show for FIP:
LOW to low normal Lymphocytes……later in illness it will be low
LOW to low normal ALbumin………. later in illness it will be low
There will also be signs of red cell anemia present or developing.
The red cell values need to be seen as a whaler and in context.
(Please feel free to write to me for free explanations of what a blood test shows, they tend to have rather cryptic abbreviations.
Your VET will diagnose, but I can explain what the tests show, and what was tested, to "put it into English" for you.)
In WET/EFFUSIVE FIP, the above also applies but diagnosis is easier as the effusion fluid is specific. It is leaked blood serum so it has
a globulin level not too different from the level in the blood - a little lower. It is pale yellow like blood serum/plasma and sticky.
Other effusions have a different composition. (For example chyle is white, heart effusion is edema type fluid, and peritonitis fluid is
full of pus.
STRESS CAUSES FIP MUTATION:
Along with a damaged thymus, a STRESS trigger (or several of them) is needed to cause FeCoV to mutate to FIPV and result
in FIP disease.
It is important to note that stress is not mere emotional stress but can be any kind of stress as perceived by
the cat's system. Some cats will perceive more stress than others, and so foreseeable stresses should be
avoided and at least spread out so they do not occur on top of each other. Stresses include:
* PHYSICAL stress, such as surgery or injury or illness of some kind. Especially in a very young kitten - such as early spay/neuter.
ANY Stress works the same way as glucocorticoids in doing thymus damage, because stress causes release of the glucocorticod
cortisol, which causes thymus damage.
* NUTRITION stress, examples being: low quality protein (any glutens, any "by-products" or "derivatives", any
plant protein), low quantity animal protein (too low a percentage of genuine meat, fish and egg protein), lack
or excess of any mineral or vitamin, presence of an ingredient that destroys nutrients (eg raw meat has
surface bacteria that destroy nutrients and plant antioxidants like blueberries actually *deplete* cat
antioxidants), lack of Vit D to keep immune system healthy, presence of artificial Vit K which is toxic (called
menadione in commercial foods).
* TOXIN stress, examples being: House plants, household cleaners (baking soda is safe), medicines prescribed
for the cat, vaccinations, dewormers, flea treatments, flame retardant on furniture, neoprene and silicone
products, herbs and toxic antioxidants (fruit, veg and herbs which are beneficial to humans but toxic to cats),
as cats lack ability to break them down in the liver into beneficial components unlike humans, resulting in
toxin stress as the cat's system tries to cope. Products known to be severe toxins that were "grandfathered" in before laws against
such toxins - eg Windex more recently uses a toxic formula included in the original patent but not used in Windex till recently.
* EMOTIONAL STRESS, examples being moving house, being bullied by another cat or individual, knowing they
are disliked by a household member, too little individual space especially high up, being caged.
* DEVELOPMENTAL STRESS, examples being early weaning from the mother cat before 3 months minimum,
early spay before 6 mos minimum, rehoming before the developmental lessons of the mother cat between 2
and 3 months of age, insufficient nutrition in the first few days to develop a proper fully functional liver.
(Kittens are born with an immature one).
* VACCINATION stress.
Cats are born with an undeveloped immune system. The plan to vaccinate before 3 or 4 months of age when they can do SOME
immune system activity - is very damaging, with no ability to make antibodies. After 3 or 4 months there is some immune system
activity but it is not foully mater till somewhere along the 1 year and even to 4 year level.
You will see thymus damage and thus FIP rate, in line with this immune system immaturity and also in line with the vaccine use in
cats without a mature immune system. It should really be no surprise that we see so much FIP in young kittens and in cats under a
year, and then under 4 years - it all follows immune system maturity and damage.
FIP currently kills 1 to 10 per cent of cats.
Vaccines are a significant part of the problem due to the thymus - immune system - damage they cause.
The thymus is the body's first line of defense for infections, and it is the body's ONLY line of defense for chronic disease.
Vaccines are aimed at the body's back-up system for infections (There is no backup system for chronic diseases like FIP) - The
infection back-up system is the antibody system in the bone marrow. The thymus is not involved in antibody aspects of infection
fighting. But vaccines damage it.
Interestingly if a cat gets a natural disease, it will make antibodies but it will ALSO strengthen the thymus to fight infections better.
So that is the opposite effect from vaccines for future infections. Natural disease strengthens the body's *first* line of defense
against infections from the thymus. Only man weakens or destroys it!
My advice: If yo MUST vaccine for some legal reason, then at least use the homeopathic remedies that help prevent
Write to me for more information on safe illness prevention, and on preventing vaccine damage.