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WHEN should you remove abdominal fluid for Wet FIP cases?

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

Effusive feline infectious peritonitis abdominal fluid
Effusive feline infectious peritonitis abdominal fluid

Fluid accumulation in the abdominal and chest regions during a Wet FIP infection is caused by blood vessel inflammation. The medical term for this is vasculitis.

Now that you know the cause, should you remove this fluid? Well, it depends... Below we listed 2 hypothetical scenarios and our recommended course of action for each.

Scenario I When enlargement of abdomen is clearly visible. However, your cat is eating, drinking and breathing comfortably.

In this scenario, we do not recommend removing the fluid. Start GS-441524 treatment at 6mg/kg dosage immediately. You will see abdominal swelling begin to reduce in size within 1.5 - 2 weeks after starting our FIP treatment. The abdominal fluid is gradually reabsorbed by the body and the FIP viruses are steadily eliminated from the body.

We do not recommend removing abdominal fluid in this scenario because the potential for damage outweighs the benefits. Removed fluid will quickly return, and often at the expense of dehydration and protein consumption. If your cat is eating and drinking normally, and does not experience laboured breathing, avoid doing further damage to its already fragile system.

Scenario II When enlargement is causing difficulty breathing or eating.

In this scenario, it is necessary to remove some but not all of the fluid. Difficulty in breathing causes heart stress in the forms of increased heart rate and laboured heartbeats. In severe cases, this stress may lead to heart failure. While removing abdominal fluid will cause dehydration and protein depletion. In this scenario the benefit of fluid removal outweighs the cost.

It is important to note that excess fluid removal can cause a dangerous shock to your cat's system, and may lead to death. Generally, we recommend removing less than 30% of the total abdominal fluid. When treating kittens and older cats with wet FIP, be more conservative by removing less fluid compared to when treating adult cats at their prime.

Remember that the fluid will return unless your cat begins GS-441524 antiviral treatment. In this scenario, we recommend to start with 6mg/kg.

From the 2 scenarios above we can make the following conclusions:

  1. Unless fluid accumulation is causing breathing and eating difficulties, avoid the temptation of removing it.

  2. When removing the fluid, take care to remove less than you think you need. Fluid removal causes physiological damages.

The fluid will return and the conditions will persist and worsen unless your cat is treated with GS-441524. Anti-inflammatory medicines may temporarily reduce the suffering. They do not arrest the replication of FIPV. Only by treating FIPV with GS-441524 can your cat be cured.

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