Feline infectious peritonitis, also known as FIP in cats, is a corona virus-borne infectious disease that only affects cats. FIP in cats occurs worldwide and is transmitted through contact with other cats or objects such as feeding bowls or litter boxes. Freelancers are therefore often affected. The serious illness attacks the peritoneum and pectoral skin and is almost always fatal. The external symptoms usually begin with fever, severe emaciation and shortness of breath.
FIP in cats: different forms of the disease
The infection can occur in a "wet" and a "dry" form. In wet form, FIP manifests itself in cats through fluid accumulation in the abdominal and chest cavities. The affected parts of the body increase in size due to the deposits. The veterinarian can specify these symptoms through a puncture - the withdrawal of fluid from the inside of the body. Wet FIP in cats is diagnosed if a yellowish, viscous, stringy fluid is found in the body cavities.
The dry form of FIP in cats produces nodular changes in the abdominal organs. The fluid retention and external symptoms such as the increase in volume are missing, which is why this form of FIP is more difficult to diagnose.
Symptoms of FIP in cats
In the beginning, cats infected with FIP often show little specific symptoms because the disease begins with a lack of appetite, lack of exercise and fever. The fever keeps coming back and is resistant to drug treatment. With wet FIP, the cat's belly and chest increase in size, while the animal loses weight. In the dry form, the swelling of the eyes, liver or spleen can cause symptoms such as jaundice, anemia, tremors in the eyes, paralysis and disorientation, depending on the organ affected.
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