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Friday, November 2
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What Is Feline Infectious Peritonitis?
By Jean Morgan

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a virus which is a variant of the Corona virus. Unfortunately there is no proven effective vaccine to immunize cats from its deadly outbreak. This virus is so elusive that the only way to accurately diagnose the disease is after the cat's death. Sadly, there also is no cure for this disease.

The reason the virus is so difficult to diagnose is that it comes from a group of over forty viruses, in the Corona family. The tests that we have available to us today can only detect that the cat is infected with a Corona virus, but it cannot differentiate which one is actually infecting the cat. Since most cats who test positive for a Corona virus actually survives, it makes it difficult with certainty which cat has FIP, until it dies. This makes diagnosing Feline Infectious Peritonitis almost impossible without an autopsy.

The actual Feline Infectious Peritonitis disease is always fatal to cats. It is estimated that most household cats have actually been exposed at one time or another to the Corona virus. These cats will most times carry on with their lives just fine, with no outward signs of being infected, nor do they appear sick. For some unknown reason, in a small percentage of infected cats, the Corona virus will mutate into the Feline Infectious Peritonitis virus. This autoimmune disease then proves to be fatal.

The majority of the cats who do contract Feline Infectious Peritonitis are either very young, or they are quite old. Either way, death is eminent. There are certain procedures which can prolong the life of the cat for a short while, and even make the cat more comfortable for a short time, but the eventual result is always the same.

There are two different known types of FIP, the wet and the dry types. The wet type of FIP is where fluid begins to accumulate in the different organs of the cat's body. This fluid causes swelling of the chest and abdomen. After the fluid has gathered sufficiently enough to cause the swelling, it begins to constrict breathing for the cat. The cat will also begin to have a fever, experience loss of appetite and show signs of jaundice.

The other form of Feline Infectious Peritonitis will cause almost the identical signs as the wet, but without the build up of fluid. Feline Infectious Peritonitis can also affect the central nervous system and the eyes of the cat.

Undoubtedly the worst part of Feline Infectious Peritonitis is that the cat's immune system will actually work against itself in an attempt to overcome the disease. Since Feline Infectious Peritonitis is an immune system based disease, it quickly speeds up the disease process.

Hopefully, you will never have to suffer through the pain and eventual death of your kitty due to Feline Infectious Peritonitis.

About The Author: Jean Morgan is a writer of articles concerning pet health and the owner of Natures Healthy Pet.
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