Managing a 9-month-old kitten with FIP
Sep 01, 2013
Sully, a 9-month-old 6.4-lb (2.9-kg) neutered male domestic shorthaired cat, was presented for evaluation of hyporexia and labored breathing of three weeks' duration.
Sully was adopted from a shelter at 3 months of age and had negative results for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) at the time of the adoption. Sully was current on core vaccines at presentation and was kept exclusively indoors.Physical examination and routine laboratory findings
Fluid analysis and PCR testing
The tissue labeled cyst was a capsule composed of smooth muscle and granulation tissue surrounding fibrinonecrotic and suppurative inflammation. The tissue labeled lung was atelectatic lung with a capsule of smooth muscle and granulation tissue surrounding fibrinonecrotic and suppurative inflammation. Special stains for bacteria and fungi were negative.
The portions of the tissue submitted for immunochemistry were positive for the FIP antigen, which confirmed the diagnosis of FIP.
Sully was treated with glucocorticoids (prednisolone 2 mg/kg orally once a day). It did well until three months after the surgery, when the cat developed pericardial effusion. Sully was euthanized about four months after the thoracotomy. At necropsy, fibrinous plaques were noted on the pleura and pericardial sac and covering the abdominal viscera.
This case is unusual because FIP is not commonly associated with a unilateral pleural effusion. Although there was strong suggestive evidence of FIP on the basis of the fluid analysis, mature neutrophilia, and hyperglobulinemia, the owner was determined to establish a definitive diagnosis and opted to pursue a thoracotomy. It is interesting to note that mRNA PCR test results were negative, despite the final diagnosis of FIP. This case highlights the challenges associated with this disorder and the limitations of noninvasive diagnostic tests.