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CriticalCareVet, ER/ICU Specialist
Category: Cat Veterinary
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Experience:  Emergency and Critical Care Specialist
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feline: im looking to treat a case

Resolved Question:

I'm looking to treat a case of feline Infectious Peritonitis in a kitten with Feline Interferon Omega (Virbagen Omega) in the United Arab Emirates.
Is this agent available in the UAE?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 5 years ago.
Hi there

Is this something your veterinarian said would be effective?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No. The vet just suggested termination of the animal.
The Recombinant Feline Interferon Omega is an experimental treatment based on a published study by Japanese vet and scientist Takuo Ishida. This is the protocol:

IFN omega (Virbagen Omega) was initially given subcutaneously at 1 MU/kg every other day, and then once every week for variable period if remission was seen.

Glucocorticoid: (dexamethasone 1 mg/kg intrathoracic or intraperitoneal injection once only) or prednisolone. Oral prednisolone was initially given at 2 mg/kg once daily, and the dosage was gradually tapered to 0.5 mg/kg every other day after remission.
In the study, 4 cats of 12 completely recovered and two survived 4 and 5 months. Those cats which recovered completely all had the effusive form of FIP and were relatively older cats.

Low sample size but a statistically strongly significant result for a disease that is, otherwise, 99% deadly.


Moreover, treatment is not that invasive and, since the cat is currently eating well, gaining weigth, being lively and performing all her bodily function correcly, it may be worth attempting (if available in my country being the United Arab Emirates)

Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 5 years ago.
Hi there,

Back in 2007 - this was shown to be a waste - it showed no effect. There was a study which showed this.

J Vet Intern Med. 2007 Nov-Dec;21(6):1193-7.
Susanne Ritz, Herman Egberink, Katrin Hartmann

BACKGROUND: There is no therapy with proven efficacy to treat cats with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).

HYPOTHESIS: Feline interferon-omega (FeIFN-omega) prolongs survival time and increases quality of life in cats with FIP.

ANIMALS: Thirty-seven privately owned cats were subjects of this study.

METHODS: The study was performed as a placebo-controlled double-blind trial. Feline infectious peritonitis was confirmed by histology or immunostaining of feline coronavirus (FCoV) antigen in effusion or tissue macrophages or both. The cats were randomly selected for treatment with either FeIFN-omega or a placebo. All cats received adjunctive treatment with glucocorticoids and antibiotics and passive immunization with Feliserin.

RESULTS: There was no statistically significant difference in the survival time of cats treated with FeIFN-omega versus placebo or in any other variable evaluated (with the exception of the lymphocyte count). The cats survived between 3 and 200 days (median, 9 days). There was only 1 long-term survivor (> 3 months), and the cat was in the FeIFN-omega group.

CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: No effect of FeIFN-omega on survival time or quality of life could be demonstrated in this study.
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