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My cat is suspected to have FID. She had a thoracentesis, my…

My cat is suspected...

My cat is suspected to have FID. She had a thoracentesis, my vet suspects FID, fluid and ELISA test support the FID diagnosis. No tissue sample was obtained to confirm the diagnosis. she is SOB again and her appetite is poor. She had the Convinia injection. She is 18 m.o, other cats in the household are fine. Is there another treateable disease that may mimic FID/FIP. All of the cats had some upper respiratory issue, but she is the only one that declined.The fluid was only in the area surrounding lungs ( Plural effusion). I have an appointment tomorrow to have her euthanized but I don't feel comfortable with that decision, on the other hand, I don't want her to suffer, or suffocate. What is the chance for her to survive if in fact this is FID?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with your cat?

My cat is suspected to have FID. She had a thoracentesis, my vet suspects FID, fluid and ELISA test support the FID diagnosis. No tissue sample was obtained to confirm the diagnosis. she is SOB again and her appetite is poor. She had the Convinia injection. She is 18 m.o, other cats in the household are fine. Is there another treateable disease that may mimic FID/FIP. All of the cats had some upper respiratory issue, but she is the only one that declined.The fluid was only in the area surrounding lungs ( Plural effusion). I have an appointment tomorrow to have her euthanized but I don't feel comfortable with that decision, on the other hand, I don't want her to suffer, or suffocate. What is the chance for her to survive if in fact this is FID?

Veterinarian's Assistant: Where does your cat seem to hurt?

No pain, just SOB

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the cat's name?

Sara

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Sara?

You have all the information needed. She is DSH calico if that helps.

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Answered in 4 hours by:
11/24/2017
Dr. Beth
Dr. Beth, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 465
Experience: Veterinarian in practice since 2004 - 5 years of exclusively feline medicine, 7 years general practice, 4 years shelter medicine
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Hi, I'm Dr. Beth - I'm so sorry your question wasn't responded to sooner - different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your Sara's problem, and want to help. To make sure I don't miss anything, please give me a moment to review your question - I am not the fastest typist so it may take me a few moments to type out a response.

Thank you for trusting us with your questions, this service is used for general information only and is not a substitute for a veterinarian patient relationship by examination.

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I'm very sorry you and Sara are dealing with this - unfortunately, there are no good or easy things that cause fluid in the chest, and the number one worry in a young cat is always FIP, but the other diseases that are most likely to cause pleural effusion are heart failure or cancer :( When I suspect FIP in a cat, I normally direct my clients to these pages for a better explanation of this complex disease: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=681 and http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=3026

Biopsy is the only way to 100% definitively diagnose FIP, and most often these kitties are so ill we worry about how they will handle anesthesia to get tissue samples - and if biopsy confirms our suspicions, there is not much we can do other than to keep them comfortable unfortunately, cover for secondary infections like with the Convenia, draw fluid off to try to help their breathing - but the fluid pretty much always returns. Some cats will feel better and eat better for a little while having something like a steroid shot, but not all cats do, and if we do see any improvement it is usually short lived.

More often these kitties do not pass away on their own, they are generally euthanized because they just look progressively miserable - and they can certainly get very uncomfortable when they are having fluid build up in their chest. It is always difficult because we cannot ask how they are feeling, but what people describe with pleural effusion is typically shortness of breath, like they can't catch their breath, and sometimes chest pain. Cats generally always try very hard to put on their bravest face and not let on that anything is bothering them, so when we can see their usual activity and appetite changing with something like this, it is another sign they are feeling poorly.

You are the one that knows her best, ***** ***** is such a hard decision for euthanasia - and sadly you are the only one that can make it. If you are not ready, or feel she is not ready, it may be worth asking your vet about trying a steroid injection like Depomedrol to see if it makes any difference in how she is feeling, if it does anything we will usually see improvement in their appetite and energy within 24-72 hours. If they are progressively struggling, hard as it is, euthanasia often is the kindest choice so that they don't have to suffer.

It is after midnight where I am so I have to sign off for tonight, but I should be able to check back in in the morning if you have more questions - I hope this gives you a little more guidance on your decisions for Sara...

Dr. Beth
Dr. Beth, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 465
Experience: Veterinarian in practice since 2004 - 5 years of exclusively feline medicine, 7 years general practice, 4 years shelter medicine
Verified
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Dr. Beth, Thank you for your response. The links you provided were also very helpful. I dont think Sara would like frequent trips to the vet for steroid shots or thoracentesis.
You’re welcome, I’m glad this helped a little, it is just such an awful thing all around. I think it is one of the hardest illnesses I deal with because it is usually young cats that you don’t expect to be getting sick, and very sad that there just is not a lot that they can do for them. My thoughts are with you and Sara-
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Dr. Beth
Dr. Beth, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
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