Feline Infectious Peritonitis

Feline infectious peritonitis is a viral disease that is mostly always fatal. The conditions develop gradually over time, so the condition is usually advanced before signs are noticeable. There are two forms of the disease, namely wet and dry. Here is everything you need to know about this health condition.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis

Causes

Younger and older cats are more at risk for developing infectious peritonitis. This is due to their undeveloped or weakened immune systems. Cats under a lot of stress or that have a poor diet are also at risk of being infected by the virus. Cats with other diseases such as the immunodeficiency virus or leukemia virus also have an increased risk.

Signs

Cats that develop the wet form of infectious peritonitis experience fluid buildup. If fluid accumulates in the chest cavity, the lungs may become compressed. This will lead to difficulty breathing. Fluid can also build up in the abdominal cavity and cause swelling.

Fluid buildup isn’t really a problem with the dry form of feline infectious peritonitis. This form causes symptoms such as paralysis, seizures, and eye inflammation. It may also lead to weight loss, anemia, fever, depression, and pancreatic disease.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing feline infectious peritonitis is quite difficult. Infected cats will have a large number of coronavirus antibodies. However, a large number of these antibodies can also simply mean the cat was exposed to the virus in the past. A biopsy of affected tissue can yield a more definitive diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment of infectious peritonitis in cats is non-existent. It usually proves to be a fatal condition. Treatment involves supportive care and alleviating any inflammation that occurs. This includes fluids, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and fluid draining.

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