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When to Remove Abdominal Fluid for FIP Cats: A Easy Guide

Updated: Jan 18

Wet FIP infection causes fluid buildup in the abdominal and chest regions due to inflammation of blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

As for whether to remove this fluid, the recommended course of action depends on the specific scenario. Here are two hypothetical scenarios and our recommended approaches for each.

Scenario I The enlargement of abdomen is clearly visible. However, your cat is eating, drinking and breathing comfortably.

Our recommendation for this scenario is to begin GS-441524 treatment immediately at a dosage of 6mg/kg. With our FIP treatment, you can expect to see a reduction in abdominal swelling within 1.5-2 weeks, as the body gradually reabsorbs the fluid and eliminates the FIP virus.

Removing abdominal fluid is not recommended in this scenario because the potential for damage outweighs the benefits. The fluid will quickly return, and removing it can lead to dehydration and protein loss. As long as your cat is eating and drinking normally and not experiencing laboured breathing, it's best to avoid causing further harm to their already fragile system.

Scenario II The enlargement is causing difficulty breathing or eating.

In this scenario, it may be necessary to remove some of the fluid but not all. When there is difficulty in breathing, it can cause stress on the heart in the form of an increased heart rate and laboured heartbeats, which may lead to heart failure in severe cases. While removing abdominal fluid can cause dehydration and protein depletion, in this scenario, the benefits of fluid removal outweigh the costs.

It's important to note that removing excess fluid can be dangerous and lead to shock or death. Generally, we recommend removing less than 30% of the total abdominal fluid. When treating kittens and older cats with wet FIP, it's best to be more conservative and remove less fluid compared to treating adult cats in their prime.

It's important to remember that the fluid will return unless your cat begins GS-441524 antiviral treatment. In this scenario, we recommend starting with a dosage of 4mg/kg and gradually increasing to 6mg/kg. Your cat may take longer to recover than in Scenario 1, but the reduction rate will increase as the treatment progresses.

From the 2 scenarios above we can make the following conclusions:

  1. Unless fluid accumulation is causing breathing and eating difficulties, avoid the temptation of removing it.

  2. When removing the fluid, take care to remove less than you think you need. Fluid removal causes physiological damages.

  3. The fluid will return and the conditions will persist and worsen unless your cat is treated with GS-441524. Anti-inflammatory medicines may temporarily reduce the suffering. They do not arrest the replication of FIPV. Only by treating FIPV with GS-441524 can your cat be cured.

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