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9 Common FIP Comorbidities

fip comorbidities

Why FIP often occurs with other diseases?

Cats with conditions other than FIP are often coincidentally positive for FCoV antibodies or the virus. Here are 9 Common FIP Comorbidities.

FIP can be a result of immune system being weakened by pre-existing conditions, virus mutation, or initial disease causing further complications.

Pre-existing condition

Having a pre-existing condition can make cats more susceptible to FIP- affecting their overall health and quality of life. This is because other diseases or weakened immune systems can be a cause for the mutation in virus that causes FIP.

Pre-existing conditions may not always be obvious, though some common signs may include anything involving fever, weight loss, lethargy, anorexia and dehydration- all of which are indicators for bacterial infections.

If noticed early on, antibiotics or supplementary nutrition could help mitigate any further damage from the cat’s already weakened state. Additionally, it’s important to keep immunization up to date as this could also act as protection against potential secondary developments caused by pre-existing illnesses such as FIP.

Mutation of virus

Mutations of the virus spike protein, which is a major part of the feline coronavirus, can cause changes in how the virus spreads and replicates. When there are mutations present in this particular protein, it increases FIP’s ability to infect cats as well as increase its severity when contracted.

Additionally, these spikes may interfere with other processes most commonly associated with immune system cell function leading to abnormal outcomes from regular disease developments.

As a result, various co-morbidities linked to FIP such as pneumonia, chronic kidney disease (CKD), feline leukemia virus (FeLV), cancer or autoimmune diseases can develop at higher than expected rates due to weakened immune responses caused by said viral mutations that already exist within cells.

Initial disease caused weak immune system

When a cat has an underlying infection, the immune system can be weakened. This weakened immunity then leads to a higher risk of developing FIP. Environmental stresses can also weaken the immune system and increase susceptibility to FIPV infections.

In particular, cats with FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus) infections are more susceptible to FIP virus than other healthy cats as their weakened immune systems cannot effectively fight off new viruses.

Young cats and those that are already immunocompromised may have trouble fighting off catastrophic viral infections such as FIPV.

 

Having Pneumonia and FIP

Pneumonia is a common co-morbidity associated with FIP in cats. This means that if your cat has FIP, it likely will also have Pneumonia as part of the infection. Pneumonia occurs when inflammation blocks the airways leading to the lungs and can affect any age or breed of cat.

Cats with FIP may develop pneumonia because viral particles from FCoV cause an inflammatory response which can lead to difficulty breathing and coughing due to fluid build-up in the lungs and pleural or peritoneal cavities respectively.

Symptoms of pneumonia will generally appear within two weeks of exposure to feline coronavirus, including loss of appetite, lethargy, fever, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, laboured breathing (known as dyspnea), weight loss and coughing up bloody mucus.

Having CKD and FIP

Cats with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) are at increased risk of developing FIP, a potentially fatal viral infection. Studies have shown that cats suffering from undiagnosed or poorly managed CKD may be more likely to contract FIP, due to their weakened immune system caused by the earlier illness.

In fact, CKD is commonly unmasked when FIP appears in an affected animal – indicating that it was already present prior to showing signs of FIP. This suggests a relationship between the two diseases and how they can impact each other negatively.

Fortunately, diagnosing CKS and FIP early on can give cats better outcomes since prompt treatment for both conditions could slow down the progression of both illnesses and improve symptoms associated with them, such as renal failure or fever.

Having FELV and FIP

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) infection is a common co-morbidity with FIP. Most cats that develop FIP have a pre-existing condition or infection such as FeLV, making them more prone to viruses and other infectious agents.

The mutation of the virus can lead to opportunistic infections in weakened immune systems, resulting in disease development. When FeLV infection is present with FIP, many infected cats experience profound panleukopenia – a decrease in white blood cells which hampers immunity of the cat.

This type of anemia causes drastic decline in platelet levels and increases fragility within veins and arteries leading to bleeding problems throughout the body. Other conditions associated with FeLV include malignancies, immunosuppression and increased viral load on affected cats which are all factors contributing to significant decline in their health status upon diagnosis of FIP.

Having Cancer and FIP

Cats that develop cancer, or feline neoplasia, can be just as susceptible to contracting other concurrent illnesses such as FIP. While there is no evidence to suggest a direct relationship between having cancer and FIP in cats, experts do recognize an increased vulnerability for some cats with cancer that also contract FIP.

The weaker immune system of those infected by either condition is likely contributing factor to both diseases occurring at once.

Symptoms could overlap somewhat depending on specific types of cancers and the strain of virus involved with FIP, such as chronic weight loss/weight gain, lethargy, lackluster health overall, recurrent fever episodes or respiratory issues are seen among affected cats in both conditions simultaneously.

Due to the fact these two diseases share some common indicators, a definite diagnosis usually requires full blood panel screening which allows veterinarians better analysis into the nature and extent of infections.

Having Autoimmune Diseases and FIP

Cat owners need to be aware of the potential risk factors associated with FIP, one of which can be autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases occur in cats when the body’s antibodies attack its own tissues and organs instead of foreign substances like bacteria and viruses.

This weakened state of the immune system makes it more vulnerable to infections such as FIP. Moreover, pre-existing conditions from autoimmune disorders can create an environment for mutation in coronaviruses that are originally harmless but can develop into FIP, causing damage to cells in vital organs.

Due to its nature as an airborne disease, even healthy cats without any pre-existing condition may still be at risk if they have been exposed to an infected cat pawing its nose or sneezing nearby them.

Having Bacterial Infection and FIP

Cat owners should be aware that bacterial infections can play a role in the development and progression of FIP.

In addition, having an untreated bacterial infection can further weaken a cat’s immune system leading them to succumb faster to FIP if they are infected with it

Having FHV and FIP

When a cat is infected with both Feline Herpesvirus (FHV) and FIP, this can be an especially severe case. FHV weakens the body’s ability to fight off other illnesses, leaving cats more susceptible to becoming ill from other infections such as FIP.

Furthermore, signs of disease may progress faster due to weakened immune system. This is because depending on the strain selected by gene mutation, if two agents, such as FHV and FIP in this instance are present at once, they simultaneously contribute to inflammation and cause additional damaging direct effects of their own replication cycles inside cells.

Having FIV and FIP

Having both FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) and FIP can significantly increase the health risks to cats, as there is a chance of double infection.

This unfortunately increases the risk of serious complications such as organ failure, weight loss and even death. For this reason, it’s important for cat owners to have their pet tested if they suspect either disease.

The main problem that occurs with having both FIV and FPV in cats is that it weakens the animal’s immune system substantially which makes them more susceptible to diseases or infections from bacteria or viruses.

When cats are infected by two conditions at once, it can exacerbate symptoms and also complicate treatment options. In some cases, a cat may only show signs of one condition at first – but then later develop both together due to weakened immunity over time – so watching out for early warning signs like fever fatigue and increased respiratory rate is key.

Having FIP during pregnancy

FIP during pregnancy is especially concerning for a cat and her kittens. FIP can occur in small numbers of cats who are pregnant, leading to a serious mortality rate both among the mother and the litter of unborn kittens.

This illness rapidly progresses with little chance of recovery as cats infected by this virus suffer from fluid accumulation in their body cavities, gut immobility, kidney failure, liver damage or other organ inflammation.

To make matters worse, even if a fetus is still alive towards the later stages of its pregnancy when its mother contracts FIP, it may still succumb due to lack of proper nutrition caused by their mother’s weakened condition.

Given how critical FIP infection during pregnancy can be for both mom and babies affected by it, owners should seek medical attention quickly if they spot any symptoms related to this disease while their cat is pregnant.

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