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Wet FIP or Dry FIP? Types of Cat FIP

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a common and deadly disease for cats. Not only that, but it also more than one variant and can affect a cat in different ways. In this article, we will talk about the different types of FIP that can be manifested.

Types Of Cat FIP

FIP can manifest in three different ways: a wet, effusive, exudative form; a dry, granulomatous, parenchymatous, noneffusive form; and a mixed form. A fibrinous peritonitis, pleuritis, or pericarditis with effusions in the abdomen, thorax, and/or pericardium, respectively, are characteristics of the first kind. The CNS and other organs, including the eyes, exhibit granulomatous alterations in the second variant, which lacks evident effusions. Since each cat with FIP exhibits effusion to varying degrees together with more or less granulomatous organ alterations, it has been established that differentiating between these kinds is not helpful (and only beneficial for the diagnostic method). The forms can also change into one another. Thus, FIP can simply be more or less productive or exudative in a particular cat at a specific moment.

Differences between dry and wet FIP

Non-effusive “dry” FIP

There is little to no fluid buildup in “dry” or non-effusive FIP in some felines. In the dry form, the eyes, brain, liver, intestine, or other body organs are frequently severely inflamed, which can cause a number of clinical symptoms. For many cats with non-effusive FIP, eye problems are the only clinical symptom.

When a disease takes hold, the majority of those affected quickly deteriorate, but some cats can function normally for a few weeks. Sadly, almost every instance of the illness will result in death.

Only a small portion of cats exposed to feline coronavirus, even those that have the potential to cause FIP, are able to mount a defence against it, leading to clinical illness in most infected cats. However, as was already mentioned, those who do become ill almost invariably pass away.

Effusive “wet” FIP

The collection of fluid in the chest or belly, which can make breathing difficult, is the defining clinical symptom of effusive FIP. Lack of appetite, fever, weight loss, jaundice, and diarrhoea are further symptoms.

DIAGNOSIS OF WET & DRY FIP

Diagnosing effusive FIP

The effusive type of the disease is now easier to diagnose than it once was. Effusive FIP can be diagnosed if viral RNA is found in a sample of the effusion (liquid drained from the body), for example, using a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). However, doing so necessitates sending a sample to an outside veterinary laboratory. Several diagnostics available at the veterinary hospital can quickly rule out an exuberant FIP diagnosis, including:

  1. Check the effusion’s total protein content; if it is less than 35g/L, FIP is incredibly unlikely.
  2. Determine the albumin to globulin ratio in the effusion; if it is greater than 0.8, FIP is ruled out; if it is less than 0.4, FIP is a potentially diagnosable but uncertain condition.
  3. Inspect the cells in the effusion; if the majority of them are lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell), FIP is ruled out as a diagnosis.

Diagnosing non-effusive FIP

Because the clinical indications of non-effusive FIP tend to be more ambiguous and variable than those of effusive FIP, the list of differential diagnoses is substantially longer. When the following conditions are met, non-effusive FIP diagnosis should be taken into consideration.:

  1. Background: The cat is young (under 2 years old) and purebred; pedigree kittens account for nearly 70% of FIP cases.
  2. Prior events: the cat was under stress because of a recent neutering or vaccination
  3. Past: The cat may have had a chance to get FCoV due to factors including having come from a breeding or rescue cattery or having recently been introduced to a purebred kitten or cat.
  4. Clinical indicators include intra-ocular signs, anorexia, eating less than usual, failing to put on weight, failing to gain weight, becoming anorexic, and jaundice.
  5. Hypergammaglobulinemia; elevated bilirubin without elevated liver enzymes.
  6. Lymphopenia with non-regenerative, typically moderate, anaemia.
  7. Serology: Due to the high incidence of FCoV in breeding and rescue catteries, this parameter should be used with caution. The cat exhibits a high antibody titre to FCoV.

If the cat is seronegative, non-effusive FIP can be ruled out as a diagnosis if the antibody test has great sensitivity. The FCoV Immunocomb (Biogal), the Speed F-Corona rapid immunochromatographic (RIM) test (Virbac), and the fastest feline infectious peritonitis (MegaCor Diagnostic) RIM test were all shown to be 100% sensitive in a study that examined multiple commercially available in-house FCoV antibody tests.

With two different major types of FIP, cat owners should be more knowledgeable on this topic, so they know how to better treat their cats in the worst-case scenario. If they don’t properly educate themselves on different types of FIP, they may consult to their veterinarian to find a proper way to treat their cat’s FIP.

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