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A comprehensive List of All FIP Tests to Diagnose If Your Cat Has Feline Infectious Peritonitis

What is FIP Testing?

FIP testing is the process of diagnosing Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), a viral diseases in cats caused by certain strains of the feline coronavirus. It is important to note that there is no specific test for FIP, and instead it involves multiple FIP tests which must be combined to reach a definitive diagnosis.

These tests can include blood tests looking for antibodies, effusion analysis through fluid drawn from body cavities, x-rays, ultrasounds, cerebrospinal fluid tests and biopsies depending on what symptoms are manifesting.

In some cases false positives & negatives can occur when all criteria match making diagnosing difficult in some instances. It is also important to differentiate between these similar readings vs those caused specifically from FIP .

Understanding types of FIP Tests

There are several different tests to identify FIP, including blood tests, effusion tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, antibody tests and biopsies.

Blood test for FIP and what to look out for

A blood test is a tool that can be used to help diagnose FIP in cats. A veterinarian typically extracts a small amount of blood from the cat and sends it off for testing at an accredited laboratory.

The results are then evaluated based on certain criteria, such as total serum protein concentration levels, bilirubin content, white blood cell count, lymphocyte number and liver enzymes activities (like ALT).

An elevated total serum protein concentration is one indication that a cat may have FIP – especially if there is an excess of y-globulins present in addition to regular globulin concentrations.

High Bilirubin counts as well as high WBCs with decreased numbers of lymphocytes considered markers of inflammation will also suggest the possibility of FIP. It’s important to keep in mind these signs do not always point towards just diagnosis but need other tests alongside for accurate diagnosis or ruling out this condition.

Effusion test for FIP and what to look out for

The effusion test is a diagnostic tool used to detect feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) in cats. This test measures the abundance of proteins that appear in effusions taken from cats with FIP as compared to normal, healthy cats.

The delta total nucleated cell measurement occurring in these effusions can also be helpful for diagnosing FIP.

If results show more than 2,500 nucleated cells per microliter in an infected cat’s blood or 50 percent Seromucoid protein level along with an additional increase by 1g/dL above usual blood levels and abnormal appearance are indicators of possible FIP infection.

In addition, the Rivalta Test can be performed to exclude a diagnosis of FIP as it does not give positive results for conditions related to this virus.

X-rays for FIP and what to look out for

X-rays are one of the tools used in diagnosing cats with FIP. X-ray imaging enables veterinarians to visually identify any fluid accumulation or abnormal tissue present inside the cat’s body, which can help them determine if FIP is present.

Veterinarians look for visual indicators such as an increased heart size and an increase in lymph nodes around the chest that may be associated with a possible FIP infection. In addition, vets will examine areas like the abdominal cavity to look for signs of inflammation or buildup of fluid that could indicate FIP.

It is also important to monitor changes in lung tissues during an x-ray as this could be indicative of pleural effusion, which is a form of abnormal fluid accumulation caused by feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIMV).

Additionally, radiographic findings indicated both enlargement and variations in texture at different parts of various organs which further supports examination for Fluid Accumulation, Lymphatic Infection and Abdominal Inflammation found in animals infected by FIMV.

Ultrasound for FIP and what to look out for

Ultrasound is an imaging technique used in cats to help diagnose FIP. By using sound waves, a veterinarian can determine if there are abnormalities present, such as pockets of effusion. The presence of effusion may indicate the presence of FIP because it has unique characteristics that differ from other illnesses, making it easier to diagnosis at this early stage.

In addition to detecting fluid within the body, ultrasound can also be useful for assessing organ size and shape and ruling out any diseases that may have similar indicators to fip.


Antibody test for FIP and what to look out for

An antibody test (serology) for Feline Infectious Peritonitis, or FIP, can help confirm whether a cat is affected by the virus. The purpose of this test is to detect any antibodies in the bloodstream that may be present due to infection with the virus which causes FIP.

Antibody tests measure your cat’s immune response to a specific antigen, like a virus or bacteria.

It’s important to understand that while an antibody test can help diagnose FIP and give an indication of how long ago a cat was infected with the virus, it cannot definitively say if the cat currently has active disease caused by the virus. This is because FCoV is present is many cats, but not all the time they mutate or develop into FIP.

A false positive outcome could come from recent exposure to other coronaviruses similar to those that cause FIP and should not be taken as true evidence of infection with FIP.

To further complicate matters, there are rare cases where cats do not mount an immune response at all; leading them testing negative despite having active signs associated with FCV infections.

Cerebrospinal Fluid Test for FIP and what to look out for

The Cerebrospinal Fluid Test (CSF) for FIP is a valuable tool in determining whether or not a cat has the infectious disease. It is conducted on cats displaying neurological signs, such as seizures, impaired vision and walking difficulties.

The CSF test requires taking cerebrospinal fluid from around the brain and spinal cord using a thin needle inserted between two vertebrae – usually done under sedation of the cat by an experienced veterinarian. This sample is then tested to provide antibodies for coronavirus infection which indicate if FIP may be present in that particular cat.

Biopsy for FIP and what to look out for

A biopsy is an important and necessary diagnostic step for veterinarian’s to determine the diagnosis of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). A confirmed positive result will usually require a tissue sample from either the lungs, abdomen or brain of an affected cat.

Biopsy allows vets to accurately diagnose FIP by looking for certain microscopic features such as large cells filled with protein-rich fluid, and deposits known as amyloid.

Vets may take three different types of biopsies depending on where the infected tissues are located in the body; accessibility characterization and clinical signs present at examination.

The most common type for diagnosing FIP is scissors-type laparotomy which involves making a cut under anesthesia through your cat’s abdominal wall before removing small amounts tissue that will be examined under microscopy back in the lab.

Indicators of FIP

The case for Feline Infectious Peritonitis becomes stronger when you have more of the indicators below:

Positive coronavirus antibody test

A positive coronavirus antibody test is one of the ways to diagnose Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) in cats. This test helps detect antibodies for feline coronavirus which can be an indication that a cat has contracted this virus.

It works by detecting the specific sequence of viral particles present in those particular variants of the feline coronavirus associated with this particular disease. A positive result is not definite confirmation but could support a diagnosis of FIP, especially since other tests may yield inconclusive results or lack accuracy.

It is important to note that a negative result does not rule out a possible diagnosis and further testing and examination must be done before making any definitive conclusions about FIP status in your pet.

High Serum Protein Levels (more than 7.8 gm/dL), especially mainly y-globulins.

A high serum protein level, particularly y-globulins in cats, could indicate a diagnosis of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). FIP is caused by a virus and can be fatal, so it is important for cat owners to understand how this condition is diagnosed.

The protein levels are measured using laboratory tests such as blood work or effusion tests. In general, if the total serum protein exceeds 7.8 g/dL and the albumin to globulin ratio (A:G) falls below 0.6 then there may be an indication of FIP in your cat’s system as this could provide evidence of inflammation or other ill health effects associated with the virus attack within their bodies.

The presence of inflammatory proteins such as y-globulins appear when this virus attacks healthy cells in the body and therefore should not be discounted during testing for FIP since these numbers will greatly depend on the severity of infection that has taken place in your cat’s vital organs like kidneys, liver or lungs etc.

High A-1-Acid Glycoprotein (AGP) (more than 3 mg/mL)

A-1-Acid Glycoprotein (AGP) is an acute phase reactant which has been found to increase in cats with Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). This type of protein increases dramatically during inflammation, meaning that a high level of AGP in the blood can be an indicator of FIP.

It is especially powerful when used as a deciding factor alongside other risks factors associated with FIP, such as abnormal white blood counts and liver values.

In one study conducted on 344 cats suspected to have FIP, results showed that AGP was the most accurate test for determining whether or not they had the disease. Out of the 344 cats tested for AGP levels at least twice, 97% were correctly diagnosed as having either cancer or Feline Infectious Peritonitis based solely on their A-1 Acid Glycoprotein readings.

The same study also concluded that if there are levels more than 1.5 mg/mL it is highly likely that your cat may have this condition and testing should continue to confirm this diagnosis..

Albumin to Globulin ratio is less than 0.8

The A:G ratio (Albumin to Globulin ratio) is an important indicator when it comes to diagnosing feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). An albumin to globulin ratio of 0.8 or less can be a strong indication that your cat has FIP.

This ratio is important because it indicates the presence of certain immune system abnormalities associated with FIP; if your cat’s serum albumin to globulin ration is low, this could suggest that the virus responsible for FIP has infiltrated their body and their immune system is responding abnormally.

Elevated White Blood Cell count (more than 25,000 cells/l)

An elevated white blood cell (WBC) count of more than 25,000 cells/l is a key indicator that might suggest presence of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). An increase in WBCs may indicate your cat’s immune system responding to the virus or virus trying to invade deeper into the organ systems.

The complete blood count of cats infected with FIP generally show normocytic, normochromic, non-regenerative abnormalities allowing diagnosis with certainty. In addition to this abnormal immunological test results like increased levels of y-globulins and A-1 Acid Glycoprotein are also indicative of FIP.

Hyperglobulinemia can be present in cats affected by FIP which likely is an attempt by the cat’s body to fight off infection actively raising suspicion for the disease as well as aiding in its diagnosis.

Elevated WBC counts could also be related to other diseases such as FeLV, FPV etc., However due to occurrence coinciding factors mentioned above such increase in numbers when combined makes it highly probable that it could signal towards potential diagnosis if not definitive evidence pointing towards feline infectious pretoetionitsis.

Decreased lymphocyte number

Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that plays an important role in fighting off infections and illnesses. In cats with FIP, these lymphocytes are decreased or absent compared to normal healthy cats because the virus associated with FIP, feline coronavirus (FCoV), partakes in high rates of destruction of the lymphocyte population.

This increase in death rate of lymphocytes results in low numbers being present symbolizing signs for weakened immunity caused by the virus as well as aiding with diagnosis since it is characteristic to have low immune cell levels when fighting FIP.

A decrease in lymphocyte count can be detected through certain tests like a complete blood count (CBC) which looks at several components involved within blood and helps identify if there have been any changes such as different concentrations from what is considered normal for an individual cat’s age and breed.

If seen on CBCs, other tests may be then used to assess further into details for exact confirmation such ELISA testings that directly detect presence or absence of antibodies related to latent viral exposure or indirect methods like elevated liver enzymes often found concurrent with FCoV infection due its effect on liver health and promotion of inflammatory activities leading to possible damage if lab values reach profoundly abnormal levels over prolonged periods time without correct treatment options applied according treatments given potentially by vets familiarized with such scenarios depending upon case outcomes.

Higher liver enzymes, such as ALT (alanine aminotransferase), ALP (alkaline phosphatase), AST (aspartame aminotransferase) AND GGT (gammaglutamyl transferase)

are among the indicators of FIP related to FIP tests. ALT is present in the highest concentration in the liver and ALP and GGT are additional liver enzymes, which when found at high levels have been associated with abnormal functions of other organs such as kidney or heart malfunction.

Elevated levels can increase your cat’s risk for disease or general health problems.

Liver function tests typically include ALT, AST, ALP, and GGT. These type of blood tests provide valuable information about liver health and potential underlying conditions that may be causing elevated enzyme levels.

This helps veterinarians to form an accurate diagnosis not only for cats suspected of having FIP but also for those who exhibit digestive symptoms like vomiting or unexplained weight loss due to other issues such as parasites or infections inside the digestive tract independently from it being a FIP-related case.

High Bilirubin count

High bilirubin levels in cats are usually caused by hemolysis, liver disease, and cholestasis. However, an increase in bilirubin count can also be a sign of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP).

Hyperbilirubinemia is typically associated with FIP thanks to its systemic inflammation that causes damage to both red blood cells and the hepatic hepatocytes which can lead to elevated serum bilirubin level.

A high total or direct bilirubin count—which refers to how much pigment has built up in a cat’s body—is often seen as one of the first tests used when diagnosing FIP. The most common symptoms for cats with jaundice caused by increased bilirubin levels would include yellowing of their skin and eye whites as well as producing abnormally dark urine.

High Urea count

Urea is a nitrogen-containing substance that’s primarily responsible for waste excretion in cats. An abnormally high urea count may indicate something more troubling at hand, such as the presence of FIP.

A big contributing factor to an increase in ureic levels relates to the inflammatory nature of FIP. When there’s an infection inside a cat, white blood cells—their body’s defense system—become overworked and exhausted trying to fight it off; thus inadvertently leading to an increase in their serum protein level or creatinine level (the measure of metabolic waste products).

With these extra substances present, they need additional help from other bodily functions like urination which then raises the concentration of urea in the bloodstream further than what is normal known as hyperurecemia.

High Creatinine count

Creatinine is a waste product in cats produced by the metabolism of muscle tissue. It is usually present in cats’ urine and is normally filtered out by their glomerular filteration rate (GFR).

When GFR is decreased, creatinine levels can rise due to inefficient removal from the blood stream and ultimately accumulate in the cat’s body. A high creatinine level has been found to be related to indicators of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP).

In affected cats, elevated creatinine counts are commonly associated with lower protein concentrations because an increase in excreted urea nitrogen indicates impaired kidney function while low albumin levels suggest that proteins are leaving through leaking intestines or abdominal lining caused by fluid accumulation.

A higher serum creatinine level not only serves as an indicator of FIP but also helps distinguish it from other diseases such as FelV, FPV or Toxoplasmosis which may have similar clinical signs but require different treatment protocols.

Limitations and Considerations

It is important to consider potential false positives or negatives when interpreting the results of FIP tests, so be sure to talk to your vet about any concerns.

False positives and false negatives

False positives and false negatives can occur with FIP tests. A false positive occurs when a test indicates that a cat has the virus, even though it really doesn’t. This may lead to misdiagnosis or inappropriate treatment protocols for cats that are not actually infected with the virus.

A false negative occurs when the test incorrectly states that there is no evidence of the virus present in the sample, which can also lead to delayed or inadequate treatment for cats who are indeed infected with FIP.

In some cases, incorrect results may be caused by poor quality samples—for example if tissue or blood used for testing has been mishandled during collection and transport—so it is incredibly important to carefully take and store samples as soon as they have been taken from an animal being tested for FIP.

Other diseases with similar readings

It is important to note there are other diseases that may present readings similar to those of FIP, such as FIV, FELV, FPV, FCV and Toxoplasmosis.

FIV readings vs FIP

It is important to recognize that FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) and FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) are two very different illnesses, however the symptoms can be similar which can cause potential confusion.

While a positive coronavirus antibody test is an indicator of FIP, it may also indicate the presence of a non-pathogenic version of the virus that does not inevitably lead to infection with FIP.

Also, cats infected with only FIV may have protein levels just as high or higher than those seen in cats affected by advanced stages of FIP. Additionally, many other diseases show elevated liver enzymes such as ALT (alanine aminotransferase), ALP (alkaline phosphatase), AST (aspartate aminotransferase) and GGT (gammaglutamyl transferase).

The most reliable methods for distinguishing between both conditions include effusion tested by analyzing pleural fluid from perfusion; X-rays for abdominal masses; Ultrasound evaluation for enlarged lymph nodes and spleen lesions; Antibody test conducted on blood and various forms of cerebrospinal fluid evaluations including biopsy examination.

A blood test when run will usually reveal unusually high numbers in Protein Content Globulins Albumin Ratio Creatinine Bilirubin Urea Nitrogen and White Blood Cell counts >25000/ml – indicative of serous effusions inside which could be confirmed through further testing procedures if required.

FELV readings vs FIP

Feline leukemia virus (FELV) and Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) are two viral conditions that can affect cats. While both of these viruses belong to the “coronavirus” family, they have different disease processes and presented with different symptoms.

For example, FELV infection progresses more rapidly than FIV infection, and is associated with lymphosarcoma and other diseases. In contrast, FIV affects its host much slower and often considered a chronic condition for cats.

We also know that when it comes to diagnosing these infections in cats, the results of a coronavirus antibody test will vary between FELV/FIV respectively. When positive signals show up from either tests, this does not necessarily indicate which type of virus a cat has might be carrying— further screenings usually needed such as looking at blood proteins levels or performing effusion testing on affected areas to make an accurate diagnosis.

FPV readings vs FIP

FPV (Feline Parvovirus) consists of a virus that attacks the intestinal tract and reproductive organs in cats, and can cause diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, fever, depression, anorexia or even death.

It is spread via direct contact between animals through mutual grooming processes or indirect contact with contaminated environments. On the other hand FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) is caused by a feline coronavirus and affects cats of all ages due to their immune system not being able to develop antibodies against it.

Clinical signs include anemia and dyspnea as well as abdominal enlargement when there are effusions present from pleural or peritoneal accumulations of fluid.

FCV readings vs FIP

FCV (Feline Coronavirus) viral shedding tests can be used to detect signs of current or previous infection with FCoV, but the results can’t always accurately differentiate between the two types of virus – the disease-causing one known as FIP Virus, and the nonpathogenic enteric version.

This is because both types have exactly similar properties in terms of size, shape, and structure — making it difficult to confirm if a cat has developed FIP or not. A single test result cannot completely distinguish between cats infected with FCoV that will go on to develop fully expressed disease from those that will never show any signs of illness; hence additional testing methods are recommended when trying to diagnose cats suspected of having FIP.

In these cases, PCR assays for classifying individual genes uncovered in feline coronaviruses may help provide more accurate answers rather than relying solely on FCV titers since available titer kits lack clinical data significance in distinguishing pathogenic viruses such as FECOV and FPIV from nonpathogenic ones.

Toxoplasmosis readings vs FIP

When it comes to diagnosing illnesses in cats, false positives and similarities between different diseases can make things complicated. While cats infected with both feline infectious peritonitis (known as FIP) and toxoplasmosis may have some similar readings, there are distinct differences that should be taken into account when trying to accurately diagnose the condition.

FIP is caused by a virus while toxoplasmosis is caused by an intracellular protozoan called Toxoplasma gondii. Cats may contract FIP through contact with other cats harboring the virus or drinking sewage contaminated water.

On the other hand, toxoplasmosis is primarily acquired from eating contimintaed raw meat or fecal matter of another animal hosting its larvae stage cysts like rodents and birds .

Both conditions often cause high white blood count which necessitates distinguishing tests such as albumin/globulin levels, protein/creatinine ratio among others used to differentiate between them.

Vaccines against FCoV type I has been developed; however its use for preventing FIP remain controversial due to adverse effects associated with it such as uveitis or fever outbreaks declined after vaccination of SCoVs occurred in kittens aged 10 -26 weeks so currently there’s no vaccine recommended for preventing infection but rather early detection using diagnostic tests providing results for identifying if the cat presents coronavirus antibodies only ie not having yet progressed to full blown virus activated form known as virulent systemic forms necessary diagnosis for suspecting FIP cases.

Cancer readings vs FIP

Accurately diagnosing Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) can be challenging, as it often presents with similar clinical signs and readings to cancer. Cancer is the most common single disorder in cats aged 2-8 years and FIP is the most common single cause of disease in cats younger than 2 years of age, making it especially important for cat owners to understand how they can differentiate between these two conditions.

In order to accurately diagnose FIP or cancer, multiple tests may need to take place, including blood tests looking at protein levels; x-rays; ultrasounds; a cerebrospinal fluid test looking for antibody proteins and specific antigens that are indicators of coronavirus infection; effusion testing looking for elevated white cell count, decreased lymphocytes numbers and immunoglobulins; biopsies checking for fibrinous membranes/granulomas inside organs like the kidney or liver; and antibody tests.

Positivity on any one test does not equal a definitive diagnosis: rather, all available data should be taken into consideration before reaching a conclusion. Because some false positives may occur when using certain types of tests on their own (and vice versa), veterinary consultation is essential when dealing with such sensitive diagnosis cases—especially since accurate treatment options depend upon correct identification of either condition.


Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a serious and often fatal viral disease, which affects both wild and domestic cats. It is contagious and spread through contact with infected feces.

Diagnosis can be difficult due to the wide array of symptoms that vary from cat to cat, making it important for pet owners to look out for any suspicious behavior or health changes in their cats.

FIP testing involves numerous methods such as blood work, effusion tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, antibody tests, cerebrospinal fluid test and biopsies – all of which come together in order to confirm diagnosis.

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