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Feline Infectious Peritonitis

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Dry or disseminated form early signs are similar to those of the wet form, except fluid is not produced. The disseminated form is even more difficult to diagnose. It affects a variety of organs, including the eyes (15 percent of cases affect the eyes only), brain, liver, kidney, and pancreas. Sixty percent of dry form cases will show eye or brain involvement, or both.

Treatment: Unfortunately, once a cat develops signs of secondary disease (either the wet or dry form), he will die. The wet form is worse, with cats often dying within two months. Cats with the dry form may have up to a year of good quality life. The cat can be made more comfortable by using medications; life may be prolonged with chemotherapy drugs such as cyclophosphamide or immunosuppressive doses of cortisone. Interferon and vitamin supplementation, especially vitamin C, can be helpful. Some cats do well with low-dose aspirin to reduce inflammation. Pentoxifylline (Trental) is being used by some veterinarians to treat the damage to blood vessels.

Prevention: Physical and environmental stresses lower a cat’s immunity and increase susceptibility to the virus, so it is important to maintain good nutrition, control parasites, treat health problems promptly, and groom regularly.

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WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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