How can my Finn survive from FIP?

How can my Finn survive from FIP?

Posted by Happy Polly on

The week leading up to Finn’s diagnosis, he had continued to decrease his eating, drinking, grooming and energy levels. After 3 days with no bowel movement I called the vet to get him in. 

Friday March 12th, 2021, Finn was taken into his vet and I left absolutely devastated.

Finn still adorable as ever with a shaved neck for bloodwork. You can see the life coming back into his eyes here though which I love:

I thought it was constipation or a blockage of some sort, but we left with the grave diagnosis of wet FIP. (Swipe right to know what FIP stands for.) Most cats are exposed to the initial cat coronavirus behind FIP but only ~3% actually mutate the virus into what is known as FIP. The drive home was heartbreaking as I sobbed with Finn in my lap, basically lifeless. A quick google search at home had given no hope or any indication that there was FIP treatment. FIP takes the lives of 98% of felines diagnosed. After posting on our Tiktok account that I would be quiet on social (as I was forced to come to terms that my only option was to euthanize) I had an outpouring of people telling me there WAS treatment and to add Facebook groups such as “FIP Fighters Great Lakes / Midwest Chapter” or “FIP Warriors” so I immediately did. Within an hour I was on the phone with a stranger who lived 2 hours north of me that had medicine. I was a whirlwind of emotions ranging from incredible sadness to hopeful and desperate. One other group on Facebook in particular (not mentioned) quoted me almost 4x for FIP medicine, come to find out they were only wanting more profit due to their “relapse refund guarantee” which had more loopholes of actually ever backing that.. Shame on them. 


At this point, I had 2 options: one, being to let a complete stranger into my house with a ‘black market’ cat medicine that could potentially save Finn’s life - or two, keep my euthanasia appointment for the next day and spend one last night with Finn. 

This was still beginning of treatment as he had a shaved side for medicine and sores developing from poking. 

Thankfully, I was introduced to Scott, who was treating his cat Snowy for FIP and had a good supply of extra medicine on hand. To help Finn’s stress levels, he even offered to drive the 2 hours to me, mind you this call was at 9:30 PM. As midnight approached, I welcomed Scott & his fiancé into my apartment and after an emotional explanation of Finn’s diagnosis, we brought Finn onto my kitchen floor and shaved a rectangle on both sides of his body.  Finn was quite weak and barely gave a fight for this like he normally would. Scott patiently explained how to draw a needle for Finn’s medicine, he brought some high calorie cat food & a handful of other necessary items to have on hand.  


{ I have now started a FIP Treatment folder on my Amazon storefront (link is in my bio) as I don’t know what I would’ve done without having these starting out. }

I’d never administered a needle before, so with trembling hands I gave Finn his first subcutaneous shot of B12. That was to help boost his system. For those who don’t know, FIP medicine is very thick, to bring up into a needle is one thing but to deliver into a cat is another. But within an hour, Finn had his first full dose of FIP medicine, I was out over $300 for a less then a weeks worth but the feeling of potentially saving your cats life and that hope I had at 2 AM is priceless. Day 1 of 84 complete. Yes FIP treatment is 84 days. But within hours I saw Finn’s energy levels raise which I cannot pin if it was the medicine or the B12, but my boy started to groom himself! Hallelujah. 

This was within the first 2 weeks of treatment, still weak and fighting FIP. You can see his shaved side for his medicine. 

Now I don’t want to sugar coat it, the first 3 weeks or so of Finn’s treatment was a roller coaster. I lived alone at the time and had to reach out to strangers in my new city on Facebook - in local groups looking for nurses, current or former vet techs, anyone that had administered needles with a pet before. Thankfully I had a handful of women that stepped up and took turns each night coming over to help me either hold him for his medicine or administer for 3 weeks. Switching sides of his body each day. He battled fevers, which was lowered with Clavomox and one day he had plunging temperatures which a heated blanket helped with. To temp him daily was done anally. He battled extreme nausea and lack of appetite which cerenia & mirataz helped with. He developed sores from the medicine that vetericyn helped with. The list goes on. After 3 weeks, I decided to switch to pills which was a lot easier on both Finn & I. His dose was based on his weight & started on 6 pills a day until he gained weight when it was upped to 7 & then 8. I gave him these best with liquid Churu treats. 


But every day I had to weigh Finn, the number slowly kept going up. I saw the life literally come back into Finn’s eyes and see him PLAY and EAT again. He had bloodwork 3 times throughout treatment, first in the beginning where there was plenty of red / bad levels, then through the middle of treatment to see if improvement is found, and again at nearly the end signifying if levels were good enough to enter an 84 day observation period. Relapse can happen but it is rare. I was terrified and had FIP PTSD. 

June 4th was Finn’s last day of FIP medicine. Although it is strongly recommended to keep your cat stress free during this entire treatment, we had moving day a week into observation. With a little help of gabapentin to calm him, we got all moved into our new home. Finn did have a day of being lethargic which scared me, but thankfully he bounced back. During his entire observation period, he was given 1/8 of a teaspoon of proboost powder mixed into a Churu. That is to help boost his immune system. 

This picture is so sad. Very first days of treatment when I was syringe feeding him to keep him alive. He was so weak and needing grooming. Every time I’d try and give him a few CCs of food he would try and jump down and hide. I would try again after 20 minutes and repeat for a couple of hours to ensure he’s getting food in & more importantly keeping it down. 

August 29th, 2021 was the final day of observation. He had beaten the odds and was now considered cured of FIP.  I couldn’t be more grateful for the support, prayers, and messages I got before, during and after Finn’s diagnosis. We had cards and care packages sent to us, donations pouring in from all over, and a whole lot of strength from Finnegan. He FOUGHT for his life, to be here in my life and I am still so amazed and proud of both of us. 

It is not easy to be diagnosed with FIP, it is not easy giving your cat a shot of thick medicine for 3 weeks, having bad days where you had to poke more than once , hearing your cat yowl in pain from the needle but promise him it’s for the better, it is not easy spending thousands on medicine or asking others for help, to see the life drain from your pet’s life. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I will forever post about Finn’s story to help raise that awareness of FIP treatment. Because at one point, I almost chose euthanasia because I hadn’t known. 


They say a pet remembers when you save it’s life and I truly believe that. Love you Finn, ❤️ mommy. 

After being considered cured of FIP, I couldn’t help but have some post observation relapse worries. I tried my best to block these thoughts out, tried to remind myself something a friend had told me, that your pets can sense your stress & worries and to try your best to not have it. Post observation I made sure Finn had ample water sources, plenty of safe places to relax, pro boost on hand and daily affirmations of how proud I was of him. I would feel his ear tip repeatedly through the day to feel a potential fever. (easier and more humane then sticking the thermometer in his bum) It’s now almost one year later of being cured and my Finn is thriving. I am SO thankful that FIP is no longer an immediate death sentence. 

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