Feline Infectious Peritonitis (Granulomatous Disease Complex)

*Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a progressive, immune-mediated, debilitating, viral disease

Distribution -

Probably worldwide. The general incidence is estimated to be 1 - 2 %, but can be much higher in some catteries. Low occurrence in Feral cats (approximately 4%), mostly occurs in domestic cats (approximately 59%): shelters and multi-cat homes having the highest distribution.

Susceptibility -

The infection occurs in cats of all ages but is most frequent in animals six months to five years of age. Most infections are dormant and clinical disease may not develop for months or years. When the clinical disease develops it is usually fatal in a few weeks.

Mode of Infection/Transmission -

The disease is contagious and the common route of infection is oronasal. In utero infections result in stillbirths and infected kittens.

Clinical Features -

Depending on the form, clinical signs may include abdominal enlargement, depression, inappetence, fever, emaciation, anemia and neurologic and ocular signs. Characteristic of the wet form, but not in all cases, are ascites, pericardial and pleural effusions, dyspnea and jaundice.

Diagnosis -

The disease is most commonly suspected when there is a fever that does not respond to anitbiotics, cardiac failure, anemia or ruptured lymphatic ducts.

Treatment -

No specific treatment; supportive care.

Control -

If feasible, isolate serologically positive cats. Killed and attenuated live vaccines have not been considered effective although efficacy has been claimed for an intranasal, modified live virus vaccine