Based in Illinois, Dr. Jennifer Creed has extensive experience as an emergency veterinarian, with a particular focus on Ragdoll Cats. Among the conditions that Dr. Jennifer Creed treats and vaccinates against are upper respiratory disease and feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).
Most prevalent among indoor cats, FIP is caused by a coronavirus that inhabits the intestines and usually does not impact health and everyday life. Of the vast majority of house cats with the condition, a few experience a viral mutation that develops into a deadly disease. It manifests in symptoms such as fever, swollen abdomen, white gums, and cloudy eye. Samples of blood will often have inflammatory disease indicators such as elevated globulins and anemia.
One unfortunate aspect of FIP is that it primarily affects kittens that have not yet developed strong immune system defenses. In order to limit instances of this disease in shelter or cattery situations, kittens can be weaned and separated from other cats before the protective antibodies passed on through the mother wear off. Simply ensuring proper nutrition and a minimum of stress in kittens’ lives can also help ensure that FIP does not become a major issue. Additionally, the area where cats are housed should be well-sanitized and free of organic debris.