Feline Infectious Peritonitis is probably the most dreaded diagnosis for cats. It is caused by a coronavirus and affects the cells of the intestinal tract. The corona virus in itself is a common virus in cats, and cats may not even show symptoms other than perhaps a mild gastrointestinal upset. But for reasons that have eluded researchers so far, in some cats, the benign virus mutates into a highly infectious version that then causes FIP. It usually affects kittens and young cats, and has been considered fatal. Until now.

Finally, new research brings hope, and the findings will be announced at the at the 33rd Annual Winn Feline Symposium on June 23, 2011, in Reston, VA, just outside of Washington, DC. 

World renown researchers Dr. Niels Pederson, director for the Center of Companion Animal Health at the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis and Dr. Al Legendre, professor at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, Knoxville will highlight the event.

Dr. Susan Little, a feline practitioner in Ottawa, Ontario Canada and past president of the Winn Feline Foundation, is quoted on Steve Dale’s Petworld as saying “finally, momentum and results when it comes to FIP research. Getting these two legends of veterinary medicine together at the same time is very rare, and to actually allow time for Q & A. I don’t know a veterinarian, a cat breeder or a cat lover who wouldn’t benefit.  FIP touches everyone.”

The symposium is open to veterinarians, breeders and cat lovers. Cost for the symposium, including dinner, is $45.

I will be attending and will be reporting back to you right here on The Conscious Cat.

The Winn Feline Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1968 that supports studies to improve cat health. Projects funded by Winn provide information that is used every day to treat cat diseases.

Photo credit: morguefile

17 Comments on Winning the FIP Fight – 33rd Annual Winn Feline Health Symposium

  1. NO! Do not put them all down. There is not really a test for this but the test they did shows they have carried the virus at some point in their life. The virus CAN develops into FIP but 90% of cats have had the virus at some point in their lifes and where fine. Do not put all of your cats down. There are tests your vet can do. I highly doubt its FIP. My cats littermate died, they test positive for it but they are perfect and healthy.

    DO NOT put your cats down.

  2. I have 8 cats of which 3 were tested and are positive. My other 5 are also acting out of character. One of them is having an issue with his kidneys. Do I put them all down?

  3. I lost a beloved kitty, Beethoven, to FIP and it was very difficult. I’d be very interested in new developments.

    • I’m so sorry about Drizzle, Boris Kitty. How devastating – my heart goes out to you.

      Be sure to check back here on Friday, I’ll be reporting on what was announced at the event.

  4. Where will i be able to find notes on this? I cannot make it but I’d love to know what they have found. I have two cats which sister died of FIP. I’d sleep alot better at night knowing mine would be ok. It seriously haunts me every day!

    • I’m so sorry about your two sister cats, Lil – how devastating. I can understand that it still haunts you. I’ll be attending the symposium, and I’ll blog about it afterwards right here on The Conscious Cat.

  5. This is very exciting. In the last 6 months I’ve seen NUMEROUS friends lose kitties to this awful disease, one just this week. It was devastating!

  6. It’s encouraging when hard research begins to pay off. I look forward to your capable coverage of the symposium.

    • I’m very excited about this, Layla. Cats are traditionally underfunded when it comes to research, which makes this even more important.

  7. how very exciting, but yet annoying we have to wait so long.

    Btw, I’ve read in several different places by several different respectable vets that FIP is not infectious. Once the virus mutates, it does not spread.

    • Connie, there hasn’t been any good news about FIP in so long, this is probably worth waiting for. And you are correct, the virus is not highly contagious. The most common way of it being spread is from an infected mother to her kittens. It’s relatively uncommon in the general cat population, but the disease rate can be higher in shelters or catteries.

  8. I’m so glad to hear there is new hope for treating this terrible and dreadful disease!!!! I’m looking forward to reading the good news :)!
    Have a beautiful weekend, dear Ingrid and Allegra!

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