We saw a kitty today who has a worrisome condition. He is only 1 year old and has been in great health until recently. Weight loss, increased thirst and general œnot doin ™ right  caused his owner to bring him in. Dr. Greenberg noted that his skin was a bit yellow and he has some fluid in his abdomen. Our top concern right now is a disease called Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). This viral disease causes inflammation and finally failure of many internal organs, and is virtually always fatal. It can also cause fluid to develop in the abdomen and chest. In some cases it is extremely easy to diagnose, but in others it can be very elusive and often only definitively diagnosed with an autopsy. The disease is most commonly seen in kittens from shelters or large catteries, or in adult cats who have Feline Leukemia Virus or the Feline AIDS virus (FIV). Most infectious disease experts agree that cats who get this are infected with the virus when very young, and some stressor or immunosuppressive state causes the virus to convert to the virulent (disease causing) form. We are hoping the kitty we saw today has something other than FIP, but there aren ™t too many diseases that cause fluid in the abdomen that have a good prognosis.

Remember that we are here for you if your pets are not feeling well. Any minor symptom should be explored. We are open M-F 7:30-6, Sat 9-3, and until 8pm on Mondays. Come by today beween10-2 and have one of our doctors wash your dog in exchange for a donation to the American Cancer Society!

by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP