(Feline Coronavirus Infection)
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a serious disease of cats caused by a type of virus called coronavirus. The virus spreads from cat to cat via feces, urine, or secretions of the nose and mouth and is either inhaled or ingested. While cats of all ages are susceptible, cats from 6 to 12 months old and those over 14 years old are more susceptible than cats 5 to 13 years old. Queens may infect their kittens while in the womb or during the nursing period. Purebred cats seem to be more at risk than the common domestic cat.
FIP occurs in two distinct forms: the “wet” form, characterized by massive accumulations of fluid in the abdominal and/or chest cavity; and the “dry” form, characterized by inflammatory disease of the nervous system, various organs, and/or the eyes.
The prognosis (medical forecast) for cats with FIP is poor as there is no effective treatment to eliminate the virus. Treatment is designed to increase patient comfort and improve the quality of life for as long as practical. In some cases, treatment relieves clinical signs for a short time.