FIP Treatment with Feline Interferon

Feline interferon, which is commercially available as Virbagen Omega, is a treatment used for feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Research and studies show positive results of feline interferon treatment in cats suffering from FIP.

Although feline interferon may not successfully cure FIP in all cats, research shows that it can completely cure a certain percentage of cats with the disease. The cure with feline interferon is very effective if the symptoms of FIP are diagnosed and treated promptly. Before understanding how feline interferon works, it's necessary to know what feline infectious peritonitis is, and how it affects your cat.

What Is FIP?

FIP is a disease caused by certain strands of the feline coronavirus. Although most cats infected with feline coronavirus don't show any symptoms of disease, a mutation of the virus occurs in certain pets, which progresses and leads to FIP. The cat's white blood cells get infected with the virus and spread it all through the cat's body. In most cases of FIP, the disease progresses and is fatal. With advanced medical research, newer drugs such as feline interferon are used to cure the disease.

Pets Risk of Contracting FIP

FIP is not a very contagious disease. Pets infected with coronavirus are more susceptible to FIP. The incidence of feline infectious peritonitis is highest in young cats and kittens. This may be attributed to their weak immune systems. Since FIP is largely prevalent in cats with coronavirus, it's necessary to take preventive measures to safeguard pets from contracting the coronavirus. Most cats contract coronavirus from catteries or places that board a large cat population.

Coronavirus can also be transmitted from the mother to her kittens. Research points out that certain breeds are at a higher risk of developing FIP. Studies have not yet established results that link FIP to genetics alone.

Symptoms of FIP

  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Fever
  • Anemia
  • Pot belly

Feline Interferon Treatment

The diagnosis of FIP is complex and involves laboratory tests and biopsy of the tissues. Several young cats and pets with non-effusive FIP have been successfully treated with feline interferon. The vet may prescribe an oral dose of 50,000 units per day. Feline Interferon Omega can be diluted and preserved in a refrigerator for later use. It has also been used to treat calcivirus and herpes virus infection (FVR) in many countries.

Dosage of Feline Interferon

  • Pets with non-effusive FIP are orally given 30 i.u. per day.
  • Doses of 30 i.u. and higher are administered per day as intramuscular injections for pets with effusive FIP.
  • FIP is also treated with immunosuppressive drugs such as prednisone. Immunosuppressive drugs work to slow the progress of the disease. In cases of FIP that include eye infections, corticosteroid drugs or steroid injections are used to bring relief to pets.

Since the cure of FIP is still being researched, it's important to keep pets very healthy with proper nutrition, and avoid boarding many cats together.