Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a severe and often fatal disease that affects cats, causing inflammation and damage to their internal organs. GS treatment, an antiviral therapy, has shown promising results in combating FIP and improving the health of affected cats. Knowing when to stop GS treatment is crucial to ensure the best possible outcome for your cat while avoiding unnecessary prolonged treatment. In this blog post, we will discuss the factors that influence treatment duration and provide guidance on determining the right time to stop GS treatment for your feline friend.
Recommended Treatment Duration for FIP in Cats with GS-411524
The recommended treatment duration for FIP infected cats with GS is 12 weeks (84 days). However, some cats might need less time or more time depending on different factors. The main problem with figuring out when to stop the GS treatment is that there is no simple test to establish whether a cat has been cured. Because of this, many cat owners, treatment counselors, and veterinarians commonly continue therapy beyond 84 days to avoid recurrence.
Week 12 of Treatment: Final Blood Test and Visible Indicators of Recovery
Visible indicators: Your cat should show signs of returning to normal activity, appetite, weight gain or growth, and improved coat quality.
Blood work improvements: Critical blood values such as hematocrit, total protein, albumin and globulin levels, and absolute lymphocyte counts should normalize around 8-10 weeks.
Increased activity levels: Cats often experience an unanticipated increase in activity levels around this period.
Final blood test: On the last day of treatment (84th day), a final blood test should be taken and analyzed. The most important values in the CBC (Complete Blood Count) and Serum Chemistry Panel should return to normal.
Observation stage: If all the indicators are present, your cat is ready to advance to the observation stage.
Important CBC Values to Monitor:
Hematocrit, relative and absolute total white blood cell, neutrophil, and absolute lymphocyte counts should return to normal by the end of treatment, and %LYM (% Lymphocytes) should be greater than 30% (preferably 40%).
The most important values in the Serum Chemistry Panel are:
The levels of total protein, globulin, albumin, and the A:G ratio should normalize.
Other values in CBC and serum chemistry panels can be slightly varying and be ignored unless they are significantly elevated and associated with clinical symptoms.
There are a few additional indicators that can help you determine whether your cat has fully recovered from FIP and when to stop GS treatment. These include:
Alpha-1 acid glycoprotein (AGP) tests: Cats that have fully recovered from FIP have had their AGP levels return to normal, while cats that are only in remission continue to have elevated AGP levels despite treatment. A rule of thumb is to have two consecutive normal AGP results at least a week apart (≤500μl).
Serum Amyloid A tests: A consistent reduction in serum amyloid A (SAA) levels may also be a sign to stop the treatment. However, it's important to note that while SAA levels are elevated in FIP and decrease with GS treatment, it's not yet clear whether SAA can reliably distinguish FIP recovery from remission.
It's important to keep in mind that these indicators are optional and should be considered alongside the other indicators mentioned earlier in this post. Always consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your cat's FIP treatment.
A Note for Those Whose Cats Have Ocular or Neurological FIP Symptoms:
When FIP shows up in the eyes or the nervous system, the cat needs more medicine. But, even though the dose is higher, the treatment time is often longer and the cure rate is slightly lower. This is because the medication cannot easily cross the blood-brain barrier and target FIP in the brain and eyes. Even if the cat looks fine and its blood values are back to normal, there could still be FIP in its brain.
Although a comprehensive ocular examination may eliminate any active signs of illness in the eyes, only an MRI and CSF analysis can detect the disease in the brain and spine. These tests can be expensive, not everyone has easy access to them, and they may not give clear proof that the infection in the central nervous system has been completely treated.
Conclusion: Making Informed Decisions about FIP Treatment for Your Cat
Knowing when to stop GS treatment for FIP in cats can be a difficult decision, but it is crucial to ensure the best possible outcome for your feline friend. By monitoring the indicators mentioned above, you can make an informed decision on when to discontinue treatment. Always consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions about your cat's treatment plan."