Curtis’s survival from wet FIP.
On the 17th of February 2021, Curtis, a then 6 month old Oriental Shorthair kitten, was diagnosed with wet FIP. I had returned home from a 3 day trip away to find Curtis with an abnormally swollen abdomen, and sticky like un-clean fur. I immediately took him to the vet, thinking maybe he had eaten something or been over fed why i was away. I waited in the vets office while they took him in for an ultrasound and bloods, when the vet came back in with a vile of yellow fluid. She explained that his entire abdomen was filled with this yellow fluid, and that usually this can only mean one thing, wet FIP. I had never heard of FIP before so i was confused but assumed we could treat him like any other illness only to be told by the vet that there was no treatment available and to expect Curtis to live less then 2 weeks from now. To say i was absolutely distraught would be a complete understatement. I was hysterical the entire night, researching about FIP, and every article said the same thing- 100 per cent fatal with no treatment options. The vet rang in the late afternoon with his blood results to confirm with 99 per cent certainty he had FIP, and to wait until he turned yellow and stopped moving so we would know when to bring him in to be euthanised. I was sick to my stomach as this little kitten was my entire world and i loved him with every cell and fibre of my being.
In the early hours of the morning my younger sister flooded my messages with screenshots from a Facebook page. There were hundreds of cats with the same illness as Curtis, who where undergoing treatment with the black market drug GS-441524. I was desperately sending out messages to all members of the group asking how i get ahold of this drug when i was told to contact a Sydney veterinarian, Dr Richard Malik. I immediately did and he got into contact with my local vet and told her there was now legal treatment called Remdisivir available within Australia and to order it ASAP for the best chance of Curtis surviving. Within the next two days while waiting for the rem to arrive, Curtis had stopped eating and drinking, could no longer move, and would go to the toilet laying wherever he was. He completely lost his spirit and i was honestly convinced that at any given second he would pass away. Within just a few days he had gone from a happy healthy cat who would bounce off the walls and eat any thing that even resembled food, to a shell of nothing. By complete luck, the remdisivir arrived 5 minutes from closing time on Friday afternoon and Curtis received his very first injection and the journey started.
The next 84 days where full of blood sweat and tears literally. I struggled financially to afford his treatment, which put strain on my relationship at the time, and strain on my work life as well. I had to leave work everyday at 4pm to give Curtis gabapentin to at least attempt to ease the pain and anxiety of the needle, and leave work again at 6 to inject him. Sometimes it would take over an hour to get the injection in and it would result in many breakdowns and anxiety attacks. I started a gofundme to help with the funds and luckily i was able to donate a few thousand dollars to go towards his medication.
By the time Curtis’s swollen belly was gone, he was just bones, weighing 1.8 kilos. However he had still not eaten so i resorted to force syringe feeding to at least get something into him. Unfortunately i did this incorrectly which resulted in him developing asphyxiation pneumonia and i hated myself.
After treating his pneumonia, i continued the daily remdisivir injections, and on day 84 blood results showed he had been cured from FIP.
This journey was the most stressful and emotional experience i have ever been through in my entire life, but i would do it a million times over to save my baby Curtis’s life. Below i have attached before and after photos of Curtis ❤️