FIP Guidelines Hot Off the Press
This is a great day in feline medicine, as the American Association of Feline Practitioners in conjunction with the EveryCat Health Foundation have published all new guidelines for dealing with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). This document, called 2022 AAFP/EveryCat Feline Infectious Peritonitis Diagnosis Guidelines and free to all:
While FIP was first described as a specific disease entity in 1963 by Dr Jean Holzworth and colleagues at the Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, MA; it was Dr. Niels Pedersen who spent decades attempting to describe and ultimately treat FIP.
According to the classic and original text of feline medicine, Feline Husbandry: Disease and Management in the Multi-Cat Environment by Dr. Pedersen, now professor emeritus University of California Davis College of Veterinary Medicine. Petersen was the first to describe FIP occurring as a direct result of the feline coronavirus. FIP can happen when the otherwise benign coronavirus in cats transforms inside some cats to what was always a fatal and barely understood immune-mediated disease, called FIP.
Pedersen, who is acclaimed for his research regarding infectious disease in cats and also various issues in dogs, has focused much of his career of understanding and ultimately treating FIP and much of it with funding from the Winn Feline Foundation (now EveryCat Health Foundation). Winn Feline intensified efforts in 2005 with more money raised as a result of Susan Gingrich launching the Bria Fund, named for her kitten who succumbed to the disease. Others began to assist in funding Dr. Pedersen, including Zen by Cat.
In 2019, the Winn Feline Foundation held a ground-breaking symposium at University of California, Davis which kicked off with Pedersen – and included most of those worldwide who had studied the disease and changed the designation of FIP from fatal to treatable. In 2021 another symposium, Health Breakthroughs for EveryCat: FIP and Beyond, held in July at University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Gainesville helped to confirm that treatments offered online via the black market do greatly work and generally can suffice until the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine approves a drug in the waiting to treat FIP.
The new Guideline don’t yet focus on treatment but instead primarily on description of FIP and diagnosis.
Pedersen found the pathway to treatment as well, an antiviral pro-drug, nearly identical to Remdesivir.
As a result of published studies, U.S. health officials studied Remdesivir to treat a new coronavirus in humans which caused COVID-19, and it turns out to Remdesivir has contributed to saving countless human lives around the globe, which without the Winn Feline Foundation and Dr. Pedersen never would have happened.
The Task Force creating the new Guidelines are co-chair feline specialist Dr. Vicki Thayer, past President and former executive director of the Winn Feline Foundation; feline specialist Dr. Susan Gogolski; Dr. Sandra Felten, European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine; Dr. Katrin Hartmann, professor of internal medicine and head of the clinic of small animal medicine at LMU of Munich in Germany; Dr. Melissa Kennedy, professor University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine; and Dr. Glenn A Olah, past president Winn Feline Foundation.
The AAFP and EveryCat Health Foundation thank Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. for supporting the 2022 AAFP/EveryCat Feline Infectious Peritonitis Diagnosis Guidelines and resources through an educational grant.