Iris

By Al & Carol

Iris was born on May 19, 2020. The backstory was: she was born in a backyard in Sacramento. Two of the three in the litter were brought to FieldHaven, while the mother and other sibling eluded capture. The two rescues were Princess and her brother, Oscar. On Sunday, July 19, 2020, we adopted Iris (then Princess) from FieldHaven Center.

On December 30, 2020, we became extremely concerned about Iris’ health. It seems that Iris was failing, not acting like a healthy kitten. She was drinking very little and hardly eating. She was wobbly on her legs, no longer jumped around, and had a glossy look in her eyes, unable to focus. She had also lost weight. We took Iris to our regular vet for a check-up and lab work on January 2, 2021. Dry FIP was suspected. We awaited the lab results. At home, we fed Iris by syringe because she was not eating or drinking on her own. On January 3, 2021, Joy Smith emailed us about concerns for Iris. We explained what the vet suspected and why to Joy. Joy recommended FIP Warriors Group on Facebook. On Monday, January 4, we returned to the vet with Iris for fluids. Later the vet called to verify that it was indeed dry FIP. We met with the vet; again, we were offered no hope for Iris. The vet said FIP was 100% fatal. Now, we were ready to try FIP Warriors! On Friday, January 8, 2021, Joy came to our house to help with Iris’s first injection. Joy had all the supplies we needed to get us started.

Contacting the FIP Warriors group through Facebook was easy and fast. An administrator arranged for medication to be immediately mailed to us. We initially purchased about a 7 – 10 day supply of the medication, which was called Capella (officially known as GS441524). Her weight prior to illness had been over 6 lbs. She had decreased to 3 lbs 15 oz and was close to death when we started with the medication. The medication was to be adjusted and increased for Iris’ weight as she progressed. Within three days of treatment, we saw substantial improvement in her alertness, focus, eating, and some grooming. Her weight gain showed steady improvement.

The recommended treatment regimen is 12 weeks (84 days) and can be accomplished with syringe injections daily or orally with pills. The main advantage of the injections is that you can adjust the amount of medication as your cat gains weight. We brought Iris to FieldHaven’s vet every four weeks for a check-up and lab work, the results of which we then emailed back to our FIP Warriors administrator for review and analysis. At the end of the 84-day treatment, our administrator recommended an additional ten days of treatment and an additional lab workup just to verify the results. The results came back good. Iris’ weight had improved from under 4 lbs to 8 lbs 6 oz. She was now a happy and playful Cat in all respects.

The plan was to monitor Iris (observation period) for the next 12 weeks (84 days) with monthly checkups and lab work at FieldHaven. Iris completed her observation period with final lab results on July 6, 2021, weighing in at 9 lbs 4 oz: she was officially declared “cured.” Cured is a subjective word; for us, it means we continue to monitor her daily as she regains all she lost during her kittenhood. Going forward, she will have normal annual vets appointments.