As promised, I want to share the medical results for Hugo. The final diagnosis was that he had an atypical case of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP).
My first thought was, “Leave it to Hugo to have it be atypical!”
Hugo was always a very special cat. Handsome, intelligent, stubborn and ultimately so very loving.
As we all know, despite over 20 years of research, the experts still do not know why FIP develops. They know the cause, but not the why. Nor has anyone come up with a treatment. The “effusive” or “wet” version of FIP is swift in its course and in all but a very few cases as documented by Dr. Irene de Villiers, it is deadly.
His veterinarian, Dr. Ann Middleton of the Cheshire Cat Feline Health Center, suspected FIP from the very first, but the lab results did not support that diagnosis. In this case, experience and instinct were sadly more accurate that lab results.
For those interested, here are the results Dr. Ann shared with us:
As you may have heard, I did the autopsy on January 14. I saw what we already had seen on the ultrasound: an enlarged lymph node and fluid. There was also a thickened area of his fat “omentum” and there were numerous small light pink “plaques” on the surface of his organs and the fat. The kidneys, liver, pancreas, spleen, bladder, adrenal glands, intestines, lungs, and heart all appeared normal (except for the plaques on the surface of the abdomen organs). Visually, his abdomen cavity looked similar to that of a cat with wet form FIP.
I took out the inflamed lymph nodes and the thickened fat and submitted them for a “professional interest” biopsy.
The results came back as:
1. Lymph node: necrosuppurative lymphadenitis with lymphoid hyperplasia and diffuse histiocytosis.
2. Omental nodule: Steatitis, moderate to severe and necrotizing, pyogranulomatous.
The pathologist comments included:
There is similar inflammation within the omental nodule and the lymph node submitted. The predominance of histiocytes and neutrophils along with the abdominal effusion and plaque-like lesions noted are suggestive of FIP. The albumin globulin ratio in the fluid further supports such; however, the total protein concentration within the abdominal fluid is atypically low.
So, based on the biopsy results, I feel strongly that Hugo had Feline Infectious Peritonitis, an atypical case, though. As we had discussed, the feline infectious peritonitis is a fatal illness.
Let me know if you have questions about this. Thank you for letting me look inside him after he passed. He was not a “typical” case of FIP and I learned a lot from him.
Not only will Hugo be remembered by so many people who loved him, I believe that he has contributed to Dr. Ann’s education about FIP and this will serve other cats in the future.