Hugo’s Medical Results

Hugo’s Medical Results

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.

Cheshire Cat Feline Health Center

3 thoughts on “Hugo’s Medical Results

  1. “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.”
    You can more about this?

    1. What specifically are you looking for? The blood work for a “typical” case of FIP is very specific. Hugo’s lab work did not meet the criteria for those guidelines. Dr. Middleton sent the results to a number of specialists for their input and none could make a conclusive diagnosis. Hugo’s conditioned worsened and the decision was made to cross him. If you have some specific questions, I would be glad to discuss them with you.

  2. First, I would like to express my condolences to Hugo’s family. He is absolutely gorgeous and even the pictures of him convey that he was a very special baby! I am commenting here in hopes that you might be able to help me with a current situation, or our comparisons might help someone else in the future…

    I have a very personal interest in this case. My cat, Lucky (a.k.a. Lucky Babies) is at the vet as I type this; he has been there since Thursday morning (today is Saturday). He is a short hair, tortoise-shell tabby. He is a little over 6 years old. He, like Hugo, was very fearful for a very long time- the similarities are astonishing…

    To make a long story short, x-rays and blood work provided zero answers. He had an experimental surgery yesterday. We (or I) half expected a tummy full of hair considering the progression of his symptoms (more on that below), but the only objects actually in the digestive system were 2 small, hard fecal balls- found somewhere in the intestines. My vet, Kasie, feels that they were not causing an actual obstruction, but they might be difficult for him to pass, so she removed them.

    The surgery also revealed inflammation of the lymph nodes and omental nodules. Dr. Kasie said that she, personally, had never encountered the latter before. Biopsies of his intestine and, I believe she said, the omental nodules have been sent off and we are awaiting results.

    Rather than writing a book for a comment, is there anyone I can speak/type to about Lucky’s symptoms and the similarities and/or differences between his and Hugo’s experiences?? I read that this is an “atypical” case- do you know just HOW atypical?? I’m also curious about geographical location, etc.

    I cannot and will not speak for my veterinarian, but if someone would feel more comfortable speaking with a professional, I could definitely make that request.

    I do not like the inevitable conclusion that comes with this condition… and I pray that Lucky does not have this diagnosis. However, my “need to know” personality will not let me wait… and Hugo’s results are too close for comfort. If these cases are one and the same, I would like to help further research about this “atypical” case. I will be anxiously awaiting your reply.

    Thank you for your time.

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