Natural treatment cured more than 20 cats coinfected with FIP, FeLV
by Pilar Duenas.
My first cat, Tahita.
I care for a group of about 30 cats that have been dumped in my property over the past few years.
In 2014, one of my cats died of a disease that would take a total of eight kittens and young cats in the next twelve months. The vets were stumped, and all the treatments that were tried only seemed to kill the cats all the more quickly. The cats tested positive to FCoV, one tested positive to FeLV, but neither virus kills so many cats, so fast. Some cats died in only a couple of days, and it looked like this was a general outbreak that was decimating stray cats in nearby villages. If the FIP diagnosis is eventually confirmed, it’s very likely that there is a coinfection with another pathogen, perhaps FeLV or Mycoplasma Haemofelis.
All the cats presented some of the following symptoms: refractive explosive diarrhoea, fevers, pallor, lymphadenopathy, bladder infections, susceptibility to mites, difficulty swallowing, ataxia/paresis, emesis, organomegaly (gut, liver, kidneys), bloody pulmonary effusion, agonal breathing and death. Corticosteroids, antibiotics, IV fluids, vitamin C, iron and other medications were tried to no avail.
In September 2015 three kittens were dumped at my door. Ten days later the runt got sick and in less than one hour he presented paresis and dyspnoea. I prepared to have him euthanised but I doubted he would make it to the vet's, it looked like a case of sudden death so common in catteries and shelters. In desperation, I thought I'd give him some fluids and electrolytes in case the diarrhoea had caused him to be severely dehydrated. As an afterthought, I crushed all the supplements that I had bought for my cats and mixed them with the Pedialyte.
The kitten survived, and the other two kittens of the same litter also survived. All three had several relapses from September till December, but they pulled through.
Another cat with ascites and jaundice was treated with antibiotics and IV fluids by my vet, but the following day he was dysphagic and noticeably thinner. When he started breathing rapidly and laboriously, I gave him the treatment that I used with the kitten, and again within five minutes he was breathing normally and fell asleep. The next morning he was eating and behaving quite normally.
One two year old cat had a relapse after she had a small fight with another cat, so it seems that stress is causing a release of cortisol that is destroying the cats’ defences. This cat also got sick very quickly and was inappetent only 30 minutes after the fight. I gave her triple the normal dose and she fell asleep for five hours.
In total, more than 20 cats have been sick and survived after being treated, so the virus is highly virulent and infects all cats in only a few days. For some reason none of my cats has been able to mount an adequate cell-mediated immune response, so it's possible that this is a mutant that is evading the cat's immune system, or that there is a genetic proclivity in local cats. As a result, the cats are not clearing the virus after the initial acute phase and the infection has become chronic.
The baffling thing is that the treatment works in only a few minutes, even in critical cases. This had me stumped for almost a year until I thought that if it happened every time, there must be an explanation: if there was not time for the supplements to reach the stomach, then they must be absorbed before the stomach. After reading up on transbuccal absorption I was convinced that this must be the explanation that I was looking for. In essence, it seems that some molecules are able to squeeze through the buccal mucosa and enter the bloodstream almost instantly. This doesn’t seem to work with complex or hydrophobic molecules, but apparently it is the mechanism behind transdermal gels, sublingual lozenges and nicotine patches.
One part of the puzzle seems to be solved. Now I need to find out how an inexpensive supplement can kill a virus with a higher mortality rate than FIP or FeLV. Well, I don’t think it is actually killing the virus, but I have a few theories.
Initially, I thought that the treatment was activating the mechanisms of hematopoiesis or boosting thymic activity. This would be great because it would mean that other infections could also be treated this way.
My second theory was that it somehow triggers a chemical cascade that is key in the neutralisation of this particular virus. I still had the feeling that these processes would take significantly more than five minutes.
It’s also possible that one or more components of the treatment is binding to the viral capsid —or to the plasma membrane perhaps— so that the virus is unable to infect the cells or evade the complement activated lysis mechanisms. I would very much like to know if a substance can attach to the plasma membrane so that the virus is no longer attracted to the susceptible cell, or is unable to bind to the membrane receptors. This could perhaps be achieved by changing the electrical charge of the membrane, or its chemical structure.
Then a vet told me that if the treatment was working so quickly, the cause must be a nutrient deficiency. This is not possible because neonates were getting high fever and diarrhoea about ten days after being in contact with my other cats, and they were of course still on kitten formula. An exotoxin is also highly unlikely for the same reason: the kittens didn’t have access to any toxic plants or animals.
But this got me thinking about something else. Perhaps there was a nutrient deficiency, but it was the virus —or, indirectly, the immune system— that was causing it. So this is my fourth theory: it’s possible that if there is a viral overload some micronutrients are being depleted, either by the virus when it replicates in the cat’s cells, or by the lymphocytes that are using up these micronutrients as fuel for physiological processes. If the virus is replicating a millionfold, then immunocytes also need to work a million times harder and need a commensurable amount of fuel. If there is a nutrient depletion the whole immune system stalls and the virus is able to go on infecting other cells.
I would like to send details of the treatment to shelters who deal with viral infections on a daily basis, so please feel free to give my email address or Facebook page to rescuers/clinics who would be interested in testing this.