Fip germans treat their cats with unapproved drug

Until now, the diagnosis of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) was a death sentence for cats. In the USA, there is now a drug against the dangerous immune disease. But it is not yet legally available in Germany; veterinarians are not allowed to administer it. Many cat owners are therefore becoming active themselves.

If you had the opportunity to save the life of your terminally ill cat, you would do it, wouldn't you?? At least this is how more and more cat owners decide to treat their cats on their own with an active substance from the black market. The viral disease FIP is considered one of the most common causes of death in cats – it almost always ends fatally. But for some months now, an effective drug has been in circulation. In Germany, however, only on the black market.

Researcher discovers drug that can cure FIP

Researcher Niels Pederson, who has been studying FIP and possible cures for some time, got the drug GS-441524 from colleagues who were actually using it to research human diseases.

The substance was tested by Pederson and his colleagues on laboratory cats and domestic cats with FIP. They are enthusiastic about the results: "We believe that virus-inhibiting drugs like GS-441524 will be the bulwark with which we cure cats with FIP in the next decade," he told the American Animal Hospital Association.

This knowledge has also spilled over to Germany. However the active substance is not yet certified here. If veterinarians administer it, they risk their license to practice.

Many cat owners therefore take the treatment into their own hands. The Facebook group "FIPfree" has meanwhile about 3.500 members – and more every day. Cat owners exchange information and share cases of cats cured of FIP there.

Owners should only treat FIP under the guidance of a veterinarian

Treatment of cats lasts three months, during which they must be injected daily. To make sure that nothing goes wrong, Prof. Katrin Hartmann from LMU Munich, to carry out the treatment under the guidance of a veterinarian. Because if owners used the drug privately, it was not illegal. We do not recommend treatment without the help of a veterinarian. Hartmann and the members of the Facebook group urgently ab.

The veterinarian plans to soon register a study in Germany to research GS-441524, so that the active ingredient can then also be legally used here. However, it could still take several years before the drug is approved in Germany.

What is FIP?

FIP is a mutation of viruses that are actually harmless. Many cats worldwide are infected with so-called corona viruses – in about five to ten percent these develop into FIP.

The reason for this is either a mutation or a maldevelopment in the immune response, according to the site of the University of Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine. The disease results from the interaction between the cat's immune system and the virus. The result: severe inflammation develops around the vessels in the tie affected by the virus.

Often this happens in the abdomen, kidneys or brain. disease is almost always fatal.

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