Clinical Findings

Cats of any age and either sex can contract the disease, but FIP most often occurs in cats under 2 years of age.  The primary exposure to coronavirus is often asymptomatic, but some cats may show mild upper respiratory signs, fever, conjunctivitis and/or diarrhea.  The development of FIP may occur in weeks to years and manifests itself in 2 clinical forms of the disease: effusive (wet) or noneffusive (dry).  The clinical signs are as follows:

Effusive (wet)

♣	abdominal distension due to ascites
♣	about one-third of cats display pleural effusion and dyspnea

Noneffusive (dry)

♣	Palpation of the abdomen – abdominal granulomas within the omentum, on surface of viscera (especially the      
                                                     kidney), and within the intestinal wall; 
                                                  - enlarged mesenteric lymph nodes
♣	Ocular – anterior uveitis with iritis or iridocyclitis 
                  -irregularly shaped pupil 
                  -color change to the iris 
                  -aqueous flare 
                  -keratic precipitates
                  -chorioretinitis with subretinal fluid exudation or hemorrhage                
                  -secondary retinal detachment 
                  -retinal perivascular cuffing 
                  -retinal hemorrhage


Keratic Precipitates                                       Retinal Perivascular Cuffing                                 Hyphema

♣	Neurologic -  posterior incoordination and paresis progressing to a generalized           
                         - dorsal hyperesthesia 
                         - convulsions 
                         - personality changes


Generalized symptoms occurring in both effusive and noneffusive forms

♣	chronic fluctuating fever
♣	anorexia
♣	weight loss
♣	depression
♣	lethargy
♣	stunted growth
♣	rough, dull hair coat
♣	icterus

The effusive form is more common and generally progresses more rapidly than the noneffusive form.  The mortality rate for FIP approaches 100%.