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Athena: Awaiting an Answer

Posted in Cat

This is the second installment (chronologically) in Athena’s history. If you haven’t already, I suggest reading the first installment on her life before she got sick.

Before We Begin

Be Aware: This post is rather different than usual as it serves a dual purpose. While I’m hoping that this account of how we got to a Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) diagnosis will be helpful and/or informative to others, I’m also providing this for transparency with regard to our GoFundMe campaign.

To hopefully help others on the road to an FIP diagnosis, I’m including some more technical information alongside my more typical plain language. I’ve done my best to link to the highly technical information for those who are interested, rather than include it in this post. When I have to use medical terms that don’t have a plain language equivalent, I’ve provided explanations through [def] (definition) links.

To address transparency, I’ve added an “accounting” section with an itemized list of the charges for each vet visit to explain the amount we requested. Perhaps that information may also help someone trying to determine if they can cover diagnosis and treatment because it is expensive.

NOTE: We live in the DMV — District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia — area, where the cost of living is rather high. Therefore the prices I include are almost certainly higher than they are in other areas of the United States.

It Starts

After dealing with previous eye infections that went away on their own, neither Jim nor I were particularly worried when Athena showed signs of another one in mid-October 2022. However, I figured the discharge was likely uncomfortable for her. To help her comfort, I started cleaning her eyes.

First, I just used a fingernail to remove the crusties from her inner corner and along her upper nose. Once she was comfortable with that — surprisingly, it only took a couple of days — I started using a tissue to clean off all the wet and dry discharge.

This had two results, only one expected. Her eye infection seemed to get better. There was less discharge, especially when I started cleaning her eyes twice a day. She also seemed to decide I’m “mom.” Her relationship with me deepened. She’d come to me for cuddles, instead of running away or teasing me. She stayed on my lap longer. And, she cuddled into me more, bonking my chin or burying her face in my neck when I held her.

Because she was doing better, we didn’t worry when we left for a few days for our trip to Toronto and Scriptus. Unfortunately, when we got home 5 days later, her eye infection was worse again. I went back to cleaning her eyes twice a day. This time, though, it didn’t seem to help. So, we made an appointment at our local vet assuming it would be a simple case of eyedrops and ointment again.

Initial Vet Visit

Her appointment on November 14th rendered some surprising initial findings in addition to the expected eye issue.

She had lost almost 25% of her body weight since her appointment in mid-February. She was down to 6.3 lbs. from 8.32 lbs. I can only assume it had been a slow weight loss, and since we saw her every day, we didn’t notice. However, while it was worrisome, she wasn’t dangerously underweight, so we were advised to tempt her to eat more and our vet drew some blood to run a standard complete blood panel (CBC), chemistry panel (CHEM), test her T4/FT4 thyroid levels, and check for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).

Her teeth were badly in need of care. Poor Athena had some definite tooth issues, and our initial thought was that as soon as we took care of the eye problem, we’d deal with her teeth. If only it had been so simple.

After some standard eye tests — tonometry to measure intraocular pressure and Schirmer Tear Test (STT) for tear production — we left with the usual medicine to clear up her eye infection.

  • Eyedrops (Dexamethasone ophthalmic solution 0.1%) to reduce her eye inflammation. Dosage: 1 drop to each eye every 12 hours until recheck 10 days later.
  • Ointment (Erythromycin 0.5% ophthalmic ointment) to treat the actual infection. Dosage: 3/4″ strip to each eye every 12 hours for 10 days.


Blood Work$350
Visit Total$630


Our vet called a couple of days later with the bloodwork results. Thankfully — some would say most importantly — Athena was FeLV and FIV negative. Her CBC results were within the normal ranges. Her thyroid levels were perfectly normal. Her CHEM results, however, had nothing but abnormalities. Her albumin [def] and alanine transaminase (ALT) [def] levels were low and her globulin [def] and total protein [def] levels were elevated. As I researched all of these results while writing this post, it’s clear to me that this is classic FIP bloodwork. I don’t blame our vet, though. FIP is rare, occurring in only 10% of cats, so it shouldn’t be the first diagnosis that comes to mind when caught this early.

Elevated globulin and total protein levels are both often indicative of infections and chronic inflammation, so our vet attributed those to the eye infection. Because both her albumin and ALT levels were low, our vet wanted to give Athena an ultrasound to check for liver, kidney, and intestinal abnormalities.

Effectively, Athena’s proteins were low, so she was either losing them somehow (usually through urine or feces) or not producing them properly. An ultrasound would show if there were any physical abnormalities. Urine tests would show if Athena was losing protein through her urine — much easier to run than fecal analysis.

We already had a follow-up exam scheduled for November 23 — the day before Thanksgiving — which, by lucky chance was the one day a week, Wednesday, that our local vet does ultrasounds. So, the extra procedures were added to Athena’s chart notes to be handled at her next appointment.


I diligently administered Athena’s medication every morning and evening. Probably because she was already used to me cleaning her eyes, she didn’t have much trouble with the eyedrops or ointment.

I made sure to clean her eyes before applying the drops and ointment, to make sure that nothing uncomfortable would end up in her eyes. Perhaps because she knew I was taking good care of her, Athena would often purr while I was cleaning her eyes and applying her medicine.

At first, everything seemed to be going well. The amount of eye discharge decreased in a few days, just like it had with her previous eye infections. However, she was reluctant to eat. In normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have been concerned about the eating. After all, she often went hunting and turned her nose up at kibble. But, since she’d lost weight, I wanted her to scarf down her food.

Jim and I picked up some wet food for her, thinking that maybe the disinterest was related to her tooth problems. That seemed to do the trick. She was happy to chow down. We assumed that meant we’d need to schedule a dental appointment for as soon as possible when we checked out from the follow-up.

I filled out her admitting form — our vet didn’t have a standard appointment available, so her follow-up was a drop-off appointment —a day early so I wouldn’t forget (4 days before, instead of 3) noting that she was doing better.

Unfortunately, two days before her appointment, things went seriously south. That morning, I noticed Athena’s third eyelid on her right eye was inflamed. Then, that evening, she was back to not eating, and she spent nearly all day in her cat house.

Jim and I bought some “gravy” to put on top of her canned food to coax Athena to eat, but even that didn’t get much in her. I was incredibly happy that her follow-up appointment was the next day.

Follow-Up Appointment

Drop-off appointments require that you bring your furbaby to the vet by 8:30 am. I had Athena there by 8:00 am, hoping she’d get seen early in the day.

I explained that she was doing worse again, with her third eyelid showing, and that she didn’t want to eat. The front desk staff took notes and let me know that the vet would call me once Athena had been examined.

There was nothing left for me to do but go back home and wait.


I don’t recall exactly when the vet called, sometime in the afternoon, but their news was unpleasant. They started with the easy news:

  • The ultrasound showed only some enlarged blood vessels in Athena’s liver, but nothing overly concerning. Based on their findings, it seemed unlikely that she was losing protein through her feces.
  • They had run a urinalysis with reflex urine protein:creatinine (UPC) to see if Athena was losing protein through her urine.
  • The new eye issue appeared to be uveitis, an inflammatory eye issue. She’d be getting new eye drops to deal with it.

Then, however, came the major problems:

  • She’d lost even more weight. Poor Athena was down to 5.73 lbs. I could hardly believe she was so low. She’s a fluffy — we call it plush — girl, so it can be hard to judge just from looking at her. I knew she’d lost additional weight from refusing to eat, but that number was terrifying, and the vet was concerned about it, too. They’d administered subcutaneous fluids (SQF) to help with any potential dehydration and potentially exacerbated kidney issues.
  • She was running a fever. They gave her a steroid injection (Dexamethasone) to bring it down, and a penicillin G injection to try to proactively treat whatever was wrong. However, Athena was not reacting as well as would be expected; her fever hadn’t come down to normal. Our vet suggested running a fever of unknown origin (FUO) RealPCR blood panel, which we approved. Results were expected in a few days.

The bigger issue, from our vet’s point of view, was how to deal with reducing Athena’s fever in order to send her home. The issue was more serious because they were closed the next day for Thanksgiving. I asked if they felt that it would be more beneficial to Athena to have her stay there over Thanksgiving. Unsurprisingly, the answer was yes, assuming we could manage the cost.

It was an easy decision for us. We authorized Athena’s stay and whatever treatments they felt necessary or beneficial for the time she was with them. Our vet thanked us and let us know that we likely wouldn’t hear from anyone until Friday unless there was a problem.

Hospital Stay

We’d already planned on a quiet Thanksgiving at home with the cats. Understandably, it was tinged with worry and sadness knowing Athena was in the hospital.

Around mid-day, my phone rang, and my heart dropped when I saw it was our vet. I called for Jim so that he could hear the news, and answered the phone. Thank goodness, it was just a vet tech calling to let me know that Athena was stable. She still had fever issues, but she was eating well, and didn’t seem lethargic.

While the phone call was unexpected, and a bit scary at first, the news made us feel better, and we settled in for a quiet rest of the day.

Hospitalization Results

Mid-morning on Black Friday, the vet called again to give us all of the news, both good and mystifying.

  • Athena was eating like a pig and had gained a whopping 0.39 lbs. in a day, putting her at 6.12 lbs.
  • Her eye was back to normal in appearance. They were sending her home with some new eyedrops (Dorzolamide HCl-Timolol Ophthalmic Solution) that would help decrease the amount of fluid within the eye and reduce pressure. This was a temporary medication while they special ordered a bottle of standard Dorzolamide HCl Ophthalmic Solution [def].
  • The urinalysis with UPC revealed a lot of protein in Athena’s urine, along with bilirubin, red blood cells, and epithelial cells. Our vet prescribed a prescription renal support diet based on Athena’s protein deficiency. They were sending a starter kit home with us.
  • They had gathered fecal samples to run an intestinal parasite float and antigen test and expected results in 2 days.
  • Because they were running out of ideas, they had taken a few x-ray images to look for abnormalities. While, for the most part, everything looked normal, there appeared to be a sliver of metal in her liver. It was very small, too small to be a medical needle, but they couldn’t rule out something like a pin.

Because Athena had never had x-ray images taken before, we had no way of knowing if the metal was something new and causing all of the problems or something that had been there for months or even years. It couldn’t be ruled out as the cause of the issue. However, because of the location, removing it would be incredibly difficult. For the time being, the vet was more focused on Athena’s blood work results.

When we got to the vet’s office to pick up Athena, we got sent home with an entire bag full of items and a list of instructions:

  1. Medicine:
    1. Veraflox [oral suspension 30ml] – Continue medication until 12/7
      Purpose: antibiotic. Dosage: Once daily for 14 days (started 11/23).
    2. Metronidazole [Compounded, 100mg/ml] – Continue medication until 12/4
      Purpose: treats infections and inflammatory conditions that cause diarrhea. Dosage: Twice daily for 12 days (started 11/23)
    3. Erythromycin eye ointment – Continue [same dosage] until 12/2
    4. Dexamethasone eye drops – discontinue
    5. Dorzolamide/timolol eye drops – Continue every 12 hours to the RIGHT eye only until we get the plain Dorzolamide drops. Then continue the plain Dorzolamide until the recheck
    6. If applying multiple medications to the eye – Please wait five minutes in between eye medications. Apply drops first then ointments.
  2. Food – Athena should only receive a prescription renal diet. We will need to recheck her protein levels and urine (2326) sample in 30 days, sooner if problems.
  3. Fever blood panel is still pending – we will call once the results are in.
  4. Plan a recheck on 12/1 in the morning [we scheduled an appointment for 11/30]


Recheck visit$70
Abdominal ultrasound$437
Ultrasound interpretation$90
Steroid injection$69.29
Penicillin G injection$46
SQF administration$41.54
Steroid injection$69.58
FOU panel$336
Hospitalization, level 1$90
Hospitalized exam$50
Medical waste disposal$9.50
Medication administration$8.50
Penicillin G injection$46
Hospitalization, level 1$90
Hospitalized exam$50
Medical waste disposal$9.50
Medication administration$8.50
Eyedrops special order$34.50
Renal support diet starter kit$11.30
Fecal testing$70
Visit Total$2,398.89
Running Total$3,028.89

Second Follow-Up Appointment

Because of the holiday, we didn’t find out the various results until Athena’s next appointment. However, there wasn’t much to tell. Everything on the FUO blood panel [def] and parasite screening was negative.

Athena had lost 0.1 lbs. and was running a fever, again. We were advised to get a quick-response thermometer to monitor her temperature, they gave her another steroid injection, and they sent us home with a 14+ day course of oral steroids to help stabilize her temperature. We were also able to get the eyedrops special ordered during her last appointment.

  • Oral steroid (Prednisolone Syrup 15mg/5ml) to control fever. Dosage: Twice a day for 7 days, then once a day for 7 days.
  • Eyedrops (Dorzolamide HCl Ophthalmic Solution). Dosage: 1 drop every 12 hours to right eye.

By this point, our vet was out of ideas and tests, so we were referred to one of three Internists to see if they could figure out what was going on. One was well known to us, VCA SouthPaws, and about 30 minutes away. Of the two unknown, one was nearly an hour away — too long to comfortably keep Athena in the car — and the other was 25 minutes away.

We ended up with an appointment at SouthPaws 15 days later (12/15) because the other, closer, specialist didn’t have an appointment until the 19th. It was longer than we wanted to wait, but it was better than nothing.


Recheck visit$70
Steroid injection$69.46
Oral steroid$31.20
Visit Total$170.66
Running Total$3,199.55

Emergency Room Visit

On December 9, I brought Athena upstairs to give her some time out of her bathroom. She didn’t want to sit on my lap, so I set her on the floor to have a sniff around. As I watched her, it became obvious that she was having trouble with her back legs. She was managing to walk, but her back legs seemed to be sliding out from under her with every step.

My heart stopped for a moment, but as soon as I got over the initial shock, I called SouthPaws. They’re always the first place I think of for furbaby emergencies. They treated three of my other furbabies before Athena, and always provide excellent care. It didn’t hurt that we were due to take her there for an appointment just 6 days later.

The reason I called — as opposed to bundling Athena into a carrier and racing her over — is that I’d tested positive for COVID that morning, 4 days after Jim, and I wanted to ensure they wouldn’t turn us away. Thankfully, they still had procedures in place for dealing with COVID. The lovely lady I spoke with advised me to call once I arrived. I signed off from work and let Jim know what was going on. In about five minutes, we were in the car with Athena, her current medications, and her most recent vet visit results.

Once at SouthPaws, I called them again and, after explaining the situation to the person who answered, they directed me to pull up right in front of the main entrance. Athena was in a carrier in the back seat. Jim and I put on masks and we rolled down the back window to speak to a masked-up vet tech. Once we explained what was going on, she collected Athena and took her inside.

We waited in a parking spot until we got a call. Initial examination showed Athena had a significant fever of 104.5 F and a “mildly low blood pressure” of 86.0mmHG (average is 114.3 mmHg – 149.5 mmHg). We gave the vet tech a brief overview of what Athena had been through recently, and they confirmed that our primary vet had already sent over her records in anticipation of her upcoming appointment. They planned to start fluids and run some initial tests then we’d get another call to discuss early findings.

Intake Vitals (abnormal in bold):

  • Temperature (avg. 100.5-102.5): 104.5
  • Heart Rate per minute (avg. 140-220): 200
  • Respiratory Rate per minute (avg. 20-40): 48
  • Systolic blood pressure (avg. 114.3-149.5): 86.0
  • Capillary Refill Time (CRT) in seconds (avg. <2): <2
  • Body Condition Scores out of 9 (ideal 4-5): 3
  • Weight in kg: 2.94 (6.48 lbs.)

Because it was a while after noon, we went just down the street to grab some lunch from a drive-through. In an odd case of perfect timing, the emergency vet in charge of Athena called as we finished eating. We gave him an overview of what Athena had gone through recently and mentioned her upcoming appointment with the internal medicine specialist. Then, he shared the new findings.

He reiterated her low blood pressure and fever. In addition, she was “moderately dehydrated” which he felt could account for the back legs issue. Initial bloodwork indicated her globulin and calcium levels were elevated, although her albumin levels were normal. Her platelet count was also low, but he felt that was likely because she was dehydrated and they had coagulated some. They would perform a manual count and pursue it only if the results were still abnormal.

  • The elevated globulin indicated inflammation, an infectious disease, or cancer. To help narrow down what was causing it, he suggested starting with a follow-up ultrasound to see if anything had changed from her previous one.
  • The elevated calcium had many potential causes, one of which is dehydration, so they planned to monitor the levels for the time being.
  • The normal albumin levels were a good sign after her previous elevated results, and pointed to mild, rather than severe, dehydration.

Before ending the call, I asked if they needed Athena’s current medications, as I’d brought them with me. By that point, she was only on the oral steroid once a day and the eyedrops twice a day. While they had plenty of the steroid on site, they did request the dosage and strength (15mg/5ml) and that I drop off her eyedrops.

We were advised to go home after that since they’d almost certainly need to keep her overnight.

Early Results

We received a phone call that evening and the next morning with updates on Athena’s condition. There were no real changes that evening, except that her hydration levels were back to normal. Her temperature was fluctuating and her blood pressure was still low — they administered SQF to help. She had been “quiet, alert, and responsive” throughout the night and was brightening up as the day went on.

I asked about her hind legs during both calls. In the evening, they were still working on getting her stable and weren’t focused on having her walk. In the morning, they hadn’t had her out of her cage yet to walk, but would take a note to coax her to do so and see how she was doing.

Midnight exam vitals:

  • Temperature (avg. 100.5-102.5): 101.5
  • Heart Rate per minute (avg. 140-220): 220
  • Respiratory Rate per minute (avg. 20-40): 28
  • Systolic blood pressure (avg. 114.3-149.5): 110.0
  • Capillary Refill Time (CRT) in seconds (avg. <2): <2
  • Body Condition Scores out of 9 (ideal 4-5): 3
  • Weight in kg: – –

9:00am exam vitals:

  • Temperature (avg. 100.5-102.5): 104.3
  • Heart Rate per minute (avg. 140-220): 210
  • Respiratory Rate per minute (avg. 20-40): 30
  • Systolic blood pressure (avg. 114.3-149.5): 100
  • Capillary Refill Time (CRT) in seconds (avg. <2): <2
  • Body Condition Scores out of 9 (ideal 4-5): 3
  • Weight in kg: 2.71 (5.97 lbs.)

We got another call mid-afternoon with all of the information after her exams.

The ultrasound revealed a slightly enlarged liver as well as enlarged lymph nodes in the same area. The internist felt it was unlikely that this was caused by the metal seen in the X-ray images. She had reviewed them, and, apparently, this was something they see regularly. I didn’t think to ask further.

They did a fine needle aspiration (FNA) during the ultrasound to take samples of the liver and lymph nodes. They were going to test for cancer first, then FIP.

The internist also suggested a Protein Electrophoresis Serum test (test of globulins), which we approved. Globulins can apparently be monoclonal or polyclonal. As she explained it to me, a high count of polyclonal globulins would indicate an infection, whereas a high count of monoclonal globulins would indicate cancer.

Based on Athena’s history, hospitalization, and ultrasound results, the internist suspected one of three possible diagnoses:

  • Cancer. She said cancers aren’t typical in younger cats, but Athena’s symptoms were somewhat in alignment with lymphoma or multiple myeloma.
  • FIP. She said FIP isn’t known to cause elevated calcium and is notoriously difficult to diagnose with 100% certainty.
  • Fungal infection. She explained that this is less likely in cats, and not common in our area, so she suggested testing for cancers and FIP first.

With the main tests taken care of, we were given to OK to pick up Athena, since there was no point in adding to her stress by making her wait for results in the hospital. We were advised to make sure Athena ate enough, and, to help, were provided with an appetite stimulant (Mirtazapine transdermal ointment) to apply to her ear as needed. We were also directed to increase her oral steroid back to every 12 hours until otherwise directed.


Emergency exam$201
CHEM panel$193.60
CBC panel$99.90
Blood pressure monitoring$43.40
Maropitant [def]$33.62
Hospitalization setup$66.75
Hospitalization (6 hours)$90.90
IV fluids setup$204.90
IV fluids maintenance (6 hours)$47.58
Steroid injection$28.27
Hospitalization (4 hours)$60.60
IV fluids maintenance (4 hours)$31.72
Blood pressure monitoring$43.40
Hospitalization (8 hours)$121.20
IV fluids maintenance (8 hours)$63.44
Internal medicine consultation$300.50
Protein electrophoresis serum$311
Abdominal ultrasound$731.60
Ultrasound guided FNA$213.65
Hospitalization (12 hours)$181.80
IV fluids maintenance (12 hours)$95.16
Blood pressure monitoring$43.40
Steroid injection$28.27
Appetite stimulant$58.88
Visit Total$3,563.61
Running Total$6,763.16



We received a call with the results of the initial FNA test and globulin test but still didn’t have an answer. Both tests ruled out likely cancers, so we approved running the FIP test.

FIP PCR test$421.75
Running Total$7,184.91

Based on all of the results so far, the internist did not feel Athena had to remain on the prescription renal diet, so we discontinued it.

Athena was certainly happy about this, as she didn’t like it very much. Instead, we picked up Authority gut health dry food because it has probiotics, and Athena was still having issues with diarrhea. She happily gobbled down everything we gave her. We also ordered a probiotic powder to mix into her wet food.

FNA Report
INTERPRETATION: Mild mixed inflammation.
DESCRIPTION: 2 of 4 slides examined are of high cellularity and good quality are examined. Smears contain many clusters of well-differentiated hepatocytes and slightly increased numbers of leukocytes within a hemodilute background. Neutrophils appear in numbers subjectively increased relative to blood with slightly fewer small lymphocytes and plasma cells noted. No microorganisms or atypical cells are identified.
COMMENT: Findings indicate some degree of chronic active inflammation. This may reflect primary hepatic or hepatobiliary inflammation (e.g. non-infectious or infectious etiologies) or a
nonspecific reactive hepatitis associated with underlying visceral inflammation (e.g. pancreatitis, enteritis etc.). Correlate with clinical information.
Infectious etiologies include bacterial (aerobes and anaerobes, Leptospirosis, Bartonella), viral (typically younger patients or with no vaccine history), protozoal, parasitic, and fungal. Non-infectious etiologies include toxic insult (idiosyncratic drug reactions or overdose), idiopathic inflammatory conditions, or liver injury due hypovolemia/hypoxemia, trauma (including seizures), or hyperthermia

Serum Protein Electrophoresis Report

TestResultsRef. rangeUnit
Total Protein8.35.2 – 8.8grams per deciliter (g/dL)
Albumin2.92.5 – 3.9g/dL
Globulin5.42.3 – 5.3g/dL
Alpha 10.20.2 – 1.1g/dL
Alpha 20.80.4 – 0.9g/dL
Beta1.00.3 – 0.9g/dL
Gamma3.40.3 – 2.5g/dL
Interpretation: Both the beta and gamma fractions are elevated by a broad based polyclonal gammopathies. The polyclonal gammopathies in the beta and gamma regions are consistent with chronic inflammation, infection, FeLV/FIP or neoplasia (excluding myeloma).

Jim Is Proactive

Jim decided not to wait for the FIP results and reached out to the FIP Warriors Facebook group. We aren’t sure if they’re a national or global group, but their primary purpose is to help pet parents with FIP+ kitties get help and support regarding treatment.

By reaching out early, Jim was able to use the days that we were waiting for results to connect with a “caseworker” and get the initial information about what to do and how to get started. This enabled us to hit the ground running when we got our answer on December 22nd.


We got the call in the evening on the 22nd. The microscopic examination of Athena’s liver tissue resulted in a diagnosis of FIP.

The internist explained that there are no FDA approved treatments — so nothing in the United States that she could prescribe — although several other countries in the world are having great results with a fairly new treatment. She directed us to reach out to FIP Warriors and was happy to hear that we had already done so. She let us know that she is happy to work with us as we dealt with Athena’s FIP, running whatever bloodwork and diagnostic tests are necessary to monitor her health.

Starting Treatment

Through various connections, we were able to get Athena’s treatment started on Christmas Eve. I already covered her first week of treatment. If you’re interested in how that went, I suggest you read the post. This is already long enough.

3 vials pick up$260
10 vials order$865
Digital scale$39.01
Medicine Startup Total$1,192.96
Running Total$8,377.87

Primary Vet Re-Check

And that brings us to her most recent local vet visit, a recheck on December 26. Based on the exam, Athena was doing well. Her weight was up to 6.41 lbs. Her eye was still at normal pressure, so we could decrease her eye drops to once a day.

Like the internist, our local vet let us know that they are happy to work with us as we deal with Athena’s FIP, and will run whatever bloodwork and diagnostic tests are recommended. To that end, we requested Vitamin B12 shots to help support Athena’s digestive system and fight anemia, and our vet ran a urinalysis with reflex UPC and CHEM and CBC panels.


Recheck visit$70
Vitamin B12 injection$69.75
Urine collection$63.50
CHEM and CBC panels$216
Vitamin B12 pre-filled syringes (x10)$25
Visit Total$590.75
Running Total$8,968.62


The new urinalysis was closer to normal. Protein was reduced, the bilirubin and red blood cells were gone, and the color and clarity were better. There was glucose in her urine, but that can be caused by steroids, and Athena has certainly been on lots of those, so we’ll have to wait for the next set of tests to compare.

The new CHEM and CBC panels revealed some slight anemia — very common for FIP — which we will monitor. If it continues, our vet suggested an iron shot. Her platelet count, creatinine [def], sodium [def], and chloride [def] levels were just under normal levels — more things to monitor.

Overall, though, she’s clearly doing much better. Keep an eye out for my post on Athena’s first month of treatment — currently planned for February 1 — and how things are progressing.

Thanks for reading to the end, I hope you found this update on Athena helpful. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to our GoFundMe. We truly appreciate your help. If you’d like to keep up with her progress, be sure to subscribe to my blog, check her tag page, or follow the AthenaUpdate hashtag on Instagram.


I had to do a lot of research for this post to turn Athena’s medical records into plain language. While I linked to most of what I found in the post itself, here are a few additional pages that were generally useful, or that I didn’t have an easy place to link from.

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