A HEARTBROKEN pet owner has asked for help funding expensive treatment after his cat was diagnosed with a strain of feline coronavirus.
Basildon resident Billie Moore says she racked up more than £5,000 of her own money in vet bills already after her 18-month-old British Blue Shorthair Jupiter was diagnosed with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP ).
FIP, which is almost always fatal to cats, is also caused by a coronavirus which is not the same as the one that causes Covid-19, but which infects cats “It was so heartbreaking when the vet told us said he would most likely die,” Ms Moore said.
“He is like family to us, me, my parents and my nieces love him so dearly.”
The 28-year-old traveled to see experts in the field at the Royal Veterinary Hospital in Hertfordshire, where he was diagnosed.
Research into the disease, long a mystery, has been boosted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with new treatments now available.
Remdesivir (GS-5734), has shown promise in studies for the treatment of FIP, and is also being studied as a potential remedy for patients hospitalized with Covid-19.
The drug, which is an authorized medicine for humans in the UK, can be used off-license in cats, but it can be difficult to obtain and very expensive.
Ms Moore said: ‘He has started a new treatment which will hopefully cure his FIP and save his life, but it is very expensive and not covered by traditional pet insurance,’ said explained Billie. “My family and I have already paid over £5,000 in vet bills just to get to this, and now I need help saving him. His meds alone will cost over £7,000 and my family has started a fundraiser to help us pay for this and save his life.
She added: “There are so many cats battling this disease which until recently was a death sentence. We are extremely lucky that the drug is legal here in the UK, but in other countries, pet owners must obtain it from the black market.
“Please, any help you give us may help save Jupiter’s life.”
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