January 2010

Jasper chose me as his owner four months ago. As soon as I walked into the pet store & looked into the cage of sleeping kittens, Jasper woke up, stretched & yawned, & began to rub his little head against the bars, purring his signature "motor purr". He was a beautiful grey & white tabby with the sweetest face I had ever seen. It was love & first sight & my boyfriend Steve & I took him home that afternoon. Jasper brought so much love & joy & laughter into our home & was a wonderful playmate for our other cat Oliver. We adored him. Then, we began to notice that Jasper wasn't his usual playful, mischievous self. He had a mild fever & was also rapidly losing weight despite having a ravenous appetite. His belly had become extremely bloated to the extent that he had trouble walking & had to stop & crouch down after a few steps. We immediately suspected that he had worms & got him started on the drug Pyran in order to kill these parasites. After a few days, when no worms were being expelled, we decided to return to our vet.

Smoky was a special little boy who we kept from Candy's first litter. We planned for him to contribute his sweet calm personality and exceptional color genetics to the Abyssinian breed. Everybody loved him who met him, felines and human alike, even people who didn't like cats. Smoky was born on February 24, 2009 and was Dancer's littermate. I am very sad to say that Smoky died December 8, 2009 of neurological dry FIP, a notoriously difficult disease to diagnose, after a month of vet visits, testing, and round-the-clock loving, supportive care by my bedside with a warming lamp or in my bed with me.

  What originally inspired you to author your book, Feline Husbandry: Diseases and Management in the Multiple Cat Environment? I needed to take a sabbatical leave and decided to stay at Davis and write two books.  I was going through a serious bout of depression, due both to my Scandinavian background and complete over-work and mental exhaustion.  I started the book Feline Infectious Diseases first, and used that as a springboard to the husbandry text.  I set a goal of writing just a few pages a day, and as you all know, if you even write one page a day, you will end up with a book in a year.

Sally Morgan-Welch noticed that her rescued cat Jakey was lethargic and losing weight. Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)—a nearly always fatal systemic viral disease caused by a mutation in the coronavirus—was suspected. But it wasn’t until he continued his rapid descent and had to be euthanized that the veterinarians were able to determine without a doubt that Jakey had been suffering from the disease.

The quest for solutions to companion animal disease can be a long and complex journey. To achieve success, veterinary researchers must use a wide variety of techniques and skills that include clinical work, laboratory experimentation and analysis, evaluation of related research, fundraising and grant writing, and above all, patience and persistence. Another key component is collaboration, which often involves academic colleagues.


But researchers at the UC Davis Center for Companion Animal Health and the Koret Center for Veterinary Genetics of the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory also work closely with community practice veterinarians, animal shelters, rescue groups, pet owners, and breeders to find ways to identify, treat, and prevent disease.

Feline infectious peritonitis is a disease that individual veterinarians and veterinary practices may not see frequently.  FIP is also complex with signs that can mimic other diseases and result in expensive diagnostic tests and uncertainty.  To help veterinarians and their clients understand feline infectious peritonitis,...

Unfortunately, as many as one out of twenty kittens and cats coming out of shelters can be affected by feline infectious peritonitis.  This problem is particularly bad during the annual "kitten season," when the influx of feral kittens can create overcrowding and therefore stress on...


SOCK FIP can now receive donations through PayPal. All donations to SOCK FIP will support FIP Research at UC Davis