Covid-19 Bengal Cat - They save a cat with feline coronavirus with Remdesivir, the antiviral against Covid-19 - BENGAL CAT
covid-19 bengal cat

Covid-19 – Bengal Cat

The Queen Mother Hospital for Animals of the Royal Veterinary College ( RVC ) has published a clinical case in which a cat suffering from feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) has been successfully treated using Remdesivir , an antiviral used in human medicine against Covid- 19 .

FIP is a deadly disease that  has no cure and is caused by a mutation in the feline coronavirus. However, the RVC veterinarians explain that with Remdesivir treatment they managed to save the life of Merlin , a 24-week-old neutered Bengal cat. It is the first of six cats to be treated with this drug at the RVC hospital.

From the veterinary hospital they explain that Merlin arrived at the center after suffering a week of lethargy, loss of appetite and 24 hours of tachypnea . At the time of the examination, Merlin had a fever (40 ° C) and palpable abdominal masses.

As internal effusions are a serious symptom of PIF, to learn more about the cat’s health status, they performed blood and serum tests and a CT scan of the chest and abdomen , which showed a bilateral pleural effusion , with pleurisy and multifocal lymphadenopathy. They also performed a fine needle aspirate of the abdominal lymph nodes and analyzed the pleural fluid , in which they detected a positive coronavirus titer .

Veterinarians explain that Merlin’s case was complicated by the presence of severe phlebitis of his right cephalic vein due to previous catheter placement , resulting in extensive necrosis of the overlying skin.

This required debridement of the skin under general anesthesia and antibiotic treatment. While hospitalized, the situation continued to worsen and he developed peritoneal effusion and became dependent on oxygen, and his pleural effusion required repeated thoracentesis .

All this led the veterinarians to a diagnosis of feline infectious peritonitis and to propose a treatment with Remdesivir to the owners. Merlin holders agreed, so treatment was started with 15 mg / kg intravenously .

24 hours after starting treatment, his pleural effusion increased in volume and required a repeat thoracentesis, although after 36 hours , Merlin began to experience a “remarkable” improvement , stopped depending on oxygen and began to eat.

After 48 hours, he was cheerful and active , so he was transferred out of the intensive care unit. At 72 hours there was a significant reduction in both pleural and peritoneal effusions.

By day five, the pleural effusion had resolved and he was switched to subcutaneous injections of Remdesivir at 10 mg / kg. By the seventh day, the peritoneal effusion had also resolved and the animal underwent general anesthesia and surgical repair of a wound in the right forelimb. He recovered well from the procedure and two days later, Merlin was discharged with subcutaneous injections of Remdesivir .

The RVC vets explain that eleven weeks after treatment, Merlin “is doing very well at home,” his wound healed completely without complications, and he has continued to tolerate his daily subcutaneous injections of Remdesivir . Merlin will complete 84 days of treatment in total.

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