Raising Pets Suite 4, Level 1, 66 Albert Road South Melbourne, VIC, 3205 Suite 4, Level 1, 66 Albert Road
South Melbourne, VIC, 3205

Hearn Family Story - FIP

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Raising Pets
Suite 4, Level 1, 66 Albert Road
South Melbourne
VIC 3205


Our daughter had moved into her own home and taken Ollie with her so in July 2009 we bought another Shetland sheepdog, Rani from the same kennels where Rimo had come from.

In December 2009 we decided that we would try another kitten and spoke to the breeder / vet who had a seal point Birman available. I had wanted a girl kitten and this one was a boy but we decided to take a look anyway. The kitten took one look at me and crossed the room and sat on my lap and that was it... he was coming home with us, so we welcomed Micah into our home.

Micah has a very demanding personality, mewing not stop for food but he is very affectionate (to me especially). We need to feed him away from all the other animals or he eats everyone’s food. He also doesn’t stop at food and will eat, tea towels, chux, plugs, drain stoppers and anything else he can get to. We have also had to put childproof locks on the kitchen tidy and the larder to stop him getting into them. He is also allergic to bees and goes into anaphylactic shock which I found out one day when I came home to find him shooting from both ends and had to race him down to the vet. They were lucky to find the stinger still in his chin and manage to save him.

Can it get any worse you ask us? Yes it can. We had several months where everything went smoothly, apart from the regular treatment of Indiana’s hyperthyroidism and vaccinations... and then Rani got very sick. She couldn’t stop throwing up and was moaning. We had given her a brisket bone the day before and thought something may have gotten stuck so it was down the vet we went. X rays proved all clear but she was very dehydrated and needed to stay in the hospital for a day so they could replace fluids. Although not sure that she had recovered they let her come home for the weekend in the hope that her home environment may be the pickup she needed.

At the same time Indiana’s personality changed and he started hissing when I went near his face. We thought he may have had an infected tooth or something similar so took him to the vet. Our vet could not find anything amiss in his mouth but agreed he was not well, eyes sunken etc and had a suspicion that it may be FIP. He took bloods to check the titre levels. They came back extremely high and FIP was 99% confirmed. We were all devastated.

Rani did not pick up over the weekend so we took her back on the Monday where she stayed for a few days...without improvement. It was decided to get an ultra sound to try and find out the cause of her illness. It was a blockage in her bile duct and we were told that whilst there was an operation that could be done, it was extremely expensive and she may not make it through and it may also not be successful. Once again we made the heartbreaking decision to euthanize. She was only 2.5 years old.

We had decided to try and treat Indiana’s FIP for as long as possible with injections but after a couple of weeks he was again looking very depressed and unwell. It reminded me so much of a person with Aids that was waiting to die so again, with no quality of life. Euthanasia.

5 of our beloved animals in 3 years... how could life be so cruel.

That was in September 2011 and to date we have not had any more deaths. In January Micah was due for vaccinations and we had blood tests done and it has been confirmed that he has high titre levels of the corona virus. We were very saddened by this and will not be getting any more cats now until all our current ones have left this life. We would never have gotten him if we really believed that he could catch this virus from any of the others. So much is unknown about this disease/ virus. Much of the information on the internet is incorrect and misleading.


On a brighter note ... After we lost Rani we rang the kennels to let them know and they offered us another 2.5 year old Sheltie who originally had been destined for the show ring but one of her canine teeth had come through very crooked and her ears had also pricked so she was not suitable. We were unsure but said that we would give her a week’s trial. When we went to pick her up we saw that she was very matted and although had been fed and watered well, had not been groomed and was neglected. Once we saw her we decided to keep her. It was only after we were home and had bathed and brushed her that we realised just how much she looked like Rani. We wondered whether the parents may have been the same so we compared the papers and realised it was Rani’s twin sister from the same litter. She was called “Nudie” but has now been renamed “Ruby” and is a well cared for member of our family. She would never have made the show ring but is a lovely family pet.

In November 2011 we decided to get a playmate for Ruby, a 9 month old tri colour Sheltie, Ria. She is just turning 1 year old and is of show quality. She is a very astute young dog and we are hoping that she will

be with us for many years. Fingers crossed that we have seen then end of our bad luck with our pets. As you can imagine we have become quite close to all at our vet practice... we just don’t want to see them very often.







Since writing this we have lost another of our beloved pets. Micah developed an acute compulsive eating disorder .. to the point where he was eating plate size holes in clothes. He was getting more and more aggressive with it and eating ANYTHING. Because we have a young granddaughter and he was racing to get her food we believed it would have been only a matter of time before he scratched / bit her to get her food. The vet said it was a hunting instinct and there wasn’t anything to treat it. He would also purge anything he couldn’t digest in the middle of the night and there would come a day when something got caught up inside him and they would need to operate. Because of the corona virus we were not able to rehome him and as much as it broke our hearts we made the hardest decision to euthanize him.


- Di Hearn