As recently as 2019, feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) meant a certain death sentence for cats. Fortunately, Dr. Niels Pedersen of UC Davis discovered the cure for FIP: GS-441524, otherwise known as GS. So how does GS work?
In cats, FIP causes an immune defect or deficiency that causes white blood cells to multiply, as opposed to fight, the virus. Basically, cats with FIP have an immune system that spreads the virus throughout the body rather than trying to eradicate it. Some cats have no immune response, and they develop wet FIP. Cats who have partial immune response develop dry FIP. For either diagnosis, GS works by interjecting itself into the chain reaction and stops the replication of the virus.
Dr. Pedersen’s study determined that a 12 week, once daily administration is the successful course of treatment. Stopping treatment even after blood work returns to normal before the 12 weeks means a possible relapse. Cats who complete the full 12 week treatment and remain symptom less for 90 days after competition of the treatment are officially cured of FIP. GS comes in both injectable and pill form. Both are administered daily and the dose is determined by the weight of the cat.
The side effects of GS are relatively mild. Skin lesions and burns can be caused due to the acidity of the solution in injectable form. For this reason, it is recommended to always clean the cat’s skin after administering an injection. A mild pain medication, Gabapentin, can be given orally prior to the injection to prevent pain. However, most cats using GS injections tolerate the treatment and do not need any pain medication or sedative.
The biggest challenge facing GS at the moment is that the 12 week treatment is often considered cost prohibitive. Each 5 mL bottle of treatment costs from $80 - $358 depending on the brand. The dose is determined by the weight of the cat; each bottle of GS is 5mL liquid at either 15mg or 16.57 mg concentration. Therefore, 12 weeks of treatment can cost anywhere from $1,100 - $11,000 depending on the brand of GS used and the weight of the cat. This is a legitimate and unfortunate deterrent for owners wanting to treat their FIP cats with GS, and there is no sign that a cheaper alternative is in development. However, should you have the resources to treat your cat with GS, chances are that your kitty will go on to live a long and healthy life.
Each 5 mL bottle of treatment costs from $80 - $358 depending on the brand. The appropriate dose is based on the weight of the cat. Twelve weeks of treatment can cost anywhere from $1,100 - $11,000 depending on the brand of GS and the weight of the cat.
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