One of the north-west’s leading small animal hospitals has used ground-breaking treatment to save a Lancashire cat from a deadly virus. 

Two-and-a-half-year-old Monte received the revolutionary medication, simply known as GS-441524, at Linnaeus-owned Northwest Veterinary Specialists (NWVS) in Runcorn after he had contracted Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). 

He underwent a lifesaving treatment at NWVS for FIP, a viral disease caused by a feline coronavirus, which previously had a mortality rate of up to 90 per cent in cats. 

Grateful owner, Louise Gabb from Skelmersdale, said: “Sadly, two of our older cats have passed away due to illness since 2019 and we just couldn’t believe that young Monte was poorly, too. 

“We found out a very high number of cats with FIP are very young, but you just expect they will avoid serious illness until later in life. 

“However, we were very positive about the new treatment as we researched it and saw it had a very high success rate. 

“We feel so lucky the treatment has been found and Monte has returned to living his best life, which includes sleeping, snoozing, relaxing, dozing and napping.” 

Monte’s medical emergency started when he showed signs of lethargy, a reduced appetite and had a temperature. He developed a small red spot in his eye and was referred to NWVS where a detailed examination diagnosed FIP. 

Francesca Venier, internal medicine specialist at NWVS, said: “In the past, FIP was considered a fatal disease for almost every infected patient with no truly effective medications. 

“The good news is that recently there has been increasing evidence that treatment with anti-viral medications GS-441524 or remdesivir is effective as long term cures for many cats. 

“Monte was started on the treatment together with an oesophageal feeding tube to provide nutritional support. He responded very well and was allowed home just four days later. 

“Monte continues to do well and it’s great news that we can now offer this potentially lifesaving treatment to cats suffering from FIP.” 

NWVS itself is recognised as a gold level cat-friendly clinic (CFC) by the International Society of Feline Medicine. 

Steps the hospital has taken to reduce stress in cats, both as in-patients and out-patients, include creating separate dog and cat waiting areas, a separate cat consulting room, feline-friendly hospitalisation cages, and using veterinary equipment specifically for treating cats, such as small scales and quiet clippers. 

Most importantly, staff are encouraged to approach and handle cats sensitively and respectfully.

NWVS is one of the UK’s leading specialist-led animal hospitals. It offers care in anaesthesia and analgesia, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery. 

For more information on Northwest Veterinary Specialists, visit or search for Northwest Veterinary Specialists on social media.

Back to news