Kitty Cat Herpes… Ewwww

Since getting Remy I had noticed that his eyes were particularly gunky and often itchy. I decided last week that I had to address the problem, if it was that, before anything extreme happened.

Mobile Vet Visit

I love the mobile vet. Vet visits will always be stressful for any animal, but I like to think that having the vet come to your home is a little less so (no crates or car rides, and no contact with strange animals).

Dr Oomah arrived with his assistant at 9:30 this morning. I explained my concern regarding Remy’s eyes. He examined Remy and asked me a couple questions: did he cough or sneeze? Was he urinating normally? I answered yes to both and Dr Oomah diagnosed him with Feline Herpes Virus. Kiki also has FHV as it is contagious through mucus membrane contact, but I think that she may have already had it with the first and worst episode after her final outside vet visit.

FHV, like the herpes virus in humans (you can’t get it from cats), is not curable, but it is treatable. Stress can cause an episode (herpes feeds on cortisone: a steroid hormone), but the severity can be reduced by the use of Lysine:

“Herpesviruses as a group are highly dependent on the presence of an amino acid called arginine. Without arginine, Herpes cannot reproduce. The amino acid lysine is taken up by the virus in favor of arginine. We can take advantage of this situation by saturating the virus with lysine and thus suppressing the virus’ ability to replicate. Lysine is readily available in most health food stores as a tablet or capsule. One should be sure that the formula used is free of the preservative propylene glycol as cats can have blood reactions against this compound. A month or so of supplementation is required in order to determine if supplementation has been helpful.” (source).

I’m going to pick some of this up today as I’m sure the vet visit was somewhat stressful.

Dr Oomah was otherwise pleased with Remy’s overall health, with the exception of his teeth (chronic stage 2 gingivitis), an issue I’ve been aware of since about a month into fostering him. Chances are that Remy will eventually lose most of his teeth and be only able to eat soft food, but let’s hope that won’t come for quite some time.

With proper treatment, I’m hoping both Remy and Kiki can avoid too much discomfort and continue to live happy little lives for a long time.