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Cats get more viral eye infections than other animals, and feline herpes keratitis is one of the most common. During the initial infection, the kitten typically shows all of the signs of an upper respiratory infection including sneezing, nasal discharge, and possibly a decreased appetite. Most of the cats that come to this practice with signs of a herpes infection are actually having a flare-up of a previously latent infection.
It is important for you to realize that the feline form of herpesvirus is species specific. Unfortunately, the diagnostic tests that are currently available to definitively diagnose a herpes infection are unreliable. The diagnosis of an ocular herpetic infection is best made by the doctor's evaluation of the history of the eye problem, the signs in your particular cat's eyes, as well as the response to therapy. The antiviral medications available to treat this condition only inhibit, but do not destroy, the virus. L-lysine is an amino acid (protein building block) that has shown some antiviral effects against both cat and human herpesviruses. The herpes virus most commonly causes conjunctivitis (signs similar to "pink eye" of people) or corneal infection.
The most common complications of a herpetic infection are scarring of the eye, non-healing corneal ulcers, corneal sequestration (brown degeneration of cornea, usually require surgery for healing), chronic tearing from the eye, eosinophilic keratitis or conjunctivitis, and inward rolling of the eyelids ("entropion"). Feline Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTI) Feline upper respiratory infection, also referred to as the feline upper respiratory infection complex and appreciated "URTI", refers to infections in the area of the nose, throat and sinus area, much like the common cold in humans.
Cats that recover from feline upper respiratory infection will periodically shed the virus throughout their lives in times of stress. Cats susceptible to upper respiratory infections generally develop early signs about two to five days after exposure. Diagnosis of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in Cats Diagnosing feline upper respiratory infection is generally based on physical exam findings and typical symptoms of fever, congestion, sneezing, watery eyes, nasal discharge and occasionally drooling. In-depth Information on Feline Upper Respiratory Tract Infections Feline upper respiratory infection refers to infections in the area of the nose, throat and sinus areas. The viruses and bacteria involved in upper respiratory infections do not live very long outside of the infected cat.
Feline herpes virus is one of the more common causes of upper respiratory symptoms in cats of all ages. Many veterinarians will often treat with oral or injectable antibiotics to prevent these secondary bacterial infections, as well as topical antibiotics. In my experience and opinion, I have not found the vaccination for feline herpes viral infection helpful in preventing disease.
HI Nancy; Try immune supplement called liquid immuno from Rx Vitamins(that has lysine and other nutrients) , which may now be carried by 1800petmeds or you can get on line. Hi doctor it’s me Jim again ,about my cat Murphy am considering using DMG liquid on him for his watery left eye he was diagnosed with feline herpes . Famciclovir is an antiviral drug that is most often used for cats to stop the replication of the herpes viruses.
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR) is an infectious disease caused by feline herpesvirus type-1. Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis is a major cause of upper respiratory disease in cats, and is the most common cause of conjunctivitis (inflammation of the tissues surrounding the eye, especially the lining of the lids and the third eyelid).
Once a cat is infected with FVR, there is usually a 2-5 day incubation period before it shows symptoms of disease.
When saliva or other discharges from an infected cat contaminate the environment, the virus can survive in the material as long as it stays moist.
The virus is readily killed in the environment by disinfectants, as long as the disinfectant contacts all contaminated surfaces. After touching an infected cat, hands can be sanitized by washing with soap and water (making sure to clean under the fingernails with a nail brush), followed by application of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. All cats can become infected with FVR infections, but infection tends to be more severe in young animals or animals that have another chronic disease. The typical symptoms of FVR involve the nose, throat and eyes, and include sneezing, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis (inflammation of the tissues that line the eyelids and surround the eyes), excessive blinking, and discharges from the eyes and nose that range from clear and watery to thick and purulent (containing pus). Other non-specific symptoms may include fever, lethargy, anorexia or poor appetite, and enlarged lymph nodes. Several different infectious agents can cause upper respiratory disease in cats (see our handout on Feline Upper Respiratory Infections), with subtle differences in examination findings between the different diseases. Specific identification of FVR virus particles may be made by collecting samples of cells and discharges from the nose, eyes or back of the throat. Cats with an uncomplicated infection caused by feline viral rhinotracheitis will usually be treated symptomatically.
Although viral infections like FVR are not directly treated by the use of antibacterial drugs, broad spectrum antibacterial drugs are often prescribed in an effort to prevent secondary bacterial infections from complicating the disease, particularly in kittens. Cats with nasal or airway congestion may benefit from increased environmental humidification, such as being taken into a steamy bathroom for 10-15 minutes several times per day. If a cat is dehydrated, depressed, or has a severe case of illness, your veterinarian will recommend hospitalization for more intensive treatment, including intravenous fluids and other supportive treatments. A cat that has an acute feline viral rhinotracheitis infection will be infective to other cats during the incubation period and for up to 3 weeks after developing symptoms.
The upper respiratory infection that is caused by feline viral rhinotracheitis is species specific, and is only infectious to other cats.
A cat that is a carrier of FVR may benefit from periodic boosters with the intranasal herpes and calicivirus vaccine (up to 2-3 times per year), which may stimulate local immunity against reactivation of the virus, thus decreasing the likelihood of recurrent infection and of viral shedding. Susceptible cats can get an infection by direct contact with another infected cat or by environmental exposure to objects such as brushes, food bowls, litter boxes, cat toys, or blankets that have been contaminated with infectious secretions.
Preventing direct contact between your cat and other cats will greatly minimize the chance that your cat will pick up an infection, while following good sanitation and hygiene practices, such as washing your hands thoroughly before and after petting another cat will further reduce the likelihood of disease spread between cats. If your cat has had an FVR infection, you should keep the cat indoors to prevent spread of this infection to other cats in your neighborhood. Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) is an infectious respiratory disease of cats characterised by fever, conjunctivitis, nasal and ocular discharges and sneezing.It is caused by a herpesvirus (feline herpesvirus 1) which is the most common agent found in the feline respiratory disease complex which also commonly includes feline calicivirus, chlamydiosis and mycoplasmasosis.
In kittens death is usually due to bronchopneumonia associated with secondary bacterial infections.
Specimens required for diagnosis  Swabs from the pharynx, eye, nose or ulcers should be collected for virus isolation. Impression smears from conjunctiva and tongue ulcers for histology (to demonstrate intra nuclear inclusion bodies). Two modified live vaccines are available and combine feline rhinotracheitis and feline calicivirus valence.
Green or yellow discharge from your cat’s eye or nose is probably not feline herpes and deserves a veterinary visit. Flare-ups in cats are usually associated with the stress of boarding, changes in the weather, the introduction of a new cat in the home, or other health conditions.
An upper respiratory disease refers to infections in the area of the eyes, nose, throat and sinus areas. More advanced tests are available for the detection of FHV-1; your veterinarian can take samples of secretions from the nose and eyes of the cat to send to the laboratory for confirmation.
Many cats that show signs of a herpetic infection do so after a stressful event such as illness, surgery, boarding, or acquisition of a new pet in the household. Most of the cats that we see have already been treated medically and did not exhibit an appropriate response to therapy. These types of infections can resolve quickly with antiviral treatments but some cases are extremely challenging to control. This means that your cat's immune system is extremely important to our goal of getting the active infection "into remission".
Frequency of treatment with these medications is very important, because the drugs are only inhibiting the virus and not killing it. A bacterial infection can quickly accelerate the rate of damage to the eye(s) by the virus. It is a safe supplement that can be given to your cat to help inhibit the life cycle of the virus.


Eosinophilic keratitis and conjunctivitis are conditions where there is infiltration of ocular tissues with the eosinophil, which is a type of inflammatory cell. There is not a week that goes by where we don't see a cat (usually many) with herpetic eye disease. Cats at increased risk include those in catteries, from rescue shelters and in outdoor feral cat populations.
The two primary viruses involved are feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV) and feline calicivirus (FCV). Infectionc an also be transmitted through contaminated crates, cages, bedding, bowls and clothing. It is uncommon for the cat to have a reoccurrence of the upper respiratory infection but they are considered a reservoir for the virus. Finding the exact viral or bacterial cause of the infection, however, is more difficult, and your veterinarian may not want to pursue it. It is caused by two major viruses: Feline Herpesvirus-1 (FHV) and Feline Calicivirus (FCV).
Cats at most risk include young kittens, unvaccinated cats, elderly cats and cats that are kept in close quarters with other cats such as shelters, catteries and even multi-cat households. It is especially common in young cats and kittens in cattery or shelter situations, as well as in those outdoor and often stressed stray cats. However, because of the viral nature of this disease, topical antiviral eye drops such as Idoxuridine drops are often indicated, as well as oral viral immune stimulants such as Vetri-DMG liquid and Transfer Factor, which I have found helpful in many cases. At best, it may help lessen the severity, but even then I have not found this vaccination that helpful in clinical practice.
I just received a kitten from a rescue and I’m almost positive it is the one you posted above here. We also have another cat at our house and I was wondering if it was safe for them to be together. He's always had issues, but only in the last year got symptomatic in the eyes bad enough for me to seek medical help. As with other herpes viruses, the virus is very species specific, and is only known to cause infections in domestic and wild cats. The virus is excreted in saliva and in discharges from the eyes and nose of an infected cat. Fortunately the secretions usually dry up in a fairly short period of time, and once the secretion dries up the virus will die. A bleach solution (1 part regular bleach to 32 parts water) is an effective disinfectant for surface disinfection or for use on objects that can be bleached. Kittens born to a cat that is carrying a latent FVR infection may become infected after birth. The virus may also cause keratitis, or inflammation and infection of the cornea, leading to corneal ulcers (see illustration). A presumptive diagnosis of feline viral rhinotracheitis is based primarily on a cat’s medical history and symptoms combined with the findings on a physical examination, particularly if the cat has evidence of a corneal infection. Identification of feline herpesvirus DNA by polymerase chain reaction amplification (PCR testing) is the most sensitive test available for diagnosing infection by FHV-1.
Treatment will be determined by the specific clinical signs and problems that your cat is showing. It is extremely important to treat corneal ulcers aggressively in order to prevent permanent damage to the eyes. To minimize irritation from discharges, it is often helpful to wipe them away from the cat’s face or eyes with a moist tissue.
It is always prudent to isolate any new cat from the other cats in your household for at least 1-2 weeks to minimize transmission of any infectious diseases. However, upper respiratory infections in cats can be caused by or complicated by bacterial infections, some of which might be zoonotic, or contagious to humans.
The FVR vaccine will not completely prevent an infection from occurring if your cat is exposed to the virus, but it will significantly reduce the severity of the infection and will shorten the length of the illness. Boarding facilities, humane societies, animal shelters, and cat shows are all places where susceptible cats can be readily exposed to these infectious diseases. Young cats are more susceptible and clinical disease is more severe in kittens and old cats.
These should be taken at the start of disease and 2 weeks later to show antibody development.Transmission FVR is acquired through inhalation of aerosols.
Feline herpes is highly contagious amongst cats causing upper respiratory infections and a painful eye discharge called conjunctivitis that can lead to blindness. The conjunctival membranes of the eye are basically the pink part under the eyelids and the lining of the eyelids themselves. If your cat has a weak immune system due to age, immunosuppressive viral infections (eg., FIV or FeLV), or other medical conditions, it is likely to be particularly challenging getting the eye problem under control.
Treatment is likely to be required for at least 3 weeks (and for 1 week beyond remission of signs). The disease is commonly diagnosed in the spring and summer months when many kittens are born.
Feline chlamydia, a bacterial infection, can also result in upper respiratory tract infections. Unfortunately, unsuspecting owners can carry the virus from an ill or viral-shedding cat to their homes.
Some diagnostic tests might prove helpful, however, such as nasal or throat swabs, blood tests to determine the overall health of the cat, and chest x-rays to detect pneumonia. Symptoms of feline herpes virus include varying degrees of eye discharge, sneezing and coughing. Other immune boosting herbs such as echinacea and goldenseal may also be helpful in some cases as well. While most cats will overcome this infection on their own with supportive care, other cats may remain chronic carriers for life, and may be at risk for relapsing or persistent infections of the eyes or airways, particularly under periods of immune or emotional stress. I was told she was not tested for herpes and I’m currently having problems with her eyes. Currently they’re isolated because the kitten is sick, however, I was wondering if in the future it would be okay to put them together.
He was getting huge globs of reddish discharge with irritation of the eye, the lids sticking together from the discharge, I was constantly having to clean his eyes out. In these kittens, symptoms usually develop several weeks after birth, and the infection can be very serious. Unfortunately, if the virus is in a latent state (the patient is not showing clinical signs), diagnostic testing is usually not rewarding. Cats with recurrent FVR conjunctivitis infections will often require treatment with antiviral ophthalmic drops (see our handout on Conjunctivitis – Feline Herpes Viral). Since cats with a respiratory infection will have a decreased sense of smell, they often have a decreased appetite – feeding a highly palatable canned food may help improve their appetite. The risk of infection increases in cats that are unvaccinated, are young, or have chronic underlying problems. If you follow good hygiene practices including proper hand washing after handling any cat, you will minimize the chance that you can get an illness from this or any other infectious disease. Solid immunity to these viruses is not long term, and may be overcome by exposure to a high dose of virus.
If you plan on boarding or showing your cat, consult your veterinarian about the need for a booster vaccine at least two weeks before the planned event.
Vetoquinol Viralys (L-Lysine for Cats) Powder: Vetoquinol Viralys (L-Lysine) Powder meets the needs of a Lysine supplement which is a known help in cat herpes virus treatment, both for respiratory and eye symptoms. Be sure to check your cat over completely for scratches, sores of any kind, wounds, cysts, fleas, or anything out of the ordinary a healthy cat has a shiny coat, un-matted fur, sits straight, has clear shining eyes, and responds to your voice.
They may never show any signs again, however the virus will persist in their system in a latent state. Most of the testing on our feline patients where we suspect a herpes infection is to rule-out secondary bacterial infections, alternative diagnoses, or other complicating factors (eg., eosinophilic disease). The goals of treatment are to eliminate the signs of infection, to control ocular pain, and to prevent damage to the eyes that can lead to vision loss.


It will dilate the pupil in treated eyes and thus create some light sensitivity, but it can help to make your pet less painful during the healing period. In some patients, this is a good time to start antiviral treatments to try to prevent the eye problems.
Other organisms include Bordetella bronchiseptica, feline reovirus, cowpox virus and mycoplasma. Be on the alert for complications such as lack of appetite due to poor smelling ability, pneumonia, eye ulcers or mouth sores. In severe cases, inflammation of the cornea may occur with sometimes severe ulceration of the cornea with eye spasms and pain being very prominent. The rare but serious side effects of famciclovir include immunosuppression, liver disease, and kidney disease. Blankets or toys can also be disinfected by regular machine washing using hot water and detergent. Some cats may respond to supplementation with L-lysine, an amino acid that may help prevent the replication of the FVR virus, thus decreasing the amount of viral particles that are shed during an infection.
Adult cats that have been adequately vaccinated will likely only develop a mild case of illness, which may resolve without treatment. It would be prudent to consult your family physician if anyone in your family develops signs of a respiratory infection if your cat is ill. Therefore, the FVR vaccine needs to be boostered on a regular basis – your veterinarian will advise you on the recommended booster schedule for your individual cat, based on its lifestyle and risk of disease. Minimizing the chance of infection, feeding a premium diet, supplementing the diet with l-lysine daily, reducing stressful situations and following an appropriate vaccination schedule are your cat’s best defense against this disease. Droplets may spread the infection up to a metre, so close contact between infected and susceptible cats is generally necessary. Unfortunately, feline upper respiratory illness is highly infective and easily spread from cat to cat through an exchange of nose, eye and mouth secretions. There are several treatment methods that can be combined in the treatment of feline herpes eye infections: If your kitty cat shows flu like symptoms, running nose, cough, tearing eyes, ulcerated eyes, constipation, very small size, even a closed eye that might be herpes. L-Lysine it’s a pill with a powder inside that you can buy at the drugstore for human herpes.
Most cats have already been exposed and have apparently mounted an immune response to the infection. It is available in many forms including tablet, capsule, fish-flavored powder (to mix with food), and oral paste. Very young kittens have a higher incidence of pneumonia and some do not survive the infection.
In many cases, other viruses including feline leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus may also occur at the same time, as well as the common development of secondary bacterial infections. He got a scratched cornea from dried discharge that he rubbed onto his eyeball and that was expensive to treat. Stress will cause the virus to become reactivated, and if the virus becomes reactivated, the cat will again be infectious.
Objects that cannot be bleached may be decontaminated by thorough washing with plenty of soap and water. Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses, so conventional medicine doesn’t have a good treatment for Herpes. Doug bought it to help with the stress of introducing two groups of kitty cats into one home. The herpes virus is the most common cause of eye infections in pets, particularly conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye.
Answer this question1 answer A: Yes, famciclovir can be crushed and administered with soft cat food. In the majority of cases, the cat will show symptoms of a respiratory infection when the virus is reactivated. Upholstered furniture may be decontaminated with upholstery shampoo, although in most cases furniture only serves as a source of virus for a short period of time after being contaminated by an infected cat. He was doing much better, however today I noticed his little eye is flaring up once more as soon as we came home from the vet (he had his first dental cleaning this morning) and so I have been reading about stress-related eye problems in cats and came upon this article.
Applying apple cider vinegar, undiluted or diluted with 1 tablespoon vinegar with 2 tablespoons water, to the scruff of your cat’s neck is a favorite home treatment for all types of eye infections, including conjunctivitis.
Recurrences of ocular signs are possible at any point in the future, especially after stressful events. Certain medical conditions and certain medications (eg., prednisone) can increase the risk for herpetic eye problems.
We recommend administering the medication with a small amount of food to ensure the pet obtains the full dose of the medication.
She said if it was herpes (didn't do a test, just prescribed the meds because she said she was pretty sure it was herpes), I'd see an improvement within a couple of days and I did. However, not all cats with a reactivated feline viral rhinotracheitis infection will show symptoms of disease. Its best use is either in combination with other antiviral treatments or for long-term use to reduce recurrences.
Another natural remedy for mouth ulcers is to mix white cheddar cheese with water to make a paste and spread it on the gums.
Feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) is a common cause of eye and upper respiratory infection in the cat. 20 years of age and she lost her eye to the feline herpes virus as a young kitten and has had noisy breathing and intermittent nasal infections and discharge her entire life.
Most common is a nursing carrier queen transmitting the infection to her kittens around the time of weaning. Treatment for FHV-1 is aimed at controlling clinical signs and reducing secondary complications. The diagnosis was feline herpes, the treatment recommended was 500 mg of l-lysine daily, with oral antibiotics any time a flare-up went into bacterial infection.
He has also been on good food (canned Natural Balance, by nature, or Before The Grain) all approx 95-96 protein. The only draw back is that the pills from vetrxdirect are coated and not scored so breaking in half is difficult and mashing into food will be hard.
The opthamologist at the animal hospital prescribed Famcilovir which was very expensive but I found it for half the price at VetRxDirect. It was a pleasure doing business with your staff who contacted the animal hospital, filled and shipped the medication within a couple of days. Feline Herpes virus infects the membranes of the eyes, the lining of the nose, pharynx, sinuses, and throat.
Household bleach mixed at a ratio of 1: 32 is a inexpensive and effective way of destroying the virus on washable items. Treating feline herpesvirus consists primarily of attending to the symptoms, which include respiratory and eye issues.
Does anyone have any home treatments to help with Feline Infectious Anemia, for a poor sick kitten who cannot afford to see a vet?
Herpesvirus infection should be suspected anytime a cat has an eye problem that does not respond to antibiotics (which have no effect on viruses). During the week for clients who work, I recommend treating when you awaken, before leaving for work, when you get home, half-way between arriving home and bedtime, and bedtime. Feline herpes virus is a common disease in cats, causing upper respiratory infection, conjunctivitis (inflammation of the pink tissue surrounding the eye) and in some cases inflammation or ulceration of the cornea.
Symptoms often recur due to stress from another illness, boarding or moving, or after introduction of a new cat in the home. Animals that have this disease can spread it to other animals, even if they appear healthy.



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