FHV-1 is one of the most common causes of conjunctivitis in cats. Young kittens are most commonly affected, with both eyes having considerable clear or cloudy discharge. In almost all cases, the kitten also has signs of a respiratory infection, such as nasal discharge. Oral ulcers are commonly present. In adult cats, often only one eye is affected, and there respiratory signs are often absent. For treatment, antibiotic ointments are often used to prevent secondary bacterial infections. If the infection is severe, especially in a kitten, antiviral drugs are used.
FHV-1 is the most common cause of corneal ulcers in cats. Any cat with a corneal ulcer should be considered to have an FHV-1 infection until proven otherwise, and antiviral medication should begin immediately. Ulcers resulting from FHV-1 are generally not deep unless they become secondarily infected with bacteria, so antibiotics are generally included in the treatment. Ulcers of the eye are very painful, so affected cats are often treated with oral or injectable pain relievers, and atropine ointment, which dilates the eye and reduces pain.
Idoxuridine is a common antiviral agent used in cats. L-lysine, which is an amino acid, has been found to interfere with the replication of FHV-1. L-lysine is administered orally and its use in combination with idoxuridine is recommended as the first choice of therapies. If this combination is not effective, other drugs, alone or in combination, may be used. Some of these are very expensive, but may be necessary to save the cat's sight.
One of my cats, Mink, had FHV-1 among numerous other problems when he was found as an abandoned kitten. It took lots of doctoring and meds to pull him through. Both eyes were badly infected and his respiratory infection was so bad the vet was not sure he would survive. He also had terrible intestinal parasites. Thankfully, he has never had a recurrence of the FHV-1.
This post was modified from its original form on 06 Aug, 6:56
I am treating my tiny kitten that has this. I was concerned about possible round worms, but worried that the tiny pill might be dangerous while she is sick, but the kitten really needed it, so I took my chances and she is fine.
She has one herpes eye. Oh it is horrible. I am using Idoxuridine drops now, and then she had ear mites, telling me she was around other cats somewhere, and a round sore on her collar bone that had a scab that I peeled off, and saw a small hole there. She MIGHT have had a worm. I have smothered this with pomada sulfatiazol penicilina salve, and then some panalog cream. I did not see anything in the hole. The ring around it was swollen though. It is improving a little.
I also took my chances with a few drops of Frontline plus one day, and a day later, a few more. I sure didn't want her to survive only to have the fleas drain her blood. She eats very good. Usually she eats canned, but I did see her nibbling on some of the dry food. She is under 3 months. I used tresaderm mixed with a little earmite remedy in it. The vet makes it himself. She was tilting her head for a while, and in the beginning, she could only use one side to walk. She is now balanced. whew. The females in here don't like hiow she smells with the different stuff on her eyes, neck, and ears etc. Newbie licked the top of her head twice. That was it.
She climbed to the top of the couch and was laying next to Boo Boopy do for a while, but like a lot of them, she likes laying on the kitchen floor. I put a couple of boxes in there but she isn't interested, although she did start out in the living room with a box and sheet, and I used a flat box from the canned food for litter. She used it a few times, but then traveled to the kitchen and climbed in the big utility box to do her business. I try to make it easy for her, but you know cats, it has to be their idea.
When my cat Hoagie had the herpes eye I found myself asking how much I need to have his eye removed. I was so sure the vet was going to suggest it, but he didn't, and this antiviral stuff cleared it up after some time.
My cat bernice got the corneal ulcer from the herpes virus. Then next it was a corneal abrasion. I thought it was the Ulcer back again. He ordered her to be on Lysine 500 as a supplement.
I got several with the same thing.See it all the time with fosters.I have a few adults now that get it once in a while.My vet gave me some Viralis powder that I mix with some wet food and it seems to keep alot of them from getting it again.I got the Terramycin and tobramycin for the ones that have it now, as well as the clavamox.The kittens are starting to get better.I am not having to wash their eyes several times a day and now can see them holdiing their eyes open again.My Houdini that passed away this year at 9 weeks old had it and it made him blind, he could not see anything.Never slowed him down tho.
I am hoping your kitten gets better soon!
I was given the tobramycin along with the antiviral drops back when I had one of the others in with it. I hate it when it hits the eye.
I had a few blind cats, and it is heart breaking, but they do fine if nothing gets moved around. My one cat that went blind developed a tumor behind his eye, and it started coming out. I had him put to sleep when that happened.
If you didn't know Houdini was blind you never would have guessed it.I miss him so much.He had that infection when he was born so he never did see at all. even with the meds he had a huge bubble that would form full of puss and be so big he could not open his eye.I had to clean it several times a day getting all the puss down.all you had to do is bump it lightly and it would drain.He was on meds for the herpes and had ointments and pills to keep other things at bay.The lysine powder help so much.The vet figures it went to his brain and helped make him blind.He would still play and jump onto your lap trying to beg you for your dinner.He started out as a foster.I had his mama before she had the kittens and he won my heart always escaping the room and getting around any obstacle you put up and end up in my bed or with my own cats kittens.
I have been trying to take in cats like that and give them a good full life as many are deemed unadaptable.People miss out on great cats cause they don't want to deal with a disability or meds.
You have a good sound mind and a very kind loving heart. Sure wish there were more people like you !
Percival's lil brother had this; but he died, my friend Linda had adopted him. He died from seizures; he was treated aggressively with antibioitics, steroids and ointments and drops for the eye. He was also around very young children who may have dropped him or tossed him by accident, this is my suspicion.
The lysine was part of the medication the doctor ordered. It was 500 mgs. Not sure how good it worked as that was long ago that I used it. I do know that I didn't get that antibiotic. They keep the secondary infections at bay.
The doctor ordered Idoxuridine for the herpes eye. That is one stubborn eye, and it can get so bad that you might think it needs to come out.
I wrote about my cat's brother dying and the vet she took the brother to thought my cat had it also FIP started with herpes of eye. but, my cat who is not 1 yr. never showed any signs. he was recently taken by a neightbor; but i got him back as they probably got scared. this cat is extremely devoted to me and he must have shown signs of extreme stress. he vomits when he is extremely stressed. also the vomit was due to eating english ivy which i have gotten rid of. but, he is highly sensitive and does not do well in foreign environment. since getting him back, he never leaves my side.
Nicole...I'm so sorry you lost you furbaby...I know he had a happy life with you...I've been very fortunate...I've not had to deal with kitty eye infections...Thank you for all you do to alleviate the suffering of all of those sweet kitties.
Thank u for this invaluable post, I learn a lot from this post and I am always checking for herpes virus in my 3 cats. This is the most informative group for cats concerning health, food recalls, their personality, etc. People here care so much and the information is invaluable.
Thank you for the excellent information! Just wanted to contribute a little further information. We've had great success treating and suppressing herpes virus with L-lysine. If the eye already has ulcers, L-lysine alone won't do it, and obviously consult with a vet before any treatment. But if using L-lysine, the appropriate dose is 500mg (1/4 teaspoon) daily, best if given half in the morning, half in the evening. L-lysine is not toxic and is not stored in the fat tissues, and in adult cats up to 1000mg can be given (as it was in this study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16206789, Stiles et. al 2002 "Effect of oral administration of L-lysine on conjunctivitis caused by feline herpesvirus in cats," Am J Vet Res. 2002 Jan;63(1):99-103). The powder is odorless and tasteless, and even our pickiest cats will eat it when it is mixed in with wet food. L-lysine powder is the easiest form to administer, and easy to find for purchase online.
Recently 2 of our cats got what the Vet referred to as conjunctivitis. She pointed the finger at our young newcomer kitten, even though he's never shown signs of it. She said we could get it from them. We both got pink eye later. I hope that doesn't keep happening - that it was a one-time deal, especially since it's so contagious and we both work. Can it be just once - assuming we got rid of it properly?
With all the cats we deal with, we've never had this. Just wondering for my own information.... it's not like we'd stop living with and helping cats
I had a couple of cats with the herpes eye, and I never got it from them, but it could be that I am immune from getting pink eye in my teens. We use to wear eye liner in school, and we shared the same eye liner pencil.
My daughter used to get pink eye in the younger grades, but I never caught it then, so yeah, I wouldn't have built up immunities.
Still not sure if I have it.... just scratchy feeling in my eyes....not that glued shut deal.
What I remember is a pink colored eye, and I think it itched.
Hi. I am not sure if this is the place to put this, but I have 3 kitties who have just come down with high fever, nasal congestion, red eyes and will not eat or drink. Nemo also has fever blisters on his nose. The Vet says he thinks it is the wild rhino virus(herpes). No vaccination for it.
I have them on antibiotics and I am force feeding them soft food and water. I also syringe their noses to clear the thick mucus. I guess there has been a few the Vet has seen with this, and they usually do not do well. They are away from the other kitties for now. Has anyone else had kitties with this and do you have any other suggestions;they would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Look over the posts in this thread, and it should help you. I have had a lot of cats with this at one time. The sneezing sneds it to all the others, but then I can actually say that a handful of my cats must have been immune as they did not get it.
Stress causes an outbreak, and when this happens, I buy jack mackeral, sardines, and tuna and salmon for them. (people food) It is smelly enough for them to smell it. When a cat can't smell their food it is hard to get them to eat.
Not eating food is what kills cats that have this. Heating the food helps. I use a bucket, and put cans into hot water. The microwave changes the structure of the food, and it is not good for them.
If your kitty gets the herpes eye, ask the vet to give you a prescription for Idoxuridine. We have a pharmacy that the vets order from. They change human drugs into Pet drugs. They will even add flavor to it. This stuff is the only antiviral eye medication there is. Antibiotics do not cure viruses. They are given to stop secondary infections.
I used a cold water vaporizer in my spare room when one of my cats was really clogged up and had trouble breathing. Actually, it wasn't the cold water one, but the cold water one was suggested. This did help.
My cat with the herpes eye looked so bad that I called up to find out how much they wanted to remove an eye. I was sure his eye had to come out. After several prescriptions for the eye drops, and the Idoxuridine was the last, his eye cleared up.
My other cat with the problem got a corneal ulcer, and they used a dye to make sure that is what it was. They gave her some kind of drops and healed it. I thought she was getting another one, but it was a corneal abrasion.
As for the vaccine, I think some 3 way vaccines for distemper covered the rhino virus , the calicavirus and the clymidia. I recall seeing that one my cats first set of shots. Maybe they don't give that anymore.
I'm sorry, no adivice, I'm just learning about this from the other posts. I just wanted to wish you well. It's so hard when our babies are sick. My thoughts are with you. Take care.
Thanks Screaminbelle B. You have given me some good ideas. I mostly use electric heat, so a humidifier would help. I also like the idea of warming up the food. I have to be careful with Nemo, as he is also prone to bladder stones, and is not to have fish or anything with high ash. Thanks again.
Hi Janet N. Thanks for the well wishes. They always help.
Hugs Ann and Kitties.
Mine must have had the wild strain.
This is the first time I heard about the wild strain. I thought that was just another name for it when you mentioned it.
Your kitty has bladder stones or struvite crystals? I know that the crystals come from the fishy food, which contains a lot of magnesium. This is why a lot of vets do not want to neuter males too early, as in before they are fully matured.
Hi Screamingbelle. Yes Nemo has had 4 bouts with bladder crystals. He is on a special diet of dry food, so it makes it hard to get him to take soft food for the moisture. Last time he spent the day at the Vets,for IV fluid.It has been suggested to me to try L-lysine and Vit B6 for the virus. Vit E. on his nose blisters, as it has anti viral properties. What are your thoughts on this treatment? He will still stay on antibiotics, as he usually ends up with a bacterial infection. I got him when he was older and do not know if he was born in the wild or someone had him and just got rid of him. He loves people and likes to be where anyone is to just sit and watch. His purr is like an airplane motor.LOL. Hugs to All.
I used a Karvol capsule broken into hot water.......placed the baby in the cat carrier, and put the bowl in front of it...spread a towel over the top of the basket- like when you have an inhalant yourself.....check her evry 10 minutes, as you don't want for her to get short of oxygen because the steam is building up..it woked for my little Flo who was grievously ill with cat flu....she went on for another9 years after that.
WOW Trudi, I never thought to use the carrier . I had water all over the place in my spare room.
I had a cat named Charlie that was blocked up around 8 times. He kept getting into the others food. He was put on Hills CD for 6 months, and after that I kept him on the hills feline maintenence, and he was fine until he found food. He eventually had to be put to sleep as he had FIP wet variety. He came here as an adult with many problems.
As far as the herpes virus, my vet also suggested 500 mgs of lysine. Not sure how much it helped. The vitamin 6 should be good. It is water soluble and the B vitamins are so good for the cats.
They do make canned food for the cat that needs to watch out for the magnesium content in food. I use to buy the Hills SD, which is the one in the can that melts the crystals. It was handy to have in for when he might get blocked. OH, if you see a plug on his penis, it can be squeezed gently and the plug will pop out. I never did it but the vet told me about it.
Thanks Trudi, and Screamingbelle. I like the ideas of the carrier with the steam with medication. Thanks for the amount of lysine to give. The Vit B6 helps the lysine absorb better. Was the bulb to try to help move the blockage. My vet just catheterizes him, if he gets in real trouble. I guess each Vet has his own way of doing thing. NEMO does NOT like catheters! They are finally all pilled, fed and given water. Only Nemo is running a temp, so i/2 tab. of ASA. Take care and hugs.
good luck to you, i'm sorry i don't have any info but i certainly understand what you are going through. syringe feeding is heatbreaking. my prayers are with you