Companion Animal Eye Center, Ltd.

4708 Olson Memorial Hwy
Golden Valley, MN 55422

(763)529-7591

companionanimaleyecenter.com

Feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) is limited to cats (not transferable to other species), and is often a recurrent and frustrating disease.  Studies have shown that over 90% of cats are seropositive for herpesvirus, but only some have chronic or recurrent problems.  Clinically, catteries and animal shelter cats often have an increased incidence since they may be housed in close contact and in higher population densities.  Symptoms may include, but are not limited to, low tear production, conjunctivitis, eosinophilic keratoconjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, corneal sequestrum, and upper respiratory disease.  Diagnosis is based largely on clinical symptoms.  Laboratory testing can be done but is costly and false negatives are not uncommon.

Since there is no "cure" for the virus, recommended treatments include supportive and adjunctive therapies such as antibiotics topically and sometimes orally to prevent secondary bacterial infections, good hygiene (regular facial cleansing and a well ventilated environment), and low stress environments.  Oral L-lysine is also indicated as it interferes with viral replication.  This will decrease shedding of the virus into the surroundings, shorten the course of an active flare-up, and lenghten the time between flare-ups.  Lysine is available "over the counter" as a tablet or capsule.  There are also very palatable pastes and powders designed specifically for cats available from veterinarians.  Dosage varies by cat, and your veterinarian will determine a dose of 250 to 500 mg once or twice daily depending on the size of your cat and severity of symptoms.