Feline Herpes Virus Treatment

"Feline herpes virus treatment depends on the condition of your cat. Chronic or severe illness requires either a feeding tube or intravenous feeding. Antibiotics are prescribed for any bacterial infections that result due to a depressed immune system. Eye drops address any conjunctivitis that may have developed."

The feline herpesvirus 1 is contracted through the eyes, nose or mouth. In most cases it is contracted from other infected cats including being passed down from a mother whose kitten has not been vaccinated (or if the vaccination has not taken hold.

The virus effects the eyes (conjunctival sac), pharynx (tube that extends from the nose to the wind pipe), wind pipe (trachea), the large air passages of the lungs (bronchi) and small airway tubes in the lungs (bronchioles).

Some cats develop lesions in the eyes and upper respiratory tract. Other problems that occur as a result of having the virus include ulcers in the cornea of the eye (corneal ulcers), inflammation in the cornea (Stromal keratitis) and inflammation in the nose (chronic rhinitis).

Note that having your cat vaccinated for feline herpes virus treatment does not protect 100% of the time. It may help with recurrence and it eliminates the symptoms of the virus. It may not prevent your cat from being a carrier of the virus.

Treatment of Feline Herpes Virus

There are several key components for treating feline herpes virus 1: * Treat Symptoms * Supportive treatment including medications for bacterial infections and fluids to supplement nutrition and feeding needs. * Antiviral therapy, topical * Isolate affected cats * Isolate cats entering the cattery * Avoid stress through o Cat shows o Pregnancy o In-clinic examination

If your cat has a severe case, then treatment of feline herpes virus, then intravenous feeding of lost electrolytes and potassium may be necessary. Your cat probably will have a reduced appetite since cats only eat what they can smell and any nasal problems will interfere with this process. Selected foods should have strong odors and be prepared in your cat's favorite way (eg; Tuna).

If your cat has an upper respiratory bacterial infection then antibiotics are prescribed.

Nasal discharge needs to be cleaned from your cat's face using physiologic saline solution followed by treatment with an ointment (active ingredient is bromhexine). Eye drops, vitamins and natural supportive therapies may also be tried.

There are several natural supplements available that are thought to be beneficial as a supportive therapy for this condition. Products include Lysine (Vetoquinol Viralys Powder for Cats), zinc, aloe vera, bee products and echinacea.

It is generally recommended that cats that recover from this illness should continue to be vaccinated and receive booster shots. Cats with other diseases also usually receive a vaccination or booster.

Preventing Feline Herpes Virus 1

Current guidelines for vaccination call for all cats to be vaccinated against Feline herpesvirus 1. Booster shots are recommended every 3 years for house cats and every year for cats that are in high risk situations such as outdoor cats.

The virus can live on indoor surfaces and can be killed with most disinfectants, antiseptics and detergents. So it is important as part of a feline herpes virus treatment program to use a disinfectant formulated to kill viruses such as PuracleenRX.


European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases


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