Eye Herpes Infection

Aldel

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Hi to everyone one here.
I am relatively new on this forum and would like to thank everyone for sharing the information and support. I am so glad I have found this place!

My situation: a 4 year old rescue cat lives by us since 3 months. Since approximately 10 days she developed yellowish discharge fron one eye. After. a week of treatment with antibiotic eye drops advised by our vet, we had a consultation by a specialist where she was diagnosed with Herpes.
There have been no other notable symptoms, apart from her beeing nore agressive towards our other 2 cats.

The vet prescribed Famvir ( 62,5 mg a day) and hydro gel eye drops to alleviate the symptoms.
And advised to keep stress to minimum.
After reading the forum ;), I have added L-Lysine and probiotics. (Feliway is running here 24/7 anyway.)
My question is regarding antiviral eyedrops or cream.
The vet has stated that none are needed as they do not add much to the effect of Famvir but only extra stress for her. But after reading the featured articles on this forum regarding the importance of topical medications, I have my doubts.

What is your experience? Is it really normal not to give any antiviral drops/ creams etc?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated
 

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sivyaleah

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My younger one was suspected to have the herpes virus. I say suspected because when a PCR was run it came up negative, however, she may not have been shedding the virus at the time. Both my regular vet and an eye specialist both concurred it was herpes and she was treated accordingly similar to you.

Once done with the eye drops, the symptoms eased up quite a bit and now at 3 years old she has no symptoms other than some excess gunk in the corner of one eye. It's always dry, not weeping, so easy to kind of flick away but this also could be due to having allergies not the virus (she's being treated for successfully for those allergies). Her eyes are bright and healthy looking.

FYI there's no real proof lysine helps but it won't hurt either and many people seem to think it's useful, even my vet recommends it but cautions it's hit or miss results. I don't think it helped in our case but it won't hurt to try.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. I can't speak to your question directly, but I have included some articles from the internet, written by vets, that discuss the use of eye drops/ointments to help with herpes flare ups (under the treatment sections). At least the last article is a bit in conflict with our TCS article, and your vet may be in alignment with that particular article's point of view.

I also saw other articles that discuss the frequency with which some of the eye meds have to be given (multiple times a day) as well as their tendency to sting when applied to the eye.

Feline Herpesvirus Ocular Disease: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment - All About Cats
Feline Ocular Herpes — ACVO Public
Herpesvirus and the feline eye (dvm360.com)
 
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Aldel

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Hi. I can't speak to your question directly, but I have included some articles from the internet, written by vets, that discuss the use of eye drops/ointments to help with herpes flare ups (under the treatment sections). At least the last article is a bit in conflict with our TCS article, and your vet may be in alignment with that particular article's point of view.

I also saw other articles that discuss the frequency with which some of the eye meds have to be given (multiple times a day) as well as their tendency to sting when applied to the eye.

Feline Herpesvirus Ocular Disease: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment - All About Cats
Feline Ocular Herpes — ACVO Public
Herpesvirus and the feline eye (dvm360.com)
Thank you!
I will go through the articles.
Very helpful!
 

michelle3370

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Hi, I had two cats with this virus. No eye drops were recommended by my vet in CA. I dont even know if I could do it. My 3.5 year old Ralphie had an ulcer on his eye and I had to give him 3 different drops 4 times a day and it was not fun for him or I. (one really stung) Personally I would do my own research as vets have different opinions. I hope everything works out for you!
 

CindyH66

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aw, poor baby !this was my kitty Bella .:redheartpump: She had the herpes eye virus her whole life. it was passed to her by her mom in the birth canal. Stress and illness would cause it flare up, but Lysine powder added to her food everyday kept it bay 99 % of the time. It worked well for her , and eye drops only needed in a bad flare up . (which was only 2 X in the 14 years we had her !) the thing I learned with the Lysine was : it got weaker and less effective the older it got. So I wouldn't accept it if it was close to expiration date; I would toss it and get fresh if I saw her eyes getting irritated ,as I knew it wasn't working as it should. a bottle usually lasted 6 months , but it didn't always work well that long. Here are 2 pics of Bella. one is how she usually looked. the second was during a flare up , and you can see how irritated her eyes are. She couldn't stand to look at light, and would spend alot of time in dark rooms (photo sensitive) ... I knew she was feeling better when she could tolerate the light. Good luck to your fur baby ! be careful with multiple kitties. it is contagious among cats, but not to people. You probably already know that , but just wanted to be sure:heartshape:...keep their bedding and food bowls , litter and stuff separate. Good luck !!:goodluck:
 

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Aldel

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Hi again to everyone and apologies about 2 weeks of silence.
Thank you, to all of you, for your support, sharing information and your experience and, most of all, for being here for those who needs it.
Unfortunately the situation got worse for my Misa: despite her treatment with Famvir , Lysine and vitamins she developed secondary bacterial infection that progressed inside her eye and led to loss of vision and removal of the eyeball as an emergency surgery.
I am still trying to come to term with the situation.
And most of all, I feel angry with myself about not insisting on some systemic antibiotics. I did ask for that 2 weeks ago, but allowed myself to believe the (false) assurance that they are not recommended for such cases. Her cultures came negative, hence I have trusted the specialist and waited for the effect if the therapy.
I know that Famvir does not work for bacteria, but Herpes damages the epithelial barrier and makes it easy for bacteria to infect the ulcers etc. And once bacteria make it inside the eye, the consequences can be terrible. As in our case😢
Therefore, IMHO, antibiotic “cover” would not harm but could prevent this to happen.
Unfortunately, for us it is just a theoretical discussion now. Misa has to learn to live without an eye and I- to stand my grounds , to trust my instincts and to stop believing that a specialists “ know everything”. Sometimes common sense is a way better than any certification .

Apologies about a bitter message. It is hard really for us at the moment.
As for Misa-she is recovering from her surgery and I love her even more than ever.
On the picture is her a month before the infection.

Thank you for everything, everyone.
 

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CindyH66

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aw, Misa ... beautiful girl ! with one eye or two ! I understand your bitterness , but please dont beat yourself up . You did the best you could with what knowledge you had; Misa will adapt to life with one eye. Kitties are a marvel at adapting to stuff like that !! and after all... better to be rid of something than have ongoing pain and issue if that is going to be the case. Here's to healthy days ahead !!! Hugs ! :heartshape:
 

di and bob

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My cats have leukemia and were getting very sick with every infection that came by. By keeping them strictly indoors and starting them on DMG which supports the immune system, they are happy and healthy almost three years later. One was given only 'days' to live! They also had herpes eye infection flareups at least twice a year. Since starting the DMG they have not come down with this at all. I get it on Amazon and a bottle lasts a long time, highly recommend it.
 
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Aldel

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aw, Misa ... beautiful girl ! with one eye or two ! I understand your bitterness , but please dont beat yourself up . You did the best you could with what knowledge you had; Misa will adapt to life with one eye. Kitties are a marvel at adapting to stuff like that !! and after all... better to be rid of something than have ongoing pain and issue if that is going to be the case. Here's to healthy days ahead !!! Hugs ! :heartshape:
Thank you, Cindy!

I am still trying to come to term with the events, but it is today is already better that it was yesterday.
Misa is doing fine - climbing her cat’s tree and demanding her treats.
It is amazing that she does not seem to notice the change😊
To me she is a beauty no matter what🥰
 

CindyH66

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Thank you, Cindy!

I am still trying to come to term with the events, but it is today is already better that it was yesterday.
Misa is doing fine - climbing her cat’s tree and demanding her treats.
It is amazing that she does not seem to notice the change😊
To me she is a beauty no matter what🥰
aw, you are most welcome ! if you notice the quote I put on Bellas picture .. it says " I saw that you were perfect , and so I loved you. then I saw you were not perfect, so I loved you even more " .. I'm sure you can relate ! feel free to borrow it !! :) I went thru similar feelings when Bella had medical issues following dental surgery that left her with life long problems. what I know is : she was loved, cared for .. and might not have had all that with another family. we had her for 14 years ..all her issues only made us love her more. I am happy you and Misa are adjusting to the new normal ... heres to getting better all the time !! :cheerleader:
 

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I adopted a cat years ago, Lily, who came with herpes. Her first flare up with me, I took her to the vet and she got some antibiotics. Vet told me it wasn't contagious. Low and behold a few days later Nobel had the infection too. Called the vet and they said give the same drops but Nobel's eye got worse.

Took Nobel in for a second opinion. This vet was a previous livestock vet and he gave me the weirdest trick that works: boil some water and in a small dish out an orange pekoe tea bag. Let it cool until it's able to be handled by you bare handed and rub it across your cat's eye. Then take a cloth and rub that across to take off any excess tea as caffine can be harmful. However, he said to use a normal tea bag.

Well, 13 years later and many flare ups and yes it works and no I haven't found that it effected Lily or Nobel's blood work. Nobel has healthy BW at almost 15, Lily only developed hyperthyroidism at 17 (she passed away at 19).
 
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Aldel

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I adopted a cat years ago, Lily, who came with herpes. Her first flare up with me, I took her to the vet and she got some antibiotics. Vet told me it wasn't contagious. Low and behold a few days later Nobel had the infection too. Called the vet and they said give the same drops but Nobel's eye got worse.

Took Nobel in for a second opinion. This vet was a previous livestock vet and he gave me the weirdest trick that works: boil some water and in a small dish out an orange pekoe tea bag. Let it cool until it's able to be handled by you bare handed and rub it across your cat's eye. Then take a cloth and rub that across to take off any excess tea as caffine can be harmful. However, he said to use a normal tea bag.

Well, 13 years later and many flare ups and yes it works and no I haven't found that it effected Lily or Nobel's blood work. Nobel has healthy BW at almost 15, Lily only developed hyperthyroidism at 17 (she passed away at 19).
Thank you for the advice- does not seem too weird for me, BTW- in my childhood my mum would always give either strong tea or camomile extract to wash eyes with the first signs of eye infection. I still do it sometimes and even used cotton pads soaked in camomile to gently clean Misa‘s eyelids
at the beginning., without notable differnece though.
I even suggested it to one of the 3 vets involved in Misa‘s case here in Berlin.
She absolutely denied it as a treatment option and even told me that particles of tea or camomile could damage cornea.Not sure where she got it from. But I followed what she said.
 
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Aldel

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aw, you are most welcome ! if you notice the quote I put on Bellas picture .. it says " I saw that you were perfect , and so I loved you. then I saw you were not perfect, so I loved you even more " .. I'm sure you can relate ! feel free to borrow it !! :) I went thru similar feelings when Bella had medical issues following dental surgery that left her with life long problems. what I know is : she was loved, cared for .. and might not have had all that with another family. we had her for 14 years ..all her issues only made us love her more. I am happy you and Misa are adjusting to the new normal ... heres to getting better all the time !! :cheerleader:
Thank you, Cindy-I love the quote!
 

Alldara

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Thank you for the advice- does not seem too weird for me, BTW- in my childhood my mum would always give either strong tea or camomile extract to wash eyes with the first signs of eye infection. I still do it sometimes and even used cotton pads soaked in camomile to gently clean Misa‘s eyelids
at the beginning., without notable differnece though.
I even suggested it to one of the 3 vets involved in Misa‘s case here in Berlin.
She absolutely denied it as a treatment option and even told me that particles of tea or camomile could damage cornea.Not sure where she got it from. But I followed what she said.
I'm sure if there were particles it could damage the eye, but we are using the liquid only.
 
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Aldel

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I'm sure if there were particles it could damage the eye, but we are using the liquid only.
This is what I said to jer ad well.
But you know-there is no much point to argue with a vet😕
Personally, I have nothing against using herbal remedies. And your experience supports it as well.
Thank you for sharing!
 

Alldara

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This is what I said to jer ad well.
But you know-there is no much point to argue with a vet😕
Personally, I have nothing against using herbal remedies. And your experience supports it as well.
Thank you for sharing!
Haha yup!
 

WMM201

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A Aldel your Misa is a beautiful girl and will always be. Please don't be angry with yourself when you were acting with the information you were given by someone who had the training and authority in the situation. I have been in the same situation, when I debated and debated and ultimately followed the recommendation by a specialist for my cat's eyes. Unfortunately, my sweetheart Mumu went blind in both her eyes in the aftermath and still has complications. While Mumu is learning to live her life and is surprising me each day with her courage and spirit just like your Misa, I had to finally set aside my sense of guilt and grief so I can take care of her and still show her that she is no less my darling than before. She is even more my darling. It is emotionally very hard, but please don't blame yourself. Sending you and Misa much love.
 
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Aldel

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A Aldel your Misa is a beautiful girl and will always be. Please don't be angry with yourself when you were acting with the information you were given by someone who had the training and authority in the situation. I have been in the same situation, when I debated and debated and ultimately followed the recommendation by a specialist for my cat's eyes. Unfortunately, my sweetheart Mumu went blind in both her eyes in the aftermath and still has complications. While Mumu is learning to live her life and is surprising me each day with her courage and spirit just like your Misa, I had to finally set aside my sense of guilt and grief so I can take care of her and still show her that she is no less my darling than before. She is even more my darling. It is emotionally very hard, but please don't blame yourself. Sending you and Misa much love.
Thank you so much for your support and wisdom dear WMM201. I cannot even imagine how hard it was for both of you😢…Brave little Mumu! She is blessed to have you as her mum. I wish both of you many happy years together.

I am still learning to let my bitterness go, although it gets better every day.
I have decided to write a letter to the head of the vet clinic to give my view about Misa’s case and multiple mistakes that were made. I will do it for sake of their future patients. Misa will not be one of them, though…
Meanwhile, Misa is doing fine and bringing smiles on my face every day. All signs and symptoms of herpes have resolved. I am so proud to be her mum!
 
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