Steroids and feline herpesvirus flare-ups

treeclimber

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Due to some ongoing health issues (asthma that’s been flaring up even with a daily inhaler, a mysterious nose lesion, and some digestive issues that may or may not be eosinophilic in origin), I suspect that tomorrow’s vet appointment may lead to a prescriptions for steroids.

Steroids never go well for my little guy - usually leads to him having a herpesvirus flare with eye involvement, bothering his eye and getting a secondary infection, and then needing antibiotics and the Cone of Shame until his eye clears up.

If the vet tells us tomorrow that the steroids are necessary, I’ll get them as pills instead of a shot so they can be discontinued if needed, give him Lysine chews, and have the Cone of Shame on hand… but is there anything else I can do to prevent things from going down that path? Either to prevent the herpesvirus flare-up or to prevent the eye issues that come after that.

I’m wondering about putting the cone on him preemptively as soon as the herpesvirus flare-up starts - maybe if he can’t bother the eye then we might avoid the secondary infection?

Or does anyone have any other ideas?
 

FeebysOwner

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Ask the vet about the possibility that the steroids are actually the cause of the eye issue. Perhaps, that can be avoided with some eye drops/ointment, or a different type of steroid. It could just be a 'phase 2' to the flareup before the steroids 'kick in' - but still may be helped by eye treatment coincident with the steroids.

A lot of folks give L-lysine on an ongoing basis not just when a flareup starts. Others use DMG (Dimethylglycine) ongoingly to help reduce/avoid viral flareups.
 

white shadow

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Hi treeclimber (really? :lol:)

Just a quick reply for you.

I'd be trying to pre-empt the flare by starting a high-dose lysine regimen a couple of days ahead of any steroid dosing (as a prophylaxis) - but, you just don't have that much lead time space. If you were to start tonight, though, it would be better than not at all.


I'm confident that the chews wouldn't be effective for this situation, though. My recommendation would be to get some pure L-lysine capsules or powder. A pharmacy will likely have the capsules - a Health/Wellness store, the powder (NOW brand is a popular and reliable product).

I've seen flare 'dousing' dosages as high as 1000mg twice daily - I've used 500mg 2x daily, reducing to 250 maintenance after flares.

On the second part, if no flare occurs, you should have no eye issue......as I see it ;)
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treeclimber

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Ask the vet about the possibility that the steroids are actually the cause of the eye issue. Perhaps, that can be avoided with some eye drops/ointment, or a different type of steroid. It could just be a 'phase 2' to the flareup before the steroids 'kick in' - but still may be helped by eye treatment coincident with the steroids.
Thanks! I'm pretty sure they are - it happens every time he gets steroids, and steroids seem to be one of the only two things that can trigger it (the other is stress).

Unfortunately if his other health issues require steroids, sometimes we have to use them and then deal with that side effect.
 
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treeclimber

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Hi treeclimber (really? :lol:)
Yep. That is why I will never, ever try the "take the cat for a walk on a leash" thing again...

I'm confident that the chews wouldn't be effective for this situation, though. My recommendation would be to get some pure L-lysine capsules or powder. A pharmacy will likely have the capsules - a Health/Wellness store, the powder (NOW brand is a popular and reliable product).

I've seen flare 'dousing' dosages as high as 1000mg twice daily - I've used 500mg 2x daily, reducing to 250 maintenance after flares.

On the second part, if no flare occurs, you should have no eye issue......as I see it ;)
.
Good idea!

Have you had any success giving it sprinkled on dry food, or does it have to be mixed into wet? (He's a fussy eater with wet food, but with dry food he'll eat anything.)
 

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I've always only used it w/wet foods - or some form of 'broth' (often the broth from Fancy Feast pates- heat the can w/boiling water, open, press the patty w/a spoon and extract the broth - add hot water + mix to replenish for a meal). (and, to ensure the dose is taken, only use a small, 1-2 tsp amount of broth)

What about one of these tube-treat thingies - by Churu - those are pretty irresistible. Put a ~teaspoonful/two on a flat plate and mix in the powder - it's odourless/tasteless.
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Have you had any success giving it sprinkled on dry food, or does it have to be mixed into wet? (He's a fussy eater with wet food, but with dry food he'll eat anything.)
As noted above, many potential options for you to try: tuna water (canned tuna in water), lickable treats that there are very many to choose from (just to an internet search on 'lickable treats for cats'. I even use baby food meats (Gerber Stage 2 or Beechnut/Goya) to add to any kind of supplement or med.
 
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treeclimber

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Thank you for the answers and suggestions!!!

I am relieved to say that today's vet visit did NOT result in a steroid prescription - given his history with steroids, they're going to try him on "novel protein" foods and a few other meds first and only try steroids as a last resort. Keeping my fingers crossed that the other things will work!

And that also leaves more time to prepare with lysine if things look like they're heading towards steroids. I've bought the powder, but for the next month the only animal protein he's allowed to have is duck, so that might make things a little difficult. There's no duck baby foods (or rabbit, or venison). Hopefully he'll like one of the brands of duck canned food enough to hide meds in that.
 
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