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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24468
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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I found a kitten approx. 1 year ago and took m in. He was

Customer Question

I found a kitten approx. 1 year ago and took him in. He was really sick and didn't look like he was going to make it much longer. His 3rd eye lids were up and he couldn't see. He was having trouble eating and drinking. I then took him to the vets office and I can't remember what they said he had but they prescribed L-Lysine. I give him this medicine twice a day and it cleared up his eyes and helped him breath. I should say his nostrils were clogged. The vet said he will continue to have this the rest of his life. In the morning and through out the day I clean his nostrils so that he can breath through his nose. He hates it of course. I was just wondering if there is anything else I can do or a better medicine I can give him so that he doesn't have to go through this. He does have an excellent appetite and plays but it seems he has trouble breathing through his nose due to the mucus. Any suggestions. Thanks
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

The most common infectious agent manifesting as you've described is the feline herpesvirus (FHV-1). I suspect that his vet considered FHV-1 as well because l-lysine has historically been prescribed to help the immune system manage FHV-1. (Two large-scale studies in confirmed FHV-1+ shelter cats revealed that the cats being administered l-lysine had increased morbidity (severity of signs) than those receiving placebo. Because of those results, I no longer recommend the use of l-lysine in FHV-1+ cats.) To answer you directly, yes, his vet can prescribe a systemic antiviral drug such a famciclovir and an antiviral ophthalmic drop or ointment containing cidofovir or one of the newer antivral drugs. Your kitten can also be PCR (a DNA-based test) tested for not only FHV-1 but also the common bacterial respiratory infectious agents such as Clamydophila and Mycoplasma and then treat specifically against those agents. His vet needs to know that PCR testing for FHV-1 will be confounded by prior vaccination and evaluate a positive FHV-1 finding accordingly.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
are you saying that I should stop using L-lysine? Is he showing more signs of the problem because of the L-lysine? Should I ask the vet to prescribe famciclovar or the antiviral ophthalmic drop or ointment containing cidofovir? How is the famciclovar or ointment administered. What is generally the price? I know the price will differ depending on the vet or medicine. Is the test for PCR or Clamydophila and Mycoplasma a blood test? Do you recommend I quite giving the L-lysine and what do you suggest I ask the vet for or to do. I just want the little guy to have the best life he can have and right now I think there has to be more I an do. Will the other medicine dry up his nostrils? Thanks for your help
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

I would stop administration of something that worsened rather than helped my patient. The studies I cited above support not administering l-lysine. The jury is still out in this regard but I elect not to prescribe it. Yes, you should discuss the use of those antivirals with his vet. Famciclovir is dosed orally thrice daily for 2-4 weeks. It's easiest to administer when formulated into a tasty suspension by a veterinary formulating pharmacy. The ointment/drops is usually administered into the eyes 3-6 times daily depending upon which antiviral drug is prescribed. I can't know what you'd be charged so always ask for a written estimate prior to anything being done. The PCR is performed by swabbing conjunctival, nasopharyngeal, or nasal mucosa. His nose should dry up if we can rid him of those infectious agents. You're quite welcome. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin

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