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Dr. Whitehead
Dr. Whitehead, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 4055
Experience:  Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, internship trained, with 5 years of experience in high quality practice treating dogs, cats, and some exotics.
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1 year old kitty started sneezing Jul 4th. Vet thought it

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1 year old kitty started sneezing Jul 4th. Vet thought it was allergies or a foreign body. He was put on antihistimines and scheduled for a scope on Jul 19th. He was sneezing big time, somewhat lethargic and tired, no runny eyes, no fever, no discharge from his eyes and nothing noticible from his nose. He started getting better a couple of days ago, still not 100%, little bit of sneezing but mostly normal. Figured he was responding to the antihistimines and it was an allergy. Was trying to figure out to what. Then last night my 9 year old female kitty got sick. She is sick big time. Sneezing. runny eyes, lethargic and I think she has a fever. She is going to the vet tomorrow.
My question is, since Bella now is sick, Beau obviously had something contagious. So should I keep them separated? Can Beau catch this again? I am seriously baffled by this, they are both indoor cats that have been vaccinated. They have no exposure to other cats, I can't imagine where this came from. Beau was sick with a respiratory infection when he was at the shelter as a baby kitten. Could that be where it came from?

Dr. Whitehead :

Hello there. My name isXXXXX and I am sorry to hear about your kitties. This sounds like a complicated situation but you kind have given all the clues that tells what most likely is going on in your house. Since Beau was sick with a respiratory infection when he was at the shelter as a baby then most likely he has the herpes virus. This virus is one of the number 1 causes of upper respiratory infections in cats. It is also one of the most contagious. Once they get infected they never get rid of the virus. The virus just goes dormant in their body and stays there possibly forever or can come out in flare ups usually set off by stressful situations or other illnesses that wakes up the virus from dormancy. So it sounds like something around the 4th of july caused him to have a flare up of the herpes virus which can have all the clinical signs he was showing, lethargy, sneezing, watery eyes, or some of these or none of these. Then it sounds like he has passed it one to the older cat who is now infected also with the herpes virus. At this point and time there is no reason to keep them separate since they are already infected and exposed. If there are any other cats in the house i would keep them away at this point and time. Beau already has it and will not get rid of it but the goal would be to help his body fight it off and put it back into dormancy. There is no vaccine at this time against this virus and again is very common. The thing you can do is treat with Lysine. Which is an amino acid that will slow down virus replication and help the immune system get it under control. You can keep them on this amino acid forever but usually just recommended when they are having a flare up. Also have them checked to make sure there are no secondary bacterial infections in their nasal passages or eyes indicated by lots of green goopy discharge. If this is present they should also be treated with antibiotics. I hope this makes sense but your situation sounds like a text book example of the herpes virus reeking havoc in a household.

Dr. Whitehead :

Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns. I would be happy to help. Please do not forget to rate my response so I receive credit. Thank you

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


No, I have no other cats but Bella is so much sicker than Beau was, I'm really worried about her. What you are saying makes perfect sense and I am relieved that most likely this is not something that will be passed back and forth. In reading the medical records that came from the shelter for Beau, he was a very sick little baby. Luckily, he was in a no kill shelter and they sent him to the emergency vet where he spent a couple of days. He was dehydrated and had bacterial infections in his nose and eyes and was having difficulty breathing.


What dosage of Lysine should I give them? I have heard about that and the herpes virus.

Depending on the product you obtain I recommend using the instructions on the packaging. It is different for each product. But for kittens generally 250 mg is the normal dosage twice daily. She may be sicker because of her age or possibly if she has a secondary bacterial infection also involved. So have her seen tomorrow to get checked out and treated if necessary.
Dr. Whitehead and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Cindy,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Whitehead
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I think we are on the road to recovery. Both cats are much improved (said with fingers crossed). Put both cats on L-Lysine, my vet agreed it was most likely a recurrence of the herpes virus for Beau and he infected Bella.

Wonderful! Glad to hear they are on the road to recovery.