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FHV-1, how do I deal with this?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone, I'm new here, registering on the same day that we brought a new kitten into our lives.

What I would really like to know is how can we effectively deal with the problem? The pound didn't seem at all too informative when we were signing papers, we walked in and saw Domino, a black and white male who has been there for 5 months, I'm assuming he's atleast 5-6 months old because of that, regardless they did inform us that he was sick with a runny nose and eyes, but didn't give us any more information, I kept asking the guy about it but he seemed like he didn't want to talk about it at all, almost looking at me like I was actually getting on his nerves just trying to ask simple questions. They gave us Enisyl-F with him, which I looked up as soon as I got home and it eventually led me to FHV-1 and then here, where I am asking for some advice.

The problem is we currently own another cat, Raven, who is 2 years old. She doesn't get along well with other people besides me, and in a family of 4 it isn't a very good relationship, but we still love her and respect her attitude. I truly feel pretty embarrassed and ignorant for just waltzing off to get another animal and bringing it into the household, everyone else wanted another kitten, perhaps even a playmate for Raven, but so far she doesn't like the situation one bit. I heard this virus was EXTREMELY contageous, so I want to know what I can do to atleast keep this situation under control, and stop Raven from catching it, again I would like to apologize to the community, what I did seems pretty outrageous now in hindsight, I really didn't know what I was getting into when it came to just bringing a new kitten home that was sick without first planning everything out. I just saw the poor thing in the cage and he was the most loveable thing in the world, clawing at the cage, rubbing against it, he loves everyone he's come into contact with so far, I just felt so bad, I wanted to give this cat a chance at a much better and loving life. He has ALOT of energy, his problem doesn't seem all that serious, then again I'm not an expert, the place even said he doesn't respond well to the medication, I figured I'd first get him out of that crappy environment, get him a cleaner and large home to be active in, and better more nutritional foods.

If anyone doesn't feel like reading all of that then I'll just sum it up, I understand that the kitten does have FHV-1, I currently have Enisyl-F as prescribed by the shelter, what can I do to prevent the kitten's health from worsening, and even correct it, and how can I protect my other cat? I would really love to help the kitten, and I don't have any plans to get rid of him or my other cat.
post #2 of 27
The lysine (Enisyl) will help to keep the virus under control, and it can also help your other cat to avoid catching the herpes virus from the new cat. My vet recommended that I give my senior cat lysine to help prevent her from contracting it, as well as giving it to my new rescue kitten who she thought may have herpes virus (even though they were kept separated.)

Here is a link with other suggestions:
http://www.vetinfo4cats.com/cherpesgroup.html
post #3 of 27
While I've never had experience with FHV-1, I have read a little about it. I think most cats have been exposed to it, as it is a common virus in the feline community. I believe once the initial infection is over, the best way to boost the immune system is to supplement with L-lysine. I'm sure you'll get good advice from other members who have had more experience with FHV-1. Bless you for taking in this little guy. I can't blame you for your loving heart and wishing to make his life better! Good luck!
post #4 of 27
I would not let him near your Cat. I would take him to your Vet and find out what he has for sure.
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
I would not let him near your Cat. I would take him to your Vet and find out what he has for sure.
Yeah I've been doing that, I moved her to my room even though she isn't happy about it, later on I'm going to move her litter box and food in here and just buy new facilities for the kitten so they avoid contact atleast as much as possible.

I have the certificate to get the kitten neutered and vaccinations, I'm probably going to take him tomorrow if the vet is open, I'd love to have him checked out and properly diagnosed, but for now I think he does have FHV since it's so common. But yes, I am trying the best I can so the 2 cats don't have contact with eachother for now.

I heard there was even a vaccination for FHV, so I'll ask about that for my older cat.
post #6 of 27
How old is your older Cat? I dont know what shots they have for that. My Cats get the Shot for the Cacti Virus. I wonder if that is why Coco keeps getting Uri's.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
How old is your older Cat? I dont know what shots they have for that. My Cats get the Shot for the Cacti Virus. I wonder if that is why Coco keeps getting Uri's.
Nearly 2 years, I won't know until I go down there either.
post #8 of 27
I hope he feels better soon.
post #9 of 27
I assume that for all practical purposes any kitten or young cat you got in a shelter would be infected with FHV. It's extremely common, and not that big a deal, although if you can avoid giving it to your current cat (assuming she didn't already have it), it would be nice.

The kitten may well have an upper respiratory infection that the vet will need to treat with some antibiotics. This, too, is extremely common in shelters. But there's no reason the kitten can't live to a ripe old age and feel fine doing it, even with the FHV.

I'm sure the internet information scared you; don't panic, you've done a good thing saving this little one's life.
post #10 of 27
my Pixel has herpes. she's the only one i have that ever has any symptoms. i have her on lysine [powdered in the water - plus i found a kibble that has lysine added!] & she does just fine unless under extra stress. for example, this past summer i brought in a new cat, a kitten, that was near death [not any longer, tho!] & Pixel had a flare-up. her first flare-up was not long after her lifelong friend & littermate passed away. now that i know, i make adjustments - extra lysine during stress times, feliway diffusers running, etc.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
my Pixel has herpes. she's the only one i have that ever has any symptoms. i have her on lysine [powdered in the water - plus i found a kibble that has lysine added!] & she does just fine unless under extra stress. for example, this past summer i brought in a new cat, a kitten, that was near death [not any longer, tho!] & Pixel had a flare-up. her first flare-up was not long after her lifelong friend & littermate passed away. now that i know, i make adjustments - extra lysine during stress times, feliway diffusers running, etc.
So it's something cats can live with comfortably as long as treated properly? Of course I'll administer whatever is needed to make sure little Domino can live and breathe comfortably, but as the pound said he doesn't respond well to medication, they said to give him a dose in the morning, and that is what I'll do, and I'm bringing him to the vet as soon as possible for a good professional, caring checkup (hopefully). But right now his breathing sounds like a little child with a stuffed up nose every time he inhales and exhales, I'm assuming he's been treated with Enisyl regularly, and at 6 months he still has labored breathing, the veterinary link I clicked above said it's usually gone in 12 weeks unless I mis-read.., I really hope there's something we can do for him, I'll do everything in my power. I just felt so bad for the poor thing, he's been there 6 months and he just seemed so loveable, the other little kittens there weren't aroused by our presence whatsoever, but this one was all over us, and to tell you the truth the fact he WAS sick made me want him more you know? Just wanna see him get through this and be a great cat later on.
post #12 of 27
I'm going to agree with others, dont beat yourself up. You did a good thing rescuing this little guy from the shelter! And it's good that he is in your care now, where he can receive adequate love and care. And just the fact that he is no longer stressed in a cage... might prevent some of his flareups and help him heal!

I know you said you have a neuter certificate, but just as a side note, an unaltered male or female is under a great deal of stress when they are in season (and for a male it is constant) A friend of the family had a dog that had mites... and she would seemingly get them under control only see them flare up again. I read somewhere that stress could add to the problem and asked her if she noticed the flares during her dogs heat cycle and sure enough, that was it... she had her spayed (which she should've done long back) and reduced the number of flares.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marianjela View Post
I'm going to agree with others, dont beat yourself up. You did a good thing rescuing this little guy from the shelter! And it's good that he is in your care now, where he can receive adequate love and care. And just the fact that he is no longer stressed in a cage... might prevent some of his flareups and help him heal!

I know you said you have a neuter certificate, but just as a side note, an unaltered male or female is under a great deal of stress when they are in season (and for a male it is constant) A friend of the family had a dog that had mites... and she would seemingly get them under control only see them flare up again. I read somewhere that stress could add to the problem and asked her if she noticed the flares during her dogs heat cycle and sure enough, that was it... she had her spayed (which she should've done long back) and reduced the number of flares.
Thanks for your input, this really has reduced my worries substantially, are male kittens sexually active at 5-6 months? I really didn't do much research on that as a possibility, so I'm not well educated in that subject, but yes that is a definite possibility I'm sure, I also figured it would be good to get him out of the cage, he probably wasn't handled very tenderly, and I think it's good if he is able to roam around the house freely for exercise. I'm assuming or atleast hoping the vet will check him out and tell us what we need.
post #14 of 27
the lysine is a maintenance med, to help prevent flare-ups. a cat can also have URIs [upper respiratory infections] not as a result of the herpes, but in addition to it. sounds like he has one, to me - but only a vet can make that diagnosis.
once the URI [if he has one] is gone, the lysine should help him keep them at bay - it strengthens the immune system.
there's a feline herpes yahoo group, but i've stopped reading their emails, since i've gotten Pixel's under control. but they may have more info for you.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KyleV View Post
Thanks for your input, this really has reduced my worries substantially, are male kittens sexually active at 5-6 months?
Male cats do mature sexually around that age, so yes, this can be adding to his stress and flares. Scheduling his neuter as early as possible would be in his best interest. Also this will lessen the likelihood of him beginning to spray in your house. Unneutered males tend to mark their territory with their [unpleasant] scent. If you are prompt with altering him, before they get that urge, you decrease that risk!

Dont worry about asking questions... we were all clueless at one point or another. It is wonderful that you are so apt to learning!
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marianjela View Post
Male cats do mature sexually around that age, so yes, this can be adding to his stress and flares. Scheduling his neuter as early as possible would be in his best interest. Also this will lessen the likelihood of him beginning to spray in your house. Unneutered males tend to mark their territory with their [unpleasant] scent. If you are prompt with altering him, before they get that urge, you decrease that risk!

Dont worry about asking questions... we were all clueless at one point or another. It is wonderful that you are so apt to learning!
We were given a list of all the vets that will honor the certificate, so I will be calling each one to see who can get to him the fastest, I'd really like him checked over. In all honesty I can't see an impossible solution to this poor little guy's problems, I mean if he's stuffed up there must be something that can relieve that at the very least...I'm already aware that I might possibly need to commit myself to medicating him regularly to keep him healthy and I'm prepared for that, but I think it would be absurd to say there isn't a medicine that can relieve these symptoms and keep them at bay.
post #17 of 27
Why dont you reseach Vet on the list and see what ones are good. When I first moved here my old Cat got a very bad Cold with Asthma acting up. I ended up going to a terrible Vet that is now shut down.
post #18 of 27
The people in shelters usually have the best of intentions, but it's very hard for them to treat a cat with the love and care that you can. Consistency is very important, especially when administering medications such as antibiotics. I would bet that a good antibiotic shot and then a 10-14 days of regular doses should get him going OK.

I just looked up the Enisyl-F, and that is simply for the herpes. So you do need to get him on an antibiotic ASAP, I think.

Just as a warning, if his URI is fairly bad, the vet may not be able to neuter him immediately, due to the risks of anesthesia.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
The people in shelters usually have the best of intentions, but it's very hard for them to treat a cat with the love and care that you can. Consistency is very important, especially when administering medications such as antibiotics. I would bet that a good antibiotic shot and then a 10-14 days of regular doses should get him going OK.

I just looked up the Enisyl-F, and that is simply for the herpes. So you do need to get him on an antibiotic ASAP, I think.

Just as a warning, if his URI is fairly bad, the vet may not be able to neuter him immediately, due to the risks of anesthesia.
Yes, wow you people really do know your stuff, this site is a blessing, I JUST called the vet and they said they can't neuter him until he's 100% because he could die when he's drugged just as you said, he has alot of trouble breathing, when he exhales from his nose he makes a snot bubble, and he usually has to breathe from his mouth, and even that is loud. A check-up at the vet is 45 dollars and I can just do a walk-in, I'm about to go right now, my family is truly pissing me off, they seem to think he's fine when the thing needs help, when we got this cat I was expecting everyone to be committed, but my father/stepmom/little step brother seem to be retarded or something, appearantly at 18 I guess I'm irresponsible for caring right? Because no one else seems to think it's a big deal, if anyone else had trouble breathing in the family then they'd be at the hospital. Anyways I'm about to go to the ATM and then to the vet, I only have about 300 dollars in my checking account that I've been saving, but if I have to spend it to help this kitty then I will.
post #20 of 27
My Cat just finished Cepahlexen for a Uri. she has Asthma too so it makes it hard for her to breathe when she gets a Cold. You are doing the right think by going to the Vet. When I was younger I told my Dad my Cat is very sick and begged him to give me money from my Savings. It took a few days for him to say yes but it was to late. We were going to go to the Vet at 8am and she died around 7:30. I still blame him for it even though its been 19 years. Do not listen to your family.
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Okay so I took him, they gave him an antibiotic shot or a vaccine, the guy was indian so it was a little hard to understand him haha, but they also gave me some amoxycillin trihydrate drops, twice a day, and some eye cream because his eyes are infected as well. They said in a week to 10 days his symptoms should be mostly gone, and to bring him back in a week for a free checkup. For $95 I think it was a fair price, the people were very helpful, and gave me a comprehensive packet just about FHV that I'll read over thoroughly later, so hopefully he'll get better soon, and now I know how to deal with it if he flares up in the future ^_^. Thanks for all of your help everyone, I'll try to get some pictures of my cats soon enough.
post #22 of 27
sounds like you got what you needed to help him recover! & looking forward to those promised - we love them around here!
post #23 of 27
Kyle, you sound wise beyond your 18 years! Domino is lucky to have found you. I'm glad he is under a proper treatment now, and hope he is better soon and you can begin to learn his healthy personality and continue the bond you are building!
post #24 of 27
I have a herpes baby as well. We got her 2.5 years ago and suspected she had herpes, but now there's a test to determine it, and she tested positive. The key to 'controlling' herpes is to avoid as much stress as possible in your cat's life. Stress is the biggest trigger and your little guy has been under constant stress his entire life. Living in a shelter is not stress free! Being adopted and getting accustomed to a new home and a resident cat is extremely stressful. So once Domino settles into your home, some of his symptoms will subside.

My Hannah has seasonal allergies, which usually develop into an upper respiratory infection (URI). Eventho I give her Lysine daily, because of the herpes, it takes her longer to get over the URI. She's currently on her 3rd round of antibiotics and has had 2 antibiotic shots in the past month to get her over her current URI. She doesn't get an URI every time she has a flare-up, but sometimes she does.

Some other things to help your kitty breathe easier is to run a vaporizer if you have one. If you don't, get the bathroom nice & steamy, then put him in there with the door shut until all the steam dissipates. Make sure the little guy is eating, too. That's a big thing since good nutrition is crucial for recovery of the URI. Since he's congested, he probably can't smell his food, so he's probably not eating much. Get the nastiest smelling wet food you can and warm up a serving in the microwave (about 10 seconds on the lowest setting). Heating it up will make the smell stronger which will entice him to eat more. If your baby is really congested, you might put a dab of baby Vick's on the top of his nose (out of the reach of the tongue). That will help open his nasal passages up and breathe easier.

Lastly, love on your little guy as much as possible. Sit in the room with him and talk to him, even if he's sleeping, so he'll get to know your voice and become comfortable with you. TLC is a wonder drug!!

Also, be sure to wash your hands with antibacterial soap after handling him and then handling Raven. Also, if your clothes get sneezed on or licked, you'll want to change them before being near Raven as well. This just helps keep you from passing the herpes to her. You might find, as we did, that your resident cat has herpes as well due to the stress of the new kitty.

Keep us posted on how things are going and post pics when you can!

Stephanie
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanietx View Post
I have a herpes baby as well. We got her 2.5 years ago and suspected she had herpes, but now there's a test to determine it, and she tested positive. The key to 'controlling' herpes is to avoid as much stress as possible in your cat's life. Stress is the biggest trigger and your little guy has been under constant stress his entire life. Living in a shelter is not stress free! Being adopted and getting accustomed to a new home and a resident cat is extremely stressful. So once Domino settles into your home, some of his symptoms will subside.

My Hannah has seasonal allergies, which usually develop into an upper respiratory infection (URI). Eventho I give her Lysine daily, because of the herpes, it takes her longer to get over the URI. She's currently on her 3rd round of antibiotics and has had 2 antibiotic shots in the past month to get her over her current URI. She doesn't get an URI every time she has a flare-up, but sometimes she does.

Some other things to help your kitty breathe easier is to run a vaporizer if you have one. If you don't, get the bathroom nice & steamy, then put him in there with the door shut until all the steam dissipates. Make sure the little guy is eating, too. That's a big thing since good nutrition is crucial for recovery of the URI. Since he's congested, he probably can't smell his food, so he's probably not eating much. Get the nastiest smelling wet food you can and warm up a serving in the microwave (about 10 seconds on the lowest setting). Heating it up will make the smell stronger which will entice him to eat more. If your baby is really congested, you might put a dab of baby Vick's on the top of his nose (out of the reach of the tongue). That will help open his nasal passages up and breathe easier.

Lastly, love on your little guy as much as possible. Sit in the room with him and talk to him, even if he's sleeping, so he'll get to know your voice and become comfortable with you. TLC is a wonder drug!!

Also, be sure to wash your hands with antibacterial soap after handling him and then handling Raven. Also, if your clothes get sneezed on or licked, you'll want to change them before being near Raven as well. This just helps keep you from passing the herpes to her. You might find, as we did, that your resident cat has herpes as well due to the stress of the new kitty.

Keep us posted on how things are going and post pics when you can!

Stephanie
Yes, the doc suggested fishy smelling wet food, I got some of that after dropping him off at home from the vet. I got the gourmet seafood Fancy Feast, he ate it right up. The little guy will almost always be with company, my stepmom loves him, so he's always on the bed with her, she doesn't work so it's almost a guarantee there will always be someone at home to give him some loving, alternatively Raven hangs out in my room. We got her while my stepmom and her son were on vacation for the summer, so she really didn't get accustomed to them at all. You can consider her a cat that hates everyone, except me of course, but she's such a nice girl to me, she curls up right next to me when I sleep.

But yeah, everyone absolutely loves him, we hold him in our arms and give him alot of petting, he kneads alot and relaxes, I'm sure that he's under much less stress here, our family functions pretty casually. Hopefully he'll be well enough to be neutered in a week. The vet was very friendly, they told me to bring him in for a free check-up in a week, perhaps if he's well enough they'll neuter him, as someone suggested earlier that may also be a cause of strain.
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
Well it has been close to 5 days and sadly he has not improved at all. I really have no idea what to do at this point. I have literally no money now and my dad is self-employed, so we really can't afford hundred+ dollar vet visits until we find a solution to the problem. His breathing is still labored and his nose is still clogged. I've been giving him his doses of medicine just as the vet prescribed, I feel as they didn't diagnosis him properly, because the shot/this medicine has had absolutely no effect whatsoever. When we first saw him at the vet he was rubbing against the cage and pawing at it at us, now he just seems to wander around aimlessly, doesn't respond to our calls, you can stand right in front of him and it's almost like he doesn't see you there, he just stands in some spots gazing aimlessly for what seems to be hours, almost like his mind is completely gone. I'm really upset over the whole thing, I don't think he can sleep at all because of how he breathes, my dad said he was even having a small seizure...
post #27 of 27
I hope something can help him.
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