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Feline Rhinotracheitis (Herpes)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi, Does anyone know about Feline Rhinotracheitis (Herpesvirus-1)?

I have always vaccinated my cat never let it lapse and now after her last Vet visit she became sick. I went back to the vet and had a very expensive test done called an IDEXX RealPCR Feline URD test.

The results came back as Feline Rhinotracheitis (Herpesvirus-1).

Does the FVRCP vaccine she has had not really protect cats? Could this result be a positive because she had the vaccine? last year? She only gets that FVRCP once every three years now.

This is the first time she has ever been sick. She is 5 years old and has never been out of my home except to go to the vet.

The vet will not accept responsibility for her catching it but I know it came from them. They claim anyone coming into my home could have brought it in from their cats. They also told me 90% of all cats have this herpes.

I would love to hear from anyone who knows about this subject.
post #2 of 10
If she had the virus before she got the vaccine originally then the vaccine isn't going to make it go away.

They can be asymptomatic for years.

My cat had it as a kitten before he was 10 weeks old, so by the time he got vaccines it was too late to help the cause. He suffers no real affects from it.

Where did you get your cat and how old was she?

post #3 of 10
My Meeko has the herpes virus.
I plan on getting her that test to find out what kind she has.
Its 150 for the test.
Is yourcat on lysine?
Meeko is on it and it helps.
post #4 of 10
How long has she been on Lysine? My vet just started Toby on it to see if it'll help but she wasn't tested to see if she has herpes... is it something she'll have to stay on long-term?
post #5 of 10
Meeko started it I think in Nov or Dec.
It is helping her.
She just had surgery Jan 19th for another problem.
Toby may not need it all the time it depends on how often the outbreaks happen.
Meeko has active herpes right now.
post #6 of 10
my Pixel has feline herpes [afaik, none of the others do, tho]. i put lysine in their water, since she won't eat wet food [altho i put lysine in the homemade food, anyway - the wet eaters get about a tablespoon of the homemade added to their canned wet]. she has some fairly unsightly tear stains [wouldn't be an issue if she wasn't white in that area] which i have stuff to remove - but she dislikes the removal process. so i just leave it - that part's just cosmetic, anyway.
she will get little sores on her face during a flare-up. i have feliway going & if she has one, i syringe a baby food/lysine mixture into her.
post #7 of 10
Originally Posted by Catessa View Post
Does the FVRCP vaccine she has had not really protect cats? Could this result be a positive because she had the vaccine? last year?

They also told me 90% of all cats have this herpes.
FHV-1 vaccine is only around 56% effective. So not very effective imo. I am not sure if the vaccine would give a positive result or not. Many cats do carry herpes but I think 90% sounds a bit high.

If you read the 37 page vaccine guidelines from the American Association of Feline Practitioners it tells you pretty much everything about herpes and the vaccine. Here is the link

post #8 of 10
It is not uncommon for the herpes virus to lay dormant for YEARS before there's a flare up. Anything, but especially stress, can trigger a flare up, which is what your cat is experiencing. The stress of the vet visit (& the animals encountered there) may have been enough to trigger a flare up, so I wouldn't necessarily blame the vet's office for your kitty contracting the virus.

As others have told you, there's no cure for herpes, but it can be managed. Lysine is one of the best ways to cut down on flare ups, but it can take quite a long time before you start seeing any positive results.

One thing you want to avoid is any steroid treatments as steroids trigger a flare up. You might want to start your cat on grain-free food. I feed my little herpes cat Wellness grain-free canned and Wellness CORE dry. In addition, you can use Feliway diffusers to keep the stress level in your house down. There's lots of other things you can do to keep the flare ups to a minimum, but know that your cat can live a long and very happy life with FHV.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

 I'm sorry for bringing this topic up again but I am wondering if there is anything I can use, like an ointment on her eyes? The skin right along the edge (like our human eye lash edge) is sometimes bright pink. I get the stains in the corner like mentioned in Laureen's post. Her eyes look so sore when it flairs up. I want to use something to sooth them if I can.


Thank you all for responding.


I got her from a small breeder and she has never ever been sick before this happened but has been through some big stress (flying in a plane and moving several times) and never flared before. I do believe she just got it.

post #10 of 10
My Perla had a Herpes Flare-up in December right after her vaccine. I would not recommend ever giving a Herpes cat a distemper vaccine. Big mistake on my part and the vet for that matter as Perla had a watery eye before the vaccine was given. It is in her left eye - exact same symptoms as your kitty with the bright pink eyelid too. You may have to get an oral steroidal ointment. This is the only thing that is helping Perla's eye clear. You can still give a Herpes cat steroids at a low-dose - just for the anti-inflammatory affect. Pred at a higher dose can suppress the immune system thereby bringing on a Herpes flare-up or make the virus more aggressive. BUT a low-dose steroid can actually be helpful for the eye inflammation. I may have to go to an oral Pred. for Perla's eye to completely clear. I would talk with your vet about getting NEO/POLY/DEX eye ointment or drops. Also continued L-Lysine every day will help minimize the aggressiveness of the flare-ups. vibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif
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