's herpes flare ups were so bad when he was a kitten into his second year that I thought he was going to lose one or both eyes. He had received a herpes diagnosis from one of the vets he saw, but he had so many drops and ointments prescribed that he got so his eyes couldn't tolerate ANYTHING in them. Finally, finally I had a vet refer him to Cornell University Companion Animal Hospital where he saw an ophthalmology specialist.
The specialist prescribed l-lysine 500 mg daily. Nothing in the eyes at all. When he had flare-ups that went into secondary infection, he took oral antibiotics, clavamox.
It's important to understand that antibiotics will cure secondary bacterial infections, but will not cure herpes. The goal is to greatly reduce or prevent altogether, the flare-ups. While I realize every case is different, no ointment or drop or eye medicine of any kind every did Tolly any good, and in fact made things much much worse.
His recovery when I started him on the l-lysine was dramatic. His eyes, which had been swollen and red, half closed and filled with discharges for almost his entire life up to that point were clear and dry within a week, once he started on the l-lysine. It doesn't always happen that fast, but it did for Tolly. I remember I was stunned to find out his eyes were a beautiful clear green color.
In the first few years after starting the l-lysine, he continued to have flare ups several times a year. They seemed seasonal, November and March and once or twice during the hottest days of summer. At first, the flare-ups would go into the secondary bacterial infection, and he would take clavamox for 14 days. By the third year on l-lysine, the flare-ups were no longer going into the secondary infection. He would show signs of a flare up, but then it would go away again.
By the fifth year he was doing so well I reduced him from the therapeutic dose of 500 mg a day to a maintenance dose of 500 mg every other day. If I saw signs of a flare up I would increase the dose to daily for a week or two.
How I knew he was heading for a flare-up was, his eye would start shedding a little brown square speck.
Keeping stress at a minimum is important, too of course. Feliway plug in diffusers are great for helping to reduce stress.