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How often do you supplement L-Lysine and for how long--and for what? And other questions. :)

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 

Recently I had a conversation with another member via PM about L-Lysine supplementation and how I was concerned. She can "out" herself, or not, if she wants since she knows I'm going to post in part my end of the conversation here. laughing02.gif

 

So how often do you supplement L-Lysine and for how long? For what condition? Are you concerned about the below information if you don't "pulse" supplementing L-Lysine but give it on a long-term, continual basis? If not, why?

 

Here goes: smile.gif

 

L-Lysine, since it's an amino acid should be used judiciously, and you have to be careful with it because it is part of a process in conjunction with other amino acids. L-Lysine will compete with arginine and deplete the arginine, so you don't want to exceed a maintenance dose of 250mg on a long-term basis. I've always done 500mg per day in the acute phase (divided in two doses), then 250mg per day (again divided between two doses) for a few days after symptoms have subsided, then I stop it.

 

A little excerpt from Pet Education about arginine:

"Arginine is also an amino acid. Most animals manufacture the amino acid ornithine through various processes, some of which require arginine. In cats, the only method to produce ornithine is to convert it from arginine. Ornithine is necessary because it binds ammonia produced from the breakdown of protein. If cats are deficient in arginine, there will not be enough ornithine to bind the ammonia, and severe signs such as salivation, vocalization, ataxia, and even death can result from the high ammonia levels. These signs often occur several hours after a meal, when most of the ammonia is produced. Although deficiencies are rare, they cat occur in cats who are not eating or have certain liver diseases such as hepatic lipidosis."

 

I was concerned about over-supplementation causing a depletion of arginine (and therefore ornithine) for kitties that are on it.

 

She posed a question regarding why kitties that have been on it long-term show none of the signs of depleted arginine. My thoughts were:

 

With regards to the long term maintenance dose of L-lysine, I wonder if 1) diet comes into play, and 2) the efficacy or purity of the brand of supplement could be in question? Regarding the purity of a specific product, maybe having access to consumer lab reports would be beneficial (if the product has been tested, that is)? Although some supplements have the USP designation on them, so that would be something to look for maybe?

 

My thoughts are that a raw diet would contain a higher amount of naturally occurring arginine, and therefore no clinical signs of deficiency even if the L-lysine is competing with the arginine (both 1 and 2 above)? And maybe that's why a high maintenance dose has to be given in the first place?

 

There are studies that show a diet with NO arginine clinical signs will exhibit within one hour of just one meal.

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/115/4/524.full.pdf (page 2/525, second column)

"However, within an hour of consuming a single meal of a purified diet containing all the essential nutrients with the exception of arginine, near adult cats exhibited sialorrhea (frothing at the mouth), ataxia, emesis and tetanic spasms with emprosthotonus. In severe cases the clinical signs included cyanosis and death from respiratory failure (15, 16). Arginine deficiency in the cat is the most rapidly induced nutrient deficiency observed in any mammal."

 

A fascinating (to me smile.gif) study: Arginine: An Essential Amino Acid for the Cat (a pdf). Part of this study is that kitties, when given a choice, chose the diet that contained arginine. (Fascinating except for the kitties that suffered.)

 

End of conversation and now bringing it public. smile.gif

 

So what say you, fellow TCS members? biggrin.gif Thanks!

post #2 of 74

Since meat and poultry are high in arginine, maybe the amount in the diet is enough to avoid a problem with lysine supplementation?

 

Doing a quick search I found this paper on the topic:

"Excess Dietary Lysine Does Not Cause Lysine-Arginine Antagonism in Adult Cats"

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/134/8/2042S.full

post #3 of 74
I would like to hear more about this. As I just purchased a some L-Lysine for my kitty who has FHV. It flares up every few months and I was told it would help to keep it at bay. On 2nd thought, I'll consult my vet.
post #4 of 74

There are several factors that come in to play, and you, a general you, not specific you, have to look at all of them, to make the decision, if its right for your cat or not. wavey.gif

 

Any medication or supplement, affects each cat or dog or horse or human, differently. What medication that worked for Sally and Joe, might not work for you. Its the same with cats. One antibiotic might work for Fluffy, but cause a reaction, or not work, with Spot. You also have to know, why, you are giving the supplement or medication, what exactly, are you trying to accomplish.  

 

The diet also comes into play. It depends on if you are feeding a good quality grain free food, or you are feeding a food from the grocery store, which is filled with grains, glutens, byproducts and the 3 D's.   As in, are you eating healthy, or are you eating junk foods.

 

The health of the kitty is also a factor. Is the kitty healthy, does the kitty have health issues, what is the kitty used for, show kitty or just a pet, what is the kitty's metablisim, level of activity, what is the kitty exposed to, what is the home life like, other pets, humans, etc.

 

Then you decide, if you need a supplement, and what you are looking for, for that supplement to accomplish.

 

L-Lysine is an immune booster, it boosts the immune system, so a kitty that has health issues, that lower the immune system, would benefit, from L-Lysine.

Its the same with humans, a young child or elderly person, would have a lower immune system, and thus, their exposure, to some issues, would be detremental to them, whereas a healthy human, could fight it off.

 

L-Lysine is commonly give to a kitty, when they are sick, it helps them get over it faster.  Show people give L-Lysine all the time, but again, their needs are different, they show all over the country, different show halls, different hotels, stuff that floats around the show hall, being handled by different judges, who may have handled another cat that is sick, or in different cages in the ring, they really don't disinfect the cages that well, nor the judges their hands that well. They don't disenfect the pole or the toys.

 

So a show kitty, has a higher degree of exposure, plus the stress of traveling and showing. Even tho kittens have all their shots, they still have to build up their "show immunity" from all the stuff floating around the show hall, and the cages and the judges.

 

The correct dosage, unless your vet tells you different, depending on the issues, is if the kitty is 9 lbs or under, they would get 250 mgs once a day. If kitty is over 9 lbs, they would get 250 mgs twice a day, or 500 mgs once a day. A kitten would get 250 mgs once a day, but you would have to check with your vet, to see if the kitten is old enough.

 

The quality of the supplement also plays a factor. You want a good quality one, not one that has fillers, and it will say so on the bottle. Its just like with humans, you look for a good quality vitamin or supplement. 

 

And what works for one kitty, may not work, for another.

 

Wasn't me, LOL, those that know me on other boards, know, I will stand and fight, per say, LOL, in public, LOL.  agree.gif  laughing02.gif  wave2.gif  highfive.gif

post #5 of 74
Tolly angel.gif took l-lysine all his life to control a severe herpes virus. When he was a kitten he almost lost his eyes. In 2001, when he was almost two, I took him to Cornell University Companion Animal Hospital where he saw an ophthalmology specialist. The diagnosis was feline herpes, the treatment recommended was 500 mg of l-lysine daily, with oral antibiotics any time a flare-up went into bacterial infection. (after so many things tried, he got so he could not tolerate ANYTHING in his eyes)

After four years on daily l-lysine, he no longer had secondary infections and the flare ups had almost disappeared. I was able to drop him to a maintenance dose of 500 mg every other day. If I saw signs of an eminent flare-up (little square brown specks in the corners of his eyes, then white strings would follow ) I would increase the dose back to therapeutic, 500 mg every day for two weeks.

One time when he was having some digestive issues I had to take him off everything for a short time. Within a week of being totally off the l-lysine the herpes came out 'with a vengeance' as the saying goes. Once he was back on it, the flare-ups again were under control.

Tolly ate a canned diet all his life. He ate Fancy Feast until the melamine poisoning in 2007, at which time I began to educate myself about feline nutrition beyond "feed an only canned diet, no fish". He then graduated to foods that did not contain any grains, artificial anything, dyes, sodium nitrites etc.

Tolly took l-lysine for 10 years. I use pure powder, by Source Naturals. He also had a seizure disorder and took phenobarbital all his life. It never occurred to me before that taking l-lysine for so many years might have had an impact on some of the other health problems he had as he got older.

However, even after reading this thread I would have continued with the l-lysine. Why? Because when he didn't take it, his eyes became red, swollen, pus leaking messes. In the big picture, quality of life is much more important longevity.

I've given it to the other cats on occasion. Times when there might be a lot of stress (stress affects the immune system), or when I had the H1N1 flu (since it was reported to be possible to be passed to cats) or if one of the cats looks like she might be developing URI symptoms.

I also take it myself, when I feel like I'm coming down with a cold or sinus infection. smile.gif
post #6 of 74

Wow, this is a lot of info. Interesting though. I had never heard this before. 

Angel is a Herpes kitty, & his first visit to the Vet w/ me, (3yrs ago)  L-Lysine was recommended.

250mg/2xs/day.  When he has flare ups, or it looks as if one is coming, I up the dose to 500mg. 2xs/day.  I have done this for approx. 3yrs. now w/ no problems as

mentioned above. He has also been on good food (canned Natural Balance, by nature, or Before The Grain) all approx 95%-96% protein.

Fortunately, he has never had a severe case, only that "Third Eye" looking a little pink, or an occasional sneeze, but that's about it.

I think because he has been on it so long, & anytime there is a "flare up," his Lysine gets increased & sometimes if needed he gets prescription eye drops,

they seem to finally happen less.

As bigperm20 said above, this has only happened every few months or so w/ Angel too.

My Vet also recommended nutritional yeast to sprinkle on his food for the "B" Vitamins. smile.gif

The L-Lysine I use is the Solaray brand.( I know this is a good quality brand, because I was a buyer for our local Co-op's

Wellness Department, & am familiar with it).

post #7 of 74

Wow. I'm new to "the cat site" and I'm amazed with the experience and knowledge of the members. I hope you can help us. I've had cats all my life and several had the drippy eye syndrome. Al I ever heard from vets was "clogged tear duct" and they flushed them out for a few of my cats which changed nothing. Last Feb. Salvador, with drippy eye syndrome had to go to the emergency vet for a gastro problem that gave him a sudden high fever. Sal gets his mouth around anything in the house and I try to be careful, but this time he must have gotten something bad. He recovered from that quickly, but meanwhile I asked about his drippy eye. The vet told me that L-Lysine can block the cat herpes virus causing drippy eyes and other auto-immune problems which I know are aggravated by stress. He told me to give 500 mg twice a day and he said less would not help. Although maybe maintenance is less, I didn't ask. Since then I've given both my cats 500 mg in food twice a day. Sam has had asthma, another auto-immune thing although it's in remission. No doubt, we have some stress. Sal's eye is 100% well, but I think I will give them half the L-Lysine and see if it stays that way.

 

Very recently, I found out that their blood creatine is a bit high indicating decreased kidney function. They are 13 years old, not that old since many of mine lived to around 20. I feed them a high quality canned food (Petguard) so I'm kind of confused (and upset.) I have no idea if L-Lysine has anything to do with it. That vet seemed pretty good, he said you can't over dose, it won't harm. But did he know for sure?

 

Kidney disease!!!! Does anyone here know of a low phosphorous, lower protein wet cat food for ailing kidneys. Hills, Rx, Purina, even Royal Canin list meat by-products high in their ingredients. Do we have to accept that to get the only kidney-friendly diet? I don't think I can make their food and get all the proper nutrients in correctly. But for now, I'm starting to mix some plain white rice in their Petguard canned. The main reason I joined "the cat site":  We need your recommendations!

post #8 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakey View Post

Wow. I'm new to "the cat site" and I'm amazed with the experience and knowledge of the members. I hope you can help us. I've had cats all my life and several had the drippy eye syndrome. Al I ever heard from vets was "clogged tear duct" and they flushed them out for a few of my cats which changed nothing. Last Feb. Salvador, with drippy eye syndrome had to go to the emergency vet for a gastro problem that gave him a sudden high fever. Sal gets his mouth around anything in the house and I try to be careful, but this time he must have gotten something bad. He recovered from that quickly, but meanwhile I asked about his drippy eye. The vet told me that L-Lysine can block the cat herpes virus causing drippy eyes and other auto-immune problems which I know are aggravated by stress. He told me to give 500 mg twice a day and he said less would not help. Although maybe maintenance is less, I didn't ask. Since then I've given both my cats 500 mg in food twice a day. Sam has had asthma, another auto-immune thing although it's in remission. No doubt, we have some stress. Sal's eye is 100% well, but I think I will give them half the L-Lysine and see if it stays that way.

Very recently, I found out that their blood creatine is a bit high indicating decreased kidney function. They are 13 years old, not that old since many of mine lived to around 20. I feed them a high quality canned food (Petguard) so I'm kind of confused (and upset.) I have no idea if L-Lysine has anything to do with it. That vet seemed pretty good, he said you can't over dose, it won't harm. But did he know for sure?

Kidney disease!!!! Does anyone here know of a low phosphorous, lower protein wet cat food for ailing kidneys. Hills, Rx, Purina, even Royal Canin list meat by-products high in their ingredients. Do we have to accept that to get the only kidney-friendly diet? I don't think I can make their food and get all the proper nutrients in correctly. But for now, I'm starting to mix some plain white rice in their Petguard canned. The main reason I joined "the cat site":  We need your recommendations!

HI and welcome to TCS. Are Sal and your other kitty related? Kidney disease can be a genetic issue. Though I do urge you to do a retest in three months before starting to worry.

Luckily the research has already been done on low phos foods! Here is a list of commercial foods and their phosphorous levels

canned:
Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease- Canned Food Data USA

General info
Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Which Foods to Feed, and Which to Avoid

home
http://www.felinecrf.com/index.htm

That site is wordy and detailed and I find it a bit confusing in general but it does have a lot of good info if you can persevere.

I do urge you to start a thread of your own in the Health section asking any questions about CKD you may have.
post #9 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post

Since meat and poultry are high in arginine, maybe the amount in the diet is enough to avoid a problem with lysine supplementation?

 

 

Diet was one of the things that I wondered about and the actual arginine in the diet being enough to avoid problems. I'm still researching! laughing02.gif

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Angels mommy View Post Angel is a Herpes kitty, & his first visit to the Vet w/ me, (3yrs ago)  L-Lysine was recommended.

250mg/2xs/day.  When he has flare ups, or it looks as if one is coming, I up the dose to 500mg. 2xs/day.  I have done this for approx. 3yrs. now w/ no problems as

mentioned above.
Originally Posted by otto View Post Tolly angel.gif took l-lysine all his life to control a severe herpes virus. ... the treatment recommended was 500 mg of l-lysine daily, ...
After four years on daily l-lysine, he no longer had secondary infections and the flare ups had almost disappeared. I was able to drop him to a maintenance dose of 500 mg every other day. If I saw signs of an eminent flare-up (little square brown specks in the corners of his eyes, then white strings would follow ) I would increase the dose back to therapeutic, 500 mg every day for two weeks.
Originally Posted by FlintMcCullough View Post Show people give L-Lysine all the time, but again, their needs are different, they show all over the country, different show halls, different hotels, stuff that floats around the show hall, being handled by different judges, who may have handled another cat that is sick, or in different cages in the ring, they really don't disinfect the cages that well, nor the judges their hands that well.

 

This is part of what sent me on this quest: kitties that receive lysine daily, and long term. I wanted to understand why these kitties didn't become sick from continued use of lysine. Still researching, so it's good to hear from folks that have used lysine long-term.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakey View Post

... I asked about his drippy eye. The vet told me that L-Lysine can block the cat herpes virus causing drippy eyes and other auto-immune problems which I know are aggravated by stress. He told me to give 500 mg twice a day and he said less would not help. Although maybe maintenance is less, I didn't ask. Since then I've given both my cats 500 mg in food twice a day. ...

 

Very recently, I found out that their blood creatine is a bit high indicating decreased kidney function. They are 13 years old, not that old since many of mine lived to around 20. I feed them a high quality canned food (Petguard) so I'm kind of confused (and upset.) I have no idea if L-Lysine has anything to do with it. That vet seemed pretty good, he said you can't over dose, it won't harm. But did he know for sure?

 

How long have you been giving the L-Lysine? I am finding references in my ongoing search that lysine should not be used for kitties with kidney or liver issues. Still researching, so I'm just thinking out loud here. rub.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlintMcCullough View Post

L-Lysine is an immune booster, it boosts the immune system, so a kitty that has health issues, that lower the immune system, would benefit, from L-Lysine.

Its the same with humans, a young child or elderly person, would have a lower immune system, and thus, their exposure, to some issues, would be detremental to them, whereas a healthy human, could fight it off.

 

I hear what you're saying, just not sure I'm buying into it totally...yet. laughing02.gif For FHV or similar, it seems to help kitties over the long term. That is one concession I'm leaning towards giving and that is a change in my thinking a bit. My Maxie (Maine Coon) has EGC, and in his case I would never use lysine because his immune system is over-active with this disease. I turned down steroids, and after much research, instead transitioned all my kids to a balanced homemade raw diet. He's been symptom free for almost 7 years now. I did find some references to not using lysine supplementation for kitties with kidney insufficiency and liver (hepatic) issues--both of which would be related to, and in conjunction with, a lowered immune system.

 

I'm still researching to see if there are any issues that long-term users should be aware of, and more evidence to support that it is safe to give long term and what diseases it is safe for. smile.gif

 

One more question: Anyone out there that had an adverse reaction to supplementing lysine for their kitties?

 

Thanks y'all! Keep those comments coming! clap.gif

post #10 of 74

Not every show person, gives L-Lysine all the time, I don't.  I only use it, when they are sick. My cats eat a good quality grain free food and they are healthy. They get their kitten shots, and their booster shots. The shows require them, altho, they don't have a vet check, like they do at horse shows.  Kittens have to build up their "show immunity", and this is per my vet, lol, and even with all their required shots, on occassion, one will bring something home, from their first few shows.  

 

I have friends that only give it when they are sick, I have friends that give it all the time. I have yet to hear, that a show cat, got sick from being given L-Lysine all the time. Not saying it never happened, or will never happen, just saying I haven't heard about it, which, in the cat show world, just as in the horse show world, everybody knows, what everybody else is doing, LOL, but, its a very good question, so I will put up a post on the cat show board.

 

I don't feel mine need to be given L-Lysine all the time. They eat healthy, and are very healthy, and I am overly pickey about them. I don't let spectators touch them, lol and when friends come in, they take their shoes off and wash their hands, and deposit their quarter, before they pet my kitties, lol. They don't have a need, to be given it all the time.

 

One has to look at why, they are giving a supplement. What exactly, are they trying to accomplish, why do they have a need to give it.

 

One also has to realize, what works for one kitty, may not work for another kitty.

 

There are always going to be times, when that supplement cannot be given, or is not going to work.

 

Its the same with any supplement, any medication. Its a tool, it has a specific job, and in most cases, it does its intended job. There are always going to be exceptions.  Steriods are one example. They are meant for short term use, they do the job, they were intended for. But there are situations, where one has to use it long term, or rather, weigh the options, of long term use, depending on the medical issue. There are side effects, I know what they are in horses, I don't know what they are in cats, in either case, its a 50/50 crap shoot, depends on the medical issue.  Centrine is another example. Its an antispazmodic, similiar to pepto bismal, its intended job, is for tummy upset. It can be given to most cats, but it will kill a cat that has heart issues.  Convenia is another one. Its an antibiotic shot, meant to last in the system for 2 weeks, as opposed to giving 10 days of pills or liquid. It does its intended job. But, there have been some research that shows, it lasts longer than 2 weeks, and alot of cats and dogs, had a reaction to it, some very sick, some died.  The prob is, once its in the system, you cannot take it back. If the kitty has a reaction to it, as some do, with some antibiotics, you can't stop giving it, you are sca-rood. So, do you, or don't you? It depends on your cat and your situation. I have one, a female, that you just cannot get meds in her, pills or liquid, treats don't fool her, if you put it in her food, she won't eat it. Then she won't eat anything, because she thinks its in there. Even if you have the entire Dallas Cowboys team holding her down, ya still better bring backup, lol.  In her case, when she cut her chest open, fighting with her, is going to rip her stitches open, so in her case, she got the shot. It was a 50/50 crap shoot, do I or don't I. She needed the antibiotics in her, we cannot risk ripping her stitches open.  Other wise, I won't touch it with a 10 ft pole, lol.

 

So, not every medication or every supplement is going to work, in every situation, there are always going to be exceptions.

 

I don;t know if this would figure in your research or not, lol, but I take it every day. I have heart issues. Every time I go in for a check up, my doctor goes over all the medications and supplements I take, and the dosages. If she didn't want me taking it, lol, I wouldn't be taking it, lol. I take 500 mg once a day. If I feel I am coming down with something, I take 500 mg twice a day, and it works.  

 

Why, do you want to give L-Lysine? What health issues do your kitties have, that you feel, or are thinking about giving it to them?  

 

Thats what I would tell anyone who is looking to give a supplement. Why do you want to give it, what are you looking to accomplish?

 

Hope I ans all your questions, lol, by Sun, my mind is gone, from the very long 6 day week, lol, then, I get to start all over again, on Mon, lol.  wavey.gifagree.giflaughing02.gifwave2.gif

post #11 of 74

We use it for my cat, Eko, who has herpes flare ups.  It hasn't been that long since we stared using it but my intention has been to get to a two weeks on, two weeks off routine (what my vet recommended....I should ask her why, shouldn't I?)  There hasn't been a good time to try the two weeks off thing, though, with vet visits stressing the cats out and kitty colds from that (and a new foster who is living in isolation but has a cold.) 

 

We were also using it for Leo, who I also think may carry the herpes virus.  But he has been having some digestive issues so we cut the lysine out for now to have one less variable to worry about.  (Cutting it out did not resolve his occasional vomiting...so it probably was not the culprit.)

 

Anyways, I think it is wise to consider the possible side effects of any supplement.  Heck, I worry about the little chewable vitamins I give my kids.  I try to only give them every other night or so.  I'm just cautious that way.  (I was taking glucosamine for some hip pain a while back.  It helped....but I couldn't figure out why I was so fatigued in the middle of the day every day.  I researched the possible side effects, two of which I was experiencing, and decided they weren't worth it....no more glucosamine.  Thankfully the hip pain is better too.)

post #12 of 74

Thank you, Otto

No, kitties are not related. Considering our history I think the likely source is the L-Lysine supplement that a vet recommended for herpes, etc. last Feb. He did not say it boosts the immune system, rather it has properties that inhibit the herpes virus. The dose he gave is higher than any other I've seen and he said you cannot overdose, it's harmless. I've now found there's a relationship between it and kidney function. Just really distressing to find I've caused this by not having the information. I will research everything from now on, and never believe the words, "it's extremely rare". Suddenly that's irrelevant when you are the rare case. Please know that vitamins and supplements are not always safe, any messing around with our bodies is not natural so there must be a very good reason to take them. Most everyone, including vets are not paying attention: what we eat matters!

 

I had already found that excellent site, feline crf.com. I'm going to continue the high quality meat protein diet. No more L-Lysine. A bit of eye discharge is not worth the possibility of kidney problems. The new vet is recommending Standard Process Renal Support and I'm now even wary of that. In any case, I'm hoping in a short while another test will show normal.

 

Thanks to all, it's been very informative to read your experiences.
 

post #13 of 74
GREAT you started the thread! clap.gifclap.gif : clap: I was at the other end of the conversation, and I didn't know about the L-lysine competing with arginine. Yet I've used L-lysine for Billy for years - he's a sneezle kitty. He was rescued in the fall of 2008, and he's been on a "maintenance" dose of 500mg of L-lysine a day. At the time, we free fed c/d (three of the other boys had blocked in earlier years) and everyone got 2 meals of c/d a day. It was.... about 2 years later, I removed kibble from their diet, and switched them to higher quality canned, and then earlier this year I started feeding only raw food to the cats.

I really think diet and genetics, the "otherwise" health of the immune system and functioning of the GI system must all come into play, because vets so regularly recommend L-lysine now, and apparently never mention the potential problem with arginine. dontknow.gif I do know that Feralvr has a herpes kitty, and Perla is under the care of an opthamologist - and I believe the specialist recommends 500mg as a maintenance dose, and 1000mg as a flare-up dose. I'll send Lauren a link to the thread, as obviously she hasn't seen it.

But Bill didn't seem to have any problems with the L-lysine, and it's been... four years now. And now I'm wondering if I keep him on that dose, or lower it to 250mg as a maintenance dose (can't hurt - and just see how he does on it, I guess). laughing02.gif
post #14 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

GREAT you started the thread! clap.gifclap.gif : clap: I was at the other end of the conversation, and I didn't know about the L-lysine competing with arginine. Yet I've used L-lysine for Billy for years - he's a sneezle kitty. He was rescued in the fall of 2008, and he's been on a "maintenance" dose of 500mg of L-lysine a day. At the time, we free fed c/d (three of the other boys had blocked in earlier years) and everyone got 2 meals of c/d a day. It was.... about 2 years later, I removed kibble from their diet, and switched them to higher quality canned, and then earlier this year I started feeding only raw food to the cats.
I really think diet and genetics, the "otherwise" health of the immune system and functioning of the GI system must all come into play, because vets so regularly recommend L-lysine now, and apparently never mention the potential problem with arginine. dontknow.gif I do know that Feralvr has a herpes kitty, and Perla is under the care of an opthamologist - and I believe the specialist recommends 500mg as a maintenance dose, and 1000mg as a flare-up dose. I'll send Lauren a link to the thread, as obviously she hasn't seen it.
But Bill didn't seem to have any problems with the L-lysine, and it's been... four years now. And now I'm wondering if I keep him on that dose, or lower it to 250mg as a maintenance dose (can't hurt - and just see how he does on it, I guess). laughing02.gif

 

Oops! I should have PM'd you that I did start the topic. doh3.gif Well, ya "outed" yourself that you are the one I was PMing and discussing this with. wave2.gif laughing02.gif

 

I have been researching this since we talked and have come up with some interesting stuff, but need to put it all into an understandable and cohesive way. My thinking from this so far is that long-term usage might not hurt (except for some evidence of kidney and liver problems).

 

But aside from the long-term use and some anecdotal (seen mentioned in passing, so need to find actual studies) kidney and liver problems, I'm wondering if one uses especially high doses and it completely depletes ALL arginine that is consumed in the diet, if then it becomes a problem? Per the study that showed severe reactions when fed a diet with all other amino acids except arginine (http://jn.nutrition.org/content/115/4/524.full.pdf), the Pet Education caution from my original post, and the other study, http://jn.nutrition.org/content/108/12/1944.full.pdf which stated: "It was concluded that the cat lacks the ability to synthesize ornithine. The consequence of this metabolic deficiency in the cat is that arginine is an essential nutrient: it provides a unique example of a nutrient so critical that one meal without dietary arginine may result in death." (Much, much more info in this study, this is only one small excerpt.)

 

Also, for those that supplement lysine and use a human supplement, be sure to there is no propylene glycol in it as that causes anemia in kitties.

 

So to summarize a bit before adding more from researching: My concern is too much lysine completely depleting all arginine in the diet and leading to major health consequences for kitties.

post #15 of 74

What is arginine?  What does it do, or not do?

 

Have to go in Friday, for distemper boosters, and am going to ask my vet about this.  Was in there a couple of weeks ago, with an eye infection. She said its viral, has to run its course, had me continue with putting terrymycine in her eye, and continue with the L-Lysine.  She asked me, if I gave it to her, all the time, or just when she is sick. I give it, just when they are sick, and we did not expand, on the discussion, this time, I am going to ask her.  agree.gif  wave2.gif  highfive.gif

 

Great discussion, thanks for starting it.  wavey.gif

post #16 of 74
...and you know, I should go look up my old posts on the subject of lysine supplementation. Because I think I was using 250mg as a maintenance dose, and upped it based on information posted by others based on specialist recommendations when treating their herpes kitties....

IF I did, I don't see less sneezing from Bill on the higher dose, come to think of it.... thank goodness, he's never had runny eyes from it. cross.gif1087.gif

...and in the research you're seeing Jules, is the issue with kidney/liver function lysine supplementation in general? Or higher amounts?
post #17 of 74

Just on my way out the door but I recall finding this study in some previous research I did on this topic: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/134/8/2042S.full
 

post #18 of 74
Well - all I can say is I am stumped and confused and will have to call and talk to Perla's eye specialist. Who is extremely well known here in the Midwest and comes highly recommended and respected. Dr. Lindley told me to start ALL of my cats on 500 mg. Lysine powder TWICE daily. 1000 mg. per day. She told me that 1000 MG. per day IS maintenance. Perla has a herpetic eye and IF she does not get the Lysine she gets a major flare up. Her eye is chronically weepy and wet though. BUT wow..... I am very concerned to hear about the possible arginine deficiency. confused.gifnervousy.gif

I did not start all of my cats on 1000mg per day. Only Perla. But Wendall - my asthma baby gets that much too. Perkins is my other Herpes kitty with the sneezes quite bad from time to time. When he has an episode, then I give him 1000 mg. a day as well and the sneezes go away. The others get 500 mg. per day. I will call her office tomorrow and leave a message for her to call me about this.

Oh forgot to add. Perla has been getting Lysine for almost a year but the higher dose started in April this year. Wendall also has been getting Lysine since last Fall. So far no ill effects from either. But, again, this is very disconcerting and the info. presented brings about worry to me for long term use of Lysine.
Edited by Feralvr - 8/27/12 at 5:32pm
post #19 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlintMcCullough View Post

What is arginine?  What does it do, or not do?

 

A little primer before arginine info: When a kitty consumes a diet containing animal protein (not from grains, veggies/fruits), the protein is broken into amino acids; these are absorbed in the small intestine. The amino acids are then reassembled into a different order, and make the specific proteins needed by kitties. These proteins are a large group of nitrogen-based organic compounds that are essential constituents of living cells, they consist of the amino acids, the building blocks necessary for the proper formation of many body/organ systems. Amino acids are used to make enzymes, which along with vitamins and minerals, are necessary for proper metabolism. In general animal-based proteins have a complete amino acid profile needed by kitties. Excess amino acids are broken down and used for energy and/or expelled from the body.

 

There is much more to this process, but that gives a condensed overview of amino acids. One of the reasons I'm hesitant to use excess of lysine because of disrupting this delicate balance too much.

 

Of the required amino acids (not all are listed), kitties are able to synthesize 12 of them: alanine, aspargine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, selenocysteine, serine, tyrosine, and ornithine. These are found in their meat-based diet.

 

Arginine is an essential amino acid, some others are: citrulline, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Taurine is an essential amino sulfonic acid. Conditionally essential is carnitine. These must be in their diet in sufficient quantities, which are if feeding a good quality meat-based diet (or the manufacturer adds them in sufficient amounts--which I think is done because of AAFCO standards--but I am concerned about grains and fruits/veggies being considered part of the protein content of foods, so I would not feed any foods with a lot of these in it--I recommend none smile.gif).

 

When one or more of these amino acids are missing from the diet, food consumption typically decreases and the kitty loses weight.

 

On to arginine: Arginine plays an major, important role in the urea cycle (removing ammonia from the body) in kitties and is used in large amounts. Arginine plays an important role in cell division, the healing of wounds, immune function, and the release of hormones. Like taurine, arginine is not synthesized naturally by kitties and has to be obtained from their diet. Kitties cannot synthesize the essential amino acid citrulline. Cats can convert arginine to citrulline, however, and that means that kitty diets must contain arginine to meet the need for citrulline. Another component of the urea cycle is ornithine. In kitties, the only method to produce ornithine is to convert it from arginine. Ornithine is necessary because it binds ammonia produced from the breakdown of protein. If kitties are deficient in arginine, there will not be enough ornithine to bind the ammonia.

 

So this is in part why I feel that over-supplementation of lysine may break this delicate balance in kitties between all these processes. Any amino acid supplementation needs to be done in a very carefully considered fashion. I will say after reading about FHV, I have seen how lysine can help with this. But is has given me pause on the duration and amounts given for illnesses or as an "immune booster." rub.gif

 

Whew! I wrote a mouthful there. laughing02.gif

post #20 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

...and you know, I should go look up my old posts on the subject of lysine supplementation. Because I think I was using 250mg as a maintenance dose, and upped it based on information posted by others based on specialist recommendations when treating their herpes kitties....
IF I did, I don't see less sneezing from Bill on the higher dose, come to think of it.... thank goodness, he's never had runny eyes from it. cross.gif1087.gif
...and in the research you're seeing Jules, is the issue with kidney/liver function lysine supplementation in general? Or higher amounts?

 

Do post that link when you find it, Laurie. Thanks!

 

Regarding the kidney/liver function, here is one link to a pdf: http://csuvets.colostate.edu/pain/Articlespdf/Natural%20Supplements%20and%20the%20Eye.pdf In part:

"Two potential contraindications include renal and hepatic disease in which patients may have difficulty eliminating the large amounts of nitrogen generated from l-lysine metabolism.10"

 

So maybe kitties with renal and/or liver disease should avoid it? Not sure if it induces decreased function yet--still looking into that.

 

From above link: "Potential drug interactions include 1) increased absorption and decreased elimination of calcium when the two compounds are co-administered and 2) enhanced toxicity of aminoglycoside medications if given along with large amounts of l-lysine."

 

Hmm...interesting about calcium. Does that mean that calcium in the diet would have increased absorption and decreased elimination with increase of lysine? My brain is getting full.

 

More info on the medications (aminoglycosides): Amikacin, Gentamicin, Kanamycin*, Neomycin*, Streptomycin, and Tobramycin. *Should be used topically or orally only. (From Merck Manual.)

 

Off to grind some good ole raw for the kitties...at least that won't use much of what is left of my brain function. laughing02.gif

post #21 of 74
Tolly angel.gif , as I said earlier, took l-lysine all his life. For four years he took a therapeutic dose of 500 mg a day, and then I dropped him to a maintenance of 500 mg every other day.

He had up and down liver issues that started in January 2010. We attributed it to 10 years on phenobarbital. He was put on denosyl, and the numbers went down slightly. He went on a two week course of Baytril and everything went back to normal and stayed that way until early spring 2011. (He had blood work every 3 months) Again we put him on a course of Baytril and his ALT went back to normal.

All this time he was still taking his maintenance dose of l-lysine 500 mg every other day.. Kidney function was always normal.

On the day he was diagnosed with an untreatable fast spreading carcinoma, still, all organ function was normal.

I won't ever know, of course, if the life time taking l-lysine caused any of his other issues. His "hairball sicknesses" which became more frequent as he got older, I often still wonder about those. I still think it was a motility issue. But, if he didn't take the l-lysine, he would have lost his eyes. And who is to say, once his eyes were taken out, if the virus would manifest in some other way. Constant URI for example. When I took him off the l-lysine once, in a week his eyes became red and inflamed and full of discharge again. So I would not have changed a thing, even after reading all this.

We have to remember, that for our cats, quality of life is the most important thing. They don't think about longevity. If a cat has a severe herpes infection, and l-lysine is the only thing that can keep him healthy, in my opinion, it is worth any risk.

If there is something else that can be used....that's a good thing. But don't know if there is, herpes being a viral infection, with no cure.
post #22 of 74

WhollyCat, thank you, very much, for that information!  wavey.gif

 

So now, that I have a better understanding, a few thoughts come up.  The general consensus is, the normal dosage, goes by the weight of the cat. Under 9 lbs, 250 mgs once a day. Over 9 lbs, its 250 mgs twice a day, or 500 mgs once a day. For right now, we will leave kittens out of the discussion. My vet has even said this.

 

So I am wondering, if given a dosage, higher than that, is what is causing the issues in kitties? Or giving L-Lysine, when its really not needed, as in, the kitty is not sick, or stressed.  Or maybe it makes a difference, weather its given twice a day, or once a day?  Maybe, in Feralv's case,  1000 mgs is too much?

 

I can see why show people, who run heavily, give it all the time, the constant traveling, different show halls, stuff floating around the show halls, handled all day by judges, when their normal routine, is to take nappys all day, tires and stresses the kitty, and thus lowers their immune system.  Kinda like when we get stressed, it lowers our immune system, and thus, makes us more prone to catching illness's.

 

Most supplements, do their intended job, if given in the correct dosage. Yes there are occassions, when a vet will advise a higher dose of meds or a supplement, depending on the medical issue.  

 

Forgive me, while I digress to the horse world, lol, have shown horses, since I was a little kid, which is about a hundred years ago, lol.  In the horse world, there are about a zillion supplements, some of them work, most, do not. You also have to look at the ingredients. In most cases, the lower the dosage, the more pure, it is, and not full of fillers and junk, as in, higher dose, run out quicker, buy more, more money for the companies.

 

Most horse people, tend to over supplement, they believe the ad, when in most cases, just feeding a good quality grain and hay, is all one needs. We in the horse world, stress, know why you are supplementing, what, exactly, are you trying to accomplish?  This part gets fuzzy, its been awhile, but with horses, you have to be extremly careful, you are not upsetting the balance, similiar to what you just described, you can cause more harm, than if you did nothing.

 

So, would it not be the same with cats?

 

One needs to understand, the nutritional balance, what they are feeding. They need to know, why, they are giving a cat a supplement, what are they exactly, trying to accomplish?

 

In most cases, unless the cat has a medical issue, or is a show cat, just feeding a good quality grain free, gluten free, by product free feed, is enough.  

 

OK, getting tired, lol, rambling more than normal, lol.  Again, thank you for the information. Now I can have an intelligent conversation, with my vet on Friday, lol.   

 

One more thing, about horses, then I will shut up about it, lol.  If your cat or dog, gets sick, ya put them in the car, and take them to the vet. With a horse, ya can't just throw them in the backseat, lol.  Horses also can't throw up, like cats or dogs. They colic, in alot of cases, they die.  Having a sick horse at home, is bad enough, having a sick horse, at a show, is, your major sca-rood. So horse show people, have to be very knowledgeable about horse feed and supplements.  They have to know about proper balance in nutrition, they have to know, what they are supplementing for, and how it affects the balance.

 

So, wouldn't it follow the same, with cats?  wavey.gif  wave2.gif  highfive.gif

post #23 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarcatmom View Post

Just on my way out the door but I recall finding this study in some previous research I did on this topic: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/134/8/2042S.full
 

 

I saw that study,smile.gif and towards the end of it it says:

"The mean body weights of the cats did not differ significantly among or change within the dietary treatment groups throughout the study. However, there was a reduction in food-intake amount in the cats that consumed 111 or 131 g of lysine/kg of diet, and by d 14, this difference approached significance. A longer study period may have yielded a statistically significant difference. Two likely causes for this reduction in food-intake amount are the increased quantities of water needed to incorporate the higher amounts of lysine into solution in the 111 and 131 g of lysine/kg of diet concentrations, or toxic effects of high concentrations of lysine in these two diets. There was no change in dietary dry-matter intake when equivalent amounts of water only were added to the basal diet. Therefore, the reduction in food-intake level in the cats that consumed 111 or 131 g of lysine/kg of diet was most likely the result of the excess dietary lysine and not the water used to incorporate it into solution.

 

It is hypothesized that the reduction in food intake in this study was the result of an amino acid toxicity. A reduction in food intake can be the result of amino acid imbalance, toxicity, or antagonism (12). Excess dietary lysine was shown to antagonize arginine in chicks (13), rats (14), guinea pigs (15), and growing dogs (9). An amino acid imbalance resulting in a reduction in both food-intake and weight gain was reported for young pigs that consumed diets that contained 34.5 or 46.5 g of lysine/kg of diet and 5.3 g of arginine/kg of diet (11). A reduction in food intake coupled with the absence of reduced plasma amino acid concentrations and clinical signs of arginine deficiency support an amino acid toxicity at the two highest dietary lysine concentrations fed in this study."

 

So perhaps that leans towards the high amount of lysine supplemented being a problem with appetite? If it would have been a longer trial, maybe weight loss would have been observed? Maybe other issues would have been observed? dontknow.gif

 

This is the only study that I've seen that says that excess dietary lysine does not cause lysine/arginine antagonism. It was such a short study that it does concern me that kitties weren't eating as much in the end. Wish they would have done a longer time-span, then I would be more confident in their findings. JMO, but maybe it does show that short-term use may be appropriate? This is kind of inline with what the author in the link said:

 

"Determination of the safety of lysine supplementation is imperative due to cats' exquisite sensitivity to arginine deficiency (6). Although previous studies demonstrated that exogenous supplementation with lysine increases plasma lysine without antagonizing plasma arginine concentrations (3,4), the effect was short lived (3 h) in the one study where it was evaluated (3). It is hypothesized that if the lysine content of a commercial diet was increased, cats consuming that diet ad libitum would have and maintain elevated plasma lysine concentrations throughout the day and forgo the variable concentrations observed with exogenous supplementation. This consistent elevation in plasma lysine concentrations may be beneficial in controlling FHV-1. However, to the authors' knowledge, the safety of lysine administration >19 g/kg of diet (7) has never been evaluated. The objective of this study was to determine the safety of excess lysine supplementation to a commercial-type, expanded diet fed to healthy adult cats."


Edited by WhollyCat - 8/27/12 at 7:43pm
post #24 of 74
What I haven't spent the time to figure out yet is how much lysine was being given on a daily basis in that study? The numbers referenced were GRAMS, not milligrams.
post #25 of 74

I have given 500 mg a day starting about a week  before a show to certain cats who have had in the past a tendency toward herpes flare ups then continue for a week..   but  I don't usually show more than about once a month so that would end up 2 wks on, 2 wks off. 

 During a  herpes flare up I have given 1000 mg a day,  or even  2000 a day in a bad outbreak.   All this was on advice of my vet. who on the one hand said that during an outbreak I could give  those high amounts. but shouldn't continue those amounts as maintenance forever .

 

&  I thought that was a lot --  but WOW !  The 131 g per kg they used in that study would be a seriously huge amount!   Not to state the arithmetical obvious, but  I would be giving my 4 kg cat 524,000 mg  a day!   I don't wonder it might cause some kinda toxicity or imbalance! 

post #26 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

What I haven't spent the time to figure out yet is how much lysine was being given on a daily basis in that study? The numbers referenced were GRAMS, not milligrams.

laughing02.gif Good.... I was hoping someone with a brain would figure that out for me einstein.gifbluelaugh.gif
post #27 of 74
Thread Starter 

Nope, your brain is just fine, Lauren. That's why I said the high amounts in the foods causing the lack of appetite, because that is awfully dang high re grams per kilogram (2.2lbs) of kitty. laughing02.gif

post #28 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by maewkaew View Post

... &  I thought that was a lot --  but WOW !  The 131 g per kg they used in that study would be a seriously huge amount!   Not to state the arithmetical obvious, but  I would be giving my 4 kg cat 524,000 mg  a day!   I don't wonder it might cause some kinda toxicity or imbalance! 

yeah.gif Right? Was that how much was given daily?
post #29 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post


yeah.gif Right? Was that how much was given daily?

 

131 grams = 131,000 mg per kg of kitty equals 59,545 g per pound. I think. My brain is fried. laughing02.gif Way high, but that is the only study I'm finding/I've found on lysine not being an antagonistic to arginine when arginine is in the diet. Not sure what is up with that. dontknow.gif

 

Logically thinking of the whole process that goes on with amino acids interacting and converting to enzymes, etc., how can lysine in high amounts (but not as high as that study) not throw off the balance of things? Know what I mean?

post #30 of 74
Thread Starter 

I found this information at vetinfo.com, which explains in layman's terms how l-lysine works and in part its affect on arginine. It makes sense to me.

 

"How Do L-Lysine Supplements Work?

 

Viral infections grow when an individual virus takes control of a host cell and makes it use its resources to manufacture more viruses. The virus does this by injecting its DNA into the nucleus of the host cell. This strip of genetic material contains instructions that the cell's chemical machinery can use to build more viruses. The host cell, unable to distinguish between the viral DNA and its own, will continue to make more viruses until it bursts, releasing the viruses into the body to infect more cells.

 

An uninfected cell usually does not use much of a particular amino acid called arginine, while cells that are infected use a lot of it to make more copies of the virus. The cell's natural chemical process that uses arginine is limited by the quantity of L-Lysine (another amino acid) that's available. By giving daily L-Lysine supplements to your cat, you increase the quantity of L-Lysine available for the cat's cells to use, which means that the cell uses more arginine for its natural functions. This leaves less arginine available for the production of the cat herpes virus, thereby slowing the growth of the infection."

 
It doesn't say what dose of l-lysine is acceptable, or how much arginine must be in a kitty's diet so as not to deplete arginine. But, this does make sense because so many kitties are on l-lysine long-term without seeing signs of arginine depletion. Just me, but if I had a kitty with FHV, I would give a higher dose during times of initial onset and then taper the dose to a maintenance dose for a week after improvement. Me, I'm a cautious sort of gal, so this I would be comfortable with.
 
I'm still digging information up, but I found this to in a sense support using l-lysine--with my own self-limiting dosing schedule because I still question how much and for how long, plus my questions about kitties with kidney and liver issues. rub.gif
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