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Old 01-07-2013, 06:29 PM
 
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We never have a day when no animal is sick, it seems, and now I am weary and worried because our lovely Miss Tortie, aged 2, abandoned and fully tame, has never gotten over her URI since we took her (a sweet friendly cat) out of the feral colony because she certainly deserved a home and we intended to find her one. We had spayed her 2 months earlier.

People here know I have 10 inside cats, some were sick or injured, 2 outside (a third disappeared and I am heartbroken) and have been a rescuer.

Well, at the first visit she had a pretty bad thick mucus nasal discharge and we started her on Clavamox which she got for 2 weeks. But this did not do the job enough. The thick discharge disappeared but I took her to our regular vet (we started her at the shelter clinic because they are cheaper) soon, concerned about her convulsive sneezing. No thick discharge and the vet (I am tired, forgive me if I am getting it wrong here, we have had a lot to take care of lately) said, I think, no meds now, if it is clear she's OK. But she was NOT OK and I returned her yesterday and the vet examined her again and said she has mucus in one nose that is indicative of bacteria again. So now we have started Antirobe. Twice a day for 2 weeks, etc.

Plus my vet told us that she may well have a chronic condition. Oh, yes, and to give her L Lysine in all food which I admit I stopped simply because I was trying to care for so many sick or injured cats at once plus sing in our Christmas choir, etc. (My little luxury and sanity saver.) But now I am doing the L Lysine at 250 mg a day.

Then I read on a well know vet information site that if we don't get this under control it can spread to the other cats (bacteria, I assume) and I do have an elderly FIV+ cat plus a 6 or 7 year old one who is also positive fiv and some older cats and the kittens who concern me. Oh, Geez.

Now, what? I am so worried.

Last edited by Martha Anne; 01-07-2013 at 06:40 PM..
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:46 PM
 
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She's been tested for FeLV, right?

I've had cats with VERY stubborn URIs that took a long to clear up. It's very very likely she has feline herpes as well. Flares of feline herpes can knock down the immune system, which can lead to a bacterial infection. The L-lysine is the only thing known to help with feline herpes and you really do need to make giving it a habit. If you can separate them for a few days until the new meds hopefully kick in and make sure you wash your hands EVERY time you handle her (I know, it's a huge pain) It isn't possibly to fully prevent a URI from spreading in a normal house set-up because of the air flow though.

It isn't possible to say if she'll continue having this problem until you've gone some time giving the L-Lysine faithfully. Hopefully the antibiotics will work quickly to get rid of the bacterial infection, and then the L-lysine will help keep her immune system healthier so it doesn't keep happening. Hopefully.

If she's only been tested for FeLV once, I would test her again to be safe. False negatives happen
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:01 PM
 
2,263 posts, read 3,971,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
She's been tested for FeLV, right?

I've had cats with VERY stubborn URIs that took a long to clear up. It's very very likely she has feline herpes as well. Flares of feline herpes can knock down the immune system, which can lead to a bacterial infection. The L-lysine is the only thing known to help with feline herpes and you really do need to make giving it a habit. If you can separate them for a few days until the new meds hopefully kick in and make sure you wash your hands EVERY time you handle her (I know, it's a huge pain) It isn't possibly to fully prevent a URI from spreading in a normal house set-up because of the air flow though.

It isn't possible to say if she'll continue having this problem until you've gone some time giving the L-Lysine faithfully. Hopefully the antibiotics will work quickly to get rid of the bacterial infection, and then the L-lysine will help keep her immune system healthier so it doesn't keep happening. Hopefully.

If she's only been tested for FeLV once, I would test her again to be safe. False negatives happen
Oh, of course, we do all of that. We paid for the blood test for FIV and leukemia (negative for both, I didn't want just the SNAP test) and I should have said that I asked the vet in the shelter clinic if it was likely herpes virus and he didn't answer, but I am assuming it was.

We kept her isolated about a month in the first floor bathroom, all set up there. After I was told she "only" had the herpes, likely, and no bacterial infection, per the second vet, I let her wander the house and she took up residence in the LR and DR and has been sneezing her head off ever since. Amazinglym, our other cats show no symptoms, including our 13 year old FIV guy and our 7 year old fiv one, and the kittens DID have herpes symptoms at rescue time but are symptom free. (Needless to say, all of our cats have been exposed to herpes virus many many times.)

To put her back in that bathroom, well, I COULD do it, but I hate to because it means at least 3 weeks of total isolation except for me visiting her, and she cannot get to the awkwardly positioned window to look out.

She comes onto the sofa cat bedding to sleep every night, walks all over the place, sneezes in presence of the other cats: I wonder how much difference washing my hands would be at this point. I mean SNEEZES, watery, violent sneezes. If they haven't breathed in her bacterial and virus discharges already, I would be amazed. Although I guess that less is better, more is worse..

Thank you. I am very depressed. Over this latest development. This is hard work.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha Anne View Post
Oh, of course, we do all of that. We paid for the blood test for FIV and leukemia (negative for both, I didn't want just the SNAP test) and I should have said that I asked the vet in the shelter clinic if it was likely herpes virus and he didn't answer, but I am assuming it was.

We kept her isolated about a month in the first floor bathroom, all set up there. After I was told she "only" had the herpes, likely, and no bacterial infection, per the second vet, I let her wander the house and she took up residence in the LR and DR and has been sneezing her head off ever since. Amazinglym, our other cats show no symptoms, including our 13 year old FIV guy and our 7 year old fiv one, and the kittens DID have herpes symptoms at rescue time but are symptom free. (Needless to say, all of our cats have been exposed to herpes virus many many times.)

To put her back in that bathroom, well, I COULD do it, but I hate to because it means at least 3 weeks of total isolation except for me visiting her, and she cannot get to the awkwardly positioned window to look out.

She comes onto the sofa cat bedding to sleep every night, walks all over the place, sneezes in presence of the other cats: I wonder how much difference washing my hands would be at this point. I mean SNEEZES, watery, violent sneezes. If they haven't breathed in her bacterial and virus discharges already, I would be amazed. Although I guess that less is better, more is worse..

Thank you. I am very depressed. Over this latest development. This is hard work.
You're probably right that if the others haven't caught it yet, they're less likely to do so at this stage.

Give the new antibiotics a chance and keep up on the L-Lysine. If she doesn't start improving soon, you might have to consider the possibility of something in her sinuses. I've known cats to get a blade of grass up in there (actually, my childhood dog once did this as well and eventually sneezed it out.) Make sure her teeth look okay...I know she's young, but even young cats can have bad teeth and get an abscesses. There's a slight chance it could be a mass in her sinus cavity.

Sometimes it just takes a few tries to hit the right antibiotic to completely knock it out.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:47 PM
 
2,263 posts, read 3,971,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
You're probably right that if the others haven't caught it yet, they're less likely to do so at this stage.

Give the new antibiotics a chance and keep up on the L-Lysine. If she doesn't start improving soon, you might have to consider the possibility of something in her sinuses. I've known cats to get a blade of grass up in there (actually, my childhood dog once did this as well and eventually sneezed it out.) Make sure her teeth look okay...I know she's young, but even young cats can have bad teeth and get an abscesses. There's a slight chance it could be a mass in her sinus cavity.

Sometimes it just takes a few tries to hit the right antibiotic to completely knock it out.

Thank you for all your wonderful advice. (I need it - am tired and my darling 13 year old fiv guy who had to be shaved in part (only some, not too much) because I had no time to comb out his long hair lately, what with so many things to try to juggle, well, he just did a fish hook daggar thing on my finger trying to jump off me as I was carefully combing him. He has long, rabbit hair which mats so easily. He loves being combed but dislikes being held for long. So, now I am returned here to the computer with a giant bandage on my finger.)

OK, I certainly will work hard on the L Lysine AND the Antirobe. If not that, probably my vet will ask me to do Zenquin.

Tortie's left nostril has the most congestion. Her teeth are really good - the wonderful shelter vet, then my excellent vet, both looked at them carefully. I did get really thorough exams - yesterday was her 4th complete exam and I am willing to pay for anything that is needed. I even got her pet insurance last month, although this thing is pre-existing.

I will keep what you said in mind re: the nasal passages and the thing you said about a foreign body.

So far, my vet practice has been fantastic for all of my cats and dogs these past 3 years. They are pretty thorough, but nobody's perfect.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Somewhere
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So sorry to hear about all that you are going through MarthaAnne! I too have feral rescues (5 of them) and 3 of them have had URI's. The first one almost died from his....he didn't even weigh a pound when we found him (he also has CH). We just finished up a treatment of Clavamox for two more and the vet believes that at least these 3 have herpes. I would assume that probably all of them do since they are all from the same small feral colony (most from the same Mom just different litters). Is it fairly common for ferals to have herpes??

I have been giving them the L-Lysine twice a day but trying to make sure each cat gets his dose is hard since I put it in their food. Would like to hear from others on how they are giving it to their cats.....are the Lysine soft chews any good? How about putting the powder in Greenie pill pockets (never even used a greenie pill pocket before)? Do most of you give the higher dose during and a few weeks after a URI and then go to a maintenance dose? This is all new to me and although I am going by what the vet recommends right now would like to hear from others on what they do long term for kitties with herpes that are prone to URI's.

Wishing you the best MarthaAnne with all your babies and hoping things calm down for you soon so you can get some much needed and deserved rest :-) PS...We were up all night last night with one of our dogs who is sick! Thankfully he is better today! It never seems to end does it....but we love them to pieces!!
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:18 AM
 
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The therapeutic dose for l-lysine in 500 mg a day. 250 is probably not enough. 250 is just a maintenance dose for a cat who is not showing any symptoms. Some vets will suggest 1000 a day but check with your vet first.

Use the pure powder (if you aren't already), it is more cost effective and give it to all the cats. 1/4 teaspoon of pure powder is 500 mg dose.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 13,406,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha Anne View Post
We never have a day when no animal is sick, it seems, and now I am weary and worried because our lovely Miss Tortie, aged 2, abandoned and fully tame, has never gotten over her URI since we took her (a sweet friendly cat) out of the feral colony because she certainly deserved a home and we intended to find her one. We had spayed her 2 months earlier....
Oh Martha, my heart goes out to you. You're such wonderful generous kind and compassionate person to take on all these kitties in need, some of them ill. I can't add anything to the excellent advice you've already been given.

Our Phaedra, from a local shelter, was very sick with a URI when we adopted her as a 6 week old kitten. She also had coccidia my vet said. The shelter didn't know if she would survive. They told us if she dies we can come back and get another kitten free. That was consoling. {sarcasm}They tried to discourage me from taking her. Well she lived! She sneezed bloody mucus for over a week but she held onto life, small as she was. I don't remember the names of the antibiotic or the other medication she was on at the time. Her saving grace we believe is she never lost her appetite. Sick as she was she never stopped eating. She finally got over it and became a beautiful loving companion. She's never had a relapse.

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Old 01-08-2013, 09:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NRaleigh Mom View Post
So sorry to hear about all that you are going through MarthaAnne! I too have feral rescues (5 of them) and 3 of them have had URI's. The first one almost died from his....he didn't even weigh a pound when we found him (he also has CH). We just finished up a treatment of Clavamox for two more and the vet believes that at least these 3 have herpes. I would assume that probably all of them do since they are all from the same small feral colony (most from the same Mom just different litters). Is it fairly common for ferals to have herpes??

I have been giving them the L-Lysine twice a day but trying to make sure each cat gets his dose is hard since I put it in their food. Would like to hear from others on how they are giving it to their cats.....are the Lysine soft chews any good? How about putting the powder in Greenie pill pockets (never even used a greenie pill pocket before)? Do most of you give the higher dose during and a few weeks after a URI and then go to a maintenance dose? This is all new to me and although I am going by what the vet recommends right now would like to hear from others on what they do long term for kitties with herpes that are prone to URI's.

Wishing you the best MarthaAnne with all your babies and hoping things calm down for you soon so you can get some much needed and deserved rest :-) PS...We were up all night last night with one of our dogs who is sick! Thankfully he is better today! It never seems to end does it....but we love them to pieces!!
Actually, I am just venting. The majority of the time I absolutely love what my husband are so lucky to be able to do here. I know that you wouldn't do it, either, if you didn't love what you do.

I always assume that "colds" that my new rescues suffer from do originate from the herpes virus. Could be wrong, but that has always been my assumption since it is such a common condition. Of course, my new cats see the vet immediately for a full exam, tests, shots, neuter, whatever, and I don't sit here trying to make the diagnosis myself, but if other URI related conditions are ruled out, I assume it is herpes virus.

I am complaining also because I have a most inconvenient knee injury which is really bad lately and it hurts to twist, bend and all of that: exactly what one has to do when they care for cats! So, I am a little more complaining and please allow for that and ignore it if you can, even!

Normally, I don't mind the physical exertion involved in cat care - in fact, I like that I have to run outside multiple times a day to take care of this or that with my outside guys, or to enter the enclosure through the human door.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by catsmom21 View Post
The therapeutic dose for l-lysine in 500 mg a day. 250 is probably not enough. 250 is just a maintenance dose for a cat who is not showing any symptoms. Some vets will suggest 1000 a day but check with your vet first.

Use the pure powder (if you aren't already), it is more cost effective and give it to all the cats. 1/4 teaspoon of pure powder is 500 mg dose.

I didn't realize that it is 500 mg per day. I was starting with 250 mg but can up it. Yes, I had to buy the capsules that contain powder and open them -actually, this is not a bad way since you can get the exact dose anyway, but it is more expensive.

I will have to see if I can find a mail order company with the powdered kind since my local places including the health store do not sell the powdered form except in those fairly costly capsules.
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