Feline herpes virus is the most common cause of what is referred to as KCS, also known as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, and is the medical term that describes dry eye in cats.
It is technically described as the inflammation of the cornea and the drying of the conjunctiva.
If not treated very quickly and properly, it can cause your cat to lose their eyesight.
In most all cases, it will never be cured; but it can certainly be controlled and managed with the correct treatments.
Controlling your cat arginine levels, which are amino acids, may be the key to treating this infection.
This potentially very dangerous infection, also known as FHV-1, attacks cats worldwide and affects cats of all ages and all breeds.
However, it is more common in certain cats or certain environments.
Kittens are especially susceptible, especially if the mother is infected.
Multi-cat households, catteries, and adoption centers are also very fertile breeding grounds for this infection.
Cats that are neglected and have poor nutritional diets, poor sanitation, as poor ventilation systems, are also more susceptible to this disease.
Also at a higher risk are pregnant cats that are lactating, sick cats with a weak immune system, and non-vaccinated cats.
When you cats watery part of their tears are not producing in adequate amounts, this infection causes the eye to become chronically inflamed.
The scaring that it does to the cornea in your cat can lead to decreased vision, or if severe, lost vision.
It most commonly affects one eye, but it can affect both eyes.
If Feline herpes virus in cats is not treated very quickly, KCS can also cause corneal ulceration's to develop which are extremely painful to your cat, especially if they become acute.
This infection is an inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva to your cats eyes and is secondary to dryness in the eyes.
The cornea is the clear transparent front of your pet’s eye, and the conjunctiva is the very delicate membrane linings in their eyes.
As the watery part of their tear film diminishes, your cats eyes will try to compensate by making more mucous membranes to compensate.
However, once this happens, even more mucous is stimulated by the immune system as the inflammation grows, and this is adding more reproductive powers to the feline herpes virus.
There are several other eye diseases that closely resemble feline herpes virus and KCS, and it will be very important for your veterinarian to rule them out first.
This condition is considered a much higher risk to your cat and as such, it should not be confused for what it is not.
Feline herpes virus and KCS is not Conjunctivitis, which is the inflammation of the tissues that line your cat’s eyelids and cover the eye.
In most forms of Conjunctivitis your cats tear production is normal or too high, not too low.
As a result, the eyes produce increased tearing discharge and redness which is why it is also referred to as pink eye.
This infection is also not corneal ulceration, but it can lead to that as one of the symptoms, but not the main symptom.
Corneal ulceration is an abrasion of your cat’s cornea that causes discharge which in turn causes redness in the eye.
There are also several other forms of corneal inflammations that may appear very similar to the corneal changes that will occur with KCS.
However, it is widely believed in the medical community that these are also caused by Feline herpes virus.
There are several symptoms that you can watch for with Feline herpes virus and KCS, but it extremely important to remember that with this condition your cat’s eyes are drying as a result of the infection.
The first symptom will be a chronic redness very similar to Conjunctivitis, but the discharge will not be watery; it will be dry to a dark brown in color.
The next symptom will be film over your cat’s eye, flowed by a prolapsed condition of the third eyelid over much of the cornea.
The third eyelid in your cat is usually retracted beneath the eyelids and is hardly noticeable unless you look very hard.
Once contracted, it is very visible.
There are several forms of treatment for Feline herpes virus and KCS and some of them are extremely expensive.
However, just because they are expensive it does not make them more effective.
In fact, in most cases, they will not be as effective as some of the very simple forms of treatments.
It is extremely important when treating this infection to understand that the herpes viruses are groups of viruses that are highly dependent on something called arginine.
Arginine is an amino acid that forms creatine which is an important part of your cat’s muscles.
What is important for cat owners to know is that without this amino acid, Herpes cannot reproduce.
A very inexpensive over the counter supplement called Oral Lysine stops the production of Arginine and it does not harm the muscles.
Once this has been administered to your cat, the amino acid lysine is taken and absorbed by the Herpes virus instead of arginine.
By saturating your cat’s eyes with Lysine orally, it naturally suppresses the virus’s ability to reproduce.
Lysine can be found in both tablet and capsule forms and is very inexpensive.
It is also very important to make sure that the form of Lysine that you buy is totally free of a preservative called propylene glycol. This preservative can cause blood reactions in some cats.
Interferon is also a very inexpensive oral solution that utilizes your cats natural immune system to modulate and then suppress the Herpes viruses.
It has been used for several years to help shorten the actual duration of the infection.
It has absolutely no known side effects as opposed to some form of drugs that may be used.
Both of these treatments are in most all natural food stores and after 30 days the symptoms should drastically reduce.
Other natural treatments that will help are the herbs Burdock and Rosemary.
Burdock helps to stimulate your cat’s immune system and is very useful in treating dry eyes, and Rosemary is a natural antiseptic and pain relieving herb for the eyes.
Feline herpes virus and KCS will never be cured in most cats, but it can be controlled to the point that it can be suppressed and stopped.
It has the ability to resurface at any time and building your cat’s immune system and treating them as needed with Lysine and Interferon, as well as Burdock and Rosemary can make it extremely manageable for both you and your cat.
Pet Medications for Feline Herpes Virus
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