Friday, January 09, 2009

My cat has herpes

Even though I updated the blog two days ago, I'm compelled to write again to help process what happened earlier this evening (I try to limit entries to keep things interesting)...

So, I took my cat to the vet and it turns out the sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes I'd so been so naive to think were a kitty cold are actually symptoms of a herpes flare up.

Yes, at the tender age of 4, my cat Pumpkin has herpes.

Now, I can't vouch for her reputation prior to my adopting her last summer (for all I know, that far-away look she gets could be her reminiscing about dog-on-cat orgies), but I'm pretty sure she's been chaste the entire time I've had her. My other cat is a 12-year-old female tabby named Eve who doesn't seem to like a single thing about Pumpkin -- no kitty porn here.

So, I'm going with the vet's explanation that Pumpkin is an innocent who was born with the herpes virus. We can speculate about her mom's reputation but she, too, may have been born with it. I'm not in the blame game. Just trying to come to grips with the idea that cats get herpes, too. I was having a hard enough time with the idea that cats get colds (seriously, who knew?).

The vet advised that I treat this current flare up with Zithromax (another "cats can get this too?" moment) and try to avoid stressful situations for her. What qualifies as a stressful situation? "Something as simple as taking down the Christmas tree can be very stressful for them and cause a flare up like this." Really? So much for putting the laundry away -- I can't afford another vet visit.

I take comfort in the vet's advice that Pumpkin is not alone -- "feline herpes is just as common as herpes among humans, with nearly 1 in 5 adults infected." Not sure if there's a support group at my local Petco but I guess we can always start one.

Also, the vet says my li'l Pumpkin head can benefit from regular ingestion of lysine, an amino acid that competes with the herpes virus' growth. I've been told to get a $5 bottle of it from the drug store and sprinkle it liberally on Pumpkin's food. Dear God, what's the likelihood that CVS sells tuna-flavored lysine?

So, with a $30 prescription of Zithromax and a steady diet of lysine, she will be able to live a normal life. What a relief. Now she can do all the things I've always hoped she would do like kayaking, hiking, camping -- basically all of the outdoor activities that herpes victims like to do.

Yes, Pumpkin can feel good about that.

I had more fun doing this in Photoshop than any alleged "sane" person should.

One of the many, many herpes commercial spoofs out there (this one is a funny take on actors in those commercials).


Anonymous said...

Ask your vet about a prescription lysine powder called Viralys. That is what I give my little herpes stricken kitty (2 yrs old), and she loves it sprinkled on her food. It is highly flavorable to them, so your Pumpkin will love it, but I must warn you, it smells like foul fish. However, a tuna flavored Lysine powder? A FHV cats dream come true! Hope this helps!

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Out of curiosity, what is your cat's weight? My cat is a 15 pounder (she likes her food), and I have her on 500mg of lysine/day (which seemingly tastes like nothing, but I still mix it w/ wet food). I can't find my old vet's prescription. Just wondering if you know the weight:lysine ratio.

Julie said...

Wow, you are one funny woman! Thanks for the article that somehow makes feline herpes comical! My cats are funny about the Lysine, they won't eat the wet food with it mixed in, so my vet gave me a liver flavored paste that they like, however it costs $28 which is a bit steep. I just ordered some Lysine laced treats online which were only $11. Anyway I can get it in em, I will!!!!!

Edward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edward said...

Hello I have 2 doubt my dog can have herpes ?? and with is the correct dosage of Generic Viagra ?

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