The following are Doug's comments on Vira-a and helping feline optical herpes. Here is Joycie!
I have heard that giving lysine to very young kittens may not be the
best thing. I understand that it is perfectly safe for long term use in
older cats, but I do recall seeing something w.r.t. young kittens.
Anybody heard of this?
All the love and caring will certainly help her immune system. Eliminate stress wherever possible.
Your vet will probably give her some Clavamox or Amoxicillan. Stick to a schedule on antibiotics, it's important to keep the serum level of the drug in a therapeutic range. i.e.. give it to her at 8:00 am sharp or whatever. Be careful of topical antibiotics that you put in her eyes.
In particular, your vet should not give her anything with a steroid in it (like Gentocin Durafilm ). If she does have herpes, steroids will make the virus go crazy. Typically she will get something likeGentak or Terramycin.
Keep a close watch for any degradation in her eyes like a worsening of the conjunctivitis. It could indicate an ocular ulcer which your vet should also look for on your visit. You may also get an antiviral like Vira-A or Idoxiuridine. These work well, but are expensive (but very well worth it).
I'll also chime in about waiting till she's stronger to get her vaccinations.
As she gets better (and older) you'll have to weigh the benefits of spaying her versus the fact that she may have an outbreak due to the stress of the operation. I waited until my kitten was 8 months old. I had to put up with her going into heat every other week for a couple of months, but she was bigger and stronger and went through it without having an outbreak.
Well I'm certainly not looking forward to paying $100 for a bottle of Viroptic. Of course my plan is to have no more herpes outbreaks in the house. :-) I've had good luck with the Vira-A. My other cat, Darla, had her first known herpes outbreak about 8 months ago. You've probably heard this sort of story before, but I took her to my vet who gave her Clavamox and Gentamycin Sulfate. A week later she seemed all cleared up, but then the next morning her eye was really red. Off she went to the vet again. I was thinking she might have gotten a scratch. It turned out to be a small ulcer. The vet thought maybe she had a dry eye or some sort of abrasion and told me to up the number of times I gave her the Gentamycin. At that point I said "okay" and took her Joycie's ophthalmologist the next day. By then the ulcer was the size of the nail on my little finger. In only 1 day! I got her 6 times a day with the Vira-A for the first 2 days and then started backing off. When she went to the ophthalmologist a week later she was amazed. She said you couldn't even tell that she'd ever had anything wrong with her eye.
At that point everybody (all 6 of them) went on ~500mg of lysine a day. Interestingly enough one of the cats, Stymie, had always sneezed several times a day. Within a few weeks that stopped. Gee! I wonder what could have been causing the sneezing? Haven't had an outbreak in any cats since that time and it's been 6 months.
The Vira-A that I've used is more of a salve than a drop. It comes in a tube like most of the common topical antibiotics and doesn't need to be refrigerated. It seems to have a long shelf life too. I believe the tube I got in May expires middle to late 2003. That makes it easy to have on hand for emergencies.
Typically with my 2 known herpes cats I see results in a couple of days. What I've done on outbreaks is to lay about a 1/4 inch stripe on the affected eye 5 times a day for the first 2 or 3 days. Then I start to back off to 3 times for a few more days and finally down to twice a day until I don't see any symptoms for 48 to 72 hours.
So far that has worked pretty well for me. I think the real key is getting under control as soon as symptoms appear and being very vigilant in the first few days.