spirit cat and the mooseheart mews
              Most all of my cat family consists of leukemia, aids, cancer
              and herpes patients or those with other disabilities.  I use 
              lysine as my primary  "cure" for the herpes virus when it 
              attacks the eyes.  I know many of you are worried about the 
              side effects of long term usage, but as with all meds there are 
              pros and cons and you have to outweigh the good of a particular 
              med against the bad.  A cat with a very bad eye infection is 
              going to succumb to many secondary infections if the eye 
              infection isn't cleared up and you may possibly lose him to 
              them.  I have used lysine (500 mg / day) for kittens as young 
              as six weeks (I personally have found that 250 mg is just not 
              enough to knock it out for most cats and have even done 750 mg 
              for my big 15+ pounders).  I have had particularly resistant 
              cases on lysine for six to eight months and haven't had any 
              side effects.  I don't want to offend anyone on the list that 
              may be a vet, but I have found that most vets still aren't 
              really up on the herpes virus in cats (even though the 
              prevalence of the virus is extremely wide spread and most cats 
              rescued from outside have been exposed to it and will pass it 
              on to their offspring and to others they come in contact with) 
              and those cats with compromised immune systems are sure to 
              catch it.  Many vets will say sure use the lysine because they 
              really don't know what else to do for them but they tend to err 
              on the light side and not prescribe enough for the lysine to 
              suppress the herpes virus.  

              Very good nutrition (raw diet being excellent) and supplements 
              to build their immune systems are other things that seem to 
              help these cats.  I end up taking in a lot of pregnant strays 
              that are dumped over my fence and I immediately start the queen 
              on 500 mg lysine, vitamin C and a pet vitamin which I continue 
              through their entire pregnancy, birth and nursing.  I have 
              noticed since I have started doing this that the resultant 
              herpes virus attacks and related URI (they seem to run together 
              in my experience) are not as severe in the kittens and I have 
              actually had two litters whose URI's cleared up in just a 
              matter of days and so far I have not had to start them on 
              lysine as I was having to do with litters before this 
              (sometimes having to start three week old kittens on lysine and 

              Lysine inhibits the growth of the herpes virus.  I'm not sure 
              how it works, but in my cats nine out of ten respond to it.  I 
              have had very little luck with any of about a dozen eye meds 
              that the vets have given me for it.  I use an eyebright wash to 
              keep the gook cleaned off of the eyes (sometimes I end up doing 
              it every few hours).  It is when the eye is glued shut or 
              surrounded with this stuff that secondary infections take hold 
              as this goop is a breeding ground for bacteria (which is what 
              responds to antibiotic treatment).  When the goop is thick and 
              pussy looking I will put them on antibiotic to keep the 
              secondary infections under control.  Antibiotic does absolutely 
              nothing to "cure" a herpes infection as there is no cure for 
              herpes, it lives in the body forever as do all herpes viruses.  
              A cat with herpes will have it all their lives and over the 
              years will have flare ups - stress most often being the culprit 
              for a flare up.  Stress can, depending upon the cat, be 
              anything from bringing in a new cat or dog or child, moving the 
              furniture, changing food or litter, you name it.  

              A clear discharge really isn't much to worry about in a herpes 
              cat as often the initial herpes infection will damage a tear 
              duct and instead of working as it should, the eye fluids run 
              out of the eye and down the face.  (I have about six who have 
              one eye that runs constantly and a few who have this cloudy 
              looking thing over part of one eye but it doesn't seem to 
              affect their sight other than I have found that all herpes cats 
              seem to be over sensitive to bright lights).  The only thing 
              you need to be sure to do is keep the gooey stuff cleaned off 
              the eye regularly as this is where the secondary infections get 
              an opportunity to take hold.  You can use just a warm wash 
              cloth or a cotton ball dipped in eyebright solution, green tea 
              solution or St. John's Wort and Echinacea solution.  All three 
              of these are soothing and healing.  If the conjunctiva gets 
              very red and sore looking then possibly some of the eye drops 
              or salves the vets prescribe may help.  And if it says four 
              times a day and you can only manage two, two are better than 
              none, it will just respond slower.  But so far, my vet hasn't 
              given me anything that helps much other than terramycin 
              antibiotic opthalmic ointment and again that is treating 
              secondary infections and not the actual herpes. 

              We do not have a cat opthamologist in our area but I would be 
              interested in hearing what they have to say should anyone be 
              taking their cat to one.  We have had several who have had to 
              have an eye removed because it has ulcered and nothing has kept 
              it from being destroyed.  Basically, I have had to keep these 
              kittens on antibiotic and high doses of lysine until they were 
              5# in weight so that they could undergo the surgery.  My vet 
              says that they would survive the surgery, but they would have a 
              50 - 50 chance of waking up from the sedative.  Those odds 
              aren't good enough for me, so I religiously keep up the lysine 
              and antibiotic until they are of weight and a couple of times 
              that has been six months or more.

              Well, I just wanted to pass on what my experience has been with 
              this disease and I have had a lot of it with as many cats as I 
              have had.

              Spirit Cat