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Hi All,

I had a couple of questions about my boys, Dax and Goober. Dax is 8 months old and Goober is 9 months.

A few days ago, I noticed that Dax started sneezing. Nothing too bad, maybe once or twice a day. That quickly turned into several sneezing fits of 5 or more. He was no longer his active, curious, energetic self. He slept for about 5 hours in a row, which he never does, and wasn't that interested in moving. He didn't seem to have any trouble breathing or anything, but his eyes were pretty watery. He ate when I brought his food over to him and drank, so I figured it might be a cold. I continued to watch him, and if he wasn't better by the next day, I was going to take him to the vet. The next morning, he seemed better. He was up and around, eating normally and was more playful. He was still sneezing a bit, but nothing quite like the day before. In the day or so since, the sneezing has become less and less frequent, and his normal level of energy and activity has returned. I am concerned about Goober though.

As with kids, I know it's pretty common that if one cat gets sick, the other is soon to follow. Goober seems to be taking a harder hit though. His eyes are very watery and since he's white while Dax is brown, I can see the redness around them. His nose is also running and when he sneezes, it releases more mucous. He's eating, but he's also kind of down in the energy department. Is there anything that I can do for him? I wipe his nose, but he's not a huge fan of that. I'm going to keep an eye on him as well, but I'm hoping it's the same 24 hour thing that got to Dax.

The only change I've made around the house is that I brought in some catnip and catnip toys since they're old enough now. Could that cause something like this? My feeling is that they just caught winter colds, but I put the catnip toys away in a sealed container just in case. Needless to say, I want to make sure my boys are happy and healthy and it makes me worried when I seem them exhibit any signs of not feeling well.

Thanks,
JBX
 

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Boy, it sure does hurt to see those little guys going through that, doesn't it?

Your kittens are going/have gone through their first major herpes flare-up. Almost all cats carry the herpes virus and stress triggers a flare. The symptoms you see are the typical symptoms and are usually known as a "cat-cold". More specifically, "Feline Rhinotracheitis Virus". Your kittens will recover. Subsequent flare-ups will become less severe as their immune systems build resistance, and you have them vaccinated.

Complications to watch for are thickening of the mucus (green goobers), and continued drainage, which indicates a secondary bacterial infection. This is when antibiotics are indicated. NOT just for sneezing, watering, and clear drainage. (keep a close eye on Goober)

An amino acid known as "l-lysine" is known to be effective in combatting the herpes virus in cats. You can buy it in a powdered form, either free or in gel-caps, in a health-food store. 1000 mg a day is a safe dose for short-term acute use, and 250 mg a day for long-term maintenance.

Best wishes and good luck. :)
 

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I put catnip on everything cat related as an attractant (scratching posts/beds/etc) and got sneezing fits. Perhaps it was poor quality catnip or coincidence, but then after putting a pile out for Wesley and having him freak out right after sniffing for a bit and then run and throw up, I cut that out for good.

I used to also run to the vet at the drop of the hat, and I now know that half the time its really just stressing the cats out and taking money away that could be spent on toys and food for them.

So I agree, watch for the complications mentioned before heading to the vet for antibiotics.

I'll sacrifice a chicken mcnugget as an offering and send all positive vibes Goober's way :arrow: ~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*

:wink
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks so much for the advice guys! Goober took a pretty nasty turn the next morning and had yellowish glop all over his eyes, so I took him to the vet on Wednesday. He was running a slight fever (103) and I could see his third eyelid. The vet said it was likely a cat cold and could be herpes as well, so he gave me an eye ointment for the little guy to apply 3x a day and Orbax to prevent any secondary infections.

He's much improved since then. His nose has stopped running and his eyes are a lot less leaky than they were before. His appetite is totally back and he's starting to meow and run around the house again. Both he and Dax still sneeze, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was. I also started Goober on 500mg a day (250 2x a day) of Lysine.

At first, Goober didn't mind the medication because his energy level was in the toilet. Now that he's better though, he fights me tooth and nail (literally) to take the Orbax pills. He's still pretty good with the eye ointment though. I'm thinking of picking up some of those pill pocket treats from Petco to see if those will work. I don't want my little guy to run away every time I come near him...which is what's starting to happen. I was thinking of smashing up the pill and putting it into his food like I do with the lysine, but I read that these should be given without food if possible.

I'm just really happy that he's looking and feeling better. It's really a helpless feeling to watch your little guys looking so miserable.
 

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I went through something similar when I first got my Egypt. I had just adopted her and she had a really bad Upper Respiratory Infection due to the Herpes Virus. I felt as if we would never bond properly because I had to chase her down daily twice a day to give her the eye ointment and her pills. Don't worry, they get over it. I think they also understand after a while that you are trying to help even if that part is uncomfortable. It's best to get it treated now and have the kitten make an effective and full recovery. Her immune system will be boosted by the L-lysine and she may or may never have another flare-up. Either way, any future one, will be much milder than the first.
 

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I'd like to think they know I have their best interests at heart. Goobie is the less social of the two, so that's why I got concerned. Dax will run up to me and jump into my lap so I can pet him, but Goob is more subtle. He's much happier rubbing his sides and head against my legs while I'm cooking or sitting at the computer. He's not a huge fan of being picked up either.

I'm going to pick up a pill crusher today at the drug store since my current lysine pulverizing solution of a plastic baggie and a meat mallet is a little bit loud. =) He doesn't seem to notice that it's in his food, which is terrific, and I may start giving it to Dax too just to be safe.

P.S. I got both of my boys from the ASPCA, so I'm almost positive it's herpes. If this is the worst thing that ever happens to them, I'll be very happy. =D
 

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I think the ASPCA does a wonderful job with the cats and their facility is much nicer than it used to be...believe me. I LOVE that they keep multiple cats in those habitat spaces all together so you can get an idea how they interact with other cats and play with them at the same time. I was there as a kid and it was a downright depressing atmosphere (cages everywhere and everything was dark, cold, and metallic), but anywhere where you have that many cats in close proximity there is bound to be outbreaks of stuff, and yes, you are right if Herpes is the worse to date, you've fared pretty well.

I got both Egypt and Azalia from the Bergh location on 92nd, off of 1st Ave. Don't worry too much...they will be fine and they will get over the medication thing as well :) And yes, a pill slicer/crusher combo available at any local pharmacy makes everything much much easier.
 

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That's where I got my boys back in June! They really do an incredible job with limited resources. When I went, it was clean, brightly lit and the cats looked as happy as they could under their circumstances. I only went in to get Dax, but I'm very happy that didn't work out as planned. =)

By the way, yours are adorable!
 

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Just thought I'd post a follow-up on Goober! He's doing much better thankfully. His energy level is way up, he's eating and drinking normally again, and he's back to waking me up in the morning with a loud meow so I can feed him. His sneezing has subsided quite a bit. I've been giving him 250mg of Lysine 2x a day, his Orbax pill right before bed (in a pill pocket which he thankfully loves) and his eye ointment 2x a day, but his eyes are still leaking clear and some light tan fluid.

I thought their litter might have something to do with it. I have been using Fresh Step clumping for a few months now. I originally got them the non-clumping clay stuff, but that didn't work for me since the pee smell got pretty bad even with daily cleaning. The clumping stuff was much better, but the scent was pretty strong and it was VERY dusty. As a matter of fact, I decided to change litters because lately they've been sneezing more when they go into the litter box. The dust kicks up even if they just scratch around in it.

Day 1 of Tidy Cats Power Blend was a success. No dust and very little scent. I'm wondering though, should I be concerned that his eyes are still leaky? It's been a week since I took him to the vet, and I'm not sure how long it takes herpes infections to clear up. I know for people, outbreaks of cold sores can take a couple of weeks to go away, so would it be the same thing for outbreaks in cats?
 

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Hi my friend got a cat from the shelter and Pete had the herpes virus. He'd sneeze a large amount of mucus. Pete didn't feel very well or play much. He was on an antibiotic and Lysine for about a month before he started feeling better and started to play. Now he's a healthy, rambuncous, impish boy. Now if we could only teach cats to use tissue paper.

Kathy
 

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Yikes! I hope it doesn't take Goober that long. He looked a lot better this morning, so I'm hoping he's getting better as quickly as he got sick. I wish they could use tissue paper! That would make my life so much easier =)
 

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Hope your kitties are doing better. I had 9 all under a year who went through this one right after the other and it scared the heck out of me. I've seen these viruses get really ugly, and I was imagining the worst. Of course, I rushed the first one who sneezed to the Vet but unless it becomes a bacterial infection, there's not a lot that can be done, just like the human cold. Well, I was very lucky. My bratz were healthy enough to fight it off and it was very mild in all of them. I put them in a small bathroom with a vaporizer which really seemed to help their breathing.

My vet recommended adding L-Lysine to their food. He said they would probably have this throughout their lives, but that L-Lysine will keep the virus from replicating. So far, they haven't had it again, though I do see occasional sneezing on and off.
 

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I put them in a small bathroom with a vaporizer which really seemed to help their breathing.
Thanks for mentioning this. I forgot. Ya, that helps a lot when they've got stuffy noses. You can also run a hot shower with the door closed and let the steam build up. (Turn the shower off before inserting cat -- the noise scares the heck out of them)

PS - DON'T use Vicks. The smell is way too intense for a cat. ;)
 
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