Treat Upper Respiratory Infections in Cats

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Treating a cat with an upper respiratory infection and preventing it from spreading to other animals and people in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Emergency Cat Health Care
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Video Transcript

Hi! I am Dr. Adrienne Mulligan. I am the owner of Camp Verde Veterinary Clinic. I am here to talk to you about taking care of cats with critical conditions, critical emergencies and health issues. So one of the most common diseases that kittens and cats get, that looks pretty ugly, are some upper respiratory infections. And there are few bacteria that cause these. One of them is a herpes virus. The herpes virus is a virus that they get usually from their mother, or from other cats, where they are born. It is not anything that we can get from them. It is not a human herpes virus, but because of some herpes virus family, it does the same thing as people herpes virus, it stays in the nerves, and it is brought about by stress. And so when they are young, and their immune system is not very good, then they get really sick with it. They get yellow discharge from their nose and their eyes, and they can get pretty bad serious things with their eyes, corneal ulcers, and their eyes can get ruined, actually, if not treated. So it is a pretty nasty little virus in the beginning, but then they grow into it and grow out of it so to speak, but it hides in their nerves, and when they are older and they get stressed, like a new cat in a household, or new people, or new baby in the household, or new cat wandering around the outside, they can have outbreaks of sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, things that have to do with upper respiratory system, and it will usually run its course. But one of the things you cannot do for cats that seem to have this problem is, when they have an outbreak, they do well if you give them L-lysine. An L-lysine is an amino acid that you can buy at the store, and people take it for cold sores. And it is a very natural product, it comes in 500 mg tablets. And you break it in half, it is crumbly, you can usually crumble it into some cat food; and they will eat it, and it helps to chase away the herpes virus a little bit, just like people with cold sores. So that is something we can help cats with those sort of symptoms.

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