What is Feline Herpes Virus?

To clarify, feline herpesvirus isn’t a sexually transmitted disease. It’s a virus infection that is similar to the human virus that causes cold sores. Feline herpesvirus most commonly affects the eyes, the respiratory tract and the gastrointestinal tract. Rarely, feline herpesvirus can potentially affect the skin, the reproductive tract, and the musculoskeletal tract1,2. In cats, clinical signs can be seen within 2-5 days of exposure to the virus.

What is the symptom of the Feline Herpes Virus?

The most common clinical signs seen from the feline herpes virus include: 

 

How long does the Feline Herpesvirus live in the environment?

Sharing or food bowls and litter trays.
A contaminated environment (including bedding and grooming aids) – this is less important with FHV than FCV as the virus is fragile can probably only survive for 1–2 days in the environment.

The virus prefers damp environments but even so, can only remain active for 18 hours on a surface without a host and an even shorter period of time as an aerosol.
Symptoms occur after an incubation period of 24-48 hours.

 

What disinfectant kills feline herpesvirus? 

Virucidal activities of several disinfectants against FHV, compared with feline calicivirus (FCV), were studied and the following conclusions were reached:
1) Sodium hypochlorite, iodine complex, benzethonium chloride and chlorhexidine were effective against FHV at commonly used concentrations.

 

What kills Feline herpesvirus?
 
A very common antiviral medication taken by mouth in cats to kill the herpes virus is called famciclovir. It has limited side effects and is most often used when cats have one of the more uncommon conditions, such as keratitis, stomatitis or dermatitis.

 

Is feline herpes contagious to other cats?
 
Herpes is a highly contagious virus; many kittens are infected by their mothers early in life. Symptomatic cats that are housed with other cats will infect each other easily, which is why it is very common in both shelter cats and cats obtained by a breeder.
Can feline herpes be transmitted through clothing?
 
People can transmit the virus from one cat to another on their hands and clothing.
All cats are susceptible but especially those stressed by their environment or another disease.
 
Can humans give cats herpes?
 
No. Humans and dogs are not at risk for catching feline herpes, and cats cannot catch the strains of herpes that humans carry.
 
Can cats be vaccinated against feline herpes?
 
The virus is labile and susceptible to most disinfectants, antiseptics and detergents.
Vaccination recommendations: Two injections, at 9 and 12 weeks of age, are recommended, with a first booster 1 year later. Boosters should be given annually to at-risk cats.
How do you prevent herpes flare-ups in cats?
 
How Can I Reduce Flare-Ups? Flare-ups of the cat herpes virus are commonly treated with ointments or eye drops.
Your veterinarian may recommend giving your cat amino acid supplements to boost its immune system.
You can also help your cat reduce flare-ups by providing them with a clean, comfortable environment.
 
What percentage of cats have herpes?
 
As many as 80 to 90 percent of cats are estimated to have feline herpes-1, also called feline rhinotracheitis virus. For some unknown reason, it appears as a symptom in some cats, perhaps those with weakened immune systems. Often kittens are born with it, passed from their mothers.

How long does it take for a cat to recover from Feline Herpes?

How can I treat Feline Herpes?

  • Quarantine: Keep infected cats in quarantine due to the contagious nature of this disease.
  • Nursing care: If your cat is showing signs of nasal or eye discharge, make sure to keep your cat kept free of discharge. Blot away any discharge with a damp paper towel or terry cloth rag. This is important to help prevent the nostrils from being blocked up from nasal crusting.
  • Moisture: Take your cat into the bathroom while you’re taking a hot shower (Note: NOT into the shower, but into the bathroom). This way, the steam can help humidify the nasal passages and make your cat breathe better.
  • Tasty food: With the herpes virus, your cats can eat whatever they want! Try to tempt your cat to eat with tasty canned tuna (in water), meat-based human baby food or any kind of tasty canned food.
  • Seek veterinary attention: If you notice abnormal squinting, tearing, redness to the eyes, drooling, not eating, etc., get to a veterinarian immediately!
    That’s because corneal ulcers or conjunctivitis may need topical antibiotic ointments (e.g., Terramycin, oxytetracycline, erythromycin, etc.). Topical, ophthalmic anti-viral ointments can also be used (e.g., cidofovir, etc.). In severe cases, where a secondary bacterial infection occurs (e.g., pus coming from the eyes or nostrils), oral antibiotics may be necessary (just like human colds, viruses typically don’t need antibiotics initially). Keep in mind that antibiotics can often cause cats to lose their appetite, or develop vomiting and diarrhoea.
 
Does L-lysine help cats with herpes?
 
For both people and cats, L-lysine is a way to manage and control herpes effectively.
This amino acid is present in every cat's body, but some cats do not have enough of it to ward off infections and illnesses.
 
 
How long does it take for L-lysine to work in cats?
 
Lysine is given by mouth in the form of a powder, crushed tablet, chewable tablet, or paste/gel.
Mix the powder in a small amount of food unless otherwise directed.
This medication can take up to a few weeks before full effects are noted, but gradual improvements are usually noticeable after a few days.
 
 

 

Sources:
https://www.viroxanimalhealth.com/hubfs/VAH_Resources_/PDFs/Factsheet_FelineHerpesvirus_April2016.pdf?hsLang=en-ca
https://www.vetspecialty.com/feline-herpesvirus-fhv-1/
https://www.greatpetcare.com/cat-health/feline-herpes/
https://www.medicinenet.com/pets/cat-health/feline_herpes_symptoms_and_treatment.htm
https://www.postandcourier.com/features/herpes-virus-in-cats-highly-contagious-a-major-problem/article_6302b796-8f78-5f1c-a9ff-5480ed9b47ff.html
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19481034/
https://pets.webmd.com/cats/feline-herpes-symptoms-treatment
https://www.nomnomnow.com/learn/article/what-is-l-lysine-and-how-can-it-help-your-cat
https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/lysine
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6281040/
https://www.pethealthnetwork.com/cat-health/cat-diseases-conditions-a-z/feline-herpesvirus-101-fhv

B
y: Malin Sundqvist

 

 
What are the symptoms of the Feline Calici Virus in cats?

  • Nasal discharge (typically clear coloured but may progress to pus-coloured)
  • Sneezing
  • Inappetance/anorexia
  • Discharge from the eyes (typically clear coloured but can progress to pus-coloured)
  • Squinting of the eyes (which may be due to ulcers of the cornea)
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty chewing food (due to ulcers on the tongue and in the mouth)
  • Drooling (due to ulcers on the tongue and in the mouth)
  • Pink eye signs (e.g., redness of the eyes due to secondary inflammation of the conjunctiva)
  • Ulcers in the mouth
  • Noisy breathing
  • Increased or difficulty breathing
  • Dehydration
  • Fever
  • Death (rare)
 
How long does the Feline Calicivirus live in the environment?

"Susceptible cats can get an infection by direct contact with another infected cat or by environmental exposure to objects that have been contaminated with infectious secretions."
The virus may survive for up to one week in a contaminated environment (and possibly longer in a cool, damp location). 
 
Can cats get calicivirus twice?
 
Feline calicivirus exists as a wide variety of strains, meaning a cat can get infected many times throughout its life, in a similar way to humans picking up a common cold time and again. It's a common misconception that cats will never rid themselves of FCV once first infected.
 
How common is calicivirus?
 
To start with, here are a few key facts about feline calicivirus in general: FCV infection is common even in healthy-appearing cats: up to 25% of asymptomatic cats from multiple-cat environments such as shelters and catteries, and up to 8% of pet cats, will be shedding FCV from the oral cavity at any given time.
 
What percentage of cats have calicivirus?
 
Feline calicivirus (FCV) is found in up to 40 percent of cats.
It commonly causes a self-limiting upper-respiratory infection, but a rare, virulent strain can cause fatal inflammation of the liver, intestines, pancreas, and cells that line the blood vessels.
How do you disinfect calicivirus?
 
The housing of these cat/s in a bathroom is recommended so the floor and surfaces can be disinfected.
But of course, it's not necessary, but the fewer surfaces you have the easier it is to clean, of course, the most important is to split them up into groups if you do have a large group, make a space that is really clean where you move the cats who recovered completely. 
All surfaces should be cleaned, then disinfected with a 1:32 bleach solution or trifectant and allowed to remain on the surface for ten minutes, or air dry.
Virkon S is effective for many diseases: https://virkon.se/hund-katt/, this might be available only in Scandinavia but I think a tip is good since it's completely harmless but kills most viruses and bacteria. 
 
How long does Feline calicivirus last?
 
How long does a typical calicivirus infection last?
Once a cat is exposed to calicivirus, it will go through an incubation period of 2-6 days before developing clinical signs which typically last for 14-21 days.
During this entire time, the cat will potentially be infectious to other cats.
 
How do you treat Calici in cats?
 
Currently, there is no treatment to stop the virus, but pet owners can offer supportive care for their cat while its immune system fights the infection.
Most cats can recover at home, but severely affected cats may need intensive nursing care. Most important is to make sure the cat eats, since they become snotty and got stuffed noses they might lose their smell and therefore not be very keen on eating. Noses can be treated with normal nose drops both with a decongestant (for a short while or just a couple of times) or saline solution. Keep the noses as clean as possible.
Can calicivirus in cats be cured?
 
There are some particularly virulent strains that can be fatal, but most cats infected with calicivirus fully recover. 
There is no cure for calicivirus, but if your cat becomes infected you should bring them to the veterinarian because the vet can treat their symptoms so the cat feels more comfortable.
 

Is calicivirus fatal?
 
One particular strain of calicivirus, known as Feline Calicivirus-associated virulent systemic disease (FCV-VSD), makes cats very ill and can be fatal.
Fortunately, this viral strain is rare.

 
Does calicivirus cause diarrhoea?
 
In more severe and systemic cases, it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, oedema (swelling from fluid accumulation), skin lesions, and pneumonia.
 
 
https://www.royalcanin.com/us/cats/kitten/calicivirus-in-cats
https://effinghamanimalhospital.com/2020/12/21/feline-calicivirus/