It’s Just Herpes
It’s a bit odd to be relieved when the doctor tells you “It’s just herpes”. But when the doctor is a vet who is reassuring you that your cat doesn’t have a bacterial infection and doesn’t need meds, it’s a bit less life alteringly traumatic.
Remember, during t-shirt week, when I told you the cat needed a steroid injection to
win the Tour de France make her flea allergies feel better? Well, apparently, a steroid injection lowers the immunity defenses and that causes a herpes flair up.
Now, she doesn’t have a cold sore on her mouth, like the whore of Babylon, and she isn’t forever itching her crotch. Herpes in a cat starts with sneezing, goopy/watery eyes and other cold-type symptoms. Olivia, that’s the cat to the left showing you her business, started sneezing about a week after the steroid shot and kept us up the past few nights with a very loud, repetitive “Snnfffccchhh” off and on every few hours.
Luckily, the vet was free to come over today and check her out. (Yes, my vet comes to my house. What’s even more awesome, he lives next door with his girlfriend vet-tech who run a home visit vet clinic. We’ve been here 6 months and they are still speaking to us, which means I haven’t shown then how completely crazy I am with the girls health…yet.) The vet said that the sneeze onset was suspicious timing from the steroid shot. He thought it was herpes, and with her minimal symptoms, just the sneezing, it’s pretty much confirmed. Our little Livey has the herps.
Don’t you judge her. Even though she was a teen mom, you don’t get the herps from being loose. Well, you don’t get cat herps by being loose. According to the vet, she probably got it from her Mom (not in an Oedipal way, you weirdos) but either in utero or via nursing. Which means that the adorbs kittens Olivia birthed probably have the herps in a small way too.
Cats with herpes don’t always show it, sometimes it’s dormant and they never show any signs. The symptoms can be easily controlled with L-Lysine treats for cats. Olivia’s outbreak is so minimal, we don’t need to medicate her at all. Which is a relief, as Cristina from Lange can attest, this sweet, tiny cat turns all claws and teeth with meds are near. (Don’t talk Pill Pockets to me, she can smell that a mile away.)
So what, my cat has herpes. It’s nothing that will make me stop loving her. I will probably stop kissing her full on the mouth though.