Kittens and herpes

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    I posted about my 5 year old cat with herpes that flares up in one eye, but I am going to take that in a new direction.

    I have two kittens that I rescued at 10 days old, orphaned feral babies. I raised them with bottle-feeding, and they are now just over 7 weeks old and weaned to raw. They are doing great! Very active. However, inevitably, they have been exposed to my cat with the herpes eye, and they are both now sneezing. I was hoping I could vaccinate them to prevent it before they caught it, but that didn’t happen since I wanted to wait until they were 8 weeks old. One has crusties around his nostrils and the other has no discharge, and both are sneezing. Eyes are clear. Appetites and energy are great. Hopefully they will just deal with this and move on through it. But it got me thinking about vaccines since they are at that age now where the first vaccines are given.

    Holistically, what is the best path for cats with regards to vaccines? For my dogs, I have followed the minimal vaccine protocol recommended by Dr. Jean Dodds – and have done that with my older cats as well. They both had herpes as kittens before I rescued them.

    Should I do the same with these guys? Should I wait until all sneezing has ceased before vaccinating them with FVCRP?



    Hi Betsy,

    Here is the protocol that I recommend for my clients. I’m with Dr. Dodd on the minimal vaccination. If you think the chance of them being exposed to panleukopenia is very slim, I would wait until they are better, at least until the sneezing is very minimal to vaccinate. If you are involved in other shelter or rescue work and could come in contact with cats with panleuk I would go ahead and give them one vaccine at this point, if you can get something with just panleuk that is best but if not give the three way WITHOUT calici. Since they were bottle babies you should not have maternal antibody at this point. If you vaccinate with a modified live vaccine you can give up more at 16 weeks and call it good.


    Perfect – thanks!

    I don’t know if made a difference, but I have been putting lysine and apolactoferrin (which I have on hand for my old dogs) in their food, and their sneezing is pretty non-existent now.


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