I really get a kick out of finding a better way to do things. The discovery of simple, wholesome tips that work—is there anything better?
This week I learned about one of those tips, which you can try (or share) if you know a cat suffering from feline conjunctivitis (a.k.a “goopy eye”).
We went through the conjunctivitis mystery with Phil when we first adopted him. It’s a condition that can be painful and needs to be addressed.
Before you do anything
Be sure to have a vet check this condition first, as this tip could help in many adult cat cases, but not all of them. If you have a kitten, and/or the underlying cause is FIV or a bacterial infection (which can happen because of feline herpes), or a corneal ulcer, you’re going to need some veterinary assistance FAST. This is especially the case with kittens! They could even go blind from an infection.
What Dr. Jean revealed about treating feline conjunctivitis
In a recent radio show interview, Dr. Jean Hofve shared this tip that made a lot of sense to me based on something I had learned as a nutritionist.
Dr. Jean said that very often conjunctivitis in cats is caused by a herpesvirus.
When the cause is herpesvirus, it’s going to be aggravated by stress (e.g., adapting to a changes) and–more importantly–it’s going to be suppressed by the amino acid Lysine.
Lysine is an old nutritionist trick I learned for herpes in humans. As this article explains:
Without arginine, a herpesvirus cannot reproduce. The amino acid lysine is taken up by the virus in favor of arginine. We can take advantage of this situation by saturating the virus with lysine and thus suppressing the virus’s ability to replicate.
Yes, Lysine is a cheap, simple, safe supplement you can pick up in places like Whole Foods Market. It’s just an amino acid, which means it’s a building block of protein.
Dr. Jean explained the dose is 1000mg/day during flare-up, and 250mg day as maintenance afterward, mixed into wet food.
From what I’ve read, I’d give the maintenance 250mg for about a month, and then not need to dose the lysine again unless symptoms show up again. (It won’t hurt to continue the maintenance dose for longer though. Lysine is good for the immune system and may even reduce anxiety!)
Another remedy that might help?
In the case of our cat Phil when he was little, his vet gave us an antibiotic application to try for his conjunctivitis.
We had the damnedest time trying to get that into his eyes–he hated it! It didn’t seem to help much in his case.
Since we didn’t know about Lysine solution at the time, we tried a tip that people were swearing by on earthclinic.com: Apple Cider Vinegar on back of the neck.
(WARNING: DO NOT PUT VINEGAR IN OR NEAR A CAT’S EYES!)
Basically, you take some Bragg’s (the raw kind of ACV), dilute with some warm water, soak a cotton ball in it and part the fur on the back your cat’s neck or between shoulder blades and apply some dabs of the stuff.
The thing is, I cannot for the life of me figure out why this ACV method would work, but it seemed to help–just as folks said it would. (He had a few flare-ups and we’d have to use it again. Then the conjunctivitis finally went away for good.)
What do you think?
Now Foods, L-Lysine capsules (inexpensive but solid brand; get capsules so you can open them and mix them into food)
Vetri-Lysine Plus For Cats, 120 Bite-Sized Soft Chews (Lots of good reviews of this product on Amazon! These are ideal if your cat doesn’t eat wet food. Simple supplement capsules are more economical and just as effective though.)
Dr. Jean interview on Natural News Radio. Her interview doesn’t start until over half way through the podcast. It’s a great interview–lots of interesting and helpful insights.
Do you have a cat conjunctivitis story?
I hope you’ll share it, especially if you think it might help others.