CatChannel veterinary expert Arnold Plotnick, DVM, says lysine can help in recovery from feline herpesvirus.

By Arnold Plotnick, DVM | Posted: April 23, 2010, 3 a.m. EST

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Q: I was wondering, is it good to give your cat lysine to help boost immunity? Our kitten has a mild case of the upper respiratory virus. One vet thinks it is OK, but another doesn't really recommend it. Hopefully you can answer my question!
A: Lysine is an amino acid that is believed to be beneficial in helping cats recover from feline herpesvirus, the main virus responsible for upper respiratory infections in cats and kittens. I recommend it as part of my treatment regimen for viral upper respiratory infections in cats.  Some cats need additional medication, such as antibiotics, if a secondary bacterial infection develops, which is common. Particularly stubborn cases may require anti-viral medication, such as the drug famciclovir. But yes, lysine is an appropriate supplement to give your kitten. There are now many preparations to choose from — lysine ointment, lysine powder, and even crunchy lysine treats.


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Reader Comments


4/29/2010 2:58:02 AM


Linda    St. Louis, MO

4/25/2010 8:15:12 PM

Good info! I need to look into this.

KinKy    Lake City, FL

4/25/2010 7:14:19 AM

I see this used by many cat rescue groups, though I've never had the need to use it on my own cats.

Shirley    Tucson, AZ

4/24/2010 7:10:34 PM

Good to know. Thanks.

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