This is Francesca, or affectionately called Fran Fran
About a year and a half ago, we noticed that miss Francesca was drooling a lot, not eating, and thin as a rail. She's usually always thin during the hot summer months when her coat is shed and it's blistering hot, but this was November. And she wasn't looking great. Since she was an outside cat at the time, we decided to bring her in and try to get her in better shape. We tried
everything, she would not eat,and the drooling persisted. It was so sad, she was so hungry but when we would put food down, she'd take a few bites then run like she was on fire. Well, technically, her mouth was.After a trip to the emergency vet at midnight then a trip to our regular vet the following morning, we were informed that our girl had feline stomacitis gingivitis. Stomacitis gingivitis is gum disease in cats and is believed to be caused by improper diet (insufficient chewing of raw meat in bones) feline herpes, or from a viral infection. Personally , I believe ours to be probably a little of all three. Almost all cats have feline herpes. I tweakens the immune system and can create a host of problems such as runny eyes, wheezing, and upper respiratory infections . Cats with this condition can also develop gum problems as my sugar did. After many attempts at giving antibiotics, steroid shots and changing her diet we decided the only two options we had were pulling all of her teeth or putting her down.
I wasn't ready to let her go.
Extracting the teeth went fairly OK, and the vet tech gave us some powdered stuff to put in her food as a nutritional supplement. We did have to go back about a week later because there was actually a shard of tooth still in her gums and she was just ripping herself up. Poor thing. Once that was done, we were in the clear.
Or so we thought.
Within a few weeks of the surgery, her gums started to swell again! I was devastated! The vet did tell us that a small percentage of cats do not respond to the tooth extractions. She happened to be one of those cats. She said she could have constant flare ups or periodical flare ups and the best we could do for her at this stage was managed care in the form of steroid shots. We opted for the shots, but I knew that long term use of the steroids would only create other problems. This went on for MONTHS like clockwork. Almost 30 days to the day the shot would wear off and once again Franke (pronounced Frankie) was in pain. Sometimes the swelling would be so bad that she could not meow because her throat was swollen so badly.
I started thinking about the powder stuff the vet tech had handed my husband the day we had all her teeth extracted. I pulled it from the shelf. I googled the name of the supplement and literally kicked myself in the ass. We had not been giving it to her because we really didn't think she needed it and we thought it was just "if we wanted to use it" Well let me tell you this stuff has been instrumental in helping my kitty get stronger.
It's called viralys. Viralys is A Lysine supplement in a palatable flavor powder for cats. Viralys is recommended as an aid in the treatment of Feline Herpes Virus and its associated respiratory and ocular symptoms. It's helps strengthen the immune system.
I personally felt that my kitties immune system was weakened. We've never been told she has feline herpes but after reading up on the l-lysine and feline herpes, I believed a weakened immune system was the root of my kitties problem. We immediately started adding viralys to her food twice a day. The first three month on it, we still had to do a steroid shot around 30 days apart from each other, but as time went on, the days turned into weeks, and now into months. We are happy to say that Francesca has not had to go back for steroid shots in three months and counting and she's gained a whole pound. We have been able to stave off a any severe swelling with occasional prednisone, but I'll take it.
Right now she's having another little flare-up, and we will know in the next few days if the oral prednisone will help. If not, back to the vet for a shot. But we are OK with that, since it's been three months since her last steroid injection.
I just wanted to share this with any of you who have cats with runny eyes, upper respiratories, or any recurring thing you just cannot seem to get rid of. Try adding viralys to their diets twice a day. You may see some marked improvement. I recommend it just for immune system maintenance. I buy my pet products at Drs. Foster and Smith and have been very satisfied with not only their products, but their shipping time as well. Plus, any medication purchased through their site gets automatic free shipping. You can't beat that. You can get it through your vet, but at my vet it costs $23 for the same bottle that I get at Drs. Foster for $13.
I know this post was long! Thank you for taking the time to read it. I just wanted to help anyone out with a kitty that has those mysterious ailments that just keep flaring back up. I'd go for a natural supplement any day over another prescription from the vet.
If you guys have any additional info or would like to share a similar story, by all means please do.