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Treatment of Feline Herpesvirus

Malik R, Lessels NS, Webb S, et al. Treatment of feline herpesvirus-1 associated disease in cats with famciclovir and related drugs. Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery. 2009;11(1):40-48.

Herpesvirus is the most common cause of ocular and upper respiratory disease in the cat, but is also associated with other clinical presentations such as dermatitis and pneumonia. Systemic antiviral treatment for feline herpesvirus has been problematic. First generation nucleoside analogues such as acyclovir have little clinical efficacy and significant adverse effects in cats. Famciclovir (Famvir, Novartis) is a newer drug that is often used by veterinary ophthalmologist and appears to be well tolerated by cats. This article details oral famciclovir treatment of 10 cats with presumptive herpesvirus infection as a cause of ocular disease, rhinosinusitis, and dermatitis. Famciclovir doses ranged from 62.5 mg/cat once or twice daily, up to 125 mg/cat three times daily. In all cases, the drug was well tolerated and caused clinical improvement. These and other reports support the use of famciclovir as anti-herpesvirus therapy in cats. Further research should be conducted to determine the optimal dose, dosing interval, and duration of treatment.
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Related articles:
Thomasy SM, Maggs DJ, Moulin NK, Stanley SD. Pharmacokinetics and safety of penciclovir following oral administration of famciclovir to cats. Am J Vet Res. Nov 2007;68(11):1252-1258.
>> PubMed Abstract