Dagwood, along with his sister and brother, were sheltered at animal control in Moreno Valley when they were 4 weeks old. All three kittens were not particularly healthy, most evident was that they had eye issues. We knew their odds at the shelter were not good and we wanted to give them a chance to find a home, so we rescued them and brought them to the cattery. He is now two years old. Yes, that is how long he has been at Room 8. Just because he looks “different” from the other cats.
After rescuing them, it was determined that they most likely had the feline herpesvirus. This virus causes conjunctivitis (inflammation of the moveable white tissue surrounding the eye) and/or corneal ulcers. Ocular infection with the feline herpesvirus is extremely common in cats. The virus is everywhere. Most cats are exposed as kittens. Kittens may be infected by the mother cat even at birth. It is important for you to realize that the feline form of herpesvirus is species specific. In other words, it will not be transferred either to you, other family members, or dogs. Other cats are susceptible. Fortunately, it is rare for there to be an "outbreak" within a household of adult cats. Most cats have already been exposed and have apparently mounted an immune response to the infection. At Room 8 Dagwood and his siblings are given L-lysine mixed into their canned food every day. L-lysine is an amino acid (protein building block) that has shown some antiviral effects against both cat and human herpesviruses.
In the case of Dagwood, not only does he have the herpesvirus but our veterinarian also said he was born with deformed eyelids.
To meet Dagwood, you would not know (other than the physical evidence) that this wonderful cat has any of these problems. He is such a love bug and his personality shines! He patiently lets us clean his eyes and give him eye drops when necessary. He greets everyone who comes in to his section of the cattery and stays by your side wanted to be petted and talked to. He is a favorite!
Yes, if you adopt Dagwood, there will be daily care of his eyes you will need to tend to, but in return? You will get a cat who will follow you around, listening to you talk about your day, and then gladly settle in beside you when you watch TV or sit at your computer. A best friend. Everyone needs one. Please consider making Dagwood yours!