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Ask the Veterinarian/Herpes in Cats


Hi! My adult longhair cat has herpes. She often has discharge from the eyes and sneezes too. I think she may also have some allergies to dust or pollen. One of my biggest concerns is FeLV. I've had cats in the past with it. She has tested negative and is currently UTD on all vaccinations, including FeLV. I guess my real question is she has some ear warmth. It is fairly persistent, but it seems to be more prevalent when she is asleep or lying down. Is this normal? I know it can be a sign of a fever. But her nose usually seems to be moist. I'm scared to check her temperature for fear I might hurt her. Is it easy? I also noticed some dark wax in her ear and told my vet today about it. She also seems to be shaking her head. I though this may have something to do with the ear warmth. She is a very special cat and I just can't imagine losing her to FeLV. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

While no vaccine is 100%, if she doesn't go outside and isn't exposed to other cats, her chances of getting FELV are pretty slim as long as you keep her vaccinated.

They can get it by hissing at each other through a screen door if enough droplets from the other cat become airborne, so chase off any other cats you see.

It sounds like she could have ear mites, but if she isn't scratching them it could be just overactive glands in her ears. I have one cat like that myself.

If you are concerned about her feeling warm then you should have your vet look her over. Indoor cats can still pick up things and if she has herpes, she might be feeling miserable or have an upper respiratory infection on top of it.

I would take her in if this were my cat. By the way, it's not easy to take a cats temperature rectally by yourself. I doubt if you'd hurt her but she would probably hurt you!  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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