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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Oral administration of famciclovir for treatment of spontaneous ocular, respiratory, or dermatologic disease attributed to feline herpesvirus type 1: 59 cases (2006–2013)

  • Author(s): Thomasy, SM
  • Shull, O
  • Outerbridge, CA
  • Lim, CC
  • Freeman, KS
  • Strom, AR
  • Kass, PH
  • Maggs, DJ
  • et al.

© 2016, American Veterinary Medical Association. All rights reserved. OBJECTIVE To evaluate outcomes for cats treated with orally administered famciclovir 3 times/d for clinical signs attributed to naturally occurring feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1) infection and to assess variables related to owner satisfaction with the treatment. DESIGN Retrospective case series. ANIMALS 59 client-owned cats. PROCEDURES Medical records were reviewed to identify cats treated for presumed FHV-1 infection from 2006 through 2013 with ≥ 1 follow-up visit. Signalment, duration of clinical signs, prior treatment, examination findings, diagnostic test results, concurrent treatments, and outcome data were recorded. Owners were asked to complete a survey regarding patient- and treatment-related variables. Data were compared between cats that received low (approx 40 mg/kg [18 mg/lb]) and high (approx 90 mg/kg [41 mg/lb]) doses of famciclovir, PO, 3 times/d. RESULTS Patient age ranged from 0.03 to 16 years. Conjunctivitis (51/59 [86%]), keratitis (51 [86%]), blepharitis (19 [32%]), nasal discharge or sneezing (10 [17%]), and dermatitis (4 [7%]) were common findings. Clinical improvement was subjectively graded as marked in 30 (51%) cats, mild in 20 (34%), and nonapparent in 9 (15%). Median time to improvement was significantly shorter, and degree of improvement was significantly greater in the highdose group than in the low-dose group. Adverse effects potentially attributable to famciclovir administration were reported for 10 cats. On the basis of survey responses, most (29/32 [91%]) owners were satisfied with their cat’s treatment. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Famciclovir at the prescribed dosages was associated with improved clinical signs in cats with presumed FHV-1 infection, and few adverse effects were attributed to the treatment. Further studies are needed to assess whether a famciclovir dosage of 90 versus 40 mg/kg, PO, 3 times/d would result in increased efficacy and shorter treatment time.

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