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L-lysine vs antibiotics - vet scam?

ZeroCat
January 1st, 2009, 01:42 AM
Although I'm an advocate of homeopathic remedies, I'm growing concerned that my vet might be scamming me. I've taken my kitten to the vet five times in the last four months - once for her initial visit, then for the follow-up, and then an additional three times due to a cold that just won't go away. Each time I've brought her for a cold related visit she's "prescribed" L-lysine, an over-the-counter amino acid. At this point, wouldn't it make sense to just go ahead and prescribe antibiotics? Is L-lysine powder really that effective in treating cat colds? We've had mild success with this at best. And by prescribing L-lysine every time, it forces me to return for yet another visit a few weeks after I've realized that it's still not working. Ay yay yay! I want to trust her expert opinion but I'm having a tough time.

sugarcatmom
January 1st, 2009, 03:32 AM
Although I'm an advocate of homeopathic remedies,

Just to clarify, L-Lysine isn't a homeopathic remedy. Holistic supplement, yes, but not homeopathic.

Each time I've brought her for a cold related visit she's "prescribed" L-lysine, an over-the-counter amino acid. At this point, wouldn't it make sense to just go ahead and prescribe antibiotics?

I actually think it's great that your vet isn't automatically prescribing antibiotics. First of all, feline URIs are usually caused by viruses (most commonly either herpes or calicivirus). Antibiotics are useless against viruses. They might be applicable for treating secondary infections, but antibiotic use is not without risk and so should be prescribed very judiciously. L-Lysine can be effective in herpes cases, possibly less so if it's calicivirus, but either way it can't hurt. How much are you giving your cat?

There are some other treatment options you can try at home, but the big thing is to improve your cat's immune system. Reduce stress as much as possible, feed the best food that you can afford (wet, not dry), and maybe consider something like Lactoferrin or colostrum. Here are a couple links with more info:
http://www.holisticat.com/uri.html
http://www.sheltermedicine.com/portal/is_feline_upper_res.shtml

Love4himies
January 1st, 2009, 08:04 AM
I agree with Sugarcatmom, vets and human doctors are too quick to prescribe antibiotics needlessly. If it was a bacterial infection it would probably get progressively worse without meds.

Have you asked your vet what he/she feels your kitty might have? If it is herpes, then l-lysine is a great supplement to be taking.

ZeroCat
January 1st, 2009, 10:45 AM
Just wanted to thank you for responding to my post so quickly - that was very kind of you. That Holisticat site is great! Would either of you recommend using formulated natural products like these (Sinu-Rite, KC-Defense, - http://www.nativeremedies.com/petalive/ or products available on sites like www.onlynaturalpet.com) in addition to the l-lysine? Or are they simply overpriced versions of the basic holistic remedies found on Holisticat? Again, I sincerely appreciate the feedback.

kdick
January 1st, 2009, 02:21 PM
L-lyseine is used to slow down the replication of viruses. Antibiotics work on bacteria. If your cat has a viral infection, antibiotics won't do anything to help.

Our cat is also on L-lyseine and will be for life. The most common causes of respiratory infections in cats are herpes and chlamydia. The virus lies dormant in their sinuses and when it flares up, they have runny eyes and snotty noses. The virus will never completely go away, which is why you keep them on the supplement all the time. It has certainly helped our cat. It's quite inexpensive and we get about a month's supply at a time. We don't have to see the vet, I just call for a refill.

sugarcatmom
January 1st, 2009, 02:41 PM
The most common causes of respiratory infections in cats are herpes and chlamydia.

Chlamydia is actually bacterial in nature, and is estimated to only account for about 10% of feline URIs. Maybe you're thinking of the calicivirus.

It's quite inexpensive and we get about a month's supply at a time. We don't have to see the vet, I just call for a refill.

You can also get lysine at a health food store or pharmacy, perhaps even cheaper than from the vet.

Dracko
January 1st, 2009, 03:05 PM
Your vet is being very responsible. As someone mentioned antibiotics don't work on viruses. They are only presribed in those cases for a "possible" secondary bacterial infection. L-lysine is the appropriate prescription for a cat with a "cold" although you can purchase it from a health food store as well. Doesn't have to come from your vet.

Your vet would be trying to make $ off you if he/she was prescribing antibiotics for a cat that had symptoms of a virus.

And as per what sugarcatmom said, L-lysine is not a homeopathic remedy. It is an amino acid. "As an essential amino acid, lysine is not synthesized in animals, hence it must be ingested as lysine or lysine-containing proteins."

Some animals need to stay on while others seem to do well on a course of it. When I adopted my cat Mochie (now 14) from the SPCA she had the typical upper respiratory illness. So often you are told once they have it there will always be recurrances. Nope. I treated all my cats with the L-lysine as well as other natural aids and she's never had a relapse. Not even when I adopted my 2 most recent cats (1 year ago) who came to me with the illness. My other 2 plus the kittens were sick but Mochie wasn't. Once again I treated them all with the amino acid (as per the vets instructions) and no one has had any problems.

Helena5
April 14th, 2012, 08:12 PM
And as per what sugarcatmom said, L-lysine is not a homeopathic remedy. It is an amino acid. "As an essential amino acid, lysine is not synthesized in animals, hence it must be ingested as lysine or lysine-containing proteins."

Some animals need to stay on while others seem to do well on a course of it. When I adopted my cat Mochie (now 14) from the SPCA she had the typical upper respiratory illness. So often you are told once they have it there will always be recurrances. Nope. I treated all my cats with the L-lysine as well as other natural aids and she's never had a relapse. Not even when I adopted my 2 most recent cats (1 year ago) who came to me with the illness. My other 2 plus the kittens were sick but Mochie wasn't. Once again I treated them all with the amino acid (as per the vets instructions) and no one has had any problems.

Hi Dracko! I would be really interested to know what other supplements you give your cats, as you say you give them L-Lysine as well as other natural aids and they are doing so well... My cats have calicivirus, and one of them has now developed gingivitis, any advice would be truly appreciated, thank you so much, Helena

RUSTYcat
April 15th, 2012, 12:56 PM
Hi ZeroCat and welcome to the forum!

Did you happen to read this post (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=1038031#post1038031) in the Cat Health forum?