Spring 2012 
Mews & News
Riverside Cat Hospital

Join us for
Celebrate Downtown Okemos! 
Coming this Spring

Celebrate Downtown Okemos 


Celebrate Downtown Okemos is a way for our community to see what great businesses and people we have in the downtown area! There will be craft vendors, artists, dance exhibitions, and food vendors, as well as kids' activities. We hope to have the Kitten Nursery here with adoptable cats. Stop by and say Hi! and check out all that Okemos has to offer!

Watch for more information coming soon!

Did you know that our clinic has a Facebook page?

Like us on Facebook


We use it to post interesting links or articles, as well as news updates regarding food recalls or other important information. We also love to see what our patients are up to at home, so you are welcome to post pictures of your cat there as well. Click on the Facebook icon above to visit our page.



Do you have a great picture of your cat that you'd like to share?   Send it to usand we'll post it as our Featured Pet!

In Memoriam
angel cat
In honor of our feline friends who have recently died...

Jasper G.
Jemma R.
Kitty B.
Monkey S.
Maddison M.
Rusty W.
Sushi S.
Toby B.

Save the Date for a Kitten Nursery Fundraiser!!  Kitten Nursery 

We invite you to come on out to the Black Barn Brewery in Haslett on Friday, March 16th for Kittens 'n Basketball, a fundraiser for the Kitten Nursery!

The Kitten Nursery is a local nonprofit group dedicated to helping cats and kittens find permanent homes. The Kitten Nursery provides food, housing, and medical care for kittens and cats in need, and works to place them in permanent, loving homes.

The fundraising event is a critical part of helping the Nursery raise the money needed to provide food and medical care to these wonderful animals. 

The event takes place this Friday, March 16th from 6:30-10:00pm at the Black Barn Brewery, 1195 Haslett Rd. in Williamston.

Come on out for an evening of friends, food, and NCAA tournament basketball!  There will be a live auction with a wide variety of fun and exciting products to bid on.

For more information, call us at 517-347-2287, or visit the Kitten Nursery online or on Facebook.
Contact Us

phone: 517-347-2287

4632 Okemos Rd.
Okemos, MI 48864

Join Our Mailing List
Did you know that you can order your cat's medications and prescription food from our online pharmacy? 

pharmacy If your cat takes daily medication, or if you use a monthly flea and heartworm preventative, you can order your cat's medication from our online pharmacy and have the medication delivered right to your door! Hill's Prescription Diet, Purina Veterinary Diets, and Royal Canin Diets are all available as well, as are regular non-prescription pet foods.

Medications available include:
  • Methimazole (thyroid medication)
  • Viralys (for feline herpes virus)
  • Revolution, Frontline, and Advantage for flea and heartworm control
  • Feliway
  • Soft Paws nail caps
Shipping is FREE for orders over $38.95 (pet foods have separate shipping costs which vary by manufacturer). Most products are priced competitively with other online pharmacies, and some are even priced lower than our regular in-clinic price. Orders are filled directly by our veterinary distributor, so manufacturer's guarantees remain in place.
Follow the link to visit our online pharmacy today! First time visitors will need to request a user name and password.
Feline Herpes Virus
A common and sometimes frustrating problem

cat with ocular herpes virusAlmost every cat owner has seen it at one time or another: the red, irritated, watery, squinty eye. It is one of the most common problems that we see in feline practice. There are many causes, including infections, allergies, trauma, even foreign substances in the eye. No matter the cause, the end result is often the same: Conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is simply inflammation of the soft tissues surrounding the eye. This inflammation causes the eye to become red, irritated, and painful.

In cats and kittens, the number one cause of conjunctivitis is feline herpes virus. The herpes virus family is a very large family of viruses. There is a herpes virus for just about every species of mammal. They are species specific, so only cats can be infected with feline herpes virus, only horses with equine herpes virus, only people with human herpes virus, and so on. Feline herpes virus is, however, very contagious between cats, and this can pose a challenge to preventing the disease.

Cats typically become infected with feline herpes virus very early in life, contracting the infection from their mother or litter mates. Shelters, breeding facilities, and pet stores are also common sources of infection. Virus transmission can occur anywhere cats are housed in close contact with one another. Virus transmission is accomplished via close contact between cats (playing together, grooming each other, sharing food or water dishes, sleeping together). The virus can also be spread by a person handling an infected cat and then handling a healthy cat.

Kittens infected with herpes virus tend to have more severe symptoms than older cats, due to their immature immune systems. The most common symptom is conjunctivitis, usually starting in one eye but often spreading to include both eyes. Cats with severe infections may develop ulcers in the eye or more serious problems. Many affected cats also develop upper respiratory problems, such as sneezing and nasal congestion. If the cat's symptoms are severe, there can be permanent damage done to the delicate tissues inside the nose and sinuses, and these cats can have chronic or lifelong problems with sneezing, nasal congestion, and nasal discharge. Cats with herpes virus can also develop secondary bacterial infections in the eyes or nose. These cats will have thicker, yellow or green crusting discharge from the eyes and/or nose. 

After the initial infection has cleared, the virus will become latent. At this point, the cat still carries the virus, but it is not causing any symptoms. At times of stress (moving, new baby, new pet, visits to the vet, etc), the virus can "reactivate" and cause problems for the cat again. Treatment with steroid medications can also cause this reemergence of herpes virus.

The most effective prevention of herpes virus infection is to avoid putting young kittens into situations of overcrowding, stress, and exposure to sick cats. There is a vaccine available for feline herpes virus. The vaccine is not 100% effective in preventing infection, but it can help to reduce infection rates and also reduce severity of infection, even in those cats who have already contracted the virus.

For most cats and kittens with feline herpes virus, symptoms are mild and often no treatment is needed. Kittens are usually most severely affected, and symptoms tend to improve once the kitten has matured, received its final dose of kitten vaccines, and been spayed or neutered. These things cause stress, and symptoms of herpes virus tend to improve once these sources of stress are removed.  

Treatment with an L-lysine dietary supplement can help to reduce duration and severity of symptoms in some cats. There are feline formulations of L-lysine that are palatable and easy to administer. Cats who suffer from secondary bacterial infections will benefit from treatment with antibiotics (either topical for the eye, or oral). Severely affected cats may require treatment with antiviral medications. These medications can be expensive, and are usually reserved for cats whose symptoms are severe or are not improving over time.

More information about feline herpes virus and upper respiratory infection can be found at our website library here. Just enter "herpes" into the search box.


Ask Izzy
Irish Izzy
Izzy would like to with a very happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone! Did you know that Izzy is an Irish cat?  No? Well, she assures us that she is, and asked us to post this picture to prove it. Besides, she says, her favorite thing in all the world is fresh blades of green grass!

Happy Spring!





The Last Word
Even though we didn't have much in the way of wintry weather this year, it's still nice to feel the spring air moving in again. I'd like to take the opportunity to say welcome to Tina, our new weekend assistant. Tina is a second year vet student at MSU, and she has been coming in the past few months to take care of cats boarding with us for the weekend. This allows the rest of us more time to be with our families on the weekend. Thank you Tina, for taking such excellent care of our boarding friends! 
Dr. Kerry Lewis
Riverside Cat Hospital