I go on autopilot sometimes, as we all do when we’re performing an activity we have done with some degree of repetition. Today, I was reciting my usual spiel to an owner who adopted a cat from a shelter who had, as is often the case, an upper respiratory infection. One of the common causative agents is the feline herpesvirus, and for that reason many veterinarians recommend L-Lysine (an amino acid) as part of the treatment regime.
“So in conclusion,” I summarized, “you should get some Lysine because it inhibits replication of the herpes virus, and let me know if your cat starts dripping green stuff from her nose. Any questions?”
I look up and see a face that is wavering between confused and horrified.
“But….she’s a kitten,” the owner says.
I nod in agreement.
“And she’s fixed,” he protests.
Again, he is correct.
“So…” he chokes out in an agonized voice, “How can she possibly have herpes in her NOSE?? WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!”
He felt much better after I explained the significant and vital differences between the feline form and the human form of herpes viruses. Fortunately he chose to ask me this question as opposed to going home and stewing over it. Or worse, googling it.