Lactoferrin is another one of the alternative treatments for a chronic herpes virus infection which can be combined with L-lysine.
L-lysine is fairly well known as a supplement to give to cats to help them overcome or control a chronic herpes virus infection. That is the way I see it and my vet recommended it.
You won’t find either of these treatments in standard books on cat health, which is not to say they are not effective or at least worth trying.
Lactoferrin is for humans and the same product – available, incidentally, on Amazon – can be used for cats.
I am not able to recommend it because I have never tried it personally or used it to help my cat.
There is anecdotal evidence on cat forums supporting its use in conjunction with Lysine.
Chronic upper respiratory infections can plague cats and under these distressing circumstances it is acceptable to branch out and try treatments not in the mainstream.
One cat owner said he used L-lysine to help control his cats’ runny eyes and lactoferrin to control sneezing. He uses Bovine Lactoferrin in tablet form. He gives his cats 250mm daily in two doses of 125mm. Specifically he uses Jarrow Lactoferrin which is available on Amazon. The capsules are broken open and the contents sprinkled on his cats’ food. Fortunately in his case it has not put his cats off from eating their food. The cats stopped sneezing, he said. The symptoms were alleviated. That is no more than one person’s recommendation but it is a recommendation based on personal experience.
What is lactoferrin? The WebMD website explains. It is a protein found in human and cow’s milk. We are referring to colostrum, mother’s milk. The first milk mother produces contains high levels of lactoferrin.
For people it is used for a range of conditions. It protects against viral and bacterial infections. It stimulates the body’s immune system and promotes healthy intestinal bacteria. It is said that it either prevents the growth of bacteria or kills bacteria by destroying their cell walls (this is like an antibiotic). The list goes on. When a product is this useful I am suspicious.
It works by regulating the absorption of iron in the intestine. There appears to be no side effects when consumed in food.
I have bought some for myself to try it out as I have a stubborn bacteria infection. I’ll be able to add a postcript to this page in a fortnight or so.
The intention of this post is to flag up this treatment not to recommend it or write about it with authority.
A proper scientific study, published on the respected pubMed website, on the use of lactoferrin against FHV-1 (feline herpes virus) concluded as follows:
“These findings strongly suggest that lactoferrin inhibits FHV-1 adsorption to the cell surface and/or penetration of the virus into the cell. Clinical effects of topical lactoferrin in acute or recrudescent herpetic episodes in cats warrant investigation.”
This is a positive finding. Grapefruit seed extract is another home treatment.