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Contact Information

Phone: 919.513.6659
Fax:     919.513.6711
Hours: The Ophthalmology service receives elective cases 9:30AM-3:30PM Monday, Tuesday and Thursday by appointment. We perform elective surgery on Wednesday and Friday. We also make small animal and large animal appointments (through the VH) twice a month at our satellite clinic at the Equine Health Center in Southern Pines, NC.

The Small Animal and Equine Ophthalmology services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for treatment of emergency problems. To make a referral on an emergency basis, call 919.513.6659 or 919.513.6911. Referring Veterinarians can also call for consults at anytime.

General Information

The Terry Center

red Cross Cadeceus

Emergency Service

Main Number: 919.513.6500
Small Animal Emergency: 919.513.6911
Large Animal Emergency: 919.513.6630
Monday-Thursday 5PM-8AM
Friday 5PM-Monday 8AM

Open 24 hours on legal holidays.
No appointment needed.

Ophthalmology - Special Services, Technology, & Information

Feline Herpes Virus

Feline herpes virus is a common disease in cats, causing upper respiratory infection, conjunctivitis (inflammation of the pink tissue surrounding the eye) and in some cases inflammation or ulceration of the cornea.

Feline herpes is a virus specific to cats and is not contagious to humans or other species. The virus is contagious to other cats, although most cats have been exposed to the virus at some point in their life, and have developed immunity. Kittens are often exposed early in life and then become resistant or are protected by routine vaccinations. Symptoms often include upper respiratory infection associated with sneezing and watery eyes, which may seem to completely resolve after 10-14 days. The symptoms may then return in adult cats, primarily as conjunctivitis without upper respiratory infection. Symptoms often recur due to stress from another illness, boarding or moving, or after introduction of a new cat in the home. After recovery from this initial disease, a small percentage of cats develop recurring symptoms. This is similar to people who have recurrent cold sores, which are caused by herpes simplex virus.


Diagnosis of feline herpes virus is made based on clinical signs and a complete history.


Treatment of feline herpes virus is difficult. The virus lives within a host cell and replicates by altering the cell's normal DNA. Antiviral medications must kill the virus without harming the host cells. Recovery is dependent on the animal's own immune system to eliminate the virus, although complete recovery may not be possible. For this reason, the treatment regimen must be strictly followed. Also, periodic recheck visits are required to follow progress of treatment and any complications that may occur. However, many treatment options exist, and may vary depending on the severity of the disease.


Possible complications of feline herpes virus infection of the surface of the eye may include: