Conscious Cat

September 26, 2011 409 Comments

Convenia for Cats: Sacrificing Safety for Convenience?

Posted by Ingrid

cat injection vaccination veterinarian

Most cat owners know that medicating a cat can be challenging. That’s probably why many veterinarians as well as cat owners celebrated when Convenia, a long-acting, injectable antibiotic, came on the market in 2008. Convenia is manufactured by Zoetis, formerly Pfizer Animal Health.

The idea of a one-time injection, instead of giving regular anitibiotics in pill or liquid form once or twice a day for two weeks or more, seemed like a great solution to the problem.

However, contrary to regular antibiotics, which are rapidly cleared from the body, Convenia stays in the body for two months or longer following injection, even though the antibacterial effects only last for two weeks. All drugs have some side effects. While some cats may do just fine with Convenia, others may have side effects ranging from mild to life threatening. And with a long acting drug like Convenia, there is no way to simply stop giving the medication – it’s already in your cat’s system.

Amber was one of those hard-to-pill cats. After careful discussion with my vet, I agreed to use Convenia following a dental procedure, which I’ve now come to learn is an inappropriate use for this drug. At the time, I only had misgivings about it because of its long-acting properties. Thankfully, she had no side effects other than some mild diarrhea, which is a common side effect of most antibiotics.

I recently came across a comprehensive article about Convenia by Dr. Lisa Pierson, the founder of catinfo.org, one of the best and most comprehensive websites about feline nutrition. In her article, Dr. Pierson weighs the pros and cons about administering this drug to cats:

Convenia: Worth the Risk?

Dr. Pierson’s article is a must read for all cat owners.

I welcome comments sharing your experience with Convenia, but I will delete comments that are disrespectful of others.

You can also connect with others who have experienced issues with Convenia on a Facebook page set up for pet guardians who want to discuss adverse reactions to Convenia.  Please note that neither I nor Dr. Pierson have any connections with this Facebook page, the link is simply provided as a resource for pet guardians looking for more information.

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409 Responses to “Convenia for Cats: Sacrificing Safety for Convenience?”

  1. Elsadora says:

    My Toni Girl, Mya’s sister recently suffered a UTI. She received pills and was just fine. She would NOT have been fine if she had received a shot of Covenia, that much is certain. She would have gone down the same road as her brother, dead dead dead. Covenia should not be on the market.Why is it a drug with no antidote, where 70 percent of the potency is received with minutes is allowed on the market? If these things were happening to human beings, this drug would have been pulled already. I am glad others have tolerated it well. They just got lucky.

    • Tom cat says:

      This is not a poison even if some would disagree. This drug like all drugs have side effects. If you look at most antibiotics and the use most of the time the Doctors have patient give a high dose then a normal dose to hit the infection hard. Sorry about your other cat but different animals respond to thing differently. No way to know who will have the worse side effects. If you look at all drug they all have killed someone and yet we still use them.

      • Ingrid says:

        I agree that all drugs have side effects, Tom, and that there’s no way to predict who will react and who won’t. The trouble with long acting drugs like Convenia is that once they’re in the system, there’s no way to get rid of them, which is why a reaction is far more serious, and often deadly, than is the case with other drugs. And sadly, far too many veterinarians are either not aware of, or don’t inform clients about the possible risks of this drug.

        • Lisa says:

          OMG! I am in tears from these response to this drug. The vet gave my cat a shot but did not tell me of the side affects. Taffy had dental surgery and the medicine gave her diarrhea and we saw some blood in her urine. The vet there is a shot that last for 10 days and never said anything about how dangerous it may be, I would have never let him give that shot to her. My heart is pounding from what I have read and I would just die if anything happen to her. I started noticing she is now having problems urinating and that has never happened beofre. I agree with what Elsadora is saying and I am contacting my Vet right now.

      • Elsadora says:

        TOM CAT:

        The issue isn’t whether drugs have a tendency for side effects. All drugs do. The issue is a matter of informed consent. Vets in MANY cases are taking it upon themselves to minimize the risks , not telling pet owners, despite their BEING ASKED about the potential for serious side ffects, that there is a a very high risk of ATAXIA, SEIZURES, EXCESSIVE DIARRHEA, STROKE, DRUG induced ANEMIA, and FINAL death! This drug is only supposed to be used in cases of certain bacterial infections, but yet my cat was given this drug with NO BACTERIAL infection present what so ever. My cat’s only illness at the time of his death was a SIMPLE cut that required stitches. I asked for stitches for peace of mind to avoid the wound getting infected. I did ask for an antibiotic for fear of infection, but it was only after being given this powerful shot and my cat DYING a horrid death right under my nose with no warning as to what to loook for that I found out my cat had zero infection thus NEGATING the need for such a powerful ANTIBIOTIC that by the way there is NO ANTIDOTE for in case of reaction. You don’;t think I would have SAID No Way hosea IF i HAD been given all the facts? My poor baby lapsed into a coma right under my nose. I had no warning of what to look for, other than my baby would be tired (was told that was perfectly normal, to watch for diarrhea and redness). So the whole time he was dying, I thought my baby was tired from the light sedation and pain med given.

        The side effects are IN THE LITERATURE> WHY AREn’t they mentioned when asked? I am sorry I don’t buy the argument of vets not knowing the potential for serious side effects. If they can’t bother reading the med pamphlet to inform themselves on the ins and outs of the meds they are prescribing maybe they shouldn’t be prescribing them in the first place.

        Why is this shot used for everything under the sun, for everything for simple cuts to a tooth cleaning? There are other antibiotics, pills, that in the case of side effects can be very easily managed and mitigated by stopping the med and under a doctor’s supervision? Why is this drug teh FIRST line of defense! It should be THE LAST line for the most serious cases and even then the VET SHOULD BE REQUIRED to have the pet parent sign a waiver outlining the potential for serious side effects,

        I more than anyone WOULD LOVE for THIS DRUG to be BANNED from the face of teh earth. The realist in me knows that isn’t happening. There is too much money to be had. So, the alternate next best thing would be INFORMED consent, hand outs given to each and every pet parents, where they are to be READ AND signed before administering the drug. A black box label if you will.

        That and a little consideration of what is being prescribed, a stop with a a gun opening the door approach in presence of a key. That is a perfect example of what happened to my baby. The treatment did not fit the disease.

        A little less denial would go a long as well. Vets continue to deny this drug is the cause of anything. I had a perfectly healthy cat Within 3o minutes of this shot being administered by baby was dying…. Do you have any idea what that feels like? To have a YOUNg 1 and 1/2 year old cat dIE after being treated for a cut! A cut that wasn’t even infected? WhERE if he had been pilled he would still be here? Even if he had a reaction he would have stood at least a 5o percent chance of surviving. With the shot he had a ZERO chance, and they don;’t warn you on that and that is CRIMINAL….

        • If we all keep at it Elsadora, we have every chance to get it banned.I am very sorry about your young cat,I know what it feels like.I watched mine die a horrific death.I agree with everything you say.
          It has to be banned,my friends cat Poppy lost its life to it yesterday.Lucky my cat had another six years at least in him.I feel so cross it is no true.If you join me on facebook you will see I will not give up.Don’t know how but somehow we will get this off the market.We owe it to our cats we lost.

  2. pam says:

    Like Elsadora, my big healthy orange cat received this injection for hot spots and almost exactly to the day one week later my sweet orange boy passed away from respitory failure caused by Convenia. This is mot a drug this is poison should not ne on the market and I am going to be a thorn in someones side until I am heard. It should have been off the market long before this. I for one am not willing to gamble with my pets lives for convienance.

    • Ingrid says:

      I’m so sorry about your boy, Pam.

    • niki says:

      So sorry to hear this, I don’t know how its possible to fight the big drug companies, if humans were dying like this maybe it would be different. But I do my best to tell everyone I know. I think I might write about it on my disabled dogs fb page as he has lots of fans who could then share it with their friends.

    • Debi says:

      Well said Pam. I have some idea of your pain having lost my sweet kitty, Cholla, last February after a Convenia shot. It was not difficult to give him pills inside Pill Pockets (by Greenies) and would have never allowed the injection if I had known it was even a little possible it would hurt my lovable boy. I miss the way he hugged me and it makes me sick to know the terrible death he endured because of this drug. I too tell every pet parent I know the dangers of Convenia. Hopefully, in this way we can help save another sweet pet and their companion from this terrible experience.

  3. My beautiful cat Lucky had an 80mg injection of convenia on the 18th December 2013 at a vet in Hockley.He became considerably worse after it.I am convinced this powerful injection has killed my cat Lucky.We lost him at 2.45 am on Monday morning.I took him to the vet early December, they said he had gingervitus and he had 2 back teeth removed.After this he developed a rash in his ears and above his eyes,on his tummy and back.When we took him back he was given another injection which did not seem to work so they gave him convenia. I was told its an antibiotic that stays in the body for one month.My Lucky did not live that long.Can we not get together and get this drug struck off.I have a friend on face book at the moment whose cat has had it and is suffering the same sympton’s as mine.It looks like she is going down the same road.I shall tell everyone I know to try to ovoid this injection on their animals.My cat had a terrible death.I also state that my cat was not given any blood tests to see if anything else was wrong .Maybe they cannot have blood test while convenia is in the body.I will be terrified to get another cat because there are no decent vets about to help them when they are ill. Please get this drug struck off.

    • Ingrid says:

      I’m so sorry about Lucky, Doreen. I don’t know what type of agencies you have in the UK similar to the Food and Drug Administration in the US that you can report adverse drug reactions to, but if there is such an agency, you should report this. You or your vet should also report it to Zoetis, the maker of the drug. I know it won’t bring Lucky back, but the more reports there are of adverse reactions, the better the chance that someone will investigate and/or eventually pull the drug off the market.

      • Hi Ingrid.I am sure that this drug CONVENIA killed Lucky, my friends cat is still alive but is having problem’s. She is a retired nurse due to health problems and is really delving into this. Her first question was can it be reversed.
        One of the symptoms is “HYPERTHYROIDIAM” is an adverse side effect of this drug,it effects the windpipe as in ANCIFALAXAS SHOCK. result the throat swells up so getting food and drink down is very difficult. It makes sense because that’s how Lucky was. 12 hours before Lucky died he brought a load of blood up that can only be described as thick red treacle, I thought that might help him but sadly think that was the beginning of his little body shutting down. surely these vets know the side effects. My vet seemed upset when I spoke to him the other day, his vet is a big concern. Do you think they are only given certain drugs to use? they seem to use the same drug for anything from cat flu to a skin infection etc.

        • Ingrid says:

          Reversing a reaction to Convenia (or any other long acting drug) is often not possible because the drug remains in the system after administration (in the case of Convenia, for up to two months). Any intervention will usually be supportive to manage the symptoms of the reaction. I’m not aware of hyperthyroidism being one of the side effects of Convenia, but it’s possible. However, hyperthyroidism has nothing to do with anaphylactic shock. Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid becomes overactive. Anaphylactic shock is a life-threatening allergic reaction usually evidenced by difficulty breathing and a sharp drop in blood pressure.

          Veterinarians have a fairly wide range of antibioitics to choose from (Convenia is an antibiotic), but to my knowledge, Convenia is the only long-acting antibiotic currently licensed for animals.

  4. Micheal says:

    Hello My name is Micheal and I live in Canada. My wife and I brought our 9 week old kitten into the vet here because she was having a seizure once a week. When the vet seen her she could not pinpoint what the issue was, but our kitten was getting over a long cold and had a little of a bad sounding breathing. She was a healthy happy kitty very playful. I told the vet she hasn’t had a seizure in a few days but that seems to be the routine . The vet said because she hasn’t had one it sounds like the swelling in the brain Is going down ( even though I told her this is the routine.) she gave Hope a shot of ” antibiotics ” without telling us the cost and not doing any tests blood or anything. The shot turned out to be convenia and the next day hope had over 10 seizures and has been very distant from us even hiding and acting very tired. My wife and I went online and seen one of the side effects of this drug was SEIZURES! We are very upset ad distraught and do my believe the vet did her due diligence. She got the shot Wednesday it is not Sunday morning. When do the effects of this drug wear off ???!!. We just want our little hope back.

    • Ingrid says:

      I’m so sorry about Hope, Michael. Convenia stays in the body for two months or longer, which is why it’s so difficult to intervene if there is a reaction. If you haven’t already contacted your vet about the increase in seizures, please do so immediately. Hope may need aggressive supportive treatment. If you’re no longer comfortable with your veterinarian after this experience, you may want to consider a referral to either a neurologist or internal medicine specialist. All my best to Hope for a complete recovery!

    • niki moore says:

      Hi Michael, the best thing you can do is to get probiotics in to your cat as soon as you can, I am convinced this helped our Wilf enormously, we fed him every two to three hours, small amounts of his regular raw food , with probiotic powder sprinkled on, we did this intensively for a few days but then just went back to his normal feeding schedule but kept on with the probiotic religiously for the next 8 weeks. He is now fully recovered thankfully.

  5. Micheal says:

    Thank you Ingrid. I did call the vet and told them about the increase and told them I think the shot all of a sudden inflamed her somehow. They said no the shot would not have that type of effect ( even though one of the side effects is seizures ). They said the best thing to do would be to put her down ( after they prescribed topamax pills to make the seizures stop.) This has been very hard on my wife and I, and I cannot fathom why a vet would give a shot where one of the side effects is seizures to a cat who has been having seizures without 0 tests or anything done.

    • Ingrid says:

      I know Topamax is an anti-seizure medication, but I’m not familiar with its use for cats. Unless you feel that putting Hope down is the right thing to do at this point, I urge you to get a referral to a veterinary neurologist. I do not understand why your vet used any medication, let alone one that has seizures as a known side effect, without pursuing a proper diagnosis, either.

    • JQ says:

      Hi Michael

      My heart goes out to you, we’ve just had a similar situation with our cat, she had only had one seizure ever, but still convenia was given & I was assured there would be no toxic effects, only that it lasts longer. After her going down hill I researched online & found all this information, on the back of which I did the probiotics treatment regularly with fresh food. Unfortunately, despite fighting with her all the way, we had to have her put to sleep two days ago, with severe kidney damage and fluid build up in the chest. She was 16 and too weak to come home. Otherwise, she had had a strong and healthy 16 years, barring her one fit. If I had been told the side effects, I would not have allowed it. She had a temperature, with no signs of anything else. So convenia was given for a temperature and suspected infection. I took her elsewhere for bloods and she was all clear, bar a slight white cell count indicating an infection. She continued to deteriorate developing swollen painful kidney & the fluid, which we discovered by ultrasound. We are devastated and we need to keep spreading the word & try to get this drug banned, one death is a death too many. Also, I have read that some animals only react after the second or third jab, so by not having side effects the first time, is no guarantee it won’t happen the next time. Blessings to you all and your loving pets.

  6. Pam Tweedie says:

    I feel awful about your little furbaby Hope. Or vet didn’t discuss the Convenia injection either, and gave our big orange Punkin`a dose. We were feverishly looking for an anecdote also. I couldn’t find anything but I know when my pets have an allergic reaction that we give them Benedryl (allergy pill). I wish I would have thought of it for our Punkin`, he may be here today. I would google the dosage for your kitten if you consider using it. Convenia is poison and should be off the the market.

    • Ingrid says:

      I’m so sorry about Punkin, Pam.

      I do need to emphasize that over the counter medications for humans should never be given to cats without your veterinarian’s approval.

      • Pam Tweedie says:

        I agree about the use of over the counter meds on cats but we were desperate, Punkin` was failing quickly. I apologize about recommending benedryl.*

      • Pam Tweedie says:

        I agree about the use of over the counter meds on cats but we were desperate, Punkin` was failing quickly. I apologize about recommending benedryl.* Always consult with your vet first*

  7. Pam Tweedie says:

    Our poor Punkin` survived about a week. I am beside myself with grief , guilt and loss. I wish I had known to ask about the shot. It caught mine and my husbands attention because it was a $50.00 shot.! That’s when I googled it to find out what in the world it was for, and I was horrified to read about the number of issues pets are having with this junk. Keep us posted about your baby please. Prayers she recovers quickly.

    • Elsadora says:

      Pam:

      Even if you had asked about the shot’s major side effects your vet would have likely NOT told you anyway. I asked my vet and was only told to look out for redness at the injection site, diarrhea, etc. NOT a word was said about SEIZURES, ATAXIA, stroke, anemia, and death. As a result I didn’t know that my cat was going into a coma…. I thought my cat was sleepy from sedation. I was told my cat would be tired and sleep into the next day. I didnt think anything bad when I woke up the next and he didn’t respond to my calling to him. I thought he was still sleeping. It was only when I started screaming at him and he didn’t respond…. It was the worst day of my life.

  8. Micheal says:

    WoW! Thank you all soooo much for your support you have been incredible . My wife and I decided last night that putting Hope down is final final option. We rescued her she was found outside in very very cold weather nearly dead and we took her in and helped to save her. Her first seizure started 5 weeks later. She seems to be calming a little the seizures are no longer 1-2 hours apart maybe 4? My concern is will she have brain damage due to these seizures any advice would be amazing. I am so sorry to hear about punkin Pam breaks my heart, people do not understand the connection we feel to these animals and everyone here does , it’s incredibly heartwarming.

  9. If we are given an antibiotic we are told of the side effects and given a choice.I was told it stays in the body for a month but was given no idea of the damage it can do,if the vet had told me it is possible for some cats to have a bad reaction it would have been a definate no to me.I would not have risked Lucky’s life.What chance did he have. i feel quite sick over the whole thing especially when you speak to cats protection who think it is a wonderfull drug,they told me if the vet gives it it must be o.k. you will always get one cat that may have a re-
    re- action.

  10. katie says:

    I was reading Dr. Pierson’s nutrition information and came across the Convenia article, googled it and came across this article. My sweet Maggie passed on 01/02 from what I now suspect was a side effect of Convenia. D**n harsh side effect – death.

    Here’s the story: She was diagnosed as hyperthyroid on 11/20. Her only symptom was weight loss. Her T4 was as high as the blood test went – an 8. When we went back for her 3 week T4 retest and her T4 was still off the chart. I told the vet I thought part of why I couldn’t keep weight on her because it looked like a tooth was bothering her. He looked at the tooth said it was bad, pulled it and gave her this great antibiotic that would help with any possible infection from the tooth pull – Convenia. I went back in 2 weeks later because she was lethargic, stumbling around and having problems eating (just rubbing her nose in her food, like her mouth didn’t work). They retested her T4 and it was now super low – like .5. He ran blood tests to make sure all of her organs were functioning and they were fine. He was flabbergasted that her T4 swung that far and figured her lethargy was from the low T4 and told me to stop the thyroid meds and she should recover. Her body never came out of it, basically just shut itself down. She died 3 days later.

    Now that I read about Convenia I wish I would have had a necropsy done, but I was too torn up to even think that far at the time and had her cremated. From here on out I will attempt to be a more informed consumer when it comes to medicating my cat.

  11. so sorry about Maggie Katie,sounds just like my Lucky,he was such a fit cat until I took him to have teeth removed.We must fight this drug,I still cannot come to terms with why a vet is allowed to give a cat this injection when one of the symptoms is death.Go to “Convenia Adverse Re-actions” and report it Katie.To late for us but it helps others realize how dangerous this drug is.

  12. My friend Pippa Fuller lost her cat Poppy today.Poppy was so distressed Pippa took her to another vet. Poppy was checked out and vet decided the kindest thing to do was put her out of her misery.
    Poppy had Convenia injection same day as my Lucky 18/12/2013,she lasted 2 weeks longer,I thought she might make it.It was definatly an adverse reaction. Pippa said it has been banned in the States.Is that true,gives a little bit of hope if it is.
    I have written a letter to my local newspaper about it to warn people.Just hope they put it in.

    • Effie says:

      Doreen, to the best of my knowledge, Convenia has not been banned in the US. Although I agree with you it should be. What country do you live in?

      My cat got a shot of Convenia on Nov. 1st (didn’t even have an infection) and died in the early morning hours of Nov. 3rd. One of the most horrible deaths I have ever seen.

      I tell every cat owner I met about Convenia and am considering sending press releases to the media.

      I am so sorry for Poppy and Pippa. My condolences.

      Effie

    • Ingrid says:

      I’m so sorry about Pippa.

      Convenia has not been banned in the US, or in any other country that I’m aware of.

  13. Hi Effie,
    Firstly I am so so sorry about your cat. My cat also had a horrible death,I was with him all the time.I am in Essex, England.Where are you? I did not think it had been banned anywhere. Most of the vets in U.K. are using Convenia. My cat Lucky had the injection on the 18th December, I was just told it was an Anti biotic that stays in the system for one month,since then I have found out it is 64 days. My cat did have a temperature and an infection through a rash I believe he contacted at the vet when he had two teeth removed. He was fine after the teeth eating well but rash more like mange developed. That is reason he was back at the vets again.
    Given the Convenia and within a day or so had a really bad Adverse Reaction, I looked it up on net and was horrified. He died on 13/01/2014. but the month before had been misery for him. He could not eat or drink,was lethargic and stumbling all over the place due to his back legs giving way on him. Why do I feel it is my fault? I just knew Vet had always been bad luck to me but as it had changed hands and was the only vet in Hockley took Lucky in.I so regret it.It is business before welfare as far as I am concerned.It is a kill or cure drug. After Lucky had injection I checked with other vets,they were all very confident it was a very good drug. So I thought I had been unlucky until I saw all these pages. Have you looked at “ADVERSE RE-ACTION” website? I wrote to our local paper yesterday,don’t know if they will print my letter. Pippa is a friend of mine on facebook, her cat Poppy lasted a long while and I really did think it may make it. But sadly did not, was examined by another vet who thought the kindest thing Pippa could do was put it out of her misery. Join me on facebook? have no idea of your name. I cannot understand how a drug that was passed in 2008 and has done so much damage has not been taken off the market. I wonder how many cats it has helped. It must be a real money maker, could not believe what I read a couple of days ago.They mix the powder up,it is refridgated. It has to be used, cannot be kept for to long as it loses its potency and the vets lose a lot of money, I am sure that is why they throw it at us for all and sundrey. I will not get another cat even though I feel so lonely. I have no trust in vets any more. Cannot understand why this has not reached the papers, T.V. or radio.

  14. kim says:

    I’m sorry for the owners cats that had problems. I was lucky. my cat had runny brown liquid drip out his eye and sneezing, runny nose and back sniffling reverse sneezing. The vet said he had some blood on his gum or cheek and is right sinus looked swolen on his face. One shot of the Conveniia cleared him up and he seems pretty ok after 6 weeks

  15. Patty says:

    My cat Ena had a bad mat on her chest that had to be shaved off. (She is a retired Ragdoll breeding queen I adopted 9 months ago who does not easily tolerate grooming, although I am gradually working on that with her.) Because it was red and irritated underneath the mat her new vet said she gave her an antibiotic injection to avoid any infection. I asked about any side effects and she said it was an easily tolerated antibiotic. When I checked her paperwork when I got home I saw that it was Convenia and I was furious. The shot was given on 2/18/2014. It is now two days later and Ena is extremely lethargic and mostly hiding and sleeping. She is no longer my happy and lively little girl. I guess there is nothing to do but wait this out now. I feel so helpless and devastated that I let this happen to her. My heartfelt sympathy to all of you who have lost your babies to this drug. I so hope Ena will not also become another of its victims.

    • Ingrid says:

      I’m so sorry, Patty. I would call your vet. Even though you can’t reverse the effects of the drug, Ena may benefit from aggressive supportive care. Please keep us posted. All my best to her for a complete recovery.

      • Patty says:

        Ena is a bit better this evening. She is eating and using her litter box, but she is still more lethargic than usual. Using such a long-lasting broad-spectrum antibiotic with a questionable safety record to treat a mild skin irritation caused by a mat removal seems excessive. (I suspect Ena’s hot spot probably looked scarier than it was when the mat came off — she is a red-point Ragdoll and her skin itself has a distinctly red cast. ) I will not be returning to this practice even though it came well-recommended. It seems to me that as a cats-only practice they should be well aware of the many concerns about the risks of Convenia being voiced in the feline community and would not use it without the full knowledge and consent of the cat parent. I will be returning to the cats-only practice I used for 20+ years even though it is twice as far from my new home. I always felt in control of what was going into my cats when they went into the “back room” at that practice and I always felt the cure being offered was commensurate with the diagnosis. I will be getting some Fortiflora and will be watching Ena closely. If she has to go to the local emergency vet hospital over the weekend, so be it. They were able to save my late Javanese boy when he collapsed at home following his first dental procedure. The vets were never were able to find what caused the reaction, but he was never allowed to have any vaccines within two weeks of future dental procedures after that.

        • Debi says:

          I totally agree, Patty, that because of the controversy surrounding this drug, all responsible vets should be getting consent first! As soon as antibiotic is mentioned I ask for the name and all side effects. In fact I ask a lot more questions about everything at the vet’s office these days. When my cat was given Convenia there, they had not heard of the problems with it, until after he died a terrible death. At least I have learned to be more pro active for my other kitty and I spread the word to all animal parents to do the same.

          Sending white light for healing and a full recovery for your baby!

        • Ingrid says:

          I’m glad Ena is doing a little better.

  16. Tamela says:

    My cat Minion recieved a shot of covenia on February 16th for an upper respiratory infection. 2 days later she was vomiting then had extreme muscle weakness. I took her to the ER vet and they said she had a very low blood cekl count (blood work before Covenia was normal blood count). She has recieved 1 blood transfusion but her red blood cell count continues to fall. If anyone has had success recovering from this please post. She is still in the ER now.
    Thank you,
    Tamela

    • Ingrid says:

      I’m so sorry about Minion, Tamela. Please keep us posted on her progress. All my best to both of you!

    • niki says:

      My cat recovered but I treated him aggressively with probiotics, every couple of hours for the first three days when he first reacted badly, a spoon of food (he is raw fed) with a teaspoon of powder, as he improved we went back to regular feed schedule but kept up with the probiotic for the next 64 days. Good luck. Niki

      • Louis says:

        Help, I brought my Sampson to the vet with an upper respiratory infection, The vet gave him 0.1 ml of Convenia, now he is not eating, or from what i can tell using his liter box. its hard to say because i have 2 cats. He is very distrusting, VERY anti-social. What should I do? I am at my wits end and i dont trust the Vet…

        • Ingrid says:

          You need to let your vet know that Sampson may be having a reaction to the medication. If you don’t trust this vet, contact another vet clinic. If this is truly and adverse reaction, the sooner you start supportive care, the better.

  17. Becky says:

    Tamela, have your vets checked for Hemolytic Anemia? What meds is she on?

    Convenia is a cephalosporin antibiotic and can cause an immune mediated reaction.

    Here are two excellent articles concerning immune mediated reactions to cephalosporins:

    http://vetspecialistsofrochester.com/pdf/Internal-Medicine/Immune-mediated%20anemia.pdf

    http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/vetmed/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=712031&sk&pageID=3

    • Ingrid says:

      Thanks for sharing the links, Becky. The second link, however, is for treating immune-mediated polyarthritis in dogs – did you mean to share a different link?

    • Tamela says:

      Thank you for all the information. Currently she is still at the ER vet. Her red blood cell count had gone up to 23% by yesterday but dropped back down to 20% this morning. We’ve discussed hemolytic anemia because there is no signs that she’s bleeding however her red blood cell count and proteins drop together which they say is typically indicative of bleeding. They have performed chest xrays and ultrasound. There is some liquid in the abdominal cavity and chest area. The vet thinks those have been from inflammation allowing some fluids to “leak” into those areas. He said they aren’t large enough to account for her original red blood cell drop from 21% to 13% in a very short period of time. He wasn’t sure about hemolytic anemia because when they separate the blood there would normally be a color variation in the clear part and hers is clear. We are waiting on a test to come back from the lab on 2 types of bacteria but so far all tests have come up negative for parasites, bacterias, etc. Here’s is the timeline so far:
      Jan 30th Took Minion to a new groomer who informed me afterwards she had tried a new shampoo on her.
      Feb 3rd noticed that Minion was grooming herself much more than normal and eyes were getting more discharge than normal (she’s a Himalayan so she always has some eye discharge).
      Feb 6th took Minion to her normal vet because she had eye and nose discharge and was congested. Diagnosed with upper respitory virus. Vet prescribed Clavamax, Neopolydex eyedrops, Theophylline (broncholater to help her breath). Gave her the full course of Clavamax but she wouldn’t take the Theophylline; kept spitting it out for me to find later.
      Feb 15th called vet because eyes/nose were worse
      Feb 16th decided to bath her at home because she was still grooming excessively (I was hoping to wash out whatever the groomer put on her). During bath noticed multiple dime to quarter sized sores; approximately 7. Took Minion to vet. They took some hair for a fungal culture. Vet said sores looked like either a reaction to a medicine or fungal. Gave her a shot of Covenia (antibiotic) and Depo-Medrol (Steroid). Also discovered she had a yeast infection in ear. They prescribed Tresaderm and ear wash. They also prescribed a new eyedrop Tobramycin Sulfate.
      Feb 17th Took Minion back to vet to get a medical clip (so we could monitor and treat the sores).
      Feb 18th Minion vomited around 3pm and seemed lethargic. Called vet they said that was normal with some antibiotics. Told us to discontinue the ear drops and wash for a few days.
      Feb 19th Minion was asleep everytime I checked on her and wouldn’t eat or drink. Picked her up to take to bed and when I put her down she at first seemed to loose her footing then stood up. I thought I had set her down awkwardly until my boyfriend told me the same thing had happened with him earlier.
      Feb 20th Minion was walking across the living room and fell over on her side. We rushed her to the ER vet. She couldn’t stand for the vets tests. They ran blood tests etc. and noticed her gums were extremely pale. They gave her oxygen and said she was anemic and her heart rate was very low (110) and that her body temp was low. Her red blood cell count was at 21%. They kept her overnight and the next day she was able to stand on her own. They sent her home.
      Feb 21st She wouldn’t eat or drink and couldn’t walk far before laying down again. Later that day she started breathing heavy through her mouth so I took her back to ER vet. They checked her red blood cell count and it was 13%. They gave her a blood transfusion ran tons of tests, xrays, ultrasound. Still can’t find anything. After the transfusion her rbc was 24%. The next morning it had dropped to 19%. It was going up 1% a day until this morning it dropped to 20% again (she had gotten up to 23%). Sorry this is so lengthy but I was hoping if the full picture is there someone else may see similarities. We have extremely good notes because we kept a log while she was sick of her activities, food eaten etc. Again thanks for y’alls help.
      Tamela

      • Megan says:

        Tamela, I am an admin for the Convenia Adverse reaction page on Facebook. Many of the things you are reporting are common reactions to Convenia, especially the anemia. Please contact the vets immediately and tell them your cat is likely having an adverse reaction to Convenia and to treat accordingly. From Dr. Pierson’s page, the following is important:

        “Anaphylaxis has been reported with the use of this product in foreign market experience. If an allergic reaction or anaphylaxis occurs, CONVENIA should not be administered again and appropriate therapy should be instituted. Anaphylaxis may require treatment with epinephrine and other emergency measures, including oxygen, intravenous fluids, intravenous antihistamine, corticosteroids, and airway management, as clinically indicated.

        Adverse reactions may require prolonged treatment due to the prolonged systemic drug clearance (65 days).

        FOREIGN MARKET EXPERIENCE: The following adverse events were reported voluntarily during post-approval use of the product in dogs and cats in foreign markets: death, tremors/ataxia, seizures, anaphylaxis, acute pulmonary edema, facial edema, injection site reactions (alopecia, scabs, necrosis, and erythema), hemolytic anemia, salivation, pruritus, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and inappetance.”

        Something many of our members have done that has made a difference for these cats is to get them on a protocol of Benebac dosed several times per day per the protocol at noconvenia.com. Fortiflora is also used (sometimes temporarily until Benebac order arrives), but the Benebac 1 lb jar is available on Amazon and seems to be preferred, plus it is less expensive for long term use. For ongoing support and help from people who have had the very same experiences you can visit us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Convenia-adverse-reactions-in-catsfelines-and-dogscanines/118697391502152

  18. Becky says:

    Hi Ingrid,

    I shared the hemolytic anemia link for Tamela since she mentioned the low blood count, but also shared the polyarthritis link because she had mentioned the muscle weakness. Both can happen in dogs and cats (and humans) and there are more links out there specifically for cats but I thought those 2 links explained it best.

    The anemia can be caused by a number of things, but those links showed the possible cephalosporin reaction. All drugs can cause side effects but with pills, you can at least stop giving them. I agree with you all and my concern with convenia is once it is done, you can’t just stop it like you can with pills.

  19. Mihai says:

    Just reading the reviews breaking my heart. I took my 2 cats to the vet last Tuesday due to diarrhea. Mihai, my other cat also with diarrhea and swollen gums. The Vet gave him convenia, I have no idea what are the side effects, the vet just told me it’s an anti biotic…now, it’s started last night Mihai started vomiting. He eat good but not his best appetite and after an hour or 2 he vomits. I can’t call the vet now coz they are close on weekends….any opinion please…can I give him gravol just to calm his stomach a bit? is this safe for animals as it is in human?
    The vet also gave Tygra a needle of convenia but so far she is okay(I hope), no side effects so far and she is older than Mihai. Tygra is 9 and Mihai is 5.
    Pls help…you know how I feel right now.

    • Ingrid says:

      I would contact a 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital about Mihai – I would not wait until Monday. If this is, indeed, a reaction to Convenia, immediate aggressive supportive care may be needed.

    • niki says:

      Probiotics, right away, every two hours for 48 hours at least, put it on a spoon of food, this is how I got my cat well again, continue with the probiotics for the whole 65 days following the dose of convenia, when the cats begin to return to normal put back on usual feeding schedule, feed wet or raw food not dry.

      • Mihai says:

        any kind of probiotic that you can suggest Niki that I can buy at Petsmart? Thanks, greatly appreciated.

        Ingrid, I don’t trust my vet anymore he did not even give me an option nor explain the side effects of that needle.

        • Ingrid says:

          Mihai, I completely understand that you no longer trust your vet. I would encourage you to contact another vet clinic if Mihai is not improving. As for probiotics, any good brand will be okay, even those made for humans, just make sure they don’t contain anything other than probiotic cultures. Some products designed for humans contain FOS, inulin and other additional supplements, and they’re not necessarily safe for cats.

    • Judy Pugh says:

      My cat was given Convenia for diarrhea and it made it worse. I gave him all kinds of special diets and probiotics, including Forti flora and others. About 3 weeks after the Convenia shot, he started bleeding from his rectal area, and his insides came out. I was out walking my dog and when I came back, it looked like someone had been murdered in my house – there was blood all over. This was a Sunday morning. I had to have him put to sleep. I have not gotten over this yet, and I am still following the Convenia thread. I hope nothing like this happens to your kitties; I still cannot understand why they treat diarrhea with Convenia when it CAUSES diarrhea.

      • Mihai says:

        OMG Judy, I’m so so so sorry about your furbaby…I wish to God that Mihai and Tygra will be okay.. I can’t imagine myself in your situation…I really can’t :-((

        • Judy Pugh says:

          I will pray that your kitties are ok, Mihai. I will never forget the horror that my poor Meezer went through. Idon’t want to see this happen to other kitties or dogs. The problem is, you don’t know about Convenia until you get home, and look it up on the internet, and then it is too late. It is still with me and this happened several months ago. I would get a second opinion for sure if there is no improvement. Thing is, this stuff lasts in the body for over 2 months, so you have to be diligent and watch them closely. It was 3 or 4 weeks after my Meezer had his shot of Convenia. I tried all the special diets recommended, including raw, all kinds of probiotics, etc. but the diarrhea got worse and he strained so hard and so often he started hemorraghing. (sp?). Please contact your vet and if you don’t trust him, get a second opinion. While Meezer would have been difficult to medicate, I could have still managed it by isolating him and I told the vet that, but they still gave him Convenia.

        • Judy Pugh says:

          PS – you can get all kinds of Probiotics from Amazon.com, including Forti Flora which is what the vets usually prescribe. You usually get it within 2 days, and it comes in handy little packs (envelopes) that you sprinkle on their food. I still have some left and occasionally give it to my other kitties if I see one of them is a bit loose. It is also cheaper on Amazon.com.

  20. niki says:

    I am in UK, but I just got two of the best ones I could find and alternated them so he got as much of whatever they both had in them. I guess any is better than none, but give plenty.

  21. Mihai says:

    Niki, Ingrid tyvm for your concern, suggestions and understanding. I’m going to Petsmart today to buy probiotic, I found one but it says for the dog, the brand is 21st century probiotic. So far, Mihai stop vomiting, he had his breakfast already. For Tygra, her favorite cat grass first thing in the morning then her breakfast. I have to give probiotic to Tygra too because her last poop was Friday night, so far, thanks God that’s the only concern I have for her…omg, you have no idea this site is helping me…Mihai is a very strong boy, I adopted him when he was 6 months old and I knew he suffered a lot worse than this from his previous owner because one of his ear was kinda snipped and always scared to other people. He was Tygra’s opposite, very sociable and welcomed anybody that come in my house, but for Mihai, he will disappear. I hope Mihai will get through this, I know he will…I will keep you updated. Again, tyvm.

  22. Mihai says:

    One thing I learned from this situation, before I take my babies to any vet, I will try some of the “over the counter” helping remedies first before I go to prescription meds. I wish you write all the harmful prescription meds on this site, so that when the vet doctor initiate or administer any injection, we have the option to decline and aware what those harmful meds does to our babies and to educate us as well. I don’t care if I get bitten and scratched to give them oral meds at least I have the control to stop when there’s a side effects. Unlike this convenia, I understand that once its in their system that’s it especially if the owner was like me that has no clue and just put my trust to the vet’s hand. I understand that all medications has side effects but at least the vet should’ve told me the worse side effects of a prolong antibiotic in their system can be fatal.

    If I knew then what I know now…Mihai will not be suffering:-(….my God it’s just a diarrhea:-(

  23. Mihai says:

    I bought him Microflora plus from pet valu because they don’t have it at petsmart. I got this from this site: http://www.herbsmithinc.com/home/canine/microflora/compare.asp . it’s a 5 star so hopefully it helps my babies.

    I will let you know after 2 or 3 days. Tyvm for your support.

    • Ingrid says:

      The product you linked to also contains cinnamon, ginger and licorice. I’d go with a brand that only contains probiotics.

    • Megan says:

      Hello Mihai,
      The probiotics that are recommended for this situation are Benebac in the 1 lb. jar, or Fortiflora, both which can be purchased on Amazon. That isn’t to say that what you are using is not as good or won’t help. I’m just sharing what the members of the Convenia Adverse reaction Facebook page have found to work very well.

      • Ingrid says:

        FWIW, this is the probiotic I recommend for cats: http://amzn.to/YRaNcE

        Benebac is a good product, as is Fortflora, although I prefer not to use Fortiflora since it contains animal digest.

        The explanation behind why probiotics worked for some of you whose cats had adverse reactions to Convenia is most likely due to the fact that probiotics help strengthen the immune system. My guess is that that’s what helped the affected cats fight off the effects of the drug.

  24. Mihai says:

    Hi Ladies,
    I would like to update you re:Mihai, Yesterday, as soon as I got home with the probiotic I bought, the Microflora, I gave him one capsule and I’m assuming that his stomach settled it down then. He started to come out under the table, that was his sanctuary when he started to get sick. I dropped by petsmart from work today and they gave me the bene-bac plus. When I got home I was in tears because he was sitting by the window as he usually does waiting for us to come home from work. I sprinkle a teaspoon of benebac to his food and he doesn’t want to eat the food. So, I end up gaving him another capsule of microflora and he seemed alright, he eat the plain chicken I cooked for him. He’s slowly getting better, he started to come to my bed now and he never done that in 5 days…he’s right here beside me sleeping now. Tygra, oh my Tygra, she’s amazing, so far she’s not showing any bad reaction from the needle, I hope she’ll stay this way.
    Thank you so much for all your support…and thanks for your site Ingrid…tyvm.

    • Megan says:

      Mihai,
      There is a way to ensure your cat gets the Benebac whether she eats or not. You can simply mix the Benebac with a very small amount of water (1.5 ml) and plain chicken baby food (.5 ml) and use a 3 ml oral syringe to give it to her. That way you can be sure she gets the full dose.

  25. niki says:

    That’s good to hear, I hope they both recover their health, keep going with the probiotic for the ful 65 days, that’s what I did.

  26. Vivian says:

    Well I am scared… I just took my new kitty TooToo to the vet yesterday 3/15/14 to get her spayed. Just adopted her from the Humane Society. She had a nasal vaccine done and developed an upper resp infection from it. I have always had get success with treating with homeopathics but she was not responding and it was going on 3 weeks. I picked a vet who advertised they were Holistic listed on the vets who would do the spaying surgery & wellness check up that I paid for in the adoption fees. The vet was nice, the wellness exam was look in her mouth, look in her ears without a scope, listen to her heart and lungs no issues thankfully and then try to up sell me on things I should do before her surgery… She already knew I was holistically inclined but said she thought TooToo should have an antibiotic injection due to her respiratory issue and having surgery, and oh it will last for 2 weeks following her surgery and since you live so far away this will be good you won’t have to give her any pills. She had already tried to get me to buy a $40 pump of Lysine for her, a $65 blood panel and then said the antibiotic would be about $30. I thought okay surgery an antibiotic would be good so I said okay….. No talk of possible side effects oh and it wasn’t $30 it was $50. I had to leave TooToo with them as they do not do the well check on the same day as surgery and they don’t do surgery on Saturday’s so they will keep her there Sat & Sun to do the surgery Mon morning. I AM LOSING MY MIND AFTER READING ABOUT THIS ANTIBIOTIC!!!!!!!!!!!! I am praying she is okay and I won’t know anything until tomorrow am…. I have read so much I can’t read anymore without giving myself a stroke. I have ordered the Benebac probiotics and I am praying that she will be okay…… NEVER AGAIN WILL I TRUST A VET WITHOUT KNOWING MORE ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE GIVING MY KITTIE!!!!!!!

    • Ingrid says:

      While I think your vet did the right thing by requesting a preoperative blood panel, I’m very surprised to hear that a holistically oriented vet would give this drug to treat an upper respiratory condition following administration of a nasal vaccine. Keep in mind that not all cats have a reaction from Convenia, Vivian – hopefully, TooToo will be okay. Please keep us posted.

  27. Patty says:

    If it is any relief to you, Vivian, my 6 yr old Ena had a shot of Convenia (without my permission) following the removal of a mat accompanied by mild skin irritation. It has now been 4 weeks and she seems to be ok. She was not herself for several days following the injection, but she also had her rabies shot at the same time, so that also may have affected her. The vet seemed very competent and had good ratings on Angie’s List, but I, too, am holistically inclined and find the cavalier use of a drug like Convenia for minor issues, especially without the prior consent of the owner, very disturbing.

    I pray that your TooToo will be okay. It is very stressful, though, to wait this thing out hoping your cat will not be one of those who will have a bad reaction.

    • Vivian says:

      Thanks Ingrid & Patty… I picked TooToo up yesterday at 4 pm. I spoke with the Tech and told her that I was not very happy that I was not given information on the Convenia injection to make an informed decision, that the Vet should have told be about the possible side effects and symptoms to watch out for after the injection. She seemed surprised at my statement, but would let the Vet know my concerns. I asked her to make a note in TooToo’s chart that she is never to have that injection again. While I was waiting for TooToo there was an elderly man waiting for his son’s dog who had an infection, his son was at home dying of cancer and his dog was his child. As I am sitting there the vet who did the surgery for TooToo but I had not met yet came in to let him know that the infection was back in the dog, she asked if he was able to give antibiotics to the dog, he said yes, then she said well there is an injection we can give him that will last for 2 weeks and then you won’t have to give him pills everyday. I am sitting there biting my tongue, so conflicted I knew I couldn’t say anything and it was killing me… I had to get up and walk away… He agreed to the shot and no mention of any possible side effects. I waited in the hallway and the Vet came by I asked her if she had done TooToo’s surgery she said yes I asked if I could talk with her about the injection TooToo got she said yes, I asked why they use it and why they don’t go over the possible side effects including death. She was nice but I could tell she thought I was one of those crazy people, she said they give that shot at least once day for many years and have never had a problem and see no reason to not use Convenia. I told her that I was concerned because the possible symptoms of a reaction to Convenia are the same symptoms that TooToo would likely have after spaying and how would I know if she was having a reaction to Convenia. She said don’t worry if there was going to be a reaction they would have already seen it because she got the injection on Saturday. I listed some of the side effects and she kinda scoffed and said we have never had an issue with this injection and said TooToo did great and will be just fine and then she was off. So I did tell you guys that this Vet Hospital is listed as a Holistic Vet right… I asked them to give TooToo a couple of doses of Arnica 1 before and a couple after she woke up. I even gave them the Arnica. The vet who did the surgery was uncomfortable giving it to her because she was unfamiliar with and by the time she researched it, it was too late…. Okay enough ranting…. TooToo seems okay, she is still having effects from the anesthesia & pain meds not always sure where her feet are at. She is drinking water (with Arnica) she is eating really well no vomiting. She has gone pee a couple of time and had a very small poop. She was up and down all night so neither of us sleep a lot. She has been on and off napping today. I will start her on Bene-Bac gel when she wakes up from this nap. Thank you for listening and giving support. Finger’s crossed she keeps getting better. I am so sorry for all of the caregivers who have had their babies hurt by this drug.

      • Ingrid says:

        I’m so glad to hear that TooToo is doing okay.

      • Mihai says:

        Hi Vivian,
        I was in your situation 2-3 weeks ago, with my 2 cats as you can read about them above. I was so angry, hurt and stressed. One of my cat had an adverse reaction to convenia and watching him slowly declining and vomiting maybe 13 times a day or more for almost 3 days was the worst time of my life. I was also feel guilty why I took them to vet, it was only diarrhea. I can’t sleep at night, kept checking on them, if I’m at work, I call my house just to leave a message so that they can hear my voice from the answering machine and remind them to eat their lunch. I listened to their advice here to give them probiotic. After 2 days, I see the improvement. I came from work and there they are sitting by the window sill waiting for me to come home. I was in tears when I walked in the house. Mihai is better now, and Tygra never had any adverse reaction from the convenia. I really don’t know why but it did not bother her at all. Mihai on the other hand almost died, thanks to this website, really helped me.
        So, hang in there Vivian maybe your TooToo is strong baby like my Tygra. She does not want the benebac so I share our probiotic(100%) to her and she loves it, it’s called Kefir, the texture is like a liquid yougurt but it’s not yougurt, bought it at Cosco. Mihai, don’t touch his food too if I mix a little benebac, so I use the capsule, Microflora. For 3 days I gave him 1 capsule a day, now that he’s okay I give 1 capsule every other day. 1 capsule supposed to be for a big dog and for cat it should be half only every day. Anyway, the probiotic works, so again, thanks to you all. And Vivian, hopefully TooToo will be okay. :-)

        • Elsadora says:

          I am so glad your one cat recovered and the other never reacted at all. Make sure you put on both of your cat’s charts NO CONVENIA. THta, and I would try to be present at all future vet appts as much as you can. There have been cats given the drug without even so much as any kind of consent much less explanation of the side effects. My poor Mya, a whole boat load of probiotics wouldn’t have made any difference. Basically my poor boy immediately went from happy and active to a zombie cat. His whole body went into shock I think then into a death spiral right under my nose. I woke up to find him dead. NEVER FORGET!

          • Patty says:

            I stopped in at my old vet today and asked them about Convenia. They said they have never seen a bad reaction to it and use it regularly with good results. They are one of the oldest cats-only vets in the area and I used them for 24 years with excellent results. They were wonderful to work with. I moved last year and switched to another cats-only vet that is closer to my new home — the vet that gave my cat Convenia. This new vet also assured me this was a safe option and I should not anticipate any side effects. Both of these vets have excellent reputations and close ties with and/or are graduates of Cornell Vet school.

            It appears to me that the biggest problem with this drug is that if a bad reaction occurs it can quickly became tragic because of the long-lasting persistence of the drug. Is there a short-acting version of this drug that could be given first? If the pet tolerates that then the longer-acting version might be an option if extended treatment is needed. Especially for a minor problem, why the need for a drug that acts for 2 week and persists in the system for over two months?

          • Ingrid says:

            Convenia is a cephalosporin, and there are plenty of oral versions of cephalosporins on the market. You’re absolutely right, Patty: the drug itself is not the problem. The fact that it stays in the system for up to 65 days once it’s administered is what makes it problematic if an animal has an adverse reaction.

          • Mihai says:

            Omg, I’m so sorry about your fur babies, that was horrible, just thinking about it makes me soo sad :-(….so sorry Elsadora.
            What happen with my cats was really a big lesson to me. Right now, Mihai is doing really well. He still working with his weight, he loss a lot, he was weak and bony. His appetite is back. Tygra on the other hand, she’s amazing, I hope she stay the same. As we all know, this wicked drug stay in their system for 2 months so I still watch them closely.

        • Megan says:

          For cats that won’t eat the probiotics in food,you can mix it with a little plain chicken baby food and water and give it by mouth with an oral syringe. Probiotics should be given daily for a minimum of two and a half months, which is a bit longer than the time the drug takes to leave the body.

  28. Elsadora says:

    I agree it is the fact that it is so long lasting and that it is injected and goes directly into the system. That it acts so quickly and with the majority of the effect happening immediately vs slowly over time is the problem. Once in if a major reaction happens there is no way of just “tapering off” or discontinuing the drug and the effect wear off within hours. For Mya, it may as well have been a freight train.

  29. Rafa's Mom says:

    Hello, this site has been a timely God Send! Our little boy, Rafa, had suddenly become very lethargic and wasn’t eating, hiding…showing all the symptoms that something was wrong with him. On Sat. 3/22 we took him to our local vet who confirmed that his Red Blood cells were very low, and were being attacked by his White Blood cells. They prescribed him Prednsone (sp?) and antibiotics. Trying to get him to take the Pred was very difficult, we had to also syringe feed him the ‘special vet food mush’ which was even more difficult. Long story short, he was not improving at all. Fast Forward to this passed Sunday 3/30, he looked like he wasn’t going to make it. We did not have enough money for the Cat ER, so we took him to the “PetSmart/Banfield clinics.

    The vet there was very kind. She gave him a dose of the Pred., the food, and ran a blood test. His count was very low and since he had an appt. with our vet for Monday, she just strongly recommended he receive a blood transfusion. We took him in yesterday, he had his transfusion, while we were waiting for the Pathologists report to confirm his thoughts that Rafa had Lymphoma.

    We got him home last night, he was hungry and ate his Fancy Feast Real Tuna Appitizers, and loads of water. Then he suddenly started these weird head tremors! We were freaking out! So we filmed the tremors on my cellphone and sent it to the vet. He said it was possible Rafa had a stroke during the transfusion and the tremors were neurological. Meanwhile, we were still anxiously waiting on the results from the Pathologist. During the evening the tremors decreased in frequency and we kept him with my husband in a dark room with his food/water/litter box…

    TODAY!

    We bring him back to the vet for a re-check. They want to keep him most of the day to give him fluids and food. Well, around noon we got the good news! He does NOT have Lymphoma! He has some immune disease (once I get the correct name, I will post), and our vet called with the news, he spoke to my husband and mentioned that he wanted to give Rafa an antibiotic injection that would last 4-5 days to help treat his deficiency.

    So my husband is telling me this and I FREAK! I tell him to call the vet back ASAP and instruct him that in no uncertain terms is Rafa to receive CONVENIA! The vet tells him he’s had no adverse reactions to this drug, and its worked on his other patients. I get on the phone with our vet and tell him, very strongly, that I DO NOT WANT RAFA to receive CONVENIA! He kind of sheepishly said he will prescribe an oral med and we’d have to give it to him every day.

    The vet also wanted to know why I didn’t want Rafa to have Convenia. I mentioned the side effects, the fact that Rafa has already been sufficiently depleted of energy/lethargic, and finally was having new blood…why would I want to ruin that and potentially damage him to death?! I still don’t think that he gets it, but if I hadn’t been reading up on Lympoma treatments on Google, and come across this site, we would have been devastated by the results!

    We are so grateful to all of you that post here, and our hearts understand the pain of the ones that have lost their Furchildren (we lost our Dexter in 2011 to Necrotising Pancreatitis, very rare/sudden) and we could not bear to go through that again. (BTW, this same vet told my husband that we should just put Rafa down, cause Lymphoma has no cure…wanker!)

    We are happy that he doesn’t have Lymphoma (and will research treatments for his immune system) and that he Did Not Have the CONVENIA injection!

    Thank you for getting the word out, I will be sharing this site, and my knowledge with every petparent I know. Please Keep Up the Great Work here!

    Warmest Regards ~ Rafa’s Mom

    • Ingrid says:

      I’m so glad finding this site prevented Rafa from getting the Convenia injection. At least your vet checked with you and your husband before he gave the injectoin! From your descriptoin, itt sounds like Rafa may have IMHA (immune mediated hemolytic anemia?) All my best to both of you, and thank you for your kind words about my site.

    • Debi says:

      Knowing that word is getting out about this drug means a lot to me, and I’m sure others who have lost a precious fur baby because of Convenia. I didn’t know enough at the time to save my sweet Cholla, but you can bet I question and research everything now!

      Wishing good health and healing for Rafa and many happy years together with his Mom!

    • Elsadora says:

      Rafa:

      You need to have your vet add a “NO CONVENIA” injection note to your baby’s medical chart. If I were in your shoes I would personally insist to see proof that the note had been made..If the chart is electronic this can also be added as some sort of pop-up warning… You cannot trust your vet to do the right thing. I say this based on your VET’s reluctance to believe reports of serious reactions and deaths. There have also been some cases of vets injecting animals with COVENIA despite an owner’s plea otherwise. Because of this I would make a point of being present for all vet appointments from here on out.

      My sweet Mya was 1 year 3 mths old when he passed. He was injected with Covenia as part of his treatment for a superficial cut. Covenia is only supposed to be administered in cases of certain strains of bacterial infections. Mya’s vet ignored protocol as there was no evidence of bacterial infection or any other type of infection for that matter.

      Like many others here I was not warned about side effects other than to watch out for diarrhea and redness at the injection site. Because of this I didn’t think to look out for other things like lethargy. (Mya’s vet told me that Mya would sleep into the next day, so I thought his lethargy was normal)

      Just before the injection he was walking about the vet’s cage like a CAT OUT OF HELL. He had also received a light sedative and some pain medication, but the vet said he was behaving appropriately and coming out of sedation as expected. The vet said he had trouble getting him into carrier, and when I picked him up he was expressing his displeasure QUITE LOUDLY! Two things my baby hated in this world, car rides and carriers.

      When I got him home he didn’t move out of his carrier After about two hours I pulled him out myself. As I was pulling him out I noticed he had peed on himself. I didn’t know then that was a sign of the end.

      At 7pm I tried to give him his pain meds, but they fell out of his mouth. Again, I didn’t know.

      Around 2 am my baby started crying! In my stupor I thought he was in pain from the stitches. I told him to hang on. That I loved him. I told him he was the best cat I had ever known. I asked him to hang on til 7 am and I would give him his pain med.

      At 7 am I woke up to find him dead.Best I can figure he died sometime after 3 am within an hour of my telling him that I loved him! Most beautifully he moved in his last moments to be closer to me, He moved himself from the corner of teh room to right next to bed. This was a cat whose lower extremities were all but immobile just hours before was settling him down for the night.

      (Is there anyone here (a vet tech maybe) that can explain how Mya was able to move over like he did? His lower body was so heavy as I was moving him that night. It seems impossible that he moved over just to be with me, but maybe he was actually seizing at that point.)

      • Ingrid says:

        Without an autopsy, it’s impossible to guess what may have caused Mya’s passing. What you describe sounds like a possible seizure, Elsadora. It could also have been a reaction to the pain medication, especially if it was an opiate. Some cats are highly sensitive to those.

        I know it’s devastating to loose a cat, especially under traumatic circumstances like what you experienced, and it’s natural to want answers, and/or to place blame. Unfortunately, sometimes, there just are no answers.

    • Megan says:

      I am very happy to hear you intervened and stopped the vet from giving your very sick cat Convenia. I have no doubt that your vet has had cats react to Convenia, he just wasn’t paying attention. Many reactions develop over time, not instantly, and vets will blame other things rather than the drug they injected. Send your vet over to the Convenia Adverse Reactions page on Facebook and tell him to spend some time reading the “posts by others” section. There is no shortage of tragedy there caused by Convenia reactions. You might also suggest he review the insert that comes with the drug. This drug has numerous adverse reactions listed. Here is a PDF of the insert with the important parts highlighted: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9RU-CwPFwVRMWIxVU9vT1VEbDA/edit?usp=sharing
      Note that this drug has only been tested and approved for skin infections and is not recommended for anything else. Go over it with your vet and put his feet to the fire. If your cats condition is, from what you described, Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia he had NO reason to consider prescribing this drug at all. (http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=1390 )

      • Ingrid says:

        Thank you for the links, Megan.

        For everyone who comments on this thread, please be respectful of the veterinary profession in your comments. Comments that disparage the veterinary profession, or individual veterinarians, are not conducive to the goal of this post, which is to make as many cat guardians aware of the possible dangers of this drug.

      • Rafa's Mom says:

        Thanks to everyone for their comments about Rafa! He is so dear to us after losing Dexter. When my husband went to bring Rafa home, unfortunately, none of the Vets at the practice were available. He has a follow up in 10 days, and we/I will insist on seeing the notes in his file regarding Convenia.

        He was originally diagnosed for IMHA, but after the pathologists report, he’s since been diagnosed with “Myelodsplastic Syndrome”. He’s been prescribed Orbax injections once a day and Dexamethsone injections every other day.

        Since he’s been home, his nose is running/sneezing, he’s eating a bit more but still not like he used to before he got really sick. We have ordered the Cancer Kit from one of the natural remedy sites, but afraid he won’t eat/take any of it. He has a real sensitive nose and if it smells a bit different he just walks away.

        I thought I read something here regarding a drug called Depomedrol that some pet-parents have had success with, can anyone offer any feedback regarding experience with it?

        I’d also appreciate any assistance with getting him to take the supplements or alternative, effective treatment/stabilization for this condition. Many Thanks/Meows in advance!

        He’s our most precious Luffin and we would be utterly devestated if something worse happened to him because we didn’t do everything possible to help him heal…As I’m sure you ALL understand!

        Again, Many Thanks for all of you on this site! You saved a Kitty’s life, because YOU cared!

        Sending Hugs…Rafa’s MOM

        P.S. Our other cat, Dexter’s brother Chucky, has been hissing at Rafa, and not wanting to have anything to do with him…any suggestions as to how to mend that relationship? (without watching Dr. Phil!!) RM

        • Ingrid says:

          Depomedrol is an injectable steroid. It may not be indicated for Rafa since he’s already getting Dexamethasone injections, which is also a steroid.

          As for the issues between your kitties, you may find this article helpful: http://consciouscat.net/2013/07/08/non-recognition-agression-in-cats-a-case-of-forgotten-identity/

          • Rafa's Mom says:

            Thanks Ingrid. I read the article and there are many things that we will try ASAP! I like the vanilla one especially!

            If Rafa doesn’t respond to the Dexa, we will request the Depo. Hoping this will work, can you think of anything else we can try along side his current regiment? He’s still so miserable! :-(

            Thanks again…RM

        • Megan says:

          Depomedrol is a long acting (like Convenia) injectable steroid. It can cause diabetes in some cats. Sometimes the diabetes is reversible. Sometimes it is not. My rule of thumb is to never give a drug that can’t be discontinued right away and be “undone.”

          • Rafa's Mom says:

            Thanks again, good to know! I will take this off my list!

            ~RM

          • Ingrid says:

            All drugs have potential side effects. Steroids suppress the immune system, and they can cause increased thirst, urination, irregular heartbeat and diabetes, to name only a few of the potential side effects. As with all drugs, informed consent is key. If you stop steroids, they need to be tapered and not stopped abruptly.

      • Rafa's Mom says:

        Megan…I just read the Convenia insert you posted…The document clearly states, this drug is for Cats that have skin lesions/infections/abcesses which Rafa clearly did not have!

        Are these vets reading this information? I would hate to think that they just prescribe, willy-nilly!

        Thanks again, and we will print and highlight to give to ALL the vets at our clinic to let them know that some people CAN & DO Read!!

        Regards…Rafa & Chucky’s Mom

        • Megan says:

          I don’t believe they read the insert most times. It’s about convenience and is prescribed willy nilly for a million things it is not appropriate for. The vet I work for does not use Convenia and never will. He’s had to intervene a couple of times when one of our patients had to go to an ER after hours and they gave a Convenia injection. So far getting them on the probiotic protocol has worked out (we keep a 1 lb jar of Benebac on hand) and none have died, but the ER was told in no uncertain terms about Convenia and that we don’t want this drug administered to our patients. Not once was the drug used appropriately. It is very frustrating.

          • Rafa's Mom says:

            A sad state of affairs in a 1st world! Thank God we’re not all asleep at the wheel! ~RM

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