Convenia for Cats: Sacrificing Safety for Convenience?

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.

Editors’s note: comments about your  experience with Convenia are welcomed and encouraged. Comments that are disrespectful of others or malign the veterinary profession or individual veterinarians will be deleted. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.

References to other resources and/or websites or Facebook pages about Convenia which may be provided in the comments section are not endorsed by the site owners.

Photo: istockphoto

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568 Comments on Convenia for Cats: Sacrificing Safety for Convenience?

  1. Cammy
    May 16, 2015 at 9:33 pm (2 months ago)

    Hello , yesterday I took my 11 year old cat brown sugar to the vet , she had a UTI. The vet gave her a shot of convenia and now all she has been doing is sleeping , resting and not eating or walking around. I’m very concerned after seeing all the bad incidents caused by convenia. Will she be okay ? She’s purring and she has used the litter box fine without urinating on the ground like before. I just don’t want her to die due to this drug.

    Reply
    • Cammy
      May 16, 2015 at 9:35 pm (2 months ago)

      She also seems weak.

      Reply
      • Tamela
        May 17, 2015 at 9:17 am (2 months ago)

        Watch for panting or breathing through her mouth. Cats will almost never do this. If you take her back to the vet ask them to check her red blood cell count. My cat was weak right after and had developed hemalytic anemia. She needed a blood transfusion. You may need to take her to an emergency vet; regular vets don’t always have the ability to do transfusions.

        Reply
        • Cammy
          May 17, 2015 at 5:41 pm (2 months ago)

          tamela , my cat is having the same issues with her hind legs after receiving convenia. Is your cat okay now ? I’m worried about mine and would like to know if yours was a positive outcome.

          Reply
          • Tamela
            May 17, 2015 at 5:59 pm (2 months ago)

            The first sign something was wrong was lethargy and diarrhea. Then she was walking across a room and fell over with her leg cramped up. I rushed her to the emergency room and they found out her body was destroying it’s red blood cells (hemalytic anemai). She was panting before the blood transfusion and her RBC had dropped to 13% (30% is the bottom of normal for a cat). My cat had the anemai, ataxia, triggered pemphigus foliacious (all autoimmune issues). I have spent $17,000 so far and she is still alive. I would pay whatever it takes to keep her with me.

      • Cammy
        May 26, 2015 at 5:54 pm (2 months ago)

        update on brown sugar : I’m happy to say she’s back to her normal self ! She’s no longer lathargic she’s eating soft cat food and she’s walking fine (: thank you all so much for your help !!! I’m so thankful convenia didn’t take her from me.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          May 27, 2015 at 6:11 am (2 months ago)

          What a relief! Thanks for the update, Cammy!

          Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 17, 2015 at 6:35 am (2 months ago)

      You need to contact your vet immediately or take your cat to an emergency vet, Cammy. She may need aggressive supportive care. Some who have commented on this site have also had success with using probiotics to help strengthen the immune system to help their cats through the reaction to the drug, but that is not a substitute for immediate veterinary care. All my best to you and Brown Sugar.

      Reply
    • Cammy
      May 17, 2015 at 5:34 pm (2 months ago)

      she is perfectly normal as far as breathing and being alert. Her eyes are fine. Everything. But when she gets up to walk she falls over. She’s been drinking water and she has jumped down from her bedTo use the bathroom and jumped back up to get on the bed but she has trouble walking.

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        May 17, 2015 at 6:11 pm (2 months ago)

        You need to take your cat to a vet (ER if necessary) as soon as possible, Cammy. Early intervention is usually crucial for a successful outcome.

        Reply
    • Catlady
      May 17, 2015 at 6:09 pm (2 months ago)

      Cammy,
      the outcome of other people’s cats has no bearing on your situation. You need to get your cat to a vet immediately and tell them that she is having an adverse reaction to convenience. This reaction is well documented. Your cat needs medical attention now!

      Reply
      • Catlady
        May 17, 2015 at 6:10 pm (2 months ago)

        Convenia, not convenience.

        Reply
      • Cammy
        May 17, 2015 at 6:55 pm (2 months ago)

        we don’t have enough finances to take her to the vet again. I don’t know what to do anymore but pray and hope for a miracle.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          May 18, 2015 at 6:16 am (2 months ago)

          At the very least, call the vet who gave her the injection this morning and ask for advice, Cammy. All my best to you and Brown Sugar!

          Reply
          • Cammy
            May 20, 2015 at 1:20 am (2 months ago)

            update on brown sugar. She is now walking around the house and not feeling lathargic anymore. She still struggles when walking but only on the paw that she was given a shot in. They may have struck a nerve when giving it to her . It is limp and dangles. The other paws are fine. But she is doing much better.

          • Ingrid
            May 20, 2015 at 6:29 am (2 months ago)

            I’m so glad to hear Brown Sugar is not lethargic anymore. Did you contact the vet who gave the injection? I’m concerned about pain in the affected leg. I know finances are an issue for you, but your vet may be able to prescribe pain medication without another office visit.

          • Cammy
            May 20, 2015 at 6:53 am (2 months ago)

            thank you for the concern Ingrid. She actually can not feel her leg and when touching it she doesn’t react at all. I try exercises daily with her but the paw just lays limp . I did call the vet. They said they’ve never heard of a Convenia injection causing this issue.

          • Ingrid
            May 20, 2015 at 7:30 am (2 months ago)

            Unfortunately, far too many vets are unaware of the potentially dangerous side effects of Convenia.

          • Catlady
            May 20, 2015 at 9:38 am (2 months ago)

            Cammy, this is the time that you need to become your cat’s fiercest advocate. Just because your vet has never heard of this doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Your cat was treated for a UTI and what happened after the injection is in no way shape or form related to a UTI. There is not a coincidence here and the injection has harmed your cat. The fact she can’t feel her leg is alarming and she needs to be seen. Call your vet back, tell them this is absolutely a reaction and insist they see your cat. She has already been victimized twice. First by the shot and second by the vet’s denial. Print out this highlighted insert that clearly states ataxia IS an adverse reaction to Convenia and they should have read this and taken it seriously.
            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.

            https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9RU-CwPFwVRMWIxVU9vT1VEbDA/view

  2. Cathe Dickson
    April 30, 2015 at 11:13 pm (3 months ago)

    I took my cat in because she was loosing weight, drinking lots of water and eating with no other problem. After a test she was found to be borderline diabetic and dehydrated. She was kept overnight to hydrate her and to check her blood sugar again. We picked her up in the afternoon and she stumbled out of the carrier. Later she could hardly walk with her hind legs at all. After checking the invoice she was given Convenia. After doing an extensive search I found out that one of Convenia’s side effects is ataxia which is muscle weakness. I am hoping after a few days the side effects will subside. We called the vet back and we will take her back in the morning to see what they say the problem is. Praying my kitty gets well !!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 1, 2015 at 6:11 am (3 months ago)

      I’m sorry your cat had a reaction to Convenia, Cathe. All my best to her for a quick and complete recovery. Please keep us posted.

      Reply
      • Vanessa
        May 26, 2015 at 6:45 am (2 months ago)

        Hi tamela, my cat is extremely ill and I think that she is with hemolytic anemia, she had already two transfusion and is struggling for life. After yours cat transfusion she kept the pcv value normal?

        Reply
        • Tamela
          May 26, 2015 at 8:37 am (2 months ago)

          Hi Vanessa,

          My cats RBC count kept dropping over the course of several days before it stopped. They originally thought we might have to keep giving her transfusions until the Convenia left her system but after the initial big drop it only went down small amounts. She then developed the autoimmune skin condition. How long has it been since the Convenia shot? The worst of the anemia for my cat happened in the first 2 weeks.

          Reply
        • Vanessa
          May 27, 2015 at 2:36 am (2 months ago)

          It had been five days now, she had two transfusion and had only 19% pcv as per today. The donnor had 41% pcv.
          Could you please help me by email? I live in Brazil and here the vet has not the degree of study that in US, so I basically search for means to save her all day long. She is also with a severe UTI that was not responsive to clavamox, enrofloxacin and convenia. They will start meropenem now, I am very afraid!!! Please help me by email if possible?
          Rodrigues.van79@gmail.com
          Thanks for your time!!!! She is my baby and I have already spent more than $3000 in this first five days…. But I will do everything for her also. Please help!

          Reply
          • Ingrid
            May 27, 2015 at 5:54 am (2 months ago)

            Vanessa, you may want to consider consulting (via phone) with a US-trained veterinarian. Dr. Lisa Pierson offers phone consultations, and she is very familiar with the issues with Convenia. Send your request to DrPierson (at) catinfo.org. Make sure that you put “Consultation Service” in the subject line.

          • Vanessa
            May 27, 2015 at 8:34 am (2 months ago)

            Thank you Ingrid, I will contact her. I am so devasted because she had a minor cystitis has not CKD was a perfectly health pet and now she is all swollen, generalized inflamation, anemic and the UTI is still present at the moment (they will try meropenen).

          • Tamela
            May 27, 2015 at 6:52 pm (2 months ago)

            Hi Vanessa,

            I’m sorry I’m not a vet. I tell people what happened to my cat so if they see the same signs it will prompt them to go to a vet. There isn’t much more I would be able to help with.

        • Vanessa
          May 27, 2015 at 4:11 pm (2 months ago)

          Tamela, your cat had kidney injury with convenia?

          Reply
          • Tamela
            May 27, 2015 at 6:55 pm (2 months ago)

            My Cat has had hemolytic anemia and pemphigus foliaceus as her main two issues with several infections and other complications. Not every cat will have the same reactions. Your vet will likely need to run multiple tests to rule out other diseases, parasites and bacterias to determine in the Convenia is causing the issues.

    • Tamela
      May 1, 2015 at 11:51 am (3 months ago)

      You may need to have her red blood cells checked. My cat was stumbling and weak and it was hemalytic anemia from the convenia. She needed a blood transfusion (she was at 13%). Without it she would have died that night. My cat is still alive $16,000 later but we still have issues a year and a half later (the Convenia triggered an autoimmune response in my cat in the form of the anemia and pemphigus which we’re still battling). Hope your cat
      gets better. Also you may look into a malpractice suit as Convenia is only
      approved by the FDA for certain skin conditions. If your vet used it off label and it causes issues they can be held liable.

      Thanks,
      Tamela

      Reply
      • Cammy
        May 17, 2015 at 5:49 pm (2 months ago)

        Cathe , my cat is having the same issues after recieving this drug. Is your cat okay now ?

        Reply
  3. Debbie
    April 7, 2015 at 12:10 am (4 months ago)

    My sweet Izzy has Eosinophilic Granuloma (rodent mouth). She also has sores on her chin. She has suffered with it for 4 months now. My vet is giving her injections of Convenia. She has had 6 so far. She has also been on a steroid. While she is on the steroid and the convenia injection , she doesn’t heal very fast. When she is off the steriod and on the convenia then she heals faster. We are at the stage where they are almost healed now. The last time they were almost healed, 2 weeks after the last convenia injection the mouth sores came back fast and furious! My vet said Convenia is the only thing to take care of these mouth sores. This time he is going to but her back on steriods before the convenia wears out.
    I just read the concerns about Convenia and now I an really nervous! What else can my vet use besides convenia for these mouth sores?
    I have changed all her bowls to stainless steel,(Nothing touches plastic) put her on Blue Buffalo Limited ingredient Grain free Duck and potato (No chicken) cat food. I wash her bowl everyday. Can you help me heal my baby?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 7, 2015 at 6:24 am (4 months ago)

      I can see why giving oral medications would be challenging and potentially painful, so an injectable drug does appear to be the better choice, but you’re going to have to weigh the risks against the benefits. However, given what you describe, it doesn’t sound like Convenia is actually curing the condition if your cat needs repeated injections. I’m assuming you’ve already gone through testing for environmental allergens and/or food allergies? You have her on a limited ingredient diet, but did you do a true food trial?

      Reply
  4. Debbie
    March 24, 2015 at 2:51 pm (4 months ago)

    I just bought the Bene-Bac plus at Petsmart. Now it mentions, provide one feeding from the table below on day 1,3,5,7 n then one feeding per wk utill weened.

    She weight is 8lbs so I feel more comfortable just given her 1 tsp in her food. However, do you only give it for day one n skip a day then again day 3 as it mention above? Help for any advice. Sorry to sound dumb but want to be careful and thinking about printing a copy of the possible side effects for my vet.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 24, 2015 at 2:53 pm (4 months ago)

      I’m not all that familiar with Benebac. I checked the label. Cat’s can’t really overdose on probiotics, but Benebac has ingredients other than probiotics (sugars and FOS), which is why I don’t recommend it. I’m not saying it’s not a good product, I just prefer probiotics that are only that, without added ingredients.

      I would follow label directions for 5-20 pounds and divide the daily dose between two meals. Others who comment here who have used Benebac after their cats have received Convenia may have different advice for you. When in doubt, contact your vet.

      Reply
      • Debbie
        March 24, 2015 at 4:01 pm (4 months ago)

        Thanks for replying so fast. I am just so concern from reading other horrific stories from this shot even though it said some cats. I wanted to get her on the probiotic asap. These serious side effects should be told to us so we can make the best decision for r cats. I would had chosen the pill form if I was aware of these bad effects.
        Plus, thanks for information about this med for I am e-mailing it to my vet. I am so sorry for all that have lost their pets due to this shot for these r our children.

        Reply
    • Catlady
      March 24, 2015 at 7:47 pm (4 months ago)

      The protocol for Benebac in this situation can be seen at http://noconvenia.com Benebac is recommended because it has worked for many, so if it ain’t broke don’t fix it IYKWIM.

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        March 25, 2015 at 6:17 am (4 months ago)

        Thank you for sharing the link to your protocol, Catlady. I think any quality probiotic would work just as well, but you’re right, if it ain’t broke…:-)

        Reply
  5. Shirley Curtis
    March 14, 2015 at 5:28 pm (5 months ago)

    We just had our cat given a shot of convenia yesterday & were never told of it’s side affects,now I’m worried sick of what the reactions to him will be.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 15, 2015 at 6:36 am (4 months ago)

      Keep a very close eye on your cat, Shirley, and notify your vet immediately if you notice even the slightest reaction. You may want to start giving a good probiotic immediately to support his system. The product I recommend is Dr. Goodpet: http://amzn.to/YRaNcE. Some who have commented here recommend Benebac http://amzn.to/1BGkoJ0. It contains some sugars (Maltodextrins and Dextrose) which is why I don’t recommend it. Fortiflora is readily available from most vets, although I don’t recommend it for longterm use because it contains animal digest. All my best to you and your cat.

      Reply
      • Shirley Curtis
        March 15, 2015 at 3:09 pm (4 months ago)

        I just ordered the digestive enzymes we will get then on 3-18,I hope these help he’s eating but has a loose stool.Thank You

        Reply
        • Jon Rimmer
          March 15, 2015 at 5:47 pm (4 months ago)

          Digestive problems are pretty common with antibiotics. Follow Ingrids advice, keep a close watch on him, and give hims tons of love and he should be fine.

          Reply
          • Ingrid
            March 16, 2015 at 6:11 am (4 months ago)

            Jon is correct, Shirley, digestive problems are common with any antibiotic, since antibiotics destroy the healthy gut flora. That’s where the probiotic can help. The problem with Convenia, as opposed to other antibiotics wit a half life of generally 8-12 hours, is that the drug stays in the system for up to two months after injection. Please let us know how your kitty is doing.

      • Debbie
        March 24, 2015 at 10:09 am (4 months ago)

        Oh Lord, my cat just got this shot yesterday for urinary infection. Along with all her other yearly shots. IS there any probiotic that I can buy off the shelf to get her started just n case like at Petco? I just felt so bad for her for she kept screaming n pain while she tried to pee. The vet said her bladder wasn’t full but that probable cause she trying to go every 2 minutes. She not screaming anymore so far but does seem to not be herself. But she could just be exhausted too which I hope that is all it is with her. Terrified for her n will keep n eye on my girl.

        Reply
        • Connie
          March 25, 2015 at 6:26 pm (4 months ago)

          there’s a lot of good info on the dangers of Convenia on http://www.catinfo.org and also on UTI’s.
          Dr. Pierson said most UTI’s are caused by sterile (non-bacterial) cystitis ans so antibiotics won’t do any good at all

          Reply
  6. Lyn
    February 20, 2015 at 10:29 pm (5 months ago)

    I’m now deeply concerned about this drug. My Sunderi has CKD and has a slight discharge from her stoma site. This gets cleaned every day but I thought I’d take her to the vet to get it checked and perhaps get an antibiotic cream for the .area. The vet said she’d give her an antibiotic injection. I specifically asked her if it would be ok given her kidney issues and she said it would be fine. Wasn’t until I got home and checked the name of the drug that I found so much negative info on it. Has anyone heard of a cat with CKD being given this drug? I am now worried about her as she has had anaemia which is now under control, and has been doing fine with all of our TLC. I will be devestated if a simple antibiotic causes her to crash again after all our, and her, hard work and determination.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 21, 2015 at 7:31 am (5 months ago)

      I know you’re keeping a close eye on Sunderi, Lyn – if you notice anything out of the ordinary, contact your vet immediately. If she’s going to have a reaction to the drug, it would most likely happen within the first 24-48 hours, but since the drug stays in the system for up to two months, you want to remain vigilant even if she seems in the clear.

      Reply
    • Catlady
      February 21, 2015 at 2:46 pm (5 months ago)

      Hi Lyn, I’m very sorry to hear this has happened. I am one of the admins for the Convenia Adverse reactions Facebook page and I also work for a veterinarian who does not and will never use Convenia. Anemia is a common adverse reaction among many and this is very concerning. It is clearly listed in the insert that comes with the drug under Foreign Market Experience:
      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.
      Unfortunately, Convenia follows no rules and reactions do not necessarily happen right away. This is the main reason why vets are clueless about the dangers of this drug and assume that what are in fact true reactions are chalked up to being just another illness that happened to manifest after. Reactions can happen anywhere from hours to weeks to a month or more. The only thing you can do is watch your kitty closely and get her seen immediately if there is even a hint of a reaction. You also should get your kitty on probiotics asap. Benebac powder, which is available in 1 lb jars online, is what most people have had success with, and what my clinic has used successfully on a few patients that were injected with Convenia during ER visits and we were left to clean up the mess. Convenia pretty much kills all the good bacteria in the body, and the good bacteria is necessary for good health, so you need to supplement for a few months until after the Convenia is completely out of the system. The protocol for this is a http:/noconvenia.com I would also have a serious one on one discussion with your vet about this and make sure they put NO CONVENIA on your chart.

      Reply
      • Debbie
        March 24, 2015 at 3:32 pm (4 months ago)

        Catlady, do u mind if I e-mail my vet about your comment on Convenia so he may be aware of these other side effects? He has no clue about how long it can last for he only mention 2wks n never mention any side effects. Not sure if it will help him but better than no information.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          March 24, 2015 at 3:39 pm (4 months ago)

          Feel free to send the link to this post to your vet, Debbie.

          Reply
  7. Ada
    February 9, 2015 at 10:45 pm (6 months ago)

    Both my cats have had covenia in the last few years and we have thankfully had absolutely no problems with it.

    Reply
    • Jon
      February 16, 2015 at 7:45 am (5 months ago)

      My little Peanut just got his shot a few days ago and is doing wonderfully. His leg infection is clearing up very fast and he’s doing much better. ALL drugs have rare unwanted effects but this one is great plus you don’t have to stick a pill down your cats throat every day and we know they appreciate that a lot!

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        February 16, 2015 at 7:56 am (5 months ago)

        I’m glad Peanut is not having any adverse reaction to Convenia, Jon. You are correct, all drugs have side effects. The problem with long acting drugs like Convenia is that when an animal has severe side effects, there’s very little that can be done since the drug stays in the system for up to 60 days. As long as cat guardians are informed of the potentially serious side effects of this drug prior to administration, and why a drug reaction to a long acting drug is different than a drug reaction to a drug that only stays in the system for a few hours, it’s up to each individual to determine whether they’re willing to accept that level of risk. Sadly, far too many vets fail to make cat guardians aware of these risks and/or give it without the owner’s consent.

        Reply
        • Jon
          February 18, 2015 at 6:39 pm (5 months ago)

          Peanuts doctor explained everything very well to me but I had to factor in that he will not let anyone put a pill down his throat and the last time I tried he puked it up in his litter box and buried it so I wouldn’t find it. He has very healthy liver and kidneys so I wasn’t worried about it plus his infection was so bad I did have much of a choice. I’m not a vet or scientist so I can’t really say with 100% certainty this drug is perfectly safe and for all animals but Peanut has an amazing doctor and if he recommended it I have full faith in it. I’m really sorry about all the kitties that were lost but there are tons of things it could have been instead of an antibiotic. Infection can cause the body to do strange things including causing organs to shut down.

          Reply
          • Ingrid
            February 19, 2015 at 7:11 am (5 months ago)

            I’m glad to hear that Peanut’s doctor explained the risks, Jon. Far too many vets either don’t, or don’t seem to be concerned that potential risks with a long acting drug are different than risks with drugs with a shorter half life. It will always be an individual decision for each pet guardian, and there may be some situations where the benefit is worth the potential risk.

            FWIW, the vet I’ve used for many years just changed clinics, and I followed her. She doesn’t use Convenia, but the other vet at the clinic does (and believe me, she’s doing her best to educate that vet about why it shouldn’t used in cats.) When my records were set up at the new clinic, I insisted that my records were labeled “NO CONVENIA UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.” I would be far more comfortable if the clinic didn’t use it at all, though.

          • Debbie
            March 24, 2015 at 10:19 am (4 months ago)

            My vet just said it was good for 2 wks rather than trying to give her a pill everyday. He didn’t mention any side effects. keeping a very close eye on my baby girl.

          • Ingrid
            March 24, 2015 at 10:25 am (4 months ago)

            It is good for two weeks, BUT the drug stays in the system for up to two months. Unfortunately, most vets are either not aware that this drug can have serious side effects, or, as one vet actually told me, “don’t believe” that there can be problems. You can get a good probiotic at Whole Foods or Mom’s Organic Market or your local pet store. Just look for something that has only probiotic strains and no other additives. Some products for humans mix have additional supplements added. All my best to your cat.

    • Sango
      February 18, 2015 at 11:41 pm (5 months ago)

      I am happy that Convenia worked out for you and your cat. It has helped many of my cats and it is convenient. But after one of my young cats, Yani, who had a minor skin infection died within a couple hours of the convenient injection, and in hindsight was a contributing factor to three my other cats deaths, I will never allow the use of Convenia on my cats again. The convenience of convenia is not worth the risk. I am sure now that deaths happen more often than we know, and even if it is 1 in 10,000, when it is your cat that dies it, telling me that death is a rare side effect is of absolutely no consolation.

      Reply
      • Jon
        February 19, 2015 at 7:11 am (5 months ago)

        I’m sorry about your babies. Losing a cat is not easy. In the future if you ever have to have an injection for anything for any of your kitties have them stay at the vet for a few hours to make sure they’ll be ok just in case. I couldn’t imagine my home without Peanut in it. He’s what makes it a home.

        Reply
  8. Penny Williams
    February 9, 2015 at 5:38 pm (6 months ago)

    I lost my sweet cat Piper to a Convenia shot 2 years ago Thanksgiving weekend. I had my landlord take her to a vet who was not her regular one because she was walking as though she were in pain, and as our vet had earlier ruled out an infection, I was not thinking in those terms and did not tell him to warn the vet not to give her Convenia. They found and abcess in her elbow and gave her a shot. She did not display immediate symptoms, but a couple of weeks later, she went into respiratory distress and X-rays showed pulmonary edema in an advanced stage. The vet said she’d been building it up for a while (like two weeks). Several hundred dollars and a stay at the emergency vet in the next state got her dried out, but it went too far and she became severely dehydrated. By the time I got her back to a local vet, her blood was so thick they couldn’t get any. Her heart failed when they started giving her fluids, and she died. Yes, pulmonary edema is one of the known side effects of Convenia.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 9, 2015 at 5:51 pm (6 months ago)

      I’m so sorry, Penny.

      Reply
    • EvaServal
      February 9, 2015 at 6:38 pm (6 months ago)

      So very sorry Penny…

      Reply
  9. Connie West
    February 9, 2015 at 4:49 pm (6 months ago)

    i believe Convenia killed one of my strays. i was not told about side effects. he went downhill right after the shot. my new vet is AAHA accredited and when i asked to please put “no Convenia” on all of my cats charts he told me not to worry, that that drug was not even in the building

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 9, 2015 at 5:27 pm (6 months ago)

      I’m sorry about your stray, Connie. I like that your new vet isn’t even carrying Convenia.

      Reply
      • EvaServal
        February 9, 2015 at 6:38 pm (6 months ago)

        I’m so sorry about your stray Connie… I fear we are going to see more and more on this thread…

        Reply
  10. EvaServal
    February 3, 2015 at 1:58 pm (6 months ago)

    So very sorry about Yani, Dave. I don’t believe at all that this is rare. My dog and several others (cats) reported here can’t be the only ones. I’d love to know what you find out. It’s heart breaking and I’m so very sorry for your loss.
    Eva

    Reply
    • Dave
      February 5, 2015 at 1:29 pm (6 months ago)

      Thank you, EvaServal, for your sentiments. Since Yani’s death, my vets have been warning their clients about Convenia, and they are saying that no one that gets the warning wants the injection for their pets now. I have asked my vets to please spread the word at DVM conferences and conventions and they are already letting all their DVM friends know, at least word is out in Ohio now, where I live. I have decided that I will request the info under the freedom of information act from the FDA. I won’t get around to it until next week. Dave

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        February 5, 2015 at 2:13 pm (6 months ago)

        I’m so glad to hear that your vets are taking this seriously, and that they are spreading the word, Dave. I know it won’t bring Yani back, but perhaps there’ll be some comfort in knowing that other cat guardians will now be warned about Convenia.

        Reply
      • EvaServal
        February 5, 2015 at 4:44 pm (6 months ago)

        Oh that is such good news! It’s baby steps and I pray this killer Covenia is off the market soon!

        Reply
  11. Dave Cornett
    February 2, 2015 at 8:22 pm (6 months ago)

    ps .The ’41’ at the end of my comment was typed by one of my other cats just was I went to post it.

    Reply
  12. Dave Cornett
    February 2, 2015 at 8:18 pm (6 months ago)

    I have a cat rescue and have had several cats treated with Convenia, but the other day (1/29/2015) I took my cat, Yani, to the vet because he had an abscess from a cat bite. Yani was five years old and very healthy. The vet cleaned the wound and gave him a Convenia shot.

    She sent me home with Yani telling me he would be just fine. When we got home I let him out of the carrier and left him alone. I figured he needed some rest. When I checked on him a few hours later, he was dead and already well into rigor mortis. I was beside myself with grief!

    I went straight away to my Vet. She checked the paper that comes with Convenia and showed me that death was listed as a possible reaction! She was shocked. She had not done her due diligence and not realized herself the danger and had certainly not informed me. Yani was easy to handle and I could have easily given him an oral antibiotic.

    This experience has made me wonder if a couple of my cats who were quite ill might not have died also because of the Convenia, whereas I thought it was because of the illness. My vet and I both reported to Zoetis. Their Vet said that death does happen, but it is rare. I think it is happening a lot more often than they are letting onto. I felt I was given the run around. I suspect they are not forwarding the ADEs to the FDA. They wouldn’t tell me how many reports have been made. I have also filed a report with the FDA and will encourage my Vet to do the same.

    To find out how many reports have been made, I would have to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act, which has a cost. I don’t know how much, but am considering it. 41

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 3, 2015 at 7:00 am (6 months ago)

      I’m so sorry about Yani, Dave. Your story, and the stories of so many others who have left comments on this post, make me think that reactions to Convenia are not all that rare. If you decide to pursue getting the information about the number of cases that have been reported, please keep us posted on what you find.

      Reply
    • Michelle
      February 17, 2015 at 6:45 pm (5 months ago)

      Our cat was given Convenia for a suspected urinary tract infection before culture results and was deathly ill within 48 hrs and died of liver failure on day 8.
      My vet says Zoetis says that not one single cat has ever been reported to have died from Convenia. Really?!?

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        February 18, 2015 at 7:17 am (5 months ago)

        I’m so sorry about your cat, Michelle. I find Zoetis’ response to your vet extremely disturbing.

        Reply
  13. EvaServal
    January 5, 2015 at 12:40 am (7 months ago)

    Frank,
    My sincere condolences… I wish they’d take this product off the market.
    I wish you comfort and peace in these times.
    Sincerely
    Eva

    Reply
  14. Debi
    January 3, 2015 at 2:30 pm (7 months ago)

    So sad and frustrating that this keeps happening and the drug is still being given. It’s been almost 2 years now that I lost my precious Cholla to this horrible drug. Both my vet and I reported it to the FDA and Zoetis. Still not even a warning is given to cat guardians of the danger. It must be extremely profitable. How anyone is comfortable profiting from the terrible death these sweet fur babies must endure after a Convenia shot is beyond my comprehension.

    Reply
  15. Frank
    January 2, 2015 at 9:35 pm (7 months ago)

    I took our cat Zeus in the day after Christmas because he was having intermittent episodes of vomiting and although he was eating normally it looked as though he was still losing weight. We thought he may have some kind of intestinal parasite but all in all he was in good health. The vet said they wanted to do a blood test and give him some intravenous fluids as they felt he was a bit dehydrated. They also made a passing comment that they wanted to give him an antibiotic as a precautionary step in case he had an infection. The antibiotic they gave him was Convenia. As soon as we got him in the truck to take him home, he immediately started to vomit. We didn’t think much of it as that is why we took him to the vet in the first place. Later that evening he was very antisocial which is unusual for Zeus, but thought he was mad because we took him to the vet, you know how cats are! Over the weekend we notice he was very lethargic and didn’t want anything to do with anyone in the house, even our son who he absolutely adored couldn’t hold him as he wanted to just get away from everyone. To make a long story short, he soon stopped eating and looked like a person who was on drugs and didn’t know where he was. The following Monday, 3 days after his vet visit, I noticed he kept getting up and laying down in different positions as if he was uncomfortable. The following morning we found him hiding under the Christmas tree and meowing in a very pathetic way. He would not eat and just laid in the same place for hours at a time. Later that afternoon I took him back to the vet and told them that whatever they did to him, he was definitely not himself. I was told that he was having kidney failure and they would need to give him an IV overnight. Well, he didn’t even make it through the night! They called early the next morning and said that he had passed away. The only thing I could attribute this sudden death to was the antibiotic shot he received and within 5 minutes of doing a search on the internet I found several posts such as this from Ingrid and quickly realized that our cat suffered the same fate as other cats that had received injections of Convenia. Please, if your vet says they want to give your cat or dog an antibiotic, make sure it is NOT Convenia! I am convinced that this is what killed our cat.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 3, 2015 at 7:15 am (7 months ago)

      I am so sorry, Frank. Please make sure that you and/or your vet report what happened to Zeus to the FDA and to Zoetis, the maker of Convenia.

      Reply
  16. R A Sullivan
    December 12, 2014 at 7:38 pm (8 months ago)

    We have a 14 y.o. Tuxedo cat who has epilepsy. She has been successfully treated with phenobarbital for several years, with NO breakthrough seizures. we have routine blood analysis to check kidney and liver function.
    Recently she had a large abscess on her chin. The vet suggested Convenia to my husband because of the convenience of its dosing. Never were we told that it remains in the tissue for more than 60 days. Our cat has had two seizures in one week, one a massive event over 3 minutes long. Neither vet had any information regarding the concurrent use of anti-convulsants with Convenia. I have provided them that information copying it directly from a professional website. Seizure are a serious side effect. I am not a blame placer , but a problem solver. I suggest anyone who has had this happen to them to report it immediately to the Convenia website. We will never allow the use of Convenia with out cats.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 13, 2014 at 7:03 am (8 months ago)

      I’m sorry this happened to you. Please report this to the FDA as well. All my best to your kitty for a complete recovery.

      Reply
      • EvaServal
        January 5, 2015 at 12:32 am (7 months ago)

        R.A. Sullivan, I’m so ver sorry about your sweet cat… my condolences.
        Hugs

        Reply
      • EvaServal
        January 5, 2015 at 12:35 am (7 months ago)

        Frank,
        My sincere condolences. All these incidents are horrible and unnecessary. I don’t understand why this product is still on the market. (money is why)
        Again, I’m so very sorry for your loss… I pray you get comfort in these times.
        Sincerely,
        Eva

        Reply
  17. EvaServal
    December 8, 2014 at 1:08 pm (8 months ago)

    Terry, I’m so very sorry… heart breaking… :(

    Reply
  18. terry parolini
    December 8, 2014 at 8:15 am (8 months ago)

    we adopted a kitten Lili, from a humane society, she came with the normal humane society issues, upper respiratory, weeping eye. I brought her home on Sept 11, 2014. She had been spayed. Lili was so tiny 1.5lb, I thought she was 6-7 weeks old. We returned home and I was reviewing her paperwork and discovered she was close to 12 weeks old. She was very active fit right in with our other cat and 110lb dog. She acted like a typical “crazy” kitten, she loved being cuddled and would curl up under my neck to nap. I wanted her checked out by our own vet. I brought her in the next day Sept 12th, he agreed she had an upper respiratory infection and that she was very small for her age but healthy. He suggested the convenia shot, I agreed. I did ask about side effects and what to watch for, he did say she could be tired for a day or 2, she was. A month plus, Lili started to sneeze, green “snot” started to appear around her nose so we brought her in again. On November 3rd they gave her a second shot of convenia. She started to go down hill immediately. She would just sleep, no more playing she didn’t even care to cuddle. We brought her in on November 26th and they placed her on a second oral antibiotic after conducting testing for Feline Lukkemia and other feline issues. I told the vet that I think it was the shot, because she went downhill right after that second shot. Lili could hardly walk, when she did she would stagger and fall over. She began to pee and poop where she was sleeping. I purchased a baby animal milk formula thinking it would be like “ensure” I would give her water with a syring to make sure she was getting some water. She would stagger to the water and food bowls but ate very little. We brought her to the vets to board her as my husband was going to Mayo for cancer surgery and we couldn’t leave her home with the person watching our other pets, we realized Lili needed extra attention. This was on Dec 2nd, 6 days after her last visit……they recommended that we put her down, her temp was 10 deg below norm, her kidneys were failing. I was sick. I told the vet that I read up on the shot convenia and believe this is was the start of her failings, I said I am not blaming anyone but feel I should have been told the side effects not just that it is an antibiotic and is used all of the time without problems…..they don’t know that…..people may not make the connection with their sick pet getting sicker after the shot and just think it’s the illness. I know in my heart that shot was what started Lili’s downslide and eventually forced me to make that heartbreaking decision, euthanizing her. In less than 3 months I spent over $500.oo to kill my poor little kitten.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 8, 2014 at 8:45 am (8 months ago)

      Oh Terry, I’m so sorry about Lili. My heart goes out to you.

      Reply
    • Lesley Le Page
      December 9, 2014 at 4:58 am (8 months ago)

      Terry, I absolutely feel for you and your poor little kitty. Convenia successfully killed two of my cats. The first one was ill with breathing difficulties, took her to the vet, Convenia was administered and immediately she began staggering when I tried to put her back in the cat carrier. She improved after about a week, but then suddenly disappeared. We found her later – she had died alone, in the wet and cold. I insisted that our vet put a report into the manufacturers, Pfizer. I left instructions with the vet to put on their system that Convenia should never be used on any of our cats or dogs in the future. When another of our cats became poorly, my daughter took her to the vet. They gave her Convenia! She died the next day in my arms. THIS DRUG SHOULD BE TAKEN OFF THE MARKET AND PFIZER SHOULD BE SUED!

      Reply
    • Vicki
      December 9, 2014 at 12:12 pm (8 months ago)

      Terry please file a report with Zoetis (the manufacturer) and FDA – see Dr. Pierson’s article for contact info).

      My Leo died back in July from Convenia. We had a necropsy performed and I spoke with both of these organizations. The FDA said that only about 1% of people actually follow through with a report and they must have significant amount of data before anything can be done. She thanked me for calling. Please ask your vet to send in a report as well.

      I’m so sorry about Lili…it is heartbreaking.

      Reply
      • Michelle
        February 17, 2015 at 6:49 pm (5 months ago)

        Dear Vicki-
        Could you share the results of your necropsy?
        My Vet informed me today that Zoetis told him that not one single cat has ever died from Convenia use.
        Also, that the drug is processed through the kidneys, not the liver, so sudden and accute liver failure after Convenia is not related to the drug.
        Appreciate your advice.
        Michelle

        Reply
        • Vicki
          February 18, 2015 at 5:54 pm (5 months ago)

          I can email you his report…what they are saying is that science never recognizes anything as absolute; so there is no way that they can prove that Convenia was the reason for his death.
          I will say that when my vet called and told Zoetis what happened they offered immediately to pay for the necropsy that we had had done. She didn’t ask them too (I had already paid the vet) they offered.
          FDA will do something only when there is enough data to “suggest” that there is an issue. That is why more people need to have the necropsy performed and sent in. It’s a horrific experience but I had hoped that it would help. I was disheartened when FDA told me that there isn’t enough data for them to act.
          Zoetis will never admit that their drug caused a death…I would hope that your vet would know that. Have him/her read the caution label for adverse effects and check the European warnings…they apparently have enough data for them to believe that there is an issue.
          if you want to contact me please do so via info@halfthewayhome.org

          Reply
          • EvaServal
            February 18, 2015 at 6:39 pm (5 months ago)

            I wished there was a “like” button for your comment, Vicki

  19. EvaServal
    September 15, 2014 at 12:45 am (11 months ago)

    Hi Saguil,
    Keeping you and your kitty in my prayers. Please do get your kitty on the probiotics that Catlady is recommending…
    All the best.
    Eva

    Reply

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