Convenia for Cats: Sacrificing Safety for Convenience?
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:
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.