Cat got surgery and a shot of Convenia and now I regret everything

stephanietx

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The most common side effects of Convenia are lethargy and inappetence. Pretty sure it's not the Convenia shot. I've had 2 kitties get teh shot and they were like zombies for about 10 days.

IBD causes diarrhea. You probably need to give him some Metronidazole or slippery elm bark syrup to help that. It could also be a reaction to all the medication he's on, especially any kind of antibiotic. Drinking a lot of water is a sign of nausea. Do you have any plain Pepcid (loratadine), 10 mg? You can give 1/4 of a pill to help with nausea or get Ondansetron (Zofran) from the vet. IBD also can cause nausea.

You also need to get rest and take care of yourself. Breathe. He will pick up on your stress and fear. He may also be reacting to the stress in your home, which can also cause a flare of IBD, if it was controlled previously.

Give him what he will eat because that's most important. You're doing okay, but please try to take care of yourself.
 

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I sincerely doubt he is dying. As was already said Covenia can; last a long time in the body. So. on that note, you will have to wait that one out. You've been told the common side effects, and what to watch out for - use those things as your guide and stop concluding that Coveniia is killing your cat.

It sounds like he is eating, so that is good. If he has been eating more dry than he usually eats, that alone could explain the extra drinking. Sometimes, cats who do feel nauseous tend to eat more dry - perhaps because it absorbs the stomach acids building up.

It may have already been said, but s. boulardii is often very helpful in cats who are experiencing diarrhea from antibiotics, and probably even more so for those with IBD. I am including an article link below about its use, and you may benefit from reading it. The title states it is for raw feeding for IBD cats, but it applies to those who are not fed raw as well.

Give this some time, take a deep breath, and just watch over him without freaking out over every little thing. You aren't doing him - or you - any favor by being so stressed.
How to Use S boulardii for diarrhea - Raw Feeding for IBD Cats
.
 

silent meowlook

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Hi. I’ve worked at vet hospitals for decades. I am not a veterinarian. I hold no license in anything veterinary. Just wanted to get that out of the way.
From 2014 till 2022 I worked at a feline only hospital and we used a ton of Convenia on so many cats, several cats a day, without any issues. I am not saying cats don’t have reactions to Convenia because they can. Just that it isn’t all that common.
If he isn’t doing well as in not wanting to eat or drink, then yes he needs to be seen. But it may be something other than the Convenia.
I personally would also be upset if my cat was given something like Metacam without my being informed of the black box warning. But Convenia, I probably wouldn’t give it another thought.
 

Margot Lane

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Hey when my kitty first had IBD he also had runny poop. For us it was a matter of finding -and sticking to- a diet that worked for him. Sometimes it takes time, weeks even, for the the body to adjust. N&D also has ones w/ pumpkin that can be helpful. There are many excellent threads on this website discussing diet and IBD. For us steroids were a big help too. Have they figured out his allergens yet?
 

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So he had a bout of pretty bad diarrhea today and has been drinking a lot more than usual. Granted, he also ate more dry food than he usually does, but when I asked the surgeon he said it could be a bad sign and to bring him in if he also gets more lethargic, vomits, or drinks even more. I'm scared to death still that I've doomed him with the Convenia and that his body is shutting down. He seems nauseous too. My partner basically doesn't understand and just snaps at me to bring him back to the ER then if I'm so worried, but that he thinks there's nothing wrong with him. And I've been a complete mess, I don't sleep because I'm afraid he'll die while I'm asleep.

For the food, he won't eat Rawz, basically all he wants to eat is Primal salmon and beef, and N&D Ocean kitten food. I just had to drive 5 hours today just to get him the Primal cause it's not sold around here.
So sorry🤗

One of my cats years ago did die in part due to convenia- 9 days after the shot. It is a very dangerous drug if your cat has a severe reaction- the reason being that it stays in the system for 64 days, not 2 weeks, ( even 2 weeks is too long) so if there is a severe reaction you can’t get it out of their system. Other antibiotics can be stopped quickly if there is a reaction.

My Angelina had cancer and had no infection so she should never have been given this drug. It was not long after it came out and my then dvm pushed it on me. She had trouble taking pills and spit them out later. I was not well at the time like you. I had just been in the ICU not long before that and I thought it would be easier for her- first time it was pushed I didn’t allow it and then I did the second time. By the way, there was no diagnosis for her.

She developed severe anemia rapidly after the shot
within two days, I know she was not anemic before that because I did bloodwork before. Once that drug was in her system, she didn’t have a chance.

I know that she had cancer now because I did a necropsy on her afterwards.

I would never allow that drug for any of my cats ever again. I’ve taken care of many feral / untouchable cats, and I’ve managed to treat them all without ever giving them convenia- by putting meds in their food.

In addition, it really opened up a view of the DVM field that was alarming to me- where they would override medical safety in order to profit because they made a lot more money off of this drug vs any of the other much safer and antibiotics.

That said your cat could very well survive this. What I would watch out for are signs of anemia- you can have blood work redone. those signs could be sores, gums are pale, having trouble breathing, and other anemic symptoms.

At the time this happened, sadly after Angie died, I was in touch with many other people whose cats and dogs became very ill and or died from convenia. There was a theory that what happens with convenia is it very rapidly kills off the natural good bacteria in the body, and that a cat, cats are much more vulnerable than dogs, who was very ill was at higher risk.

Angie was much more susceptible to possible terrible effects. However, there were cats who simply went in for a dental, and who were given convenia without even having an infection who died rapidly, who were not ill at all previously.

You could give your cat probiotics in his food if he’s eating, one woman saved her cat’s life who was anemic by giving him high doses of probiotics.

I would talk to the Dvm about all of the other medications too. and see if they may be contributing to the anorexia convenia causes. * I just read on the zoetis site I think that anti inflammatory and behavioral meds in combo with convenia can cause bad convenia reactions too. I lost the link now, sorry, but will try to post it later.


I am in the process of medicating my cats for Toxoplasmosis, see my post in this forum. Zena now possibly toxo pneumonia again!
One of my cats is very difficult to pill, he was vomiting, fighting it etc., and I could barely get a pill in him. I now have managed by trying different foods to get him to eat it in Reveal Fish treats

which are a piece of fresh fish in the plastic bag. I’m also getting a non-touchable cat to eat it that way too although he’s a little bit more difficult because I have to keep mixing in canned food and dry food until he finishes it. What I am doing also is to make sure thye are hungry before each dose. I don’t recommend that for your kitty though.

I have been buying them at Walmart for $2.49 a pouch, but you could order them and other things you need online to make it easier for yourself.

You can also try the liquids as someone said, and the compounded liquids that have flavors. I haven’t had much success with them in the past.

In addition, I talked to dvm, and she’s investigating a vial of clindamycin so that I can inject Quinn. Although he has been taking it his in food. I am scared to write this fingers crossed. he had signs of pneumonia. Xena was confirmed to have pneumonia so they have to be on it really for four weeks or maybe longer after a recheck xray.

They are also on Zofran for nausea so you could investigate that for your cat too because he may be feeling nauseated. The typical drug given is cerenia but generic zofran works too. Convenia can cause runs too. It can cause a lot of different side effects just look them up if you haven’t.

I have a harder time getting Quinn to take the Zofran now than the clindamycin in his food. I wipe it on his mouth in a licky treat after crushing it. Cinnamon also hates the Zofran and won’t eat it at all. Zena will eat it in a pill pocket. I give Zena his medication in the pill pockets, and he lets me pill him easily, so you could try pill pockets maybe too.

In addition, another very irresponsible thing that Dvm do is they give medication to your cat without even consulting you. This happened to me with Fred, an untouchable cat who I took in from outside, who died last December. When I first took him back to Dvm, he had a terrible limp, he always had to be sedated to be examined. For some reason, they took it upon themselves to give him a shot of convenia even though he had no sign of any infection.

He stopped eating for about 2-3 days and I was very worried, but fortunately he pulled through. And he did not have a severe reaction tg. I gave him probiotics at the time, and he was also given an appetite stimulant.

I called out the dvm for doing that and they apologized. Normally, I have it written in their record, and I write it on their carrier. They are never to be given convenia. I’ve now realized I have to do that for any type of medication- it has to be discussed with me in advance.

I had another similar experience, with my beloved Merlin, who died in part due to being given a newer sedation aesthetic which was contraindicated for him…telazol.

he should never have been sedated at all, simply to do an x-ray. Merlin was a lovable cat, who had had x-rays and ultrasounds in the past with no sedation…he died from toxoplasmosis pneumonia, which was never diagnosed, which I only know now because I did a necropsy on him also.

In addition, you mentioned your cat wearing a collar because of the surgery. I would suggest if possible, getting him one of those baby suits instead or some type of garment that will cover the area of the surgery only- that might calm him down quite a bit.

I would investigate getting an appetite stimulant for him too if he’s still not eating. Sometimes especially after your cat had a surgery and was sedated, etc.. It’s not good for them to be on too many medications, if you’re worried about a possible convenient reaction. So discuss that with DVM as well.

I remember when one of my cats came home after kidney failure in the hospital. She was on like six different medications and she was just out of it on too many things, so I eliminated most of them and only gave the essential ones and she got improved.

Chances are your cat will be OK and he’s going to make it through this. Big hugs to you and your kitty 🤗
 
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AbbysMom

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Deep breaths. :hugs: It's so easy for us to freak out and assume the worst when it's our babies, isn't it?

I brought my cat to a different vet once to be treated and the vet gave her a Convenia shot. Like you I saw after that there were issues with some cats and freaked out. She was fine.

Your cats has been through a lot and is on a lot of different meds. I would think diarrhea and inappetence aren't crazy things to have right now. My cat has IBD and periodically has diarrhea. She also has food allergies.

As far as giving meds, my cat is awful to pill and I try to get liquid meds as often as possible. When I can't, I try to hide the pills in a treat to get her to take the. Pill pockets work occasionally. I've had better luck forming this treat around a pill - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077TGVN29/?tag=thecatsite

If that doesn't work I sprinkle Fortiflora on it. If that doesn't work then I add some tube treat or freeze-dried fish treat to the bowl. If all else fails then I try to pill her.

Do you have a pill popper? That can really help with giving pills -

Amazon.com

The next time you talk to the vet you may want to ask about an anti-nausea med and an appetite stimulant if your cat still isn't eating.

Good luck and keep us updated.
 

fionasmom

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I am not saying cats don’t have reactions to Convenia because they can. Just that it isn’t all that common.
Even though Rikki did have a reaction from which he rallied, I would use it with another cat if necessary as all of mine are former ferals and medications are difficult at best.
 
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CatEng

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I read all the replies, thanks everyone, I'll respond more fully when I'm a bit less exhausted. Just to give a general update on IBD cat, he still had another bout of bad diarrhea during the night, but so far no vomiting or anything else. He had accidents on the bed during the night, leaked some stools... lots of laundry to do. The vet did tell us to monitor his water intake by giving him pre-measured portions and measure the leftovers at the end of the day, so we're doing that to see if the drinking really is problematic.

His IBD has never presented as diarrhea actually, he's only had constipation (which probably led to the hernia he got surgery for, at least that's what most vets he's seen believe), which is why it was such a shock. He's also been on miralax and lactulose for weeks before the surgery and didn't get diarrhea, just less hard stool really, so we freaked out a bit that it was so liquidy, it's really not usual for him.

That being said, today he was very alert, maybe a bit too much. He's having cabin fever, demands loudly to be let out of the bedroom, runs around and jumps on things the second we look away during his supervised walks. It's like having an hyperactive toddler. He has a good appetite today. Obviously he tires more easily than pre-surgery but he's not lethargic all day at least.

We've cut back on the laxatives he's supposed to take, in the hope we can get him to an optimal stool consistency. He also gets sivomixx probiotics with every meal, and some slippery elm now. I'll look into the S. boulardii. We're not sure about giving him the meloxicam anymore, he already gets gabapentin and I feel like the NSAIDs might be too much with the Convenia. He's back to eating pills hidden under a pile of kibble, so we're using that method for now.
 
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CatEng

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There is a compounding pharmacy called Wedgewood Pharmacy. They can compound whatever medications he needs fairly quickly. They can make them a variety of different t flavors.
I looked quickly, seems like a good option, good to know about this! For now (thankfully) he's eating his pills in his food again. Good thing he's such an undiscerning glutton when he's not very sick.

You have to take care of you too, to take care of your kitty, so rest and sleep are important. It WILL be very helpful to find out what his allergens are. There are a TON of different cat foods out there that can be beneficial for an IBD kitty, once you figure out the allergens.
I understand completely why it is hard for you to pill a cat: it’s YOUR CAT. You’re sensitive about him. A vet is tougher, no nonsense. Once you get the hang of pilling a cat, it really is pretty easy. Much easier I think than say, having to give him a shot, which many people on this site can do. And congrats on his kidneys, btw, That’s a huge positive! ❤
You're right, I can't care for him if I'm on the edge of a nervous breakdown. We have figured out at least two of his allergens, chicken and tuna, which are in most commercial cat foods... at least, those are the ones that gave him bumps on his paws, so we assume they were also causing the digestive issues. I think giving him shots would be much easier actually, I had to do that with a kitten I sadly lost to FIP, and it's really easy and the cats don't notice that much if done well. But you're right, I probably could pill a random cat, but because it's MY cat I can't see him thrash about and fight me and hate me...


The most common side effects of Convenia are lethargy and inappetence. Pretty sure it's not the Convenia shot. I've had 2 kitties get teh shot and they were like zombies for about 10 days.

IBD causes diarrhea. You probably need to give him some Metronidazole or slippery elm bark syrup to help that. It could also be a reaction to all the medication he's on, especially any kind of antibiotic. Drinking a lot of water is a sign of nausea. Do you have any plain Pepcid (loratadine), 10 mg? You can give 1/4 of a pill to help with nausea or get Ondansetron (Zofran) from the vet. IBD also can cause nausea.
I've started him back on slippery elm, and it seems it helped, today he had soft stools but not liquid, basically what the vet ordered for his recovery so he doesn't strain his muscles. He also stopped drinking so much water (back to baseline basically). I get the feeling the diarrhea, drinking too much, etc. was caused by the meloxicam, because after we skipped his dose he got progressively better. I just hope we didn't cause permanent kidney damage with the two doses we gave him.

You could very likely give him some KMR or other kitten formula.

For Magnus any IBD symptoms disappeared once we got his allergies down. It was beef and beef by-products. Because of how ingredients work, we had suspicions of it being this and that non protein ingredient...but it turned out that "animal fat" was the issue because it was constantly changing animal fat.
Yeah, we're extremely wary of the animal fats and flavors in foods. We know chicken for sure is an allergen, and most likely tuna. He's on a beef and salmon diet mostly right now, with some haddock, and the skin bumps disappeared, so we assume beef is likely not an allergen to him, but it's hard to tell. We're trying to give him only the limited ingredient raw food that he seems to do well on, before we try to reintroduce any proteins.

But it may be something other than the Convenia.
I personally would also be upset if my cat was given something like Metacam without my being informed of the black box warning. But Convenia, I probably wouldn’t give it another thought.
That's the thing, we were never informed of the black box warning for Metacam, I found out by accident! Since we skipped his dose of meloxicam he's almost back to his old self, so it does seem the issue was with that, not the Convenia after all (and I can understand in a way the vet not being worried about that, since there's no black box warning). I am not happy they didn't mention the black box warning at all, they just said "Oh, if he gets diarrhea or vomits let us know" and when I did mention it, they just said to cut back on the laxatives, didn't even mention maybe it was the meloxicam causing kidney or liver issues.

Hey when my kitty first had IBD he also had runny poop. For us it was a matter of finding -and sticking to- a diet that worked for him. Sometimes it takes time, weeks even, for the the body to adjust. N&D also has ones w/ pumpkin that can be helpful. There are many excellent threads on this website discussing diet and IBD. For us steroids were a big help too. Have they figured out his allergens yet?
Pumpkin doesn't agree with him, and so far we've figured out allergies to chicken and tuna. Still trying to exclude other potential allergens, he seems to tolerate beef and salmon raw food well, but of course that one is not available nearby...

One of my cats years ago did die in part due to convenia- 9 days after the shot. It is a very dangerous drug if your cat has a severe reaction- the reason being that it stays in the system for 64 days, not 2 weeks, ( even 2 weeks is too long) so if there is a severe reaction you can’t get it out of their system. Other antibiotics can be stopped quickly if there is a reaction.

I remember when one of my cats came home after kidney failure in the hospital. She was on like six different medications and she was just out of it on too many things, so I eliminated most of them and only gave the essential ones and she got improved.

Chances are your cat will be OK and he’s going to make it through this. Big hugs to you and your kitty 🤗
I'm so sorry to hear about Angelina! :( That's such a horror story. IBD cat is making a good recovery today. Very active, eats a ton, meows a ton, tries to run away from his "tyrannical captors" who keep him confined to a bedroom for forced rest. It's just so scary that vets push medications without giving full information so owners can make informed decisions. I hope I'm not making him feel more pain by stopping the meloxicam, but he seems to do better on less medications too.
 

silent meowlook

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Hi. How are you getting your raw diet? Is it commercial or do you make it? Be very careful with raw diets and immune compromised cats. Any illness has potential to compromise the immune system.
You may have already said it, but have they done a fecal PCR?
 
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CatEng

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Hi. How are you getting your raw diet? Is it commercial or do you make it? Be very careful with raw diets and immune compromised cats. Any illness has potential to compromise the immune system.
You may have already said it, but have they done a fecal PCR?
It's a commercial raw diet, Primal frozen nuggets, they treat it at high pressure to reduce pathogen levels. The clinic has not suggested doing any diagnostic tests for the diarrhea, they really seem to think it's just that the dose of post-op laxatives is too high (prescribed dosage of 4ml lactulose twice a day + miralax).
 

Margot Lane

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Also now that your vet has discovered his allergens, are steroids an option? Is rabbit another possibility food wise? Not surprised about the chicken, that seems to be very common.
 

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I looked quickly, seems like a good option, good to know about this! For now (thankfully) he's eating his pills in his food again. Good thing he's such an undiscerning glutton when he's not very sick.



You're right, I can't care for him if I'm on the edge of a nervous breakdown. We have figured out at least two of his allergens, chicken and tuna, which are in most commercial cat foods... at least, those are the ones that gave him bumps on his paws, so we assume they were also causing the digestive issues. I think giving him shots would be much easier actually, I had to do that with a kitten I sadly lost to FIP, and it's really easy and the cats don't notice that much if done well. But you're right, I probably could pill a random cat, but because it's MY cat I can't see him thrash about and fight me and hate me...




I've started him back on slippery elm, and it seems it helped, today he had soft stools but not liquid, basically what the vet ordered for his recovery so he doesn't strain his muscles. He also stopped drinking so much water (back to baseline basically). I get the feeling the diarrhea, drinking too much, etc. was caused by the meloxicam, because after we skipped his dose he got progressively better. I just hope we didn't cause permanent kidney damage with the two doses we gave him.



Yeah, we're extremely wary of the animal fats and flavors in foods. We know chicken for sure is an allergen, and most likely tuna. He's on a beef and salmon diet mostly right now, with some haddock, and the skin bumps disappeared, so we assume beef is likely not an allergen to him, but it's hard to tell. We're trying to give him only the limited ingredient raw food that he seems to do well on, before we try to reintroduce any proteins.



That's the thing, we were never informed of the black box warning for Metacam, I found out by accident! Since we skipped his dose of meloxicam he's almost back to his old self, so it does seem the issue was with that, not the Convenia after all (and I can understand in a way the vet not being worried about that, since there's no black box warning). I am not happy they didn't mention the black box warning at all, they just said "Oh, if he gets diarrhea or vomits let us know" and when I did mention it, they just said to cut back on the laxatives, didn't even mention maybe it was the meloxicam causing kidney or liver issues.



Pumpkin doesn't agree with him, and so far we've figured out allergies to chicken and tuna. Still trying to exclude other potential allergens, he seems to tolerate beef and salmon raw food well, but of course that one is not available nearby...



I'm so sorry to hear about Angelina! :( That's such a horror story. IBD cat is making a good recovery today. Very active, eats a ton, meows a ton, tries to run away from his "tyrannical captors" who keep him confined to a bedroom for forced rest. It's just so scary that vets push medications without giving full information so owners can make informed decisions. I hope I'm not making him feel more pain by stopping the meloxicam, but he seems to do better on less medications too.
thanks 😁 I'm glad to hear IBD is doing well! I think he will be ok without it but keep an eye on him etc. of course. Yep, my cats are now getting no meds on my forbidden list again and I need to be consulted for any meds. It has happened several times with other meds too. Since the cat can't consent to it their people need to be informed, but a lot of dvm don't feel they need to do that sadly. I will never get over what happened to Angie and Merlin due to this.
 
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CatEng

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So, one step back this morning, the diarrhea is back to completely liquid. He's still mostly acting normal, but I'm still concerned about kidney/liver damage from the medication. I notified the vet, we'll see if he answers or not. IBD cat also has a recurrence of rhinotracheitis, sneezing all the time, this isn't a fun time. No one's happy right now, and the vet probably thinks I'm being a hypochondriac through proxy with my cat, but I still think he should at least mention checking blood tests to make sure we didn't harm him with the drugs.
 

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Rabbit helped with us (not raw but limited ingredient). Do you like and trust your vet? (I ask b/c in the beginning I really had to trust & rely my vet’s advice a lot, as it was my first IBD kitty, and it did work). Is your cat drinking water? Again, for us B12 and steroids helped and it did take some time for the runny poo to stop.
 
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CatEng

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Have you considered changing the diet?
No, we haven't, because we had resolved his allergy symptoms on this diet before the surgery (no more skin bumps, no vomiting). He only had the GI symptoms caused by the hernia in the past few months (stool getting stuck in the rectum, causing blockage). There's very few foods that don't have his allergens, no gums, and that he actually will eat and this diet was working very well in terms of tolerability for him. His current GI issues are 100% related to post-surgery conditions.

Rabbit helped with us (not raw but limited ingredient). Do you like and trust your vet? (I ask b/c in the beginning I really had to trust & rely my vet’s advice a lot, as it was my first IBD kitty, and it did work). Is your cat drinking water? Again, for us B12 and steroids helped and it did take some time for the runny poo to stop.
We tried rabbit, he's not keen on it, and got sick on it once recently so we're wary of giving it again. I trust the internal medicine vet we see for his GI issues (who basically told us it might be IBD, might be allergies, but that since he seems to do well on the raw diet there's probably no need to medicate for IBD, and that the biggest issue was his hernia now we've found food he does well on).

I trust the surgeon who's doing the post-op less and less since he seems absolutely unconcerned about the side effects we are dealing with. IBD Cat is back to his pre-op drinking patterns now, and we've started oral B12 since yesterday. His internal medicine vet didn't think he needed supplementation before surgery, but with the surgery and diarrhea I think it can't hurt, and it's a safe enough supplement.
 

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I trust the surgeon who's doing the post-op less and less since he seems absolutely unconcerned about the side effects we are dealing with.
In all sincerity, and I am not by any means defending the surgeon, but there is not really anything that can be given to a cat who has side effects from Convenia. And even though we've seen many cases on this site about side effects, I don't think the vets see enough of them to be concerned. And, as much as it sucks, like with most any medication, there will be cats who have side effects regardless.

The important thing now is to continue to see improvements in hm And, you can include on his chart that he is not to receive Convenia in the future.

I hope he continues to improve with each and every passing day.
 
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