Convenia side effects?

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7_angel

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I have a newly adopted cat - she was previously an outside cat and I think she's at least 7-8 years old - but I really don't know.  I noticed she was having loose stools for awhile and I attributed this to having been an outside cat.  But after awhile (and after switching to a high quality food) I noticed her stools were not getting any better.  Other than her stool, she acted fairly normal - she liked to play, sleep, eat, etc.

I took her to the vet thinking they could help me solve the stool issue.  I trusted this vet because they were a sister vet hospital to the one I used to take my dog to.  Anyway, they seemed busy that day... they quickly took my cat's temp, checked her over and assessed that she could use a "antibiotic shot" as well as some science diet i/d pet food to help her tummy.  (Side note: I think Science Diet is more hype than help - and I believe vets are paid to "prescribe" it - but I'll save that post for another time!)  Two mistakes happened though: 1) I had previously told the vet that my cat was 5 years old - so that was on her chart.  After finding out a little more about her history, I told the vet I thought she was probably at least 8 years old... the vet didn't really seem to digest that info though or regard it as important.  2) I didn't question what the vet was giving her.  I just trusted the vet without asking what the shot (Convenia) was.  Dumb me.

My cat appeared to get a little better after that, but after a few days I noticed that she was sleeping more and playing less.  She gradually kept doing this and I think she may have plateaued at this point.  It has been 27 days since she received the shot.  She does not play anymore.  She sleeps all the time.  She eats her i/d food and drinks but then goes right back to sleep.  She won't jump up anywhere high and when I hold her on the couch with me she is soooo careful when she gets down.  She also slowly walks up and down the steps.  She just seems to have lost her love of life.  BTW: I really don't believe that has anything to do with no longer being an outdoor cat.  She was perfectly content to be inside and in her new digs before she got her Convenia shot.

I don't know what is going on.  The vet didn't see anything wrong with her yet said the antibiotic shot would probably help any bacteria that might be upsetting her tummy.  Her stool is since just ok - once and awhile it gets soft again.  I am so afraid of bringing her to any vet - I have had a number of experiences that have made me not really trust vets.  The last vet was one I thought I could trust.  Oh, I also took a stool sample in to have it tested for parasites and the vet said she was all clear.

Long story short: I can't seem to find a lot of info supporting that side effects from Convenia last this long, but I cannot think as to what the issue may be.  I'd be surprised if it was the food.  I highly suspect it has something to do with the Convenia... any thoughts?
 

ldg

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The convenia shot is controversial. It's been successfully used on several of our kitties. I won't have it used on any of them that haven't had it at this point. The WORST side-effect of convenia is death, quite frankly. :( Something about it triggering an immune response causing severe anemia (rapidly). ???

I know others on here have posted about convenia turning their kitties into zombies for a little while, but I think it was only for a week or so.

Here is an article on Convenia at Dr. Pierson's website: http://www.catinfo.org/?link=convenia

It stays in the body for up to 65 days, so it's entirely possible the problem is the convenia, and it may take more time for your kitty to get back to feeling herself. :(

In fact... maybe this is an immune response problem? Can you look at your kitty's gums - are they pink? Or white? You might want to take her to another vet and have at least a CBC done. I don't know what can be done other than to wait it out if there is an issue... but that's just it. I don't know. Hopefully this has nothing to do with that, and it's just a matter of the drug making its way out of her system.... :cross:

Sending many vibes to your baby! :vibes: :vibes: :vibes: :vibes: :vibes:
 
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7_angel

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Thank you LDG!

Your information was very helpful!  I think her gums look a little pale - not white, just very pale pink... it's hard to tell though - she is a light colored cat.  I noticed my dark cats have dark gums - so I don't know what color her gums are when she is healthy.  I just hate waiting to try to see if she'll get better.  She's been lethargic and zombie-like for a couple weeks.  I called the vet and the tech seemed to think it wasn't a reaction to the Convenia (that she wouldn't be reacting to it for this long - and it's been almost a month since she received the shot).  However, I'm just not convinced.  Waiting to hear back from the vet as far as what they would plan to do for her if I bring her in.  Oh, she also has a low grade fever (103)... I am thankful she is eating and drinking, but she just isn't getting better. 


Thanks for the vibes and your help!
 

orientalslave

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Personally I would go back.  She might be anaemic, and you say she has a low-grade fever so clearly she isn't well.
 

simka

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Isn't it more likely her low-grade fever is causing her to sleep a great deal and not be very active?  That would be a typical reaction for a cat coping with a fever. 

Perhaps the infection is a virus, in which case you would be using antibiotics for supportive care, or use an anti-viral medication. Perhaps she needs a different antibiotic such as Baytril or Clavamox. There are so many different type of bacteria, it might take more than one round of medication to help your cat. All drugs carry a risk for humans and animals. Some people can become gravely ill and even die from a drug that has been given to hundreds of thousands of other people with no ill effect. It's a risk, but a calculated one. I've cared for a few hundred cats over the past 40 years, both fosters and my own, and the only bad reaction any of them have had to the many antibiotics I've given them is diarrhoea - which I've treated with yogurt and pumpkin.  Many cats I've cared for have been given the Convenia shot and not one has had a reaction to it, not even my Sam who has to be given Epogen injections for anemia and she was given one about a month ago.
 
 

ldg

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I have to agree, if she has a low-grade fever, the problem is that she isn't well. The convenia may or may not be contributing to the problem, but it clearly isn't helping. I don't know that I'd go back to the same vet. But I would get her to a vet. :nod:

Continued vibes. :vibes: :vibes: :vibes:
 
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7_angel

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So I posted all that while waiting to get my appointment with the vet... it is good to know what others' experiences were... this is definitely helpful info.

I want to be sure I can ask my vet the right questions too based on what other cat owners may know or have experienced.  I know vets are the professionals in treating animals - but that doesn't mean they have all the answers and I am so afraid that a mistake or oversight could be made so I want to know as much as possible and kind of have an idea what it may be prior to going in so I can ask questions. 


I'm also wary of some of these drugs out there used to "help" cats as I have had a bad history with that... 

Anyway, she went to the vet yesterday and they don't have an answer for me right now.  They said it's probably not the Convenia.  They think she has been ill for a long time and is basically having a flare-up.  Although, I've been her caretaker for almost 7 months and nothing like this has happened.  She had a temp of 104 yesterday at the vet...  She is weak.  Vet said her gums were fine though.  I am waiting for the results of her blood work... but looks like I won't know today - I hate waiting and I just want her to get better fast.
 

barbb

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I'd look for another vet. In fact that is what I did with my own cat just recently. Whenever you have that feeling like the vet isn't the right one and they are a little too fast and loose, you are very likely right. 

I don't know much about covenia but any vet that gives it the way you describe is not acting with your pet's best interest at heart. 
 

jezahb

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I do believe Convenia killed my cat, and I advise people to stay away from it. Why? Because unlike daily antibiotics it is in the cats system for a whole month. So if they have a bad reaction for any reason you cannot just stop it, it is there and you cannot remove it.

My cat Pooka had a cold, wasn't eating and seemed weak. Took her to the vet and she gave her a shot on Convenia and fluids. The fluids perked her right up and she was feeling much better, alert, happy and looked like she wanted to just go home. The vet gave her the shot and said it would start working in a few hours. Got Pooka home and she immediately ate, not a lot but for a cat who was refusing any food it was an improvement. Then a few hours later she started salivating heavily, was too weak to move much and looked really miserable. I took her back to the vet for more fluids and she didn't respond but I was sent home with fluids to give at home. Less than 5 days later she died after having 5 seizures and neuro symptoms (over reaction to noises). I truly believe my baby had a cold and the shot killed her due to a allergic reaction. Its just not worth it when you can just pill your cat or give them liquid antibiotics that can be stopped if needed.

Now is off her  > 
 

just mike

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I don't have any experience with Covenia but I do know from experience the low grade, persistent fever can cause a lot of lethargy and disinterest.  I had a similar experience with my cat Ramsey after first adopting him.  The vet said it was most likely FIP, the dry form.  I won't go into the whole experience since I've posted it here numerous times but after countless hours of research and weeks of trips to and from the vet; I decided on a kitty doze of Zithromax.  It was in liquid form and did the trick after the second round.   I don't know what he really had and neither does my vet but I can't fault the vet; He did everything possible including research and consultations to try and figure it out.  All our best vibes sent your way

 
 

stephanietx

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I had 2 cats get the Convenia shot for upper respiratory infections and I will NEVER have another cat given that shot because of the side effects.  They both slept for about 7-9 days, barely waking for meals and to use the box.  After about 14 days, they finally returned to a more normal activity level and alertness, but it was horrible to go through this because I couldn't understand why they were so sleepy.
 
 

carolina

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My vet will avoid it, and will not give it to my cats - he said although (very) rare, it can have a side effect where the body will have a immune response to it's own red blood cells, and start killing them extremely rapidly - causing an aggressive type of anemia that for some reason is, in a lot of cases, not treatable, resulting in death.
He has seen cases on his clinic in person, and will not longer treat his patients with it, unless they are feral cats, and impossible to treat with liquid/pills.
It is rare, but a risk that I am not willing to take.....
 
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7_angel

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Thanks everyone for the advice, help and vibes! 

I definitely plan on staying away from Convenia in the future.  My cat is now on Baytril (for the past 4 days) and has really improved.

According to her blood work, she had a high white blood cell count.  A few other numbers were not within normal ranges either, but she was confirmed to not have FIV or FeLV.  Now my theory is that she picked up an infection while at the vet getting her Convenia shot - I really don't know... all I can do is guess.  It was so odd how she got so sick after going to the vet and getting Convenia.  As far as I understand, her bloodwork indicated she was fighting an infection.  Poor little kitty went from 10 lbs to 8.5 lbs in a matter of a couple weeks. 

Now she is eating better and seems more herself although she isn't into playing quite yet.  I don't know if I can say we're out of the woods yet - but it looks like we're getting there - yay!
 

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Hello my cat Onyx went to see the vet yesterday. He was very weak and dehydrated. Also he was not eating and had been vomiting more than he normally did. We had had all the tests , urine sample etc. The vet said after a day stay that he had an urinary infections and that he needed antibiotics. He did ask if we could give him pills but knowing my cat, I asked about an another options. He said that he could give him a shot that would last 2 weeks. Wow that's convenient !!! Well 24 h later he was dead. I am mad at myself not asking the right questions about the serious side effects from convenia!!! The vet also gave him fluid to get him back up to speed. Within 4 hours he was feeling better but still vomiting and no appetite. Its only the next morning when I found him I thought he was dead. I immediately took him back to vet for help. He said he was very weak and dehydrated again and vitals were very low. Had him x-rayed and found that he lots of fluid in the belly area (sug peritonitis) We did what we could, IV fluids to get him hydrated again and incubated to bring his temperature up. He was going down hill fast ! Left him there for a few hours and when we came back he was holding by a thread and no response what's so ever!!! The vet looked at me and basically let me know that this is it. Onyx was slowly dying. So we put him to sleep. I feel so stupid not knowing these implications of the antibiotic convenia. Once you give it there is turning back should be advised before administering this drug. Now Onyx is gone. He was talking, jumping, playfully just days before.. He will be missed​
 

amyoliver85

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Thebouv, based on what you're saying, I don't necessarily think the Convenia killed Onyx. I know it's really easy to blame the medicine. But you said that your cat was already weak and dehydrated when you took him to the vet. When your cat is dehydrated the risk of death is a serious one. I almost lost a cat last year to dehydration despite being a helicopter Mom and taking him to the vet every day for fluids and doing subcutaneous fluids at home. It's more likely that your baby died as a result of the dehydration.

I'm noticing actually that a lot of threads about the side effects of Convenia that talk about death and other serious problems involve cats that were already very ill. Right now, my cat is on Convenia. Just got the shot on Saturday. He's sleeping A LOT. But honestly, he's been sick for about four weeks already and was doing this prior to the Convenia shot. The problem is that we often pay closer attention after our cats have been diagnosed than we do beforehand. My Lazlo is FeLV positive and also has the Herpes Virus. Every time he gets a URI (which is A LOT) he subsequently gets a Herpes outbreak. He's typically sick for about 6-9 weeks.

I am very sorry for your loss. But I think it's more important to talk to your veterinarian about what you can do with other cats in the future to help them stay healthy, especially if they have diseases or possible problems like FIP, FeLV, FIV or Herpes. I just had a cat pass away on Saturday due to pleural effusion caused by FeLV (most likely). I wanted to blame it on something else, especially since my baby was soooo young. But the truth is, he was sick for a long time. And in retrospect I have now realized that I knew he was sick weeks before I had to have him put to sleep. I shook it off as a URI and administered antibiotics because the other cat had a URI.

Cats are VERY good at hiding how sick they are until they can no longer hide it. I suggest resting easy knowing that Onyx tried to keep you from knowing he was sick and worrying too much. That's what my Mickey did. He stayed strong to the very end. And then there was nothing that could be done to help him. Although some things, like a recent teeth cleaning, may have contributed to his quickened death, I believe that my vet was not to blame. And I believe that you should also take the same to heart. For Onyx.
 

katwo

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Dear 7 Angel,

What happened with your cat? I'm curious because my cat had Convenia 10 days ago and yesterday was lethargic and didn't want me to hold her. She had trouble walking and walked very gingerly similar to as you described in your post. Today she is better but I am still worried.

Thanks in advance for any info.
 

stephanietx

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Call your vet!  This is not normal and could be a reaction.  Your kitty needs attention NOW.
 

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I know this is an old thread but for future users I thought I'd post. Right now I have a kitten about 8 months old who has received a shot of covenia yesterday evening, He had a fever and was less active before he got it and is not much changed now, Antibiotics take time to work. He is still sneezing and tired but is eating and drinking. If he stops drinking he will get a ringers bolus before he gets too dehydrated.  If he is not more active when I get up tomorrow, we will go back to the vet. If he looks worse the day after tomorrow, we will go back to the vet........and again, and again, and again. Having a sick pet can be a very expensive process, just like a sick child. I have a diabetic cat who is old (17) and on insulin 3 times a day as his sugar is difficult to control. He has been sick for the past 4 years and Covenia has pulled him out of the grave many times as he gets an injection every 3-4 months for UTI's and other infections. We can't give him oral antibiotics - they cause him to vomit and seem to kick off pancreatitis every time. He gags if we even stick clavamox near where he can smell it. There is always a possibility that any drug given will cause a reaction and covenia does stay in the body for a long time but as amyoliver said above, cats are very good at hiding illness - and as humans we are very good at not seeing the symptoms, We have busy lives and don't see our pets 24 hours a day so they may be ill for a long time before we notice it. My diabetic cat looked like something might have been wrong for a month before he got so bad that I was forced to acknowledge it and seek treatment. Covenia works for him, it may not be the answer to what my kitten has.

If your cat is sick and not improving after any medical treatment, go back to the vet, take out a loan, pawn your wedding ring, get the money. Waiting is simply not an option if your pet means that much to you. If you think your pet is having a reaction to a medication go immediately, to the pet emergency dept. if one is available. Most vets will meet you in the evening but it may cost more. Don't watch them stagger around for days waiting for the medication to work, if they are still lethargic and not eating/drinking and not getting a daily fluid bolus then dehydration will shut down their organs and kill them in a big hurry - not necessarily the medication. I know from experience as I have had pets die in the past, usually at a point in my finances that I could not afford to take them for adequate treatment, not the vets fault, not necessarily my fault - just a sad fact of life.

It's important to remember, especially if you are taking a pet to the vet for the first time that the doctor does not know this animal and is first going off of a best educated guess at treatment. Medicine is an "art" not a mathematical certainty. I am a hospital nurse and see people all of the time who are angry that treatment does not work the very first time the go to the doctor, or with the very first medication prescribed. All medications come with a laundry list of side effects and companies are required to list all reported but you have to look at them before you allow the animal to have the medication. If you actually read the package insert for all of your medications you would probably choose to just suffer. A severe allergic reaction to any medication can cause death, and many you take over the counter all of the time can cause liver and kidney damage if taken too often - it is usually listed on the medical information and can be found easily on the web. Research your pets meds as well but realize that all medications will have side effects listed that may scare you.

Sorry so long - but never had a medical problem with a cat that could be blamed on covenia. Just remember to be proactive in your pets treatment. Irritate the vet with questions, it's part of their job to listen to you, but take responsibility for your pets ongoing treatment. It can be a long and expensive process.
 

alfoa

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I will also reply since the thread has been brought back to life.  I adopted my (now 9 year old) cat from a shelter almost a year ago.  She has had a nasty upper respiratory infection (sneezing, snot everywhere, congested, heavy breathing) since even before adopting her.  2 different oral antibiotics did nothing.  She received a Convenia injection 5 days ago, and is all but cured.  I have not noticed anything different about her (energy level the same, eating/drinking the same) exept that she seems much better.  My guess is that those cats who are in poor health/too thin/too young/too old are the ones who may experience the side effects?  Or maybe there was a bad batch or it has been reformulated?  I'm just trying to see what the common denominator here is, as to why some cats experience drastic side effects while mine experienced none.
 
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