Convenia Long-Acting Antibiotic Injection

“Awwww, Doc, can’t you just give him a shot?”

Usually that question comes from a pet lover in the form of an objection to having to give oral medications for a two week or longer time period. Up until now our answer has been, “No, an antibiotic injection will last 12 to 24 hours, then we would have to give another one. Do you want to come in every day for 14 days for injections at $35.00 each?”

But the times, they are a’changing.

Enter Convenia, (cefovecin sodium) the long-acting antibiotic from Pfizer Animal Health that lasts 10 to 14 days with a single injection. Convenia is more than just penicillin. It’s a broad-spectrum antibiotic (in the simplest terms that means it kills a lot of different kinds of bacteria), so it can be used in a wide variety of infected organ systems and clinical and hospital situations.

Convenia isn’t right for every infection. If it were, it would be the only antibiotic on the market. Instead, there are hundreds and hundreds of antibiotics, each with a situation or organism on which it works best.

If my pet were a patient, I would sure ask my pet’s doctor if Convenia (cefovecin sodium) were right for him.

covenia, convina, convinia, covinia


  1. My 15.5-year-old, 5 pound cat, Tinkerbelle, has lung cancer, asthma, and kidney failure. I believe she has a nasal tumor which generates a lot of yellow snot that clogs her right nostril. She hasn’t eaten more than a little here and there for a month now. Every day, I thought this is the day I would lose the only one of my remaining animals who loves me back. Every time I find she’s made it through, I feel like it’s a gift. She’s still mobile and moves around all day. I have her on hospice with sub-q fluids, prednisolone, Flovent, Cerenia pills, and Convenia injections. She’s had Convenia injections twice now in the last month (and back in March). My little angel is such a fighter. My question is should I keep getting her the Convenia shots every two weeks? I don’t know if they’re helping or hurting or keeping her from passing on, and I need to let her go. They’re expensive too. I will not euthanize her. If you met her, you would love each other instantly. She’s an angel who is waiting for her wings. Thanks.

    • Convenia is certainly not hurting anything, and it’s unlikely the injections are a significant factor in her longevity, but possibly a major factor in her comfort. Just don’t do what you can’t afford. She has a long problem list, one of those things is likely to take her before long. However, don’t rule out euthanasia unconditionally, because she may experience breathing difficulty at the end, and that’s no way to go. Prayers for your comfort and her peaceful passing. Dr. Randolph.

  2. Hi! My cat 3 yo has Felv and Fiv virus and recently get pretty bad skin infection, so my vet give him a shot Convenia and Depo Medrol at 19 december. After that I notised some improvement of cats stage. Vet said brink cat back for follow up app in a week, and give him second shot Convenia at 26 december. A was worry and ask vet wait another week, but vet said its normal repeat this shot after 7 days even instraction said 14 days. I worry now very much and so regreat that I agree to do it. Do you think it is OK to do 2 shots in this time distans?

  3. My two year shih tzu horrible taking pills had uri so bad he had lesions in corner of his mouth from constant moisture . Finally changed Vets. I’m hoping this works he got steroid injection and Convenia five days later he’s almost better. I see progress each day. He came in with temp of 104. Poor Tuckers been sick long time I’m greatful for this injection. Being a RN myself I thought we had ran out of solutions!

  4. Hi my cat has giardia, camplobacter and vref in her stool. So the doctor prescribed panacur granules 1 gram once a day. And 1/16 teaspoon of tylan 2 times a day. Along with a probiotic. My cat is roughly 7 lbs. And she fights me hard core every time I give her medication. I was putting it in her wet food. But it got to the point that she was not eating the wet food and starving herself. So I switched back to dry food and giving the meds in a syringe. Today she scratched me up pretty good. Not sure what to do. Heard about this covena shot. I don’t know if that would help her or not. We are going to go back for a checkup in a week to see if she still has the infection. She was previously having yellow colored diarrhea. But now her stool is getting more normal. Color is still on the yellow side but it is improving. We are unsure if meds are working because half the time I miss her mouth. With all the movement she is making while I am trying to give her medication. Right now I’m mixing the meds in 2.5 ml of milk. Was trying to make it more appealing to her. Realize the milk can cause diarrhea. But I haven’t had any problems. I don’t know if there is an easier way. Cuz I am sure struggling with the process. I know best bet is to follow up with the vet on the process. But if u have any advice that would be great

    • What a challenge! Bad infections. Difficult patient. You have your hands full. I’m sorry, but Convenia isn’t going to help. Thanks for reading and best wishes to you, Dr. Randolph.

  5. Hi Dr Randolph. Thank you for being there to help people. Your insights and the excellent details in your responses teach me so much and make me better equipped and to ask more informed questions when I see the vet. I also feel more informed and frankly less stupid which allows me to feel less helpless. My 3 year old cat got the Convenia shot yesterday but the vet said he also needed clavamox oral suspension to take home because Convenia is not really used for a UTI infection but it would not hurt my cat to get the injection so he did and then also prescribed my cat to take clavamox oral suspension and to start it yesterday. In reading your blog I learned that what the vet said is not completely accurate because Convenia can be used for UTI and it is effective and can be used alone. So my question to you is can I wait in dosing my cat with clavamox oral suspension to see how the Convenia does on its own because my cat fights hard against me putting any meds in his mouth and it is almost impossible to do it 2 times a day for 2 weeks. I’m getting all scratched up and my cat is totally distressed when I come near him and he hides where I can’t get to him. Basically I can’t do it so I want to know if I can let go of worrying over it. This morning my cat seems to be slightly better than yesterday. He is not yet drinking or eating but I hope he will today. I am trying to get him to drink and I think maybe when he calms down he may take in some water. He did use the litter box today and covered it up which is an improvement from before he had his vet visit where he did not cover it up and whimpered in pain and just left the box to go hide in a dark spot. Perhaps I am reading too much into small behavior but he is a cat that always spends time covering it with the exception of when he is in terrible pain which he was before he got the shot of Convenia yesterday. This is my little sign he may feel a tiny bit better today but without knowing for sure it is hard to say.

    • I’ve had untold numbers of patients for whom I’ve instituted symptomatic therapy for suspected UTI when the patient’s bladder was empty. Often, especially in cats, I’ve used Convenia for symptomatic treatment. Even if the offending organism isn’t susceptible to cefovecin, it may knock down the infection enough that the immune system can control the rest. Keep in mind that FLUTD is multifactorial, and some cats have no infection at all. It’s believed that the improvement these kitties experience with antibiotic therapy is from the antibiotic’s antiinflammatory “side effect.” Follow your pet’s doctor’s dietary recommendation to the letter. The VAST majority of cats with FLUTD can benefit from a prescription diet with benefits for the urinary tract. If you click on the links I’ve put in this reply you’ll find a lot of reading, but you and your cat owe it to yourselves to understand all of the ins and outs of what’s going on. All of this information is accurate, unlike much of what you get from Dr. Google. Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

  6. Dr. Randolph,
    I took my five month old cat tux to the vet today because after several days of unsuccessful at home treatment he had developed a nasty cough followed by a hard swallow. Several days prior to this he had minimal eye discharge, a snotty nose that turned into a dry stuffy nose and lots of sneezing. The vet gave him a shot of convenia and dexamethasone. This was nearly 12 hours ago and I have seen little to no improvement in his condition. The vet said he had an upper respiratory infection that likely developed into bronchitis. My question is should I be alarmed at the lack of improvement and call the vet back and let them know or should I wait? If so, how long will it take for him to show any signs of improvement? Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my question?


    Candice Jones

    • Several factors: First, 12 hours is MUCH too fast to expect a sick patient to feel better. Second, upper respiratory disease of cats can be bacterial, viral, chlamydial or mycoplasmal, and, rarely, fungal and even foreign-body related. Antibiotics can help ONLY with bacterial infection, and not all bacteria are susceptible to Convenia. Bronchitis may predispose Tux to pneumonia, so, stay in touch with your veterinarian in case Tux needs additional care. Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

  7. My 12 year old rottie was operated on for bloat. Clindamycin makes her sick. Will convenia injection be an alternative

  8. Hi Dr Randolph,

    Do you think Convenia would be helpful for a rat with pneumonia? She is currently on Synulox (Amoxycillin) oral drops, but she tries to hold it in her mouth and not swallow, and won’t eat food that we mix it in. She is only 8 months. My vet told me about long-lasting injectable ABs but I only just found out the name. She said they can’t get it at the moment (we are in the UK). Thank you.

    • I’m sorry, but I’ve had very little experience with rodent medicine. In general, the cephalosporin family of antibiotics is not effective in the respiratory tract. Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

  9. My dog (13 male) just had double TECA surgery. I can’t get him to take his meds from the surgeon – I was given 3 mandatory & 1 to use as needed (to keep him calm). One is a liquid (for inflammation & pain) that I finally got him to take tonight in pumpkin puree, but the pills start to dissolve in the wet food, then he tastes it (probably bitter) and refuses to eat anymore. I’m not so much worried about the codeine (pain reliever) as hopefully the anti-inflammatory/pain combo will be enough (he’s not whining or appearing in pain). But I am concerned about him not taking the antibiotic. Do you think Convenia would be a good solution? I only have one hand so can’t really force things in his mouth – plus he’s been nippy/biting since the surgery when anyone tries that. Thanks!

    • Convenia is a good antibiotic for infections of the skin, but only his veterinarian can make the call on whether it’s appropriate in this situation. And, you’re going to have to talk to the doctor to get a Convenia injection anyway, so give them a call. Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

  10. Convenia was a suggested antibiotic for aspiration pneumonia in yorkie puppies. What are your thoughts on this and have you heard of there being success for administering convenia in this manor? Is there an age/weight guideline in small breed puppies? Yorkie puppies as small as 3 ounces and up. What are the side effects?

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