Convenia’s Many Uses

As the use of Convenia long-acting antibiotic injection widens many readers are writing in with questions about it.

“Can it be used for upper respiratory infections?”

“Can it be used for urinary tract infections?”

“Can it be used for skin infections?”

The answer to all of these questions is “yes”. In fact, your pet’s doctor is licensed to use any medication approved for use in the United States by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In fact, he may use unapproved medications under strict supervision and with permission if he is part of a valid research program.

In general, antibiotics are indicated for the removal of bacterial infections from the body. Some antibiotics, by their chemical and physical characteristics, penetrate certain organs or parts of the body better than others. These qualities in antibiotics are often a major factor in our choice of medication from the thousands of antibiotics available.

Convenia, from Pfizer Animal Health,  is approved for use in skin infections. The cephalosporin class of antibiotics has long been used for dermatologic purposes because it has a broad spectrum of effectiveness on a wide variety of bacteria and a strong ability to accumulate in the skin, where skin infections abide.

Cephalosporins, however, also have great usefulness in other organ systems and Convenia has proven itself in widespread use.

As its name implies, Convenia is very convenient because of its ability to take the place of twice-daily and thrice-daily oral antibiotics. Sometimes that characteristic is lifesaving, such as the cat who can’t be pilled or the dog whose gastrointestinal (GI) tract doesn’t tolerate oral antibiotics.

I had just such a case as the latter example this week. Benji is a little mixed-breed dog with severely infected lick granulomas on both rear legs. Benji also has terrible dental disease and a very sore mouth to go with it. He’s also a little too smart for his own good.

We had dispensed an oral antibiotic for his skin and on the first day he took it in a treat. On day two he refused the treat, but took it in a piece of bread. On day three he refused the treat and the bread, but took the medicine in a small piece of bologna. On day four…OK, you’re already ahead of me. Before a week was out Benji was refusing all forms of disguise for the oral medication.

Furthermore, Benji was vomiting shortly after each dose and his stool was a little loose. These are not uncommon problems with oral forms of cephalosporins. Adding yogurt to his diet helped, and his owner was even able to disguise the medication in the yogurt.

For one day.

When it came down to a no-treats-are-working situation it was time to give a pill conventionally. Open the mouth and push it behind the tongue. Because of Benji’s sore mouth, though, that wasn’t working, either.

We knew we were on the right track with the cephalosporin because both lick granuloma lesions were looking better.

Enter Convenia.

Because it was not oral, the GI tract problems should disappear.

Because it is in the cephalosporin family it should give us ongoing improvement in the skin lesions.

And, it did. Benji is now feeling much better and his legs are looking great.

We have performed preanesthesia laboratory testing and all results are good. Benji is fifteen years of age and will be very healthy after we take care of his oral problems.

Benji is scheduled for that procedure in August and we expect to have him around for another five years of happy companionship.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.


  1. Dorrie Sigler says:

    Can Convenia be used to treat kennel cough in cats?

  2. Jerry says:

    My 18 yr old cat was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection. And I’m fearing it might turn into pneumonia. The vet recommended the Convenia antibiotic. After doing some research on line, I am even more confused. Is this shot just for skin and organ treatment? Do you have any input on whether the Convenia shot was the right way to go or should I have gone with my gut and requested the Clavamox that I usually get for this situation?

    • We use Convenia and many other drugs extra-label every day. I’ve used Convenia in untold numbers of kittens and adult cats, with excellent results. While your kitty may or may not respond to treatment, you can feel very comfortable with your decision to accept the use of Convenia.

  3. Julianne Madary says:

    I recently took in a stray shihtzu with a horrible mouth infection. Can a convenia injection help clear up that type of infection?

    • I have found that Convenia does an excellent job on oral infections. However, a basic principle of infection control is removing complicating factors, and thorough dental prophylaxis is foundational to long-term success. Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

  4. Bonnie O'Neil says:

    My 11 year old diabetic cat has FUO for over a month. He’s had a couple of injections of Convenia. He also has had several injections of Carprofen, which takes away his fever & makes him normal for a few days. When it wears off, the fever comes back. Blood panel plus Xrays are all normal. Any suggestions?

    • 1. Has the urine been cultured? Convenia is broad spectrum, but, if any one antibiotic killed all bacteria there wouldn’t be 500 on the market. 2. Has he been radiographed for stones? 3. Is he on a special food for stress, such as Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Stress? 4. Special contrast X-rays might be required to determine whether he has a mass in his bladder. 4. Has he had blood cultures? Your veterinarian may have already thought of these things. Please write back and let us know how he’s doing.

  5. Jo Ann Welch says:

    My 10 year old cat Marti has asthma and is on Flovent twice a day along with Tranilast twice a day and Montelukast once a day. Even with this she has times when I cannot get her asthma under control and she has to get either Depo Medrol or Dex injections. She has always had issues with diarrhea – Prednisolone plus any of the above mentioned injections make her diarrhea worse. About 4 months ago she had an injection (Dextramethazone) because she was having frequent asthma attacks. After the injection I could not get her diarrhea under control, she developed terrible flaking skin and her hair was coming out in clumps. My DMV gave her a Covenia injection 4 days ago (for her skin) and her diarrhea immediately stopped, her skin cleared up and her respiration has improved immensely. Waiting on her bloodwork to come back. She has always been a difficult case and when I put her on Flovent followed by her oral meds it at least cut down on how often she was getting steroid shots. I am hoping the Covenia will give her some long term relief I was not expecting the immediate positive outcome from it nor does my vet understand how the injection was able to improve all of her existing symptoms. I would love to get some insight from you.

    Thank you,

    Jo and Marti

  6. Kathy says:

    Does convenia help with stomach infections?

    • Kathy, it depends totally on the kind of infection. I have used Convenia in two patients with diarrhea, where the owners were completely unable to administer oral medications. It helped both of them. Is that what you had in mind?

  7. Jean M. Hogge says:

    Dr. Randolph,
    You have lovely down to earth answers and advice, thank you.

  8. Diane Lockhart says:

    my 4 yr old male cat has had chronic nasal congestion, sneezing bloody greenish mucous since he was tiny, has been treated numerous times with various antibiotics , antivirals etc. do you have any suggestions for treatment , he has trouble breathing through his nose , seems well in every other way, eats and is playful , enjoys exploring outdoors etc.

  9. Ellen says:

    I rescued a cat. He has red gums even has an eye infection because of an infected tooth. The tooth was extracted, he was given a convenia injection, and his eye was flushed, and antibiotic eye ointment. I found putting the eye ointment on him makes him want to itch his eye like crazy. My question is will the injection help with infection in the eye and gums.

  10. rosey55 says:

    mydog 9mnths, was off his food and water, on a sunday. we were worried so rang the vets. he has a habit of eating stones. it cost us £76 before any treatment. we were then charged £54.55p for one anti sickness injection of convenia.?.this seems an awful lot of money for one injection and pup was fine next day.

    • Rosey, did you consider that he was better the next day because of the Convenia injection? I frequently hear from pet owners who are happy about Convenia’s results but unhappy about the cost. I strongly feel that clients should be offered an estimate of cost of services in every case.

  11. Ann says:

    4 yr old cat has respiratory virus. Would this help with her frequent colds?

  12. P. McV says:

    My cat, Scooter is suffering from an urinary tract infection. Two days ago he was given an injection of Convenia. As yet, I have not seen an improvement in his condition. My question – when should his infection begin to subside?

  13. Ann Crowe says:

    I would like to know if young cats have the same kind of teething problems as young dogs do in chewing, biting, etc. on whatever they can find in the house?

  14. Michele Turns says:

    How much does a dose of Convenia cost?

    • Michelle, the cost of Convenia is proportional to the body weight of the patient. Individual veterinarians are free to charge what they wish, there is no set cost, therefore it can vary from one practice to another and according to the size of the pet.


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