Convenia Use In A 17-Year-Old Cat

Kimber writes with a question about her kitty: My 17 year old cat got an upper respiratory infection in early April. Last year, he had tremendous trouble with amoxicillin and clindamycin, vomiting 6-8 times after eating even if I gave him yogurt to help with digestion. Therefore, I insisted that something else be used in April. They gave him an injection of Convenia, but now he is sneezing and snarking again, as well as blowing tiny nose bubbles. I know Convenia has some deadly risks and am fearful of tempting fate. What do you recommend be done at this point?Kimber, thank you for the opportunity to write about Convenia. It is such an incredibly useful drug and we use massive volumes of it.

I would have no qualms about using Convenia for our own Martha.

I would have no qualms about using Convenia for our own Martha.

On the Internet you can read plenty of negative material about every drug that has ever been manufactured, US or foreign. I have addressed some of those comments in this post.  Besides, 64% of the medical information on the Internet is either outdated, or outright wrong.

For a variety of cat problems, bacterial respiratory tract diseases included, Convenia is terrific and quite safe. Of course, there is no such thing as a 100% safe pharmaceutical, and a 17-year-old kitty is likely to have other physical and metabolic problems, too.
Age-appropriate laboratory testing should be performed at least every six months on patients in this age group, when possible.

If our Martha, who is also 17 and has kidney disease, were to develop a respiratory tract infection for which Convenia was appropriate, I wouldn’t hesitate to administer it to her.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

covenia, convina, convinia, covinia


  1. Whitney says:

    Hi Dr. Randolph! I found your website and I’m hoping you might be able to offer some reassurance. I took my 15-year-old kitty to the vet today because he suddenly had several bad bouts of vomiting, facial tremors, and looked generally lethargic and sick. His normal vet was out so I took him to another vet who came recommended and they seemed very great. Bloodwork showed a high white blood cell count while everything else was great, so they are treating him for an infection. He was given an injection of Cerenia and Convenia. I googled each just to know if I had any side effects to be worried about and, well, you already know what comes up for Convenia. I am terrified, panicked, and feeling hopeless right now. I went through his records and his normal vet had given him a Convenia shot a few years ago for a different illness and he was fine. Do you think he should be fine again with this injection? I wish I had never googled it! I have health anxiety badly enough for myself, but for my babies it’s at a completely different level. Thanks for help and for your website, I’m glad I found it.

    • Based on my experience of untold numbers of injections, your kitty will be fine from Convenia. Of course, we’re always a little concerned when we can’t find the specific cause of the elevated WBC, but, if he responds to this treatment, he should be all fixed up. If he doesn’t the next step is imaging. Please write back next week and give us an update. Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

      • Whitney says:

        Thanks so much for your prompt reply Dr. Randolph. I’ll absolutely follow up next week and we’ll look at imaging if things don’t improve. For right now he seems much perkier again and has been eating. I’ll try to control my own worries while he works on recovering 🙂

  2. Vicky Trouka says:

    Hi. My cat was a domestic short hair 11 years old healthy cat. He is indoor/outdoor and was recently in a fight with another cat. He had a swollen right cheek and an infection in his eye. I took him to the veterinarian after and he was given Convenia 2 week shot. He died 18 days later on a neighbors steep upward driveway closer to the top and he had blood in his mouth and throat but no other injuries. Do you think he died from Convenia? Do you think the infection before I took him to the doctor spread? *the veterinarian did a blood test 6 months prior. Should he have done one before giving Convenia?
    He was fine and didn’t have rabies or leukemia. If he had kidney disease should the dr have checked before giving the shot?
    Before we let him out that night he appeared fine and was eating and drinking and within an hour and a half of being out he died. Could he have been poisoned by rat poison or hit by a car? We are trying to find out how he died.

    • We are so sorry for the loss of your kitty. An 11-year-old cat running around outside unsupervised … ANYthing could have taken him. The likelihood that Convenia was related to his death is nearly nil, especially 4 days AFTER it was no longer at therapeutic levels in his body. Could the infection have affected other parts of the body, including the brain? Certainly. Could he have experienced another injury after the first one? Certainly. Did he need laboratory testing prior to Convenia injection? No. Again, we are sorry for your loss. Thank you for reading, Dr. Randolph.

      • Vicky Trouka says:

        I don’t understand the 4 Days after part. I thought Convenia starts working within hours of giving the injection. My cat was given the shot about 5 Days after the infection and he died 18 Days later.
        Do you think the likelihood points more that he died from the infection or from something else ?

        • From the time the injection is given, the medicine is at a therapeutic level for 14 days. After that, there is still active medicine in the body, but at sub-therapeutic levels. In other words, the Convenia was mostly gone by day 18. The possible causes of the loss of his life are limitless. Again, we are sorry for your loss, Dr. Randolph.

  3. Susan Tonjes says:

    I am glad convenia is on the market. I have a 15 year old with mild asthma and reccurant upper respiratory infections. She doesn’t tolerate other antibiotics well. I’m glad research continues and convenia is being carefully reviewed. My female has had it 4 times in her life, and at least for her, no bad reactions, and less side effects. My vet does not prescribe antibiotics with dentals, even extractions and includes a free recheck. Have never needed antibiotics for that. I say that just to say he isn’t quick with over use. I hope there is continued review, but I for one hope that vets have some descretion, and if a cat has proven tolerant and has problems with other choices, I’m glad it’s in their tool kit. The last time she was sick, it was pretty bad, and in a short amount of time I had my cat back, paying toys, and sleeping in fab spots not closet. Priceless. In summary, it seems that this is a good medication for many pets. Thanks for posting if a while ago!

  4. Lynne Cech says:

    i have a 17 yr old cat with hyperthyroidism, kidney disease and bad arthritis in her back legs, she is now incontinent of urine and feces, and recently had a convenia injection for UTI now she looks at me and cries all the time i feel it is time to euthanize her as she isn’t happy. The vet has discussed palliation for pain. what is the best choice?

    • There are only a few choices for pain management for cats. The veterinarian treating your kitty is in the best position to recommend the right choice. If you are unable to control her pain, your decision may be made for you. I am so sorry you are having to face this sadness.

  5. joanne says:

    I have a 14-year old cat with abdominal lymphoma and I’ve been giving him prednisilone, prilosec and chlorambucil for a year and he was fine but recently started peeing outside the litter box and he vomited water a few times. Took him in for bloodwork & urinalysis and he has the beginning of kidney disease. In case of an infection, he was given a shot of convenia. Was fine for a few days but then appetite fell off. He hasn’t eaten anything solid since Tuesday night. It’s now Friday. Drinks water, pees and takes his meds and only got him to drink a little tuna and sardine water. Taking him in later today. He got the shot 8 days ago. I’m concerned that his appetite won’t return.

    • Despite the internet hysteria about Convenia, you have nothing to worry from it. Good for you for taking him back today, because, with all those problems, he can’t afford not to eat. By “abdominal lymphoma” do you mean it’s in his intestinal tract, just in abdominal lymph nodes or lymph nodes and spleen? To read about kidney failure, click here. I’ll say a prayer for your baby, too. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

  6. Phyllis Dishmond says:

    Dear sir, my best friend has been told that Convenia is needed to treat her cat’s upper respiratory infection. She currently has no income and cannot pay the price of over three hundred dollars to treat her cats. She lives in a urban area a has an outdoor feeding station and so has become responsible for close to a dozen cats and kittens most of whom were abandoned by people who left the animals behind when they moved out. She is not a cat ‘hoarder,’ just a concerned animal lover. Can you suggest a cheaper antibiotic than Convenia, maybe something our local Southern States carries? They do have the liquid penicillin.

    • I feel your pain, Phyllis. Since Convenia came along we no longer carry the most common oral antibiotics we used to use on cats. There is no need, in the vast majority of cases. However, every once in a while we do find a need for one of them. Here is what I suggest: Ask your friend’s veterinarian if he carries liquid amoxicillin or Clavamox. If not, you could call around town to try to find a practice that does, at which time your friend’s veterinarian could just authorize the other clinic to dispense it. Alternatively, your friend’s veterinarian might be able to order just one or two bottles, and he might be willing to do so if he doesn’t have to order a case quantity. Please let me know if one of those options works. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *