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My dog was having breathing issues last Wednesday (September 28th), so I took her to the vet. After literally thirty seconds of examination, he determined she had kennel cough, though she hadn't been around ANY dogs, hadn't been to the groomer, basically hadn't been anywhere besides the usual places around our home. There were no harsh, dry coughs; her breathing was wet and labored, and she was having difficulty sucking breaths in. He left the examination room and came back with two syringes. Without so much as uttering a word, he injected her and advised me to buy over the counter children's cough medicine, and then ushered me out the door. It wasn't until I was paying the bill that I saw what she was given - a B12 shot and an antibiotic called Convenia. After doing research, I learned that this antibiotic is long acting and can work for two weeks (and apparently remain in the dog's system for more than 60 days).

Has anyone experienced the side effects of this antibiotic? After seeming to improve somewhat on Thursday, my dog has grown increasingly more lethargic. Her eyes - her usually beautiful, bright eyes - are lifeless. The dog who loved to sit on my lap every chance she got is now keeping her distance. Though she eats, that's about all she does. I'm really scared because if she is having a serious adverse reaction to this antibiotic, there is no way to counteract it. It's in her system and will remain so for a long time.

I wish the doc had just explained what he was injecting, or had given me the choice of oral meds or an injection. I wish I had opened my mouth and asked.

I know I may be overreacting, but I can't help it. It hurts to see my girl growing more listless, and to think that it may be serious, and that there won't be anything I can do about it.

I plan on calling the vet in the morning (although I don't know if it will be my current vet or if I should get a second opinion). I tried not to be the neurotic, paranoid dog owner, but I know when something is wrong. And if it turns out that I am wrong, and these symptoms will go away, then I need someone to tell me that, for my peace of mind.

Has anyone experienced these effects, and did they go away after a certain period of time?
 

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It's not impossible, but I think it's more likely that what you're seeing is that whatever her illness is getting worse as opposed to a reaction to the Convenia. Reactions to Convenia are typically more along the lines of allergic reactions - which might involve vomiting, swelling in the face or legs, and/or a fever. Definitely call your vet (or another vet if you're not comfortable with the one you saw), I'd be concerned that the original diagnosis was wrong. If you can afford it, chest x-rays and some blood work would be a good idea at this point.
 

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I scheduled a visit with a different vet today as I did not feel comfortable going back to the previous vet. The difference in "bedside manners" was amazing. This doctor spent more than 40 minutes examining my dog from top to bottom to rule out everything (as opposed to the previous vet's few seconds of actually touching my dog - literally). As suspected, the new vet doesn't believe my dog had or has kennel cough. My dog wasn't "coughing," as I tried to explain to the previous vet; she was trying to suck air in. Apparently my dog was having a severe case of reverse sneeze. She has had several very brief instances of this in the past, but it would only happen when she became extremely excited, and would subside in seconds. This time, the episode lasted for six hours continuously, and I feared that she wasn't getting enough oxygen. That's why I took her to the first vet. The new vet feels she probably sniffed up something that inflamed her airways, or maybe was having a reaction to something in the air, and that was why she had a particularly long attack.

As for the shot of Convenia, the new doc believes that her extreme lethargy and depression are a result of the antibiotic, and there is really nothing that can be done but let the medicine run its course. While lethargy is a side effect of this medicine, I still am concerned about my dog as she seems to get worse every day. We're going on day 7 and I have at least 7 more days of this. Her eyes are zombie-like and she can't stand to be touched. This from a dog that used to have to either be on my lap, next to me, or in my arms at all times. She barely moves. The worst part? She didn't even need an antibiotic, let alone this extremely powerful one. So she is suffering unnecessarily. I will never allow her to have Convenia again.
 

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I scheduled a visit with a different vet today as I did not feel comfortable going back to the previous vet. The difference in "bedside manners" was amazing. This doctor spent more than 40 minutes examining my dog from top to bottom to rule out everything (as opposed to the previous vet's few seconds of actually touching my dog - literally). As suspected, the new vet doesn't believe my dog had or has kennel cough. My dog wasn't "coughing," as I tried to explain to the previous vet; she was trying to suck air in. Apparently my dog was having a severe case of reverse sneeze. She has had several very brief instances of this in the past, but it would only happen when she became extremely excited, and would subside in seconds. This time, the episode lasted for six hours continuously, and I feared that she wasn't getting enough oxygen. That's why I took her to the first vet. The new vet feels she probably sniffed up something that inflamed her airways, or maybe was having a reaction to something in the air, and that was why she had a particularly long attack.

As for the shot of Convenia, the new doc believes that her extreme lethargy and depression are a result of the antibiotic, and there is really nothing that can be done but let the medicine run its course. While lethargy is a side effect of this medicine, I still am concerned about my dog as she seems to get worse every day. We're going on day 7 and I have at least 7 more days of this. Her eyes are zombie-like and she can't stand to be touched. This from a dog that used to have to either be on my lap, next to me, or in my arms at all times. She barely moves. The worst part? She didn't even need an antibiotic, let alone this extremely powerful one. So she is suffering unnecessarily. I will never allow her to have Convenia again.

my cat was given convenia and she died 10 days later. they think she had lymphoma/felv, we are doing an autopsy to give us some answers. she was fine in July before her yearly check up... after two vaccines everything went downhill, first an uri which she recovered from, then some hair loss, another uri and then crash with severe anemia after a convenia shot. if this ever happens again you can try intensive probiotic treatment to stop the convenia reaction- go to the facebook page: convenia adverse reaction. I wish I had not taken her in at all, I think she would still be alive now.
 

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Hi there. Hope you're still on here. My dog is experiencing similar side effects from the covenia injection. Did your dog ever go back to normal?
I've been crying for days now and constantly in and out of his vet. He has swollen red eyes and extremely lethargic / depression. Please help or let me know if there is hope or what else I can do. Thanks
Farah
 

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Hi,
I wanted to post this because my wife and I experienced the same thing with our 11 1/2 yr. old Corgi/Sheltie mix. An active dog full of life and loving to play, chase squirrels, go for walks, go for rides in the car, etc.
July 9, 2014 we took Kali in for a checkup and were told she tested "very positive" for Lyme disease. OK, no problem. She had it in the past and was given antibiotics in pill form and responded well. This time the vet gave her an injection of Convenia and we were told she would need a follow up shot in two weeks. The vet never explained why she was giving her an injection over a pill form of antibiotic.
In the following days, she started experiencing signs of lethargy, diarrhea and lameness; at times appeared unsure of herself when walking almost as if she forgot why she was outside or where she was going. We even thought she was experiencing something like dementia or Alzheimer disease. It didn’t really make any sense and we were getting more concerned. We even wondered if possibly she was having mini-strokes. She wouldn't go up the steps into our home, just stood in front of them looking at them as if intimidated. As days progressed, she was sleeping more and more and didn't even want to go for her night walk, and we mistakenly attributed it all to the Lyme disease. On July 24, 2014 she got the second injection of Convenia. The following day, July 25th, she collapsed on the floor and lay there like she was dying in front of our eyes. She was taken to the local Veterinary Hospital where she spent the night. $1175 later, they said blood tests showed she was extremely anemic and at her age the humane thing to do would be to euthanize.

We knew she had a heart murmur and had been on medications for it since August 2013, but why the "extremely anemic" all of a sudden? It didn’t make sense to us, and our vet mentioned nothing of it when we initially took her for her checkup July 9th when the Lyme disease was diagnosed through blood testing. I had no idea then, but we did mention to the attending Dr. at the Veterinary Emergency Hospital that she was given injections of Convenia for Lyme disease, but in retrospect it basically meant nothing to her. She really didn't even acknowledge what we said. We didn't want to give up on her because as some of you have said, you know your pet and this didn't seem right.

We live in PA and decided that Sunday to take her to NJ where her cardio vet practices. The attending Vet there basically re-read the report the Vet Hospital in PA faxed to them, and he agreed with the assessment, and as well suggested euthanize. My wife and I couldn't do it and decided to take her home. We felt that if it had to be done, it would be in our home and in our arms where we enjoyed her life with us.

Monday morning came and my wife and I were so grief stricken because we weren't ready to carry out this decision we were told was best for her. Of course, we didn't want Kali to suffer if she wasn't going to get better. My wife started looking online for possible answers and for whatever reason researched Convenia. We even took her to a neighboring Veterinary Hospital where again we were met with "It's not likely the drug, occurrences like this are rare cases."

WOW, BAD DRUG!!!! Too much potential for being lethal "in certain scenarios".

The bad reactions of other's pets seem well enough documented that this drug should be taken off the market, and there is a good chance that your situation can add to helping that happen. My understanding is Pfizer first made the drug then sold rights to Zoetis.
YOU WHOULD FIRST NOTIFY ZOETIS TO REPORT AN ADVERSE EVENT: ZOETIS (888) 963-8471
YOU SHOULD ALSO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE FDA HERE: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ReportaProblem/ucm055305.htm
While every drug poses threat of adverse reactions, there are enough alternatives out there in the way of antibiotics rather than risk the well being of our pets. Makes one wonder if our furry friends are no more than "guinea pigs” for big drug companies (Why not, it happens to humans?). I wish someone (read ATTORNEY) would question whether Convenia was properly tested and documented before being put on the US market. Unfortunately, drugs equal BIG $$$. Money talks in this world, regardless of who gets hurt.

As you may have already found out, Convenia will stay in the animals system over 60 days. Not good if there is a bad reaction. In the days that followed, our Kali remained extremely lethargic. Mostly she appeared “out of it” sleeping away her life. At times, we saw what I would call neurological "twitches" or tremors. Other times her head would be bobbing about as if she was fighting falling asleep; more than a few times she stammered unsteadily as if off balance until she just fell over. When we saw it happening, we would run to steady her so she wouldn’t fall and get hurt. It really was heartbreaking to watch. The only Vet that told us not to give up on her because he knew her well enough was a cardiologist, Dr. Jonathan Goodwin from NJ. He suggested getting her Ringers Solution and giving subcutaneous injections to flush her kidneys (injected between pinched skin between the shoulder blades, which my wife did without problem or a fight on Kali's part). He also recommended prednisone in case a bad bladder or kidney infection was being overlooked. The situation looked bleak, but slowly she regained strength and her appetite and desire to do more.

You're probably here now because of being in a similar situation with your beloved pet wondering what is happening or what already occurred. Maybe you already found similar posts with heartbreaking endings. Looking back, two different veterinary hospitals advised euthanizing her as her blood work showed she was extremely anemic, likely indicating she had cancer. We couldn’t afford further testing, let alone suggested blood transfusions, and different types of chemotherapy costing $2,000-$7,000. Fortunately, we didn't accept the matter was hopeless. What I’m trying to say: DO NOT GIVE UP ON THOSE THAT DEPEND ON US TO PRESERVE THEIR HEALTH, THEIR LIFE. I realize not everyone will agree with this line of thought, but I caught myself saying something through this dilemma about her. “I don’t want to see her suffer”. Then I thought, “Wait, it’s not about me and what I don’t want to see. It’s about her.” She depends on me to give her the best possible care we are capable of providing. To me, euthanizing her was giving up. If I had to hold her I my arms through the suffering, I would gladly comfort her with all the love I could muster until we had to part. Wouldn’t we do that for our loved ones, our children, or our spouse?

As for Kali, she appears to have made a full recovery now. It was slow, but she shows no signs of what she experienced for that 4 -5 weeks in July and August, but at her age, we still wonder about possible non-reversible side effects on her organs. She is approximately 12 yrs old now, and is back to doing all the things she loves to do: go for walks and rides, gently playing an occasional tug-o-war with her toys, chasing squirrels and stray cats out of our yard and barking at the neighborhood resident groundhog. Oh, and the other night, she unfortunately lost a tiff with a skunk when out to do her business. Uhhh!

There are a few posts below that may be of interest if you need help researching the risks of Convenia. If you find yourself in this situation, maybe it will be of some assistance getting them the help they need, and perhaps a consolation to you. Unfortunately, at least in our case, it appears that most the veterinary medical professionals we dealt with didn't' feel it was possible this drug could be the culprit. Not one would agree, and it makes me wonder why these professionals are so blinded.

PLEASE DON'T GIVE UP IF YOUR PET WAS GIVEN CONVENIA. While it is unpleasant to watch anyone suffer, we normally think of making them comfortable until they "let go". For those of you who have lost a beloved pet to this drug, my heart truly feels for you. It's never easy watching them deteriorate. Do your best to help them through it. If they have the strength, they’ll make it through. Attention, support and love are crucial. If they go down trying, then you’ll have the peace of mind knowing you did your best helping them fight too. It happened to our Kali without our knowing why, but with our care and support and mostly her will, she pulled through and is still enjoying her life.

http://www.drugs.com/vet/convenia.html
http://www.dogheirs.com/dogheirs/questions/32-adverse-reactions-to-convenia
http://www.noconvenia.com/
http://catinfo.org/?link=convenia
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Convenia-adverse-reactions-in-catsfelines-and-dogscanines/118697391502152
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Cats/Just-Say-NO-To-Convenia-This-is-a-dangerous-drug/show/1865523
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Convenia-adverse-reactions-in-catsfelines-and-dogscanines/118697391502152
http://www.tudiabetes.org/forum/topics/convenia-a-dangerous-veterinary-drug-please-don-t-ever-use-this
 
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