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Convenia - STOP and think before using it

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Lisa dvm, Feb 28, 2011.

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  1. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    After hearing more reports of adverse effects, I finally got around to writing about Convenia and its risks and abuse/over-use.

    http://www.catinfo.org/?link=convenia

    Please consider this with a very critical eye before using this drug.
     
  2. Hope + (((Baby)))GA

    Hope + (((Baby)))GA Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Excellent, Dr. Lisa. Am forwarding to my vet and printing for IM vet. I already have all charts marked No Convenia and No Metacam but will make sure they are now marked in Red.
     
  3. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Don't be surprised if they roll their eyes and call the article a fear monger tactic. To each their own but you would have to hold a gun to my head before I would use Convenia on my own cats and I write my articles based on how I treat my own best buddies.

    Plus, as an aside, I don't know any of the VIN consultants in the Feline Medicine folder who think too highly of Convenia....nor how Pfizer has handled the reports of adverse effects.
     
  4. Hope + (((Baby)))GA

    Hope + (((Baby)))GA Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Actually, my regular vet, a woman, and my IM specialist, a woman also, listen to me and discuss with me different options, meds, etc. They know full well I am not going on just their say so and know I have a brain, I research, and I can express my opinon without it being ignored. They also know I know my cats. Geez, even the Cardiologist is a woman. Have never tried this on a male vet :roll:
     
  5. Jenny and Sue

    Jenny and Sue Member

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    I asked my vet on President's Day to write NO Metacam and No Convenia on their charts. She chuckled. She said she was on her way to pick up a second shot of Convenia for her cat who had some kind of emergency the week before. I asked her to still write it on the charts.
     
  6. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Did you see Chicken's picture on the Convenia page? :D
     
  7. Jenny and Sue

    Jenny and Sue Member

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    Oct 16, 2010
    I just did! I'm so proud I could cry!!!! :)

    Thanks, Dr. Lisa!! I hope the word gets out!
     
  8. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I am trying to write a Vaccine page with Chicken, sadly, as the star.....

    Somehow I don't think this is how she wanted to become famous.
     
  9. Jenny and Sue

    Jenny and Sue Member

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    Oct 16, 2010
    No, she really didn't. We are dealing with it, though, and she is pushing on. Hopefully her white blood count is up this week so we can start CCNU.
     
  10. Venita

    Venita Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Thank you so much, Dr. Lisa, for putting this information in a single page. It makes it so much easier to refer people to a discussion. I know this was a lot of work for you, and thank you.
     
  11. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Thanks, Venita.

    You would laugh if you knew how long it takes me to write these articles. Speedy, I am NOT!!

    Lots of writer's block....lots of trips to the kitchen looking for the answer in the fridge....lots of memories of waiting to write that college term paper until 3 days before it was due....with my sweet mother staying up all night to type it for me....etc....
     
  12. KarenRamboConan

    KarenRamboConan Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Thank you. We'll help spread the word.
     
  13. Cheryl & Tux

    Cheryl & Tux Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Thank you, Dr. Lisa!

    My Chino was given a shot of Convenia after his dental two weeks ago. I had told the vet tech when I dropped him off that I did not want him to be given this drug. To make a long story short, Chino ended up having 7 teeth and 5 roots (where the teeth were already gone when I adopted him) extracted due to FORL. My normal vet was scheduled to perform Chino's dental but when she discovered just how many extractions he needed (we expected 2 to 4) she felt it was more than she was able to handle. So the clinic owner performed the extractions (with my permission). The clinic owner was apparently not told of my decision not to allow Chino to be given Convenia and she gave him the shot because "she did not want me trying to pill him while his mouth was healing". I have no problem getting Chino to take pills utilizing gelatin capsules and Pill Pockets and was prepared to do so. Thankfully Chino does not appear to have suffered any adverse reaction to the injection and I am going to make sure that the files for all of my cats are marked "No Convenia" in red so that this situation is not repeated.

    When I discussed the situation with my regular vet she told me that she had not heard of any of the adverse reactions to the drug so I am going to be sure to share your article with her.

    I appreciate all of the hard work that you do to help educate us and our vets!
     
  14. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I'm sorry to say this but I have a problem with this line of reasoning for all of the reasons I outline in the article.

    So often doctors (DVMs and MDs) don't apply much critical thought/common sense to the pros and cons of any new drug that comes onto the market. They just start using it like it is the best thing since sliced bread....and then state "but I have not heard about any side effects"....without understanding that this statement is pretty darn meaningless until a drug has been on the market for many, many years since it takes that long for enough people to report negative reactions and have the 'powers that be' (FDA, etc) actually ACT on those reports....and then to get the doctors to read and pay attention to those reports.

    That kind of information dissemination takes many years. Meanwhile, adverse events *are* happening in the shadows.

    It is also SO darn frustrating to keep seeing my colleagues hand out this drug for ORAL/DENTAL issues.
     
  15. Cheryl & Tux

    Cheryl & Tux Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I totally agree with you, Dr. Lisa! I am not happy to know that my vet clinic is using a drug that they have obviously not researched! I do like my vet but I realize that she is not perfect. That is why I am glad to have your article to pass along to try and help her realize that she does need to continue to research and learn. If I find that she is no longer willing to do so then it will be time to find a new vet. She was opposed to raw food when I first started using her but she has changed her mind on that partially based on what I've been able to pass along to her and the changes in my Cammie's "allergies" and the fact that her diabetes became diet-controlled after I switched her to raw.

    I think that it is important for anyone in the medical field (human or veterinarian) to be continually learning because things change so often and nobody can be an expert on everything!
     
  16. mybuddybinks

    mybuddybinks Well-Known Member

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    Aug 11, 2010
    I hope you are aware that we truly appreciate all that you do!

    celi & binks

    [​IMG]
     
  17. kphmitten

    kphmitten Member

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    Feb 26, 2011
    I would just like to pipe up and be a devil's advocate. I hope Dr. Lisa doesn't take offense but I am partially re-iterating the beginning of her article.

    I have used Convenia before on one of my own cats without adverse reaction. I've also vet assisted and seen it used on dogs and cats without adverse reaction. While saying this, as Dr. Lisa noted, if it's your pet the failure is 100%.

    What I do think is important to note that any antibiotic will have their side effects, especially new market drugs. It is the responsibility of the owner to be aware and well versed before subjecting their pets. For some people, Convenia is a better alternative than other antibiotics, such as Clavamox, and I don't think it's necessarily a devil drug. The name is misleading and I worked in a practice that basically said, "Convenia is a great long lasting antibiotic that replaces the need for pills" and sold it as that to the patient and how we were supposed to sell it without noting the side effects. I do think it's important that vets are more aware of exactly what they're being told to push but as a consumer, I don't necessarily think Convenia should be a 100% do not use drug. It can have its place and I think when in the position of choosing an antibiotic all options should be on the floor before deciding what is best for the particular pet, reason why its needed, and overall situation (will the owner be out of town and rely on a neighbor to take care of their pet, for instance). Presented with the right circumstances, I would use it again. Do I have other preferences? Sure, but in the time I needed to chose something for my cat, Convenia was the best option.

    Just my two cents. From the girl who refuses to use Quest on her horses. Go figure.

    I am appalled that some of your vets will just use an antibiotic or medication without consulting with you though! Scary.

    Very good article, Dr. Lisa! This certainly needed to be written.
     
  18. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    It is very unrealistic to expect a lay person to be "well-versed" in the HUNDREDS of drugs that may be options for their pets....especially when my own colleagues are not always well-versed in all of the drugs they are using and dispensing! Unless the lay person has a degree in pharmacology, this is just not going to be the reality of the situation.

    Why are we expecting more out of a lay person, with regard to medical issues, than we are expecting from the doctor?

    In reality, why should the lay person have to be "aware and well-versed" with regard to any medication....anymore than I should have to be fully aware of anything and everything that can go wrong with my car before I take it to a mechanic? Am I supposed to be so knowledgeable about cars that I would be able to adequately evaluate any suggested 'treatment' of my car that may be made by the mechanic?

    Of course not! Otherwise...if I was that knowledgeable, I wouldn't need the mechanic!

    With regard to Convenia...or pretty much any other medication....a lay person is presented with either a 'too late' scenario....ie....the client is informed that their cat already got a shot of the drug....or...the client is presented with the option of getting the drug right there in the vet clinic. I don't know too many people who are going to say "wait! I need to go home and research that drug so let me get back to you on that".

    I find it so sad that I feel the need to write articles like the one on Convenia because if my colleagues were doing their own homework (doing a search on VIN regarding the problems that have been reported with Convenia would not take that long...and stopping to consider the pros and cons of repositol medications would also be nice....) and fully communicating with the clients regarding the pros and cons of a drug like Convenia, then I wouldn't have to keep working so hard to try to educate the lay person.

    I fully realize that the above sounds very arrogant and I assure you that this is not part of my personality. I am just getting frustrated with the fact that many vets give this to patients without discussing it with their clients first and that they are not using their common sense with regard to the REPOSITOL nature of Convenia.

    Does Convenia have its place in vet med? Yes, it does - as noted on my webpage - but in a MUCH, MUCH narrower niche then it is being used in.

    And...it needs to STOP being used as a first choice for dental issues. Yes....I know that I am sounding like a broken record.....

    No offense taken at all.
     
  19. kphmitten

    kphmitten Member

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    Feb 26, 2011
    I suppose by "aware and well versed" I assume that if the vet says "we'll do this" then an owner won't just say, "OK." I think it's the owner's responsibility to ask the hard questions about side effects and adverse reactions before giving the vet the go ahead to administer it. I did also forgot not everyone has access to the internet on their phone; I've had people say they need a minute before deciding on treatment because they want to call a friend who is a vet or look up information on their phone. This is not an option for everyone and I forgot (which is sad and a whole other discussion). I also don't think it's too crazy for pet owners to be aware of "common" drugs their pet may be prescribed - Rimadyl, Tramadol, Clavamox, etc. While I can understand that they shouldn't have to do this, I don't think it's necessarily wise to give blind trust in their vet.

    I do remember when the clinic I worked at first received Convenia in '09 - practically every little thing that might require an antibiotic was "Let's use Convenia!" Abcess? Convenia! Amputation? Convenia! Ripped nail? Convenia! It was definitely used way too often as the go-to unless the client wanted something less expensive - I don't know if it's come down in price (haha!) but it was certainly expensive. It was ridiculous.
     
  20. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Please understand that I am not trying to pick on you but I am using your comments as a springboard for my pet peeves.

    The "what they are being told to push" really raises my hackles because it speaks to the 'ring in the nose' issue...ie....new Wonder Drug comes out marketed by Company X. Company X's drug reps take Dr. A to lunch and gives them their sales pitch but Dr. A does not do his/her due diligence by independently looking past the research conducted by Company X and also fails to apply common sense regarding the pros and cons of using this new Wonder Drug.

    No doctor should be "told to push" any drug and if they are "told to push" then they need to push back.

    I am not just speaking of DVMs. I am also speaking about MDs. I am CONSTANTLY fighting the issue of polypharmacy with my elderly parents' doctors....the latest issue coming up just this evening and...once again...I have to call my dad's doctor about an issue....so this is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.

    We are probably just going to keep going around in circles here and will have to respectfully agree to disagree.

    I am not going to let the doctor off the hook and lay this at the lay person's feet. I think that is very unfair. Why is it not logical and fair to expect Dr. A to walk into the exam room and say "we can treat with Drug A or B and here is a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each." ?

    But instead, Dr. A can walk in the room and say, "your cat has an infection and so I am going to give him a shot of Convenia." Then Dr. A stands back and waits and hopes that the client does not take up more time by asking "so...are there any other options to this drug called Convenia? What are the side effects of Convenia versus my other options?"

    Let's face it, most people are pretty darn stressed when they take their beloved pet to the doctor. Heck....*I* am stressed beyond words when I take my own cats to the clinic!! Yes...that is true...I find that my heart rate is up...and I am stressed when subjecting my cats to a carrier and car ride...never mind my worry over why they are in there to begin with. So if *I* (a person who has been in this profession for over 30 years...) am stressed, why should I expect a lay person to start quizzing me (as the vet) on the pros and cons of medications or expect them to say "wait a minute while I pop on the internet and do some research."...???

    Also, I am a research nerd. If I go to research something, I can guarantee that it will be at least 1 hour of time and often it may be several hours of reading. How do you expect a lay person to pop on their iPad or Blackberry and do a comprehensive internet search while under a serious time constraint ....and while in a stressful situation?

    Plus, let's not forget about the 'White Coat' issue whereby many people are intimidated by the white coat and stethoscope. The vast majority of people are not going to speak up in any way that may be seen as a challenge and....ask a doctor to "wait a minute while I do my own research to see if I agree with you or not". Let's just say that it is a very rare person who will have the strength to do that.

    I will agree that it makes my job much easier when clients have taken the time to educate themselves on these common drugs but I consider it a plus...not a ticket for me to omit a side effects-discussion with them. I am not going to penalize someone because they haven't taken the time to read a Rimadyl or Tramadol insert.

    I very much agree that we can all get into trouble by blindly trusting *any* health care professional - DVM, or MD, or tech, nurse, etc.

    Many clinics are still using it in this irresponsible manner. That is why I wrote the article. This is a prime example of doctors not doing their due diligence and not applying common sense and good medical practice.

    Now for a comment that I did not put on my main article.....

    Most people are not aware that Convenia is a drug that needs to be reconstituted and has a short shelf-life (28 days) once reconstituted.

    Now...human nature being what it is....if you have a patient that you feel needs an antibiotic and you have multiple choices with one being Convenia that is soon to be outdated....which one will *some* humans (remember...human nature being what it is....) be biased toward?

    I would love to say that no doctor - DVM or MD - would EVER put cost-savings (to themselves) over what is best for the patient but.....

    Now if any colleagues are reading this and getting upset....don't....unless the 'shoe fits'. If the shoe does not fit, then don't wear it...ie...if you would never pick a dose of soon-to-be-outdated Convenia over a safer drug like clavamox, etc., just to save you from having to throw out an expensive, out-dated drug....then you have no reason to be upset by what I just typed.
     
  21. Sherry & Zoe (GA)

    Sherry & Zoe (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Hi Dr. Lisa!

    I hope you don't mind, but I am going to post the link to your article in another group I belong to (Feline Asthma Relief) ...we are seeing more and more kitties getting Covenia for URIs and I want people to be aware of the dangers. Thanks for another great article.
     
  22. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Please do spread the word.

    I am just trying to keep people informed so that if they do opt for Convenia, at least they will do so with their eyes a bit more open.
     
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