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Convenia? Also, taking a cat's pulse

June 20th, 2008, 09:19 PM
This is further to my question regarding care for my cat Cherry, 16 year old, FIV positive and also with hyperthyroidism. We stopped the Clavamox and her appetite returned and she is drinking more too. Thanks again for the advice.

I called the vet's office to let them she'd begun eating again. I asked what options there were for antibiotics for cats. The person I spoke to mentioned Convenia, an injected antibiotic which provides coverage for two weeks. Given our experience with Clavamox, I asked how well cats generally tolerate this med and was told that they hadn't experienced any problems.

May I please ask if others feel this is a good option? Given how ill my cat is, I am very cautious, especially after her recent experience with the Clavamox.
Thank you in advance, catnbudge

June 20th, 2008, 11:17 PM
I'm not familiar with Convenia, but I did find this recent study funded by the Winn Feline Foundation:
and the abstract ( anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum). The study involved bite wounds and abscesses rather than dental issues, so I don't know if that makes a difference.

June 21st, 2008, 06:11 PM
Thank you for your helpful replies to all the questions I've asked. This site has really eased my mind. I don't want to be calling the vet all the time but given Cherry's problems and the recent sudden death of my other cat, I tend to be a bit on the anxious side. Catnbudge
PS: The budgie member of our family is 11 and in excellent health!

Dr Lee
June 24th, 2008, 03:52 PM

While the coughing and vomiting may be secondary to the tartar in the mouth, it would seem more likely that it is secondary to the hyperthyroidism. Also you mentioned that as you increased the tapazole, the both decreased. Coughing and vomiting are not common clinical signs with cats with even severe periodontal disease.

With these clinical signs and the severe tachycardia (high heart rate) the hyperthyroidism is not being regulated well at this point. How many mg/ml (concentration) is the tapazole (methimazole)? That may help out.

Most cats require 2.5mg to 5mg by mouth every 12 hours for regulation. This of course needs to be taken in light of pet's weight, renal (kidney) status, thyroid levels and clinical signs.

I also am concerned that there is likely hypertension caused by the increased cardiac output secondary to the increased heart rate and contractility of the heart. Some sources have reported 15% of these cases, if unregulated, leading into congestive heart failure.

I would ask your veterinarian about blood pressure. If high, your cat can be placed on amlodipine (also called Norvasc) which is often a once a day medication. Often as the hyperthyroidism becomes regulated by finding the right tapazole dose for your pet - the patient can permanently come off of the amlodipine. But while the hypertension is present, your cat can feel much better, it can reduce the clinical signs and help protect the heart.

I would also recommend Omega 3 fatty acids. They can help the body deal with not only the diseases but also the medications.

While I think Convenia is a safe and effective antibiotic, I have some concerns with its use in your pet. The medication lasts with antibiotic affect for 14 days and can persist in measurable levels in the body for up to 65 days. If your cat had an adverse reaction, it may take a while for the clinical signs to resolve. In a 16 year old patient with two to three serious disease to manage, a medication that sits that long, could have some risks.

Again, since I have not met your cat, I cannot be sure. It is possible the dental disease is the culprit, but I sure would like to address the hyperthyroidism clinical signs and the likely hypertension as a primary focus.

Also here are the links to Convenia

June 26th, 2008, 02:59 AM
Thank you for your very detailed response. This is more detail:

Cherry was diagnosed as hyperthyroid approximately one year ago. Initially she received tapazole in tablet form. Giving her tablets made her wary of us and tests showed blood levels reduced too much so we changed to ointment applied inside her ears. The first lot of tests showed she wasn't absorbing enough so we doubled the amount but still not a good enough result.

With the scale our vet uses, normal thyroid levels range between 20 and 40. The initial test read 65, if I recall correctly. With tablets, it dropped to 22 and our vet thought this was too low for an older cat. I think he said that level might adversely affect other organs.

At first Cherry received 0.25 ml every 12 hours but the next blood test indicated that once again, her levels were too low. The dosage was reduced to 0.10. The next test again showed levels that were too low although I was reporting that she was vomiting and coughing frequently. As well her coat was still affected, looking very greasy. The vet did another test without charge, in case there had been a problem at the lab.

Again the levels were very low and he and the doctor at the lab decided that somehow, Cherry's symptoms do not correlate to her test results. He increased the amount to 0.15 but she continued to cough and vomit. I was unsure what to do. I hadn't discovered this forum and also, I'd read that one of the side effects of tapazole could be vomiting.

Over the next while, I was distracted when my other cat, who had always been healthy, suddenly became ill and eventually had to be put down.

Cherry's coughing and vomiting were definitely getting worse so I took it upon myself to increase the tapazole to 0.20 roughly two weeks ago. I saw the vet which is when he suggested the coughing/vomiting might be related to irritation in her throat from possible tartar-related infection and gave her the Clavamox.

Since I increased the tapazole, she rarely vomits and the coughing has all but disappeared.

My vet had suggested that I take Cherry's pulse and showed me how but I cannot feel anything when trying for the femoral pulse. I was wondering if that might be due to the high rate? I've tried feeling it through her chest but she always purrs and I can't tell if I feel anything or not.

I don't think her blood pressure has ever been taken so I will make an appointment to have that done and also to see if he feels her heart rate is slowing. If not, I will definitely suggest the Novsac. Thank you so much for telling me about it.

BTW, Cherry weighs roughly 8 pounds and all her other tests are more or less normal, considering her illnesses. My vet says she looks healthier than many cats with no problems of the same age.

I was interested in the Omega 3 suggestion. Is this something that I would get from the vet or from a pet store?

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this forum. I try very hard to look after the animals I've had in my care. Sometimes though and especially now, I feel I don't even know the right questions to ask. Thank you all again, Catnbudge

Dr Lee
June 26th, 2008, 12:52 PM
I was interested in the Omega 3 suggestion. Is this something that I would get from the vet or from a pet store?

Omega 3 fish oils can be obtained from either a pet store, human health food store or through a veterinarian. Some will add in Omega 6 and or 9, we really just need the Omega 3; and if possible, the one with the highest EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) levels. If you can find a 'Free Form' Omega 3, that is even better. All cat food is naturally high in Omega 6.

As far as being too low on the thyroid level. While a nice balance is always the best, as long as the kidney enzymes are not elevated, then it is better to be too low than too high with thyroid. The thyroid hormone controls metabolism. As the metabolism is too high, the entire body basically 'runs too fast'. The persistent elevation in cardiac effort in contractive force and rate, leads to degeneration of the heart.

When the thyroid is too low, the metabolism becomes too low. In and of itself this is not a problem. Where the problem occurs is when there is underlying kidney disease. When the thyroid is too high - the kidney also degenerate but the blood values will NOT be typically seen while the thyroid is high. The enzymes get masked. As the thyroid level comes down, the underlying kidney disease can then become apparent. If the thyroid level is very low but the kidney enzymes are within normal limits and the clinical signs of the cat are fine; then often this is considered a very acceptable status.

Hope that helps. :cat:

June 26th, 2008, 06:38 PM
Thank you again, Dr Lee.

The last full panel on Cherry was late in 2006. It seems she was diagnosed earlier than I remembered. Since that full panel, they've just been checking the T4 results.

At the time the kidney enzyme results or at least what I gather from looking online are kidney enzyme results were:
BUN 10.4 mmol/L Reference range is 5.0 - 12.5
Creatinine 140 umol/L 83 - 181
BUN/Crea ratio 19
Two things on the overall chemistry screen were marked as high:
Sodium 158 mmol/L 143 - 158
Sgpt [alt] 365 iu/L 34 - 106
There is a note that all absolute numbers are in S.I. units which I understand may be different than the system used in the US.

I've made an appointment with my regular vet for July 2. I appreciate all of your assistance. I have made notes from your comments, so have some questions to ask. If you have time and can think of questions you feel I should be asking to get Cherry the best care, please let me know.
Thank you again, Catnbudge