Okay; so blogging by phone is rather restrictive. I had a crapload of work to do, and still do. I had to take a break because I was getting depressed and watch Jingle All The Way.
It’s almost the holiday season. Hang in there.
I need to write more about this later, but I MUST get something taken care of:
If you have Clavamox that has not been kept refrigerated, odds are you will need to throw it away, because Clavamox out of its natural habitat (the fridge) goes bad quickly. Look at the colour—Clavamox should be white to light yellow. I said LIGHT yellow; it should look almost white. If it is not either of these colours, it will probably be dark yellow or brown. If Clavamox is dark yellow or brown, THROW IT OUT. And don’t save it after you are done with the vet’s dosing schedule, because even if you have some left and keep it in the refrigerator (or even freezer), it will still go bad before you need it again.
If you are not sure whether or not the Clavamox is bad (for instance, it looks to you to be a little darker than light yellow, but you’re not sure it is what Ancodia would call ‘dark’ yellow), it would be safest to assume that it has gone bad, or take it to your vet and let them tell you. And refrigerate it ASAP.
Okay, so you have bad Clavamox; what can you do? Save the packaging, ‘cos you may need it to prove that you need a refill (I once had to not only show the packaging, but LEAVE the bad Clavamox at the emergency vet before they would give me a new bottle. I must look like a Clavamox junkie, or something). Try your vet—they have customers leave Clavamox out all the time. No, you don’t look dumb, or like a bad kitty parent; it happens to the best of us.
If your vet is closed and you need replacement Clavamox immediately, an emergency vet clinic may be able to give you a refill. If they (for whatever reason) can’t or won’t give a refill, ask if they can give a shot to hold the cat over until your regular vet opens (when given before the antibiotics are started, this shot is called a loading dose). If there is no emergency vet clinic nearby, Clavamox is a children’s antibiotic; it can’t hurt to ask the local pharmacy (some states allow pharmacists certain prescription powers), or even try a walk-in clinic for humans (they don’t need to see your cat, just bring the box and explain what happened; all they will do is write a prescription for YOU (probably)—not the cat—and you take that to a pharmacy and fill it. Make sure the dosage is the same as what the vet wrote originally, though). If money is an issue and your vet is open, ask if you can pay later in the week; they are doctors and understand the importance of keeping a dosing schedule, and they get asked to carry balances all the time (this is why they have the nastygram about having to pay in full at the front desk—a lot of people are scuzzy and feel they shouldn’t have to pay if their animal stays sick, dies, or the medication gets changed, etc.; assure your vet that you realise that this is a debt that will be paid, no matter what); I have seen and heard vets carry balances, so ask. If one vet says no (none of the vets I know would say no, but assuming one did), my suggestion would be try another one; phone around enough and you will find one who will help. Missing one dose one time is not optimal (it would be best to try to get a loading dose from an ER vet if nothing else), but it is probably not a huge disaster; missing two or more may possibly be a Very Bad Thing. I personally would really recommend phoning your regular vet and letting them know what has happened; depending upon what is wrong with your cat, they may need to see him or her again to make sure Clavamox is still an appropriate treatment.
So: Once Clavamox is mixed (it is usually mixed at the vet’s; if it’s in a bottle and is a liquid, it’s mixed), it goes bad quickly if not kept refrigerated. Bad Clavamox is not helpful to anyone; you cannot increase the dose and have it still work—bad Clavamox DOES NOT WORK, AND IS POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS.
Once you have a replacement bottle (and have put it in the refrigerator), pour the bad Clavamox down the sink and throw the package out, but pay attention to the dates—keep to the original length of dosing, even if this means you have now spent about $15 just to give the cat three last doses. If kept refrigerated, Clavamox still will go bad; do not re-use it. You are NOT saving money by trying to re-use old Clavamox; you may well end up with an even higher vet bill if it has gone bad or is the wrong antibiotic to use. While it is true that Clavamox is an often-prescribed antibiotic, there are others (e.g., Baytril) that are equally as popular and used for different reasons—let the vet decide what antibiotic is appropriate to use. Cats, dogs, and humans should not be re-using old prescriptions; this is not a healthy practice (don’t even get me started on my Abuse of Antibiotics lecture).
If you have accidentally given too much Clavamox, phone your vet (or an emergency vet clinic) right away; they will be able to tell you what to do. If you have given too little, you will probably be safest just picking up the next dose at the regular time unless your cat or kitten is critically ill, in which case you should phone the vet. Unfortunately, I am not well-equipped to better advise on incorrect dosing; if anyone has anything to add or correct, please let me know.
Thanks for putting up with me on this; I have to get to sleep, and will explain why I was morally obligated to post this later.