Monday, July 10, 2006

A quickie on Clavamox

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.

Butsoanyway.

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.

.

21 comments:

Samantha said...

Oh dear. I hope the kitties in your life are OK. {{{{hugs}}}} just in case.

Ancodia said...

Oh, yes--they are! I just pulled up my hits (after not checking in several months) and noticed that a HUGE amount of them had to do with Google searches about Clavamox turning bad, or being left unrefrigerated. I figure if whomever's searching is coming *here*, they're not finding the answers they need somewhere else, so I felt morally obligated to put something remotely helpful 'cos otherwise I wouldn't sleep thinking about all those kitties being dosed with bad Clavamox. :-( I'm nuts like that. :-)

So did you look up your name in Hawaiian? :-D

Samantha said...

Aren't you a sweetheart?

Nope, haven't looked up my name in Hawaiian, but I suspect it would be something like "Wanta Goa Baka."

OK, I freely admit that was lame.

Ancodia said...

lol! Okay; I'm lame--I thought that was funny! :-)

I found a link that I am sticking in the post I am writing now (because I can do it cleanly there) that has you listed--I checked! :-) It has me listed also, which is sort-of depressing; I never even attempted to get anything personalised or even enquired into whether or not I had a Hawaiian name there, 'cos I am just so accustomed to never having anything pre-made with my name on it, because my name is never there! :-) But we found you! Let the personalising begin! :-D

Anonymous said...

I actually did come here for google, and thank you so much for providing the information. I don't feel near as bad of a pet mommy. (haha, and look at how old this post is to get a new comment!)

Kelly said...

thank you for this information! i did come here from google. i will pick up a new bottle tomorrow. my clavamox still looks white but i don't want to take any chances. my kitty has been on his medicine for about 4 days now and has been getting better. thanks again for the info.

Anonymous said...

i came from google too. i was given 3 bottles of unmixed clavamox to treat my kitten for a bad sinus infection ( it was given to me by the vet at the "local" university, who is helping me, as i rescue kitties)she forgot to tell me wether or not to keep it refrigerated and the box did not say. i knew amoxidrops were kept refrigerated. anyway, i didnt and the first bottle went baad which answered my question. so i am refreigerating the second bottle.

Bianca said...

Also directed here via google, but still a bit confused. I have the tablet form of clavamox (62.5 mg) and it is sealed up tight in it's original packaging with a date of 03/09 printed on it. I adopted a kitten about 3 weeks ago and at the time he was 2 pounds and had occasional sneezing but was otherwise fine, eating well, etc. The rescuer, who is a vet tech gave me the clavamox in case he started to get other symptoms. Now, he is 4 lbs and still has the sneeze and I have noticed that he is eating less the past few days. I took his temperature and it is 102 F which thanks to google I now know is at the upper range of the normal spectrum. What I am trying to sort out is whether I should start him on the clavamox now to prevent him from getting worse/completely losing his appetite and if so, how much do I give him. At 2 lbs I was told to give him 1/2 tablet twice a day. Is that still right? I only found the dosage for dogs which was 62.5 mg/lb twice daily. Other than the sneeze and not eating as much of his food, he is still very playful and perky. Any advice?

ancodia said...

Bianca,

I hope you look here; I don't have an email address for you. When
Squoosh was that tiny, he was on liquid Clavamox, and my vet changed
his dosage every few weeks to keep up with his weight. I don't know
what the equivalent dosage in tablet form would be, though. My
suggestion would be to check back with the vet tech. At that age,
eating less might be normal (I once rushed Squoosh to the vet cos he
went through a stage of just licking the gravy off the food and
leaving the food for about three days, just to be told that he's
fine), but the sneezing isn't normal, unless you have allergens in the
house (e.g., smoke, dust), and Mr Kitten is just more sneeze-prone
than other cats. On the other hand, if the kitten *is* sick, it may be
eating less for that reason.

My suggestion would be...well, to not ask me. If I were you, I
wouldn't trust me -- my judgement in some areas sucks butt, and I
would just die if something I suggested hurt the little baby cat. If
the vet tech isn't available, my next suggestion would be to phone
around to different vets to see if any of them would give you a price
break (since this is a rescue--mention that), or free advice, seeing
as how you already have the Clavamox. Possibly it might be wise to let
a vet test for panleukopenia if they feel it is warranted...if I am
remembering correctly, at full price, that ran around $30, but I'm in
a city with a cost of living average that is ludicrous, so it may be
lower where you are. I know that I am not being much help, but I lack
vet skills (I cry when I have to pill one of my furbabies, and the
thought of them seriously ill starts me off on a panic attack...in
short, I am a pathetic pussy), and to make up for that, I have had to
fall back on resourcefulness. For my parking lot ferals, I have
badgered total strangers for help, and have begged vet prices down
even for rabies shots cos I simply can't afford to speuter and
vaccinate sixty or more cats at full price. There are vets that will
work with you, though it may take some calling.

I wish that I could be of more help, but I am probably doing you (and
Kitty) a greater service by admitting my incompetence. I am sorry. I
cannot even remember what Squoosh's dosage was at that weight. :-/ I'm
sorry. But please let me know how the kitten is...I will have my
fingers crossed!

Hugs,
'codia.

Bianca said...

I did talk to the vet tech/rescuer and he said a 62.5 mg tablet twice a day is appropriate at his size. After 2 days of dosing his appetite has already improved. The sneezing continues but he really seems to have no other symptoms. Thanks for the advice!

Allison said...

I gave my 3 month old puppy unrefrigerated Clavamox for 13 days - I'm so worried! Do you think she will be OK? I only noticed that it was supposed to go in the fridge when I was throwing it out. It turned yellow but not that dark...

Also do you know anything about Biospot? :) I just bought it and after reading some bad reviews I'm reconsidering..

ancodia said...

Allison,

I don't know anything about Biospot. As for as the Clavamox, odds are it just lost efficacy; you might want to let your vet know so that the vet can put the puppy back on antibiotics, if needed.

Anonymous said...

Another one that googled for information.... Thank you for posting!!

snooze said...

Ditto - thanks! (giving my rats Clavamox)

Sara said...

Thank you so much for the info. My fiancee is a human clinical pharm and just looked over my puppy's rx and was told me it was supposed to be in fridge. Err.... I asked him to check it when I got home a few days ago, but he didn't. Anyway, we've been looking through all of his info, but he didn't know about reactions in puppies.

I will be calling my vet tomorrow about it. I'm really mad they didn't tell me and that it wasn't on the Rx label or anywhere else except under the mixing directions (which I didn't read as my vet had mixed it for me). It was also in non-bold type and not on the front of the box but on the back. Oh well, at least I'm not the only one!

Again, thank you thank you thank you!

Anonymous said...

Me too! thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I was trying to see if my kitty's clavamox was still good, but you answered my question. BTW ... it's already gone bad. Thanks so much.

notemily said...

I have a foster kitten with a cold. I brought the Clavamox home from the vet and forgot to refrigerate it for a couple of hours, and now it's a gross-looking yellow, sigh. Maybe I'll call the Humane Society tomorrow and see if I need to get another bottle. I can't go to the vet because the bottle doesn't even say Clavamox on it, it's an all-purpose label the Humane Society uses with the dosage written in pen. I wish they had told me how important it was to keep it refrigerated, maybe then I would have remembered... Thanks for writing this!

Katie671 said...

I think you may have saved my kitten's life!!! I had kept his clavamox in the fridge and just as I was about to give him his daily does (literally seconds ago mind you) I noticed it had turned a darker color. I read the label and pondered what exactly counted as "discolored". So, I am very appreciative of your informative post.

Sincerely grateful,
Katelyn Ramirez

Anonymous said...

I cannot thank you enough for writing this post. You have helped many people over the last six years ago.

Anonymous said...

Got here from Google too. Clavomax smell reminded me of what the kids took 30 years ago...which had to be refrigerated. Wasn't told to refrigerate...read label on box...but didn't read how to mix...as vet tech mixed it. Seven lb Papillon had surgery on a growth on his eyelid...a week ago. Has been taking Clavomax all this time. Thought color looked different yesterday...today it's almost brown. Wish I'd Googled the first day. Wish Vet Tech, who actually demonstrated where the 0.9 mark was on the plunger..."You see right here? Where it says 0.9? Well that's 0.9 ml, just like the vet prescribed...see right here on the label? "0.9 ml...0.9" had mentioned "Refrigeration!" Off to see the imbeciles tomorrow to pay for another bottle. Papillon seems fine and incision is healing nicely...so I don't think this caused a problem...but come on...$800...from diagnosis through surgery...I'm just really angry!