Is It Safe To Use Flagyl for Dogs?

Is It Safe To Use Flagyl for Dogs?

Author WDF Staff


Using human medications on dogs is nothing new in veterinary medicine. Off-label use is fairly common, and dog owners and vets will use everything at their disposal to help dogs in their care. One of the things we might have to give to our dogs is Flagyl. This might be a human antibiotic, but it is used for something different in dogs.

If your vet prescribed this antibiotic to your dog, you might want to know more about it. Here are the most important information about Flagyl for dogs, its usage, side effects, and risks that come with it.

What is Flagyl?

Flagyl is an antibiotic used for treating a wide variety of infections. In humans, it is most commonly used for bacterial and parasitic infections. Plus, according to WebMD, Flagyl can be used with other medications to treat stomach ulcers caused by H. pylori bacteria. Flagyl contains metronidazole as its active ingredient. You can read more about it here - Metronidazole For Dogs.

puppy playing

In veterinary medicine, Flagyl is often prescribed for several reasons. However, you should know the FDA did not approve its use on animals. Nevertheless, many vets still prescribe it because it is a common way to treat some of these issues;

  • Giardia
  • Oral infections
  • Dental infections
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Infections that cause sepsis, meningitis, abscesses, and diarrhea

Advantages of using Flagyl

Flagyl can offer certain advantages other antibiotics cannot - it can destroy bacteria in anaerobic environments. Damaged body tissue usually has poor circulation, so many antibiotics need time to reach the infected area. However, Flagyl can breach that barrier because it works differently. It will tie itself to the infecting organisms and block their DNA duplication, resulting in their death.

VET TIP: Another great thing about Flagyl is that it can treat the dog’s central nervous system. Other medications cannot pass the blood-brain barrier.

Is it effective?

The most important thing dog owners want to know about Flagyl for dogs is whether the drug is effective. They might accept the drug’s usage and prescription a lot easier if they are certain it will help their dog shed the infection. Unfortunately, since this drug was not approved for animal use, there are no official study records that might tell us exactly how effective it is.

senior golden retriever

The good news is we spoke to a few veterinarians about Flagyl for dogs, and they told us the drug is highly effective. In some cases, Flagyl or similar medications might be the only option for treatment, depending on the area and type of the infection.

Is Flagyl safe?

The second question vets should answer is, “Is Flagyl safe for dogs?” Some human medications contain things that should never be given to dogs. Luckily, Flagyl is not one of them. According to different veterinarians and online sources, we can say this medication is considered very safe for dogs and for cats.

Flagyl side effects for dogs

Like any other antibiotic, Flagyl might cause some side effects. There aren’t many drugs that are 100% safe for dogs to take. Even if there were, you never know how your dog might react. Based on thousands of Flagyl treatments on dogs, vets noticed a few things and reactions dogs had. The most common Flagyl side effects are;

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Urine discoloration
  • Fatigue

Just because these side effects are possible doesn’t necessarily mean your dog will develop them.

VET TIP: Whenever your dog has to take off-label medications, make sure you listen to your vet’s instructions. You have to stick to the administration frequency and the dosage.

Flagyl dosage

If you’re wondering what the exact Flagyl dosage for dogs is, you should talk to your vet. Your vet will determine the precise dosage based on your dog’s health. The usual dosage might be different than what your vet prescribed, and you should always stick to your vet’s instructions. In most cases, the Flagyl dosage is between 5 and 25 milligrams per pound of the dog’s body weight.

Where can I get it?

Flagyl is a controlled medication, so you cannot simply buy it over-the-counter. You will need a licensed vet’s prescription. The first step to getting Flagyl for your dog is visiting your vet. After they write you a prescription, you can pick up the medication in your local pharmacy. If you want to order the drug online, you can get the generic metronidazole version on Chewy’s online pharmacy.

World Dog Finder team

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