Metronidazole For Dogs

Metronidazole For Dogs

Author WDF Staff


Having a healthy dog is something most dog owners want, and luckily, modern medicine has helped keep our beloved pets longer with us. Different medications, health tests, and surgeries help our dogs live healthier and longer lives. Metronidazole is one of these allies that helps us, and even though it is not FDA approved for veterinary use, vets often prescribe this antibiotic for our pets. Before you decide to give your dog metronidazole, there are some things you should know.

What is metronidazole?

Metronidazole is a potent antibiotic that vets often prescribe to treat intestinal problems and dog diarrhea. It is most effective in treating the inflammation of the large intestine.

Dogs aren’t the only animal metronidazole is prescribed to; cats and horses often take this drug. FDA approved it for humans, and this medication is usually prescribed to us as a treatment of bacterial infections.

What does metronidazole treat? 

Metronidazole is given to dogs in many different cases because it has strong anti-inflammatory properties. If it is possible to avoid it, your vet won’t prescribe metronidazole, but when they do, it is most often to treat one of these five problems;

  • Oral infection
  • Dental infection
  • IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Bacterial infections that cause diarrhea
  • Parasites (especially Giardia)

Does it have any side-effects?

Like any other medication, metronidazole has some side-effects. Some are pretty common and shouldn’t cause you any worry, but some can be problematic, and you should contact your vet as soon as possible. Let’s see which metronidazole side-effects are common and nothing to worry about first;

  • Drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Blood in urine
  • Fever
  • Gagging
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

These are quite common, and after your dog’s body gets used to the antibiotic, these will most likely go away. Help them by hydrating and keep them as comfortable as possible.

There is a popular over-the-counter human medication given to dogs. Here is what you should know about Benadryl for Dogs: Uses, Side Effects & Dosage.

The other, more dangerous side-effects are a bit more scary and serious. If you notice your dog experiencing any of these problems, contact your vet immediately. Keep an eye on;

  • Neurotoxic effects - Causes damage to the brain
  • Paralysis in all legs
  • Allergic reaction - Allergic reaction can become serious quite fast, and if you notice your dog getting a rash, hives, elevated heartbeat, or trouble breathing, you should take them to the pet ER right away.

After giving your dog any medication, keep in mind that you should look at their behavior and reactions. Keep a close eye on them and look for any signs of bad reactions that could endanger your dog’s life.

Keep in mind that this is an informative article, and before giving any kind of medication to your dog, you should ask your vet for advice.

Can my dog overdose on metronidazole?

All medication can cause an overdose, and metronidazole is not an exception. There are two things you need to keep an eye on - quantity and length. Never exceed the recommended vet dosage, and don’t give your dog more medicine because you think it might work faster. It is also vital that you don’t treat your dog too long with metronidazole. Overdose symptoms are;

  • Dilated pupils
  • Slow and irregular heartbeat
  • Stiffness
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

Is metronidazole for dogs safe?

Generally, metronidazole is considered a safe medication, but make sure you consulted your vet before any use. It is never a good idea to self-medicate the dog. It would be pretty easy for people who are not veterinarians to confuse symptoms of another disease with a disease that should be treated with metronidazole for dogs. If that happens, you can cause your dog harm instead of helping them.

Heartworms can become a huge problem. Check out this article about what you need to know about them; Heartworm In Dogs - All You Should Know.

Metronidazole use should be carefully monitored, and it should never be prescribed to pregnant female dogs and very young puppies. Dogs with preexisting conditions should also be careful when taking metronidazole. Generally, dogs with these issues should avoid this drug;

  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Seizures
  • Neutropenia

Because of the specific action, this antibiotic has on your dog’s body, it is often prescribed alongside other antibiotics like penicillin antibiotics, aminoglycosides, and some cephalosporins. Make sure your vet explains anything you are unsure about and ask them as many questions as possible. It is a matter of your dog’s health, after all.

World Dog Finder team

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