Metronidazole For Dogs (A.K.A Flagyl For Dogs) – An Overview

Metronidazole (also very commonly known by its brands name Flagyl) is, as of this writing, one of the most popular antibiotics used to help treat a wide variety of different illnesses and bacterial infections in humans and animals alike.

The way Metronidazole works is by not allowing the harmful bacteria that makes its way into your body or that of your animal to form DNA, which ultimately leads to its destruction.

Whether you’re looking to use Metronidazole for yourself, your dog or your cat, this is one of the most efficient and effective antibiotics you’ll ever get your hands on.

With that being said, it should also be noted that Metronidazole is, most of the times, not used as a standalone medication when it comes to treating bacterial infections in humans and animals alike – it’s often used in addition to other medication that goes hand in hand with it.

What Is Metronidazole Used For In Dogs

Since this article is mainly about the use of Metronidazole for dogs, this is a list of the most most common (and important) illnesses that Metronidazole is able to help with treating in your dog:

  • Giardiasis
  • Gastrointestinal Tract Inflammatory Disease (Inflammation of the large intestine)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Hepatic Encephalopathy
  • Balantidium coli
  • Dental infections (teeth infections)
  • Bone infections
  • Surgery wound infections

Because of certain properties that enable Metronidazole to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, Metronidazole has the ability to treat many central nervous system (CNS) infections that other medications aren’t able to properly treat since they lack this ability.

Metronidazole & Prescription-Only Status

It should be made very clear that Metronidazole is a prescription only drug, meaning that if you’re planning on giving your dog some Metronidazole for any bacterial infection they’re suffering from, you should have a prescription beforehand in order to be able to buy this medication.

Even though Metronidazole has not yet been FDA-approved in order to be given to animals and it has only been FDA-approved in order to be given to humans, Metronidazole remains one of the most popular and most commonly prescribed medications by veterinarians for dogs that suffer from a wide variety of different bacterial infections.

Metronidazole Dosage For Dogs

The specific dose of Metronidazole that your dog should be taking in order to treat whatever case they’re facing should ideally be determined by a veterinarian with necessary experience in the field, since the dosage can greatly vary from one dog to another depending on the severity of the situation in hand.

Then there also comes the issue of how long your dog should be given Metronidazole, something that is also determined on a case by case analysis and is ideally determined by a veterinarian with necessary experience in the field.

The general dosage of Metronidazole for dogs that is good reference for you to look at as a ballpark figure ranges from 5mg/kg all the way to 20mg/kg, depending on the severity of the case being treated.

One thing is for sure, though, that no matter what time frame your veterinarian determines that you need to be giving your dog Metronidazole in, you have to stick to that time frame and follow the course of treatment to its entirety.

Stopping all of a sudden midway through or extending the course of treatment with Metronidazole for your dog by deciding to do either yourself will only lead to very serious health problems that will risk your dog’s well-being and life.

What Do I Do If I Missed A Dose Of Metronidazole For My Dog?

In case you missed a dosage of Metronidazole for your dog, don’t panic, as there’s no need to.

Just try your best next time to stick to an easy schedule you can follow in order to ensure you don’t miss any additional dosages of Metronidazole for your dog.

Now, in case you missed a dosage of Metronidazole for your dog, try to give your dog the missed dosage as soon as possible ONLY in case not much time has passed by.

However, if a significant amount of time has passed by since the missed dosage that you were supposed to give to your dog and the next pre-scheduled dosage of Metronidazole you should give your dog is not very far away, then just skip the missed dosage of Metronidazole and continue with the regular schedule as if you hadn’t missed the dosage.

Don’t try to make up for your dog’s missed dosage of Metronidazole and give them their next pre-scheduled dosage in a very short period of time, as this will put them at great risk of overdosing on Metronidazole.

How Can I Give Metronidazole To My Dog?

First off, it must be made very clear that Metronidazole is best given to dogs along with food, as this will ensure that your dog’s body will absorb this medication to the best of its abilities.

Also, and besides the fact that giving Metronidazole to your dog with food is better in order to ensure better absorption, giving Metronidazole to your dog alone isn’t exactly the brightest of ideas since this medication does taste bitter.

So, having your dog take a Metronidazole pill along with food they find tasty is an excellent idea in order to reduce this bitter taste.

Metronidazole For Dogs Side Effects

In general, Metronidazole is a very safe medication for dogs to take.

The only instances where adverse side effects are seen in dogs that take Metronidazole are cases where the dog is given this medication for extended periods of time, much longer than they should actually be taking them under the guidance of a competent veterinarian.

This is why we always advise that you only give your dog Metronidazole, as is the case with any other medication out there, under the guidance of a veterinarian that knows exactly what they’re doing.

With that being said, there have been a few documented cases of dogs experiencing adverse side effects when being given proper dosages of Metronidazole for proper periods of time under the guidance of competent veterinarians, something which happens with almost every medication out there.

No matter what, there almost always is an “exception to the rule”, and this also holds true when it comes to giving Metronidazole to dogs.

If you follow your vet’s directions and notice any of the following symptoms in your dog after giving them a dosage of Metronidazole, immediately contact your veterinarian and tell them about it.

Or, if any of the side effects you see in your dog are really serious and something is very off, then immediately take your dog to the nearest pet emergency care center and let your veterinarian know about what happened while your dog is being taken care of, as time is very scarce in such situations.

  • Loss of ability to move (Very serious)
  • Stiffness in body (Serious)
  • Lethargy (Moderate)
  • Rashes (Serious)
  • Hives (Serious)
  • Increased heart rate (Serious)
  • Decreased heart rate (Serious)
  • Difficulty breathing (Serious)
  • Vomiting (Moderate)
  • Fever (Serious)
  • Loose stool (Moderate)
  • Decreased appetite (Moderate)
  • Hyper-salivation/Excessive Drooling (Moderate)
  • Blood in urine (Serious)
  • Dark colored urine (Moderate)
  • Seizures (Serious)
  • Tremors (Serious)
  • Dilated pupils (Serious)

Keep in mind that the higher the dosage of Metronidazole being given to your dog is, the higher the chances of your dog experiencing any of these symptoms are, so always follow your veterinarian’s directions and instructions when it comes to the appropriate dosage of Metronidazole to give to your dog in order to avoid any unwanted and unfortunate events.

How Should I Store Metronidazole If I Plan To Give It To My Dog?

If you’re planning on buying Metronidazole for dogs to give it to your pooch, you should know where to store this medication depending on what kind you got.

For example, if you bought Metronidazole in liquid form, this form should be carefully stored in your refrigerator at all times.

Leaving it outside will render this liquid form of Metronidazole useless and harmful to your dog.

However, if you choose to buy Metronidazole in tablet or capsule form, then you’re good to go keeping this bottle at home stored somewhere at room temperature and far away from direct sunlight or high temperatures.

When Is Metronidazole Bad For Dogs?

Generally speaking, Metronidazole is known to be one of the safer medications that can be given to dogs.

However, there are certain circumstances where giving your dog Metronidazole is considered a bad thing, and we’ve compiled a list of the most common circumstances where this applies below.

  • If your dog is pregnant
  • If your dog is nursing
  • If your dog suffers from kidney disease
  • If your dog suffers from liver disease
  • If your dog has suffered or still suffers from lyme disease
  • If your dog is still a young and developing puppy
  • If your dog suffers from Neutropenia
  • If your dog experiences seizures

In order to best be sure that Metronidazole won’t lead to any negative side effects in your dog and will be a safe medication to use, you should always talk to your veterinarian before you give your dog any dosage of Metronidazole.

In particular, let your veterinarian know about the following issues. The more detailed you can be when talking to your vet about these things, the better.

– Let your veterinarian know about ANY medication (or supplements, no matter how minor and insignificant you may think they are) that your dog is currently being given.

– Let your veterinarian know about ANY medical condition your dog has or has had in the past, no matter how small and insignificant you may think it is.


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