Metronidazole for Dogs

Metronidazole for Dogs

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Metronidazole is one of the common antibiotics prescribed by vets as a treatment for diarrhea and inflammation of dogs, cats, and horses. It's a prescription-only medication, thus you cannot go to the drug store and take it on your own. It can be used with other antibiotics together for better results.
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Although metronidazole is a prescription-only medication, you still need to know some basic knowledge about it. Metronidazole is mainly used as a treatment for bacterial caused diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and parasitic infections. The working mechanism of metronidazole is pretty simple. It works by stopping the creation of DNA in bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. As a result, the infected area can be healed fastly. Also, because metronidazole is able to break through the blood-brain barrier, it can be used to treat dental, bone, or central nervous system infections. Metronidazole can be taken internally or externally in forms of capsules, tablets, liquid suspension, or injection. The taste of metronidazole is very bitter, thus it's not an easy work to make your dog swallow them. The tip you can try is to crush the tablets with their food. It's also easier for you to remember when to serve them medicine if you combine the pill-time and the meal-time together. Metronidazole does not take effect immediately, it usually takes 1-2 hours to make a noticeable improvement on your dog.


Of course, you should rely on your vet for the specific dosing instructions of taking metronidazole. Here we just collect the information for some common cases, so you can have expectations on how much generally the pup should take depends according to their conditions. Dogs usually take a higher dose of metronidazole compared to humans, because they have shorter digestive tracts. The normal rate for dogs is between 5-20mg/kg. For Girardia patients, the dosage would between 7-11mg/Ib every 24 hours. For patients infected by anaerobic bacteria, the dosage would instead between 11-22mg/Ib twice a day. Usually, most metronidazole tablet is in the dose of 250-500mg/ pill, so you need to calculate the amount your dog needs and divide the pills into the right doses for your baby. If you find it's difficult to measure the proper amount, ask your vet for help. The accuracy of taking pills is essential for patients. If you miss a dose for your dog, check the time of the next dose, if it's less than three hours, just skip the one you forgot. Don't try to give your dog two doses together. Pills are not candies!

Side effects

Every pill has a side effect, so does the metronidazole! Even though it has been considered as a safe medicine, you still should be aware of its potential side effects. First, metronidazole can lead to some common side effects for dogs, including allergic reactions (hives and itching); drooling, vomiting and having regurgitation (due to the bitter taste of the pill); having diarrhea; having nausea; having bloody or dark urination and losing appetite. If any of the side effects is becoming severe, you have to contact your vet immediately. Second, dogs under certain conditions can not take metronidazole. If your dog is too young, too weak, pregnant or lactating, or have a history of liver, kidney, or seizure diseases, you need to let the vet know before prescribing medications for your dog. Third, like taking any other pills, you have to be aware of drug interactions. If your dog is taking any of the following drugs: Cimetidine, chemotherapy drugs, Cyclosporine, Warfarin, phenobarbital or 5-Fluorouracil, you need to tell the vet and let him consider if your dog can take metronidazole. 

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