Metronidazole is an antibiotic and antiprotozoal medication used to treat various conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, nonspecific diarrheal disorders, infections caused by Giardia (a cause of diarrhea), and periodontal disease. Metronidazole is sold per tablet and requires a prescription from your veterinarian.
Cats and Dogs
Metronidazole is especially effective against anaerobic infections - bacteria that can live without oxygen. It's able to penetrate bone, making it especially useful in oral/dental infections. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties in the large intestine and is an effective anti-diarrhea medication for certain diseases.
Antibiotic medications can cause diarrhea, which may be the sign of a new infection. If your pet has diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, contact your veterinarian. Do not use any medication to stop the diarrhea unless instructed by your veterinarian.
Metronidazole is not FDA-approved for use in veterinary medicine; however, it is a commonly accepted practice for veterinarians to use this medication in dogs and cats. Please follow your veterinarian's instructions. The usual dose of metronidazole in dogs is 5-20 mg/kg of your pet's body weight, by mouth, in divided doses depending on condition of the individual pet being treated. The usual dose in cats is 3-20 mg/kg of your pet's body weight, by mouth, in divided doses depending on condition of the individual pet being treated. The actual dose and duration of treatment depends on the specific condition being treated. Metronidazole should be given to your pet for the entire length of time prescribed by your veterinarian.
Do not give this medication if your pet is allergic to metronidazole, or if your pet is pregnant. Tell your veterinarian if your pet is allergic to any medications, or if your pet has any of the following: liver disease; anemia; epilepsy; or nerve disorders. Tell your veterinarian if your pet is pregnant or lactating, or if you plan to breed your pet.
Give metronidazole exactly as it is prescribed by your veterinarian. Do not give in larger amounts or use it for longer than recommended by your veterinarian. Follow the instructions on the prescription label. If you do not understand these directions, speak to your pharmacist or veterinarian. Your veterinarian may want to perform blood tests on a regular basis to make sure the medication is not causing harmful effects.
Seek emergency veterinary medical attention if your pet experiences any signs of an allergic reaction (hives; difficulty breathing; or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat). Call your veterinarian at once if any of the following serious side effects occur: seizures; fever; chills; sores inside the mouth or on the lips; or watery or bloody diarrhea. Keep giving metronidazole and talk to your veterinarian if your pet develops any of these less serious side effects: nausea; diarrhea; dizziness; loss of balance; dry mouth; cough; sneezing; runny nose; or swollen tongue. Talk to your veterinarian about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome to your pet.
Give the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and give the next one as directed. Do not give a double dose of the medication.
Seek emergency veterinary medical attention if you think you have given your pet too much of this medication. Symptoms of overdose may include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or seizures.
Antibiotic medications can cause diarrhea, which may be the sign of a new infection. If your pet has diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, call your veterinarian. Do not use any medication to stop the diarrhea unless your veterinarian tells you to do so.
Tell your veterinarian if your pet is using any of the following medications: cimetidine (Tagamet), phenytoin (Dilantin), Phenobarbital, or warfarin (Coumadin). There may be other drugs not listed that can affect metronidazole. Tell your veterinarian about all prescription and non-prescription (OTC) medications, including vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other veterinarians. Do not start using a new medication without telling your veterinarian.
Metronidazole should be given to your pet for the entire length of time prescribed by your veterinarian. Do not give in larger amounts or use it for longer than recommended by your veterinarian.
Store metronidazole at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.