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Pet Medication 101: Metronidazole

Metronidazole for dogs

It’s important to understand a medication’s uses and side effects before giving it to your pet. This medication info sheet is meant to give you a good understanding of what Flagyl (metronidazole) is used for, how it works, and potential side effects in cats and dogs. Always consult a veterinarian before giving your pet any medication.

1. Drug Name:


2. Common Name or Brand Names:

Flagyl, Metizol, Protostate, Metrogel

3. How Dispensed:


4. Forms:

tablets (250, 500 mg), capsules (375 mg), oral suspension (50 mg/ml), injectable

5. Drug Type/Class:

Antibiotic, antiparasitic

6. Uses in Cats and Dogs:

Kills anaerobic bacteria, trichomonas, giardia, and other parasites

Used in the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), dental or mouth infections, and infections that cause diarrhea, abscesses, meningitis, and sepsis.

7. How it Works:

Metronidazole destroys a bacteria or parasite’s ability to create DNA when infecting an organism. Metronidazole can get through the blood-brain barrier, so is often a treatment for central nervous system infections.

8. Side Effects and/or Signs of Overdose:

May cause drooling, lethargy, neurologic disorders, low white blood cell counts, and liver toxicity.

Signs of overdose include slow or irregular heartbeats, tremors, stiffness, tremors, and dilated pupils.

9. Drug Interactions:

Interacts with alcohol, cimetidine (decreases the metabolism of metronidazole and may increase the possibility of side effects), phenobarbital may increase the metabolism of metronidazole which causes lower blood levels.

10. Cautionary Statements:

Don’t use metronidazole if there is known hypersensitivity to it, if the pet is nursing, or if the pet is debilitated. Use caution in pregnant animals, patients with liver problems, and puppies and kittens.

Read more:

Pet Medication 101: Pyrantel Pamoate

Pet Medication 101: Fenbendazole

Pet Medication 101: Ivermectin

Need to speak with a veterinarian regarding your pet’s medication or another condition?

Click here to schedule a video consult to speak to one of our vets. You can also download the FirstVet app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Stores.

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