Metronidazole is an oral antibiotic used in dogs and cats to kill some intestinal parasites, especially Giardia spp. It is also used to treat diarrhea and infections caused by anerobic bacteria. This medication has a bitter taste. Disguising it with food may help you administer this drug successfully. Metronidazole is available as an oral liquid or as tablets.
What is this drug?
• Metronidazole is an antibiotic and an antiprotozoal
• Metronidazole is given by mouth
Reasons for prescribing:
• Effective against certain protozoal infections, especially Giardia
• Used to treat colitis/inflammatory bowel disease
• Used to treat central nervous system and oral/dental infections
• Used as an anti-diarrhea medication
• Used sometimes in cancer radiotherapy
What dogs/cats should not take this medication?
• Pregnant or nursing animals
• Use with extreme caution in debilitated or geriatric pets or those with liver or kidney disease
• Pets known to have had an allergic reaction to metronidazole or like products before
For liquids, shake well before accurately measuring the dose.
Give this medication with food. Because the tablets have a natural bitter taste, they should not be crushed or chewed as the pet will drool plus likely refuse future doses. After administration, watch the pet closely to ensure the entire dose was consumed.
Give medication as directed by your veterinarian. This medication is usually given once or twice daily. The length of therapy depends upon the disease condition as well as the pet's response to metronidazole.
Read and follow the label carefully.
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed. Missed doses reduce the effectiveness of therapy.
Give this medication for as long as your veterinarian directs. Finish the entire course of treatment.
Ideally, give the medication at the same time daily.
What if dose is missed?
If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.
What to tell/ask veterinarian before giving medication?
Talk to your veterinarian about:
• When will your pet need to be rechecked
• What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
• Risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:
• If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
• If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
• If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
• If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
• All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet's medicines can be given together.
• If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
Storage and Warnings:
Store tablets in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.
Oral liquids should be stored in the refrigerator. Shake well before using.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets. Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.
Potential side effects:
Generally side effects are not seen unless the pet is taking a very high dose or for a prolonged period of time (months). Side effects seen are:
• Decrease in appetite, nausea, diarrhea
• Liver damage (yellowing of gums, eyes, skin)
• Blood in the urine
• Weakness, stumbling, knuckling of the paws, head tilt to one side, dilated pupils, bizarre back and forth movements of the eye (called nystagmus), or seizures (cats)
• If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian
Can this drug be given with other drugs?
• Yes, but possible interactions may occur with cimetidine, oral blood thinners, phenobarbital, phenytoin, sedatives or tranquilizers, and products with alcohol as an ingredient.
• If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian
Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet eats more than the prescribed amount.
What else should I know?
Notify your veterinarian if your animal's condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
As with all prescribed medicines, metronidazole should only be given to the dog/cat for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.
Metronidazole normally has a strong sulfurous odor which may smell like cat urine.
This is just a summary of information about metronidazole. If you have any questions or concerns about metronidazole or for the condition it was prescribed, contact your veterinarian.