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Complete Guide to Metronidazole
What Is Metronidazole for Dogs and Cats?
Metronidazole for dogs is a medication that is used in the treatment of different types of infections. This antibiotic is primarily used in treating bacterial infections and parasitic infections caused by protozoa. Metronidazole is a prescription medication that works as an antibiotic and anti-parasitic medicine.
You can also use metronidazole for cats. It has the same uses in cats as they do in dogs. Bacterial and parasitic infections require the right kind of antibiotics to treat. Without treatment, these bacteria and parasites can overwhelm your pet. Metronidazole is generally used for targeted therapy of infections in the gastrointestinal tract.
You can also use metronidazole for horses to treat bacterial infections and after abdominal surgery. In horses, this medicine is generally used in combination with other antibiotics to treat anaerobic bacterial infections. Horses are usually given this medication orally, but rectal administration is also an option.
What Is Metronidazole Used for in Dogs?
Metronidazole for dogs is most commonly used to treat protozoal infections. This drug can treat a wide variety of diseases. Giardia, Trichomonas, Balantidium, and Entamoeba are the top infections that vets come across.
If your dog is on other antibiotics and is suffering from colic because of it, metronidazole is often used as a palliative for this condition. Metronidazole is also used to treat tetanus infections, pancreatic insufficiency where their small intestine has bacterial overgrowth, and diarrhea.
Dogs with severe liver disease are also often prescribed metronidazole for dogs to help with the symptoms and in their treatment.
What Is the Metronidazole Dosage for Dogs?
The metronidazole dosage for dogs changes according to the condition because of which the dog is being treated. If the dog is suffering from Giardia, then the dosage varies between 7 - 11mg per pound of body weight every 24 hours. However, this can increase to 29.5mg per pound of bodyweight if the vet determines this is necessary.
Since Metronidazole is a prescription medication, you should follow your vet's advice regarding dosing. Your vet will prescribe the dosage according to your dog's health, type of infection, and severity of disease.
What Is Metronidazole Used for in Cats?
Metronidazole for cats has the same uses as metronidazole for dogs, along with a few additional cases where it can be used. While both cats and dogs who have a periodontal disease can be treated with metronidazole, this drug is far more commonly used in cats.
Besides this, metronidazole for cats is used in the treatment of gum disease like gingivitis or stomatitis. This medication can be used with corticosteroids. Metronidazole for cats is also used in combination with corticosteroids in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
A topical version of metronidazole for cats is also used to treat feline skin infections like feline chin acne.
What Is the Metronidazole Dosage for Cats?
Metronidazole dosage for cats ranges between 3 - 20mg per kilo of body weight. The dosage can be higher or lower depending on your cat's health, the type of infection, and the severity of the condition. Your vet will know the exact dosage your cat needs to treat the specific illness that is ailing your cat.
Follow your vet's advice when you use metronidazole for cats. If you have any doubts or concerns regarding the metronidazole dosage for cats, you should discuss them with your veterinarian.
Are There Any Side Effects of Metronidazole?
Metronidazole, like most other prescription antibiotics, has a few side effects. Metronidazole for dogs side effects that are seen most often are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Your pet may feel weak, and you could see blood in their urine as well. While it is an uncommon side effect, you should keep an eye out for liver disease.
You may notice an increase in the instance of your pet tilting their head, and you might see your pet stumbling more than before. While these can seem alarming, these are mild side effects. If you are concerned about any of these in your pet, you should speak to your vet.
There are also two severe side effects that have been observed when using metronidazole. Animals treated with this have reported convulsive seizures and peripheral neuropathy. While these are rare, these can happen. If your pet is having a seizure, you need to contact your vet immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Give My Pets a Slow-Release Version of Metronizadole I Have for Myself?
No, you should not give dogs or cats any slow-release medication. This is because both cats and dogs have a much shorter digestive tract than human beings. You will risk the medicine being only partially digested as it passes through an animal's body quicker than humans.
How Long Should I Use This Medicine?
You should use Metronidazole for as long as your veterinarian has prescribed it. If your prescribed dosage is over and you are wondering whether to continue this drug or not, you need to make an appointment with your vet and take your pet in for another check-up. Your vet will then determine whether your pet needs to continue this medicine or not.
Can I Give the Same Medicine to My Dog and Cat?
Yes, you can give both your dog and your cat tablets or pills from the same bottle of metronidazole if your vet has prescribed it for both of them. There are no separate versions for dogs, and there are no different versions for cats!
How to Give Metronidazole for Dogs?
You can give metronidazole for dogs orally. Many dogs will accept medicines plain if you give it to them. Another way to feed metronidazole for dogs is to wrap this medication in some high-value treat like boiled chicken or peanut butter. You can also ask your vet if you can crush this to mix it into your dog's food.
How to Give Metronidazole for Cats?
You can mix metronidazole for cats into wet cat food to give to your cat. Cats can be fussy about what they're eating, so if your cat refuses to eat their food when you mix in medicines, you can think about mixing metronidazole for cats into other treats. Ensure that your cat eats all the medicated food to make sure he gets his full dose.
Is Metronidazole Available in Only One Dose?
You can buy two different strengths of metronidazole. This drug is available as metronidazole 250 mg for dogs and metronidazole 500mg for dogs. These are safe for your cat to use as well.
Metronidazole for dogs and cats is the Generic Alternative to Flagyl.
Side Effects & Warnings
As with many antibiotics for cats, dogs, and horses, some side effects may occur. When using Metronidazole for dogs and cats, watch for neurologastro-intestinal disorder, lethargy, weakness, neutropenias, hepatoxicity, hematuria, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Though not common, serious side effects may occur, such as low white blood cell count, liver failure, and blood in the urine, or dark urine. Long-term use or overdose may cause neurologic symptoms as well. Metronidazole has also been known to cause birth defects, and should not be used by pregnant mothers.
Some medications and antibiotics will interact with Metronidazole for dogs and cats. Do not combine with any of the following medications: Cimetidine (Tagamet), Phenytoin (Dilantin), Phenobarbital, or Warfarin (Coumadin). Other drugs may also affect Metronidazole for dogs and cats, so be sure to consult your veterinarian before starting this medication.
Metronidazole for dogs and cats is an effective antimicrobial drug, efficient in the treatment of giardia infections, inflammatory bowel diseases and infections in the mouth. Metronidazole for dogs and catsin combination with other drugs can treat even the most severe infections. Various protozoal infections in cats and dogs can be treated effectively with the help of this medication. It works by disrupting the DNA and thus killing the bacterial microorganisms.
Use Metronidazole for dogs and cats as directed by a veterinarian. Avoid giving your pet extra doses of Metronidazole unless specifically instructed by the veterinarian. Do not crush the medicine, as this will make it more difficult to administer the drug. Administer Metronidazole for dogs and cats either orally or rectally.
Dosage and length of use vary according to the need for treatment and size of animal. In dogs weighing 3-23mg/pound, administer the drug 1 to 4 times a day. In cats, the ideal is 5-23mg/pound 1-2 times a day. The actual dose and the duration of treatment depend on the specific condition.
Metronidazole for dogs and cats is best served with food as this medication contains a strong, bitter taste.
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