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At a Glance
Metronidazole for dogs and cats is an antimicrobial antibiotic for dogs, cats, and horses
Treatment for tetanus, liver disease, Giardia, Entamoeba, Balantidium, Trichomonas, and oral infections
Also works topically to treat skin infections
Easy to use pill or tablet form


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At a Glance
Metronidazole for dogs and cats is an antimicrobial antibiotic for dogs, cats, and horses
Treatment for tetanus, liver disease, Giardia, Entamoeba, Balantidium, Trichomonas, and oral infections
Also works topically to treat skin infections
Easy to use pill or tablet form

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
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

Can I Give My Dog Metronidazole for Diarrhea?

Yes, Metronidazole tablets for dogs and cats can be used to treat diarrhea in dogs. They are antimicrobial antibiotic drugs that also help in the treatment of inflammation of the large intestine, as well as other bacterial and parasitic infections. The Metronidazole tiny tabs can be fully absorbed within a couple of hours. However, for the medications to take effect and treat the aforementioned conditions, it could take a few days. Afterward, you will notice improvement in your dogโ€™s health, and the symptoms of infection will start to fade away.

How Long Can a Dog Take Metronidazole?

A dog should take the Metronidazole drugs for as long as the veterinary doctor prescribes it. Usually, the medication will show effect in 10-16 days, but can also take upto 3 weeks. For dogs with severe and long-lasting cases of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), you can continue giving the Metronidazole for months, or even years. Your vet will prescribe the necessary dosage, and for how long you need to continue with it.

Will Metronidazole Hurt My Dog?

No, Metronidazole will not hurt your dog. These tablets are quite small. Each tablet is the size of a Tic Tac. So taking them will not hurt your dog. However, the drug does have a bitter taste to it, and can lead to excessive salivation as well as gagging and drooling. Apart from this, Metronidazole also has a few other side effects like nausea, vomiting, tremor, eye twitching, and weakness. The symptoms for these cases should be rather mild, but you should consult a professional if you notice anything severe.

How Quickly Does Metronidazole Work?

Metronidazole can start work within a couple of hours. In some cases, however, it might need a little longer. The drug can be fully absorbed within the first two hours of intake, but can take an additional day or two to show its effect. For such cases, the Metronidazole should take effect within 12-16 days, or 3 weeks. The vet might even prescribe the drug for much longer periods that can often last for months or even an entire year. This, however, is for extreme cases of IBD.

Why Is Metronidazole Prescribed?

Metronidazole is a prescription drug because if used in an unregulated manner, the drug can lead to serious consequences. As an antibiotic, Metronidazole can have some side effects. These include neurologastro-intestinal disorder, weakness and lethargy, nausea, vomiting, neutropenias, and so on. There might even be uncommon side effects like low white blood cell count, blood urine, and liver failure. Besides, the drug can also cause birth defects. In addition to all this, Metronidazole might lead to other problems, depending on whether or not your dog is taking any other type of medication along with it. Avoid using the drug for pregnant or new born dogs as the bitter taste will put them off. Use it in reduced amounts if your dog is suffering from liver or blood diseases (your vet will help you out with such cases where the dog is suffering from multiple health problems or diseases). For all these reasons, Metronidazole is a prescription drug. Your vet will provide you with a dosage amount and time. Maintain it strictly. Consult with the vet if any of those symptoms take a serious turn.

Is There an Alternative to Metronidazole for Dogs?

Metronidazole is the generic version of Flagyl. Hence, the only alternative should either be Flagyl or a generic licensed version of it. Most vets, however, will prescribe Metronidazole. This drug shows good effect when it comes to treating intestinal disorders.

Can a Dog Be On Metronidazole Long-Term?

Yes, a dog can be on Metronidazole for long-term if the vet prescribes or allows it. Under normal circumstances, Metronidazole is prescribed for a few days or weeks, depending on the condition of your dog. However, for severe cases of IBD, vets are likely to put your dog on this medication for a longer period like a few months or even a year. The vet will suggest the necessary dosage amount in accordance to how long it might take your dog to recover from said conditions.

Can Metronidazole Treat UTI?

Yes, Metronidazole can treat urinary tract infection (UTI) since it is a generic version of Flagyl. The Metronidazole can cause discoloration of the urine without harming your dog. It can then tackle these infections just like it deals with other intestinal issues. However, pet owners still need to be on the lookout for potential side effects to their pets and consult a professional as necessary.


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.

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.

Before administering Metronidazole for dogs and cats, test the animal for hypersensitivity towards the contents of the drug. Abstain from using this medication on pregnant and breeding pets as well as puppies and kittens. It might be slightly difficult to administer the medication as it has a strong bitter taste. Prolonged as well as over dosage of this medication can bring about many harmful effects. Administer Metronidazole in reduced doses on animals with underlying liver disease or blood disorders. If the pet is under phenytoin or other anticoagulants medication such as warfarin, avoid using Metronidazole, as adverse reactions are likely to occur.

A few of the commonly noted side effects of Metronidazole for dogs and cats are neurologastro-intestinal disorder, lethargy, weakness, neutropenias, hepatoxicity, and hematuria. Cases of anorexia, nausea, excessive salivation, gagging, regurgitation and diarrhea are also reported. Harmful effects of metronidazole for dogs and catsnormally affect the brain and its equilibrium. Drowsiness, rashes and incoordination are other side effects. There are a few rare side effects such as loss of appetite, vomiting, staggering or difficulty in walking, involuntary and constant eye movements, lethargy and seizures. Occasionally death can also occur and therefore stop administration of the drug as soon as any side effects are noted.

For additional information on using Metronidazole for dogs, cats, or horses, talk to your veterinarian or consult with one of our pet care specialists at 1-800-844-1427.

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website. Our medications are FDA approved and/or EPA regulated when and as required by law.

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.

ย Metronidazole for dogs and cats is best served with food as this medication contains a strong, bitter taste.

Store Metronidazole for dogs and cats at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

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