What are the different uses of metronidazole for dogs?

Metronidazole is often used to treat anaerobic infections in dogs.

The different uses of metronidazole for dogs include treating infections and parasites like Giardia. Metronidazole is an antibiotic and is most effective in treating infections classified as anaerobic infections. These infections thrive without oxygen and can occur in deep wounds and in the mouth. Metronidazole is also effective in treating canine diarrhea, pancreatic disorders, and tetanus. When receiving therapy with this medication, the dog should be closely monitored by its owners and veterinarian for side effects.

Metronidazole is an antibiotic used to treat infections in dogs.

Also known as Flagyl®, metronidazole is also used in humans to treat certain bacterial infections. It is available by prescription only. While metronidazole for dogs is considered safe, it can produce side effects and should never be given to pregnant dogs.

Common side effects of Flagyl® for dogs include gastrointestinal upset, loss of appetite and hypersalivation. In addition, choking, nausea and kicking in the mouth may also occur. These side effects, however, are usually mild and temporary. Other more serious side effects include profound weakness, diarrhea, and liver dysfunction.

Certain conditions make it necessary for the veterinarian to prescribe metronidazole to a dog for an extended period of time.

Other major side effects of metronidazole for dogs include bloody urine, disorientation, and tremors. In rare cases, seizures as well as severe muscle stiffness can occur. Fortunately, these side effects are not typical when metronidazole is given for a short term and are rarely seen when the treatment is prescribed in high doses for long periods of time.

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Metronidazole may be prescribed to dogs to treat anaerobic infections that can result from deep wounds.

Certain conditions may make it necessary for the veterinarian to prescribe metronidazole to dogs for long periods of time. An example of such a condition is a stubborn infection known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). During treatment for SIBO, toxicity may occur and if this happens, the drug should be discontinued immediately.

If the dog has antibiotic toxicity, hospitalization may be necessary. Because heavy vomiting can be a symptom of toxicity, intravenous fluids may be needed to prevent dehydration. In addition, medications to relieve vomiting and anxiolytics may be prescribed. Sometimes, when the offending drug is discontinued and the dog is rehydrated, it recovers quickly and without long-term complications.

Metronidazole is also marketed and sold as Flagyl®.

To determine if organ damage has occurred, blood tests may be recommended to check for abnormalities in kidney and liver function. In addition, it can take weeks for the dog to recover, and occasionally the prognosis for metronidazole toxicity is poor. When a dog is receiving metronidazole therapy for an infection and exhibits loss of appetite, disorientation, and difficulty walking, the owner needs to seek emergency veterinary care to reduce the risk of multiple organ failure and severe toxicity.

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