Metronidazole Killed My Dog: Why Is That?

Metronidazole Killed My Dog: Why Is That?

Metronidazole (generic name Flagyl) is an antibiotic often used in veterinary medicine for treating bacterial infections. Unfortunately, it can also be toxic to some dogs, leading to anaphylactic shock or death in some cases. Despite its risks, metronidazole is still used to treat certain conditions in dogs because of its effectiveness against a range of bacterial and fungal infections. This article will discuss the dangers of metronidazole for dogs, signs of an adverse reaction, what to do if your dog experiences a reaction, and alternatives that may be safer for treating dogs with infections.

Metronidazole Killed My Dog: Why Is That?Metronidazole Killed My Dog

Metronidazole, also known as Flagyl, is an antibiotic medication commonly used to treat certain bacterial and parasitic infections. When used incorrectly or in very high doses, it can be poisonous to dogs and other animals, leading to serious side effects or even death. Metronidazole can cause severe gastrointestinal distress, damage to red blood cells, damage to the nervous system, and damage to the liver and kidneys. These side effects can be exacerbated by an animal’s age, breed, and the diseases or conditions that the animal is currently experiencing. In the worst cases, metronidazole poisoning can lead to death. It is very important for owners to speak to their veterinarian before administering a metronidazole treatment to their pets.

What Is Metronidazole?

Metronidazole is an antibiotic used to treat a variety of bacterial and parasitic infections, including those caused by amoebas, protozoa, anaerobic bacteria, and some parasites. It is most commonly prescribed for vaginal infections, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and certain STIs. Metronidazole can also be used to treat certain skin disorders or infections.

SEE ALSO: Sudden Lumps on Dog Under Skin: Causes And Treatment

What Is Metronidazole Used for In Dogs?

Metronidazole is an antibiotic commonly used to treat infections in dogs. It is most frequently used to treat Giardia, an intestinal infection caused by a protozoa. It is also used to treat other gastrointestinal infections, skin infections, urinary tract infections, certain types of anemia, and certain ear and eye infections. Metronidazole can also be used as a preventative for some cases due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

How Does Metronidazole Work?

Metronidazole is an antibiotic and antiprotozoal medicine (antibiotic and anti-parasite) that is used to treat a variety of conditions in dogs. It works by killing bacteria and parasites that cause infections.

Metronidazole works by targeting the DNA of bacteria and parasites, disrupting the bacteria’s ability to reproduce. This ultimately kills the bacteria, clearing the infection. It also prevents the parasites from spreading and causing further harm.

Metronidazole can be administered orally or topically. The oral route is usually more effective. When used orally, metronidazole must be taken several times over the course of several days to properly treat the infection.

When used topically, metronidazole works just as effectively but has the added benefit of lessening inflammation caused by skin infections. It is often used to treat skin infections such as hot spots, skin allergies, and yeast infections.

Metronidazole is generally well tolerated in dogs, but some dogs may experience side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, or decreased appetite. If your dog experiences any of these side effects, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Overall, metronidazole is a safe and effective way to treat a variety of bacterial and parasitic infections in dogs. It is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions for administering and using metronidazole to ensure that it is used correctly and achieves the desired results.

How Is Metronidazole Given to Dogs?

Metronidazole is a powerful antibiotic that is commonly used to treat bacterial and parasitic infections in dogs. It is available as an oral tablet, suspension, or solution, and can be given at home as long as your veterinarian provides clear instructions.

The dosage of metronidazole that is given to dogs will depend on the type of infection being treated and the overall health of the dog. It is important to follow the exact directions provided by your veterinarian to ensure your pet is given the correct dosage.

Before giving your pet metronidazole, it is important to read the label to make sure you understand the proper dosing instructions and that the medication is approved for dogs. Metronidazole can be given with or without food, but it is important to follow your vet’s specific recommendations.

If you are giving metronidazole in the form of a tablet or suspension, it is important to mix it well with a small amount of water. This will help ensure that it is ingested properly and that it is fully absorbed.

If you are giving metronidazole as an oral solution, your vet will provide clear instructions on how to measure the correct dose. Metronidazole should be administered over the course of 10 to 12 hours to ensure that the full amount is given.

It is important to give your pet the entire course of the medication to ensure that the infection is fully treated. If you stop giving metronidazole before the course is completed, your pet may be at risk for a relapse of the infection.

It is also important to monitor your pet for any signs of side effects while your dog is being given metronidazole, such as loss of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea. If any side effects occur, contact your veterinarian immediately.

What Is The Dosage of Metronidazole for Dogs?

The usual dose of metronidazole for dogs is 5-10 mg per pound of body weight, given by mouth, two or three times a day. The length of the treatment depends on the condition being treated, but some courses may last up to three weeks.

Are There Any Drug Interactions Between Metronidazole and Other Medications?

Yes, there can be significant drug interactions between metronidazole and other medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all medications you are taking before taking metronidazole as it can interact with some commonly used medicines. These include anticoagulants, warfarin, lithium, tacrolimus, phenytoin, busulfan, cyclosporine, disulfiram, certain oral antidiabetics, and some antibiotics, particularly ciprofloxacin and other quinolones. Other drug interactions with metronidazole can include an increase in the blood levels of digoxin, caffeine, theophylline, corticosteroids, and anticholinergics. Therefore, it is important to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking metronidazole or any other medication.

Metronidazole 250 mg for Dogs Dosage

The typical dosage of metronidazole for dogs is 5–10 mg/kg (2.27–4.54 mg/lb) given by mouth twice daily. Dogs generally tolerate metronidazole quite well and side effects are rare. Some common side effects include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If any of these side effects occur, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your vet can adjust the dosage and frequency of administration to better suit your pet’s needs.

Causes of Metronidazole (Flagyl) Toxicity in Dogsmet 1

  1. Accidental Overdose/Administration of an Excessive Dose: Metronidazole is available in different strength tablets and liquids. If an owner administered a dose that was too large, the dog may suffer toxicity.
  2. Maintenance Therapy for Euthyroid Sick Syndrome (MTSS): As the name suggests, Metronidazole can be used in chronic cases of weak thyroid hormones, or MTSS. However, long-term use of this drug can also lead to side effects such as liver damage and central nervous system toxicity.
  3. Impaired Metabolism of Metronidazole: Metronidazole is metabolized mainly by the liver. Drug metabolism may be reduced with age, and it can take longer to clear the drug from the body. This can lead to a buildup of the drug that could result in toxicity.
  4. Metronidazole Depletion: Metronidazole is metabolized in the gastrointestinal tract and then eliminated from the body. If the dog has an increase in stools or vomiting, then large amounts of the drug can be excreted and lost. This causes the drug concentration to increase, leading to Metronidazole toxicity.

What Are The Symptoms of Metronidazole Toxicity in Dogs?

The most common symptoms of metronidazole toxicity in dogs are vomiting, drooling, anorexia, weight loss, depression, lethargy, audiogenic seizures, and diarrhea. In rare cases, the toxicity can be more severe, leading to neurological symptoms such as ataxia, nystagmus, and circling. In these cases, the severity of the symptoms will depend on the amount of metronidazole consumed and how long it was ingested. If metronidazole toxicity is suspected, immediate veterinary attention should be sought.

Diagnosis of Metronidazole (Flagyl) Toxicity in Dogs

The diagnosis of Metronidazole (Flagyl) toxicity in dogs can be made through a combination of physical examination and laboratory tests.

Physical Examination: The presence of common clinical signs of Metronidazole toxicity such as nausea, vomiting, decreased energy and appetite, jaundice, drooling, abdominal tenderness, and decreased urination can help diagnose this toxicity.

Laboratory Tests: Serum biochemistry tests, liver panel tests, and urinalysis can help identify organ damage from the drug. Additionally, checking for antibodies to Metronidazole can help confirm toxicity in the system.

Treatment of Metronidazole (Flagyl) Toxicity in Dogsmet 2

Metronidazole (Flagyl) toxicity in dogs can be treated in several ways. Firstly, if your dog has recently ingested or been given metronidazole, induce vomiting to remove the chemical from the stomach if the dog has not already vomited. Then visit your local veterinarian or emergency vet to provide further treatment. The vet may provide your pet with activated charcoal to bind to any remaining metronidazole in the stomach and flush it out of the system. Dehydration can be treated with intravenous or subcutaneous fluids. Anti-nausea medication may also be prescribed to reduce vomiting and diarrhea. Your vet will monitor your pet’s liver, renal, and red blood cell function to keep an eye on any possible long-term damage. The length of treatment depends on the severity of the toxicity and how quickly your pet responds to treatment. Also watch for signs of anemia, seizures, and other neurological issues resulting from metronidazole toxicity, which may require additional or specialized care.

Are There Any Natural Alternatives to Metronidazole?

Yes, there are some natural alternatives to metronidazole, such as garlic, oregano oil, Goldenseal, and grapefruit seed extract, all of which have antibacterial and antifungal properties. However, it is important to note that there is limited research on the effectiveness of these treatments. It is also important to consult a medical provider before using any natural remedies as they can interact with medications.

What Dogs Should Not Use Metronidazole?

Metronidazole is not recommended for use in puppies that are less than 6 weeks old, pregnant dogs, or larger breeds of dogs. Additionally, this medication should not be used on dogs suffering from liver or kidney disease, or on those allergic to the drug, as it may worsen their conditions or cause severe adverse reactions.

SEE ALSO: Maggots in Dog Poop: What Does It Mean?


Q. Can metronidazole overdose cause death?

A. No, a metronidazole overdose is not likely to cause death. However, it can cause serious side effects such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, changes in heart rhythm, and liver problems.

Q. Can metronidazole cause damage?

A. Yes, metronidazole can cause damage to the liver and other organs.

Q. How long does metronidazole toxicity last in dogs?

A. The length of time for metronidazole toxicity in dogs varies depending on the individual dog but usually lasts several days to a week.

Q. How many days should I give my dog metronidazole?

Q. Typically, metronidazole is given to dogs once or twice daily for seven to 14 days.

Q. Can I give my dog metronidazole without food?

A. No, it is recommended to give metronidazole to your dog with food to reduce the risk of stomach-related side effects.


Metronidazole is an antibiotic drug that is commonly used to treat various bacterial or protozoal infections in both humans and pets. Unfortunately, metronidazole can have some serious and potentially fatal side effects, especially in certain breeds of dogs. In these cases, the drug can damage important organs or cause an adverse reaction resulting in sudden death. It is always best to discuss any possible drug-related side effects with your veterinarian before administering medication.

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