If you have an infection and have been taking metronidazole to treat it, you may be wondering: what bacteria does metronidazole kill and how does it work? This article will tell you how metronidazole works, including side effects and precautions. 


First, you should avoid taking metronidazole if you are breastfeeding or taking any other antibiotic. It will also interact with alcohol and certain topical products.

Metronidazole for Dogs

For dogs, metronidazole is usually taken five to 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. Cats may take three to twenty milligrams a day, given by mouth in divided doses. It is important that you follow your pet’s doctor’s instructions about the dosage. 

Although metronidazole is effective for treating giardia, it can also be toxic to the liver or central nervous system.

Metronidazole Generic for Dogs

Metronidazole is the generic form of Flagyl. It is used to treat bacterial infections, including vaginal infections and amebic liver abscess. Flagyl is also used to treat coccidiosis in cats. Flagyl is a broad-spectrum antibiotic. It can be used in combination with other medicines to treat inflammatory bowel disease.

For Pregnant Dogs

In pregnancy, metronidazole should be avoided for trichomoniasis, as untreated infection during this period increases the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight. 

For Lactating Dogs

During vaginal delivery, active infection in the mother may be passed onto the baby. Because metronidazole travels through breast milk, it can cause diarrhea and oral thrush in infants.

Pumping breast milk is recommended during metronidazole treatment. If breastfeeding is required, a dog should pump milk for at least 24 hours after stopping the medication.

Is Metronidazole Safe for Dogs?

When used as directed, metronidazole can be safe for dogs. However, it should be given only when prescribed by a veterinarian. 

Metronidazole for Aerobic Bacteria in Dogs

Metronidazole has limited activity against aerobic bacteria, so it is usually prescribed in combination with other drugs. For example, in some cases, metronidazole is combined with aminoglycosides to combat mixed infections involving anaerobic and aerobic bacteria. 

The use of metronidazole may be limited or even avoided altogether if the condition is accompanied by a complication like a peptic ulcer.

Metronidazole Interactions and Side Effects

Metronidazole can interact with alcohol, so be careful when you take it. Alcohol can cause severe side effects, including dizziness and headache. 

Alcohol is present in many medications, while propylene glycol is a synthetic food additive. Metronidazole and alcohol also interact with other drugs. If your dog has diabetes or liver disease, consult your doctor before you start giving any antibiotics. 

There are several side effects associated with metronidazole, but they should not be serious.

Metronidazole Intoxication in Dogs

Symptoms of metronidazole intoxication can include gastrointestinal discomfort, dry mouth, tremors, a metallic taste, and gastrointestinal upset. 

There are also a few side effects associated with metronidazole that can cause a severe reaction. If you notice any of these side effects, please contact your veterinarian immediately or call an emergency vet.


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