Metronidazole is a commonly prescribed drug by veterinarians given to both cats and dogs for treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Metronidazole was originally produced in pill form, but is now also available as a liquid suspension. The drug is also known as Flagyl, and is manufactured by Pfizer.
What It is
Metronidazole is both an antibiotic and anti-protozoal. It is used as an antibiotic to treat bacterial infection in the gut, while its anti-protozoal properties help fight against parasitic, animal-like, one-celled organisms like amoebas.
What It Treats
Metronidazole is used to treat a wide range of ailments, but is used mostly for problems in the gastrointestinal tract. Diarrhoea is one of the most common issues it is used to treat. It is also used to treat pneumonia, Giardia (a parasitic organism), colitus, parvo and food poisoning.
How It Is Administered
The liquid suspension form is often preferred when a dog is in need of immediate care, as the liquid is given intravenously (IV) and enters the bloodstream more quickly than the pill form. The metronidazole suspension is administered through an IV line and catheter, normally placed in one of the dog's front legs. The dosing level depends on the weight of the dog as well as the severity of the dog's condition.
Adverse Side Effects
Liquid metronidazole suspension does have some side effects. Common ones include laboured breathing, allergic reaction (such as hives), mouth sores, nausea and dizziness. Some more serious effects are fever, bloody stool, seizures, rapid heart beat and vomiting. Liquid metronidazole has many adverse drug interactions and should never be used while your dog is on other drugs without first seeing your veterinarian.
Liquid metronidazole is produced in 250ML (millilitres) and 500ML bags. The entire bag is normally administered at one time, except in the case of very small puppies or dogs. The liquid is thick enough so that it cannot be given too quickly as to make the dog more nauseous.