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Information On Metronidazole For Dogs, Treatment And Side Effects

Metronidazole For Dogs Side Effects And Treatment

Metronidazole is commonly prescribed under the name Flagyl. It is used to treat anaerobic infections which mean organisms which require no supply of oxygen for their growth, development and sustenance. This drug is used especially for the treatment of intestinal infections caused by anaerobic organisms. Over the years its use has grown manifold and has been known as a safe drug for usage. However nowadays there are many known side effects of this drug. These side effects have been seen in dogs that were put on this drug alone or a combination of this drug with other compounds. The negative effects on the dogs ranged in severity from being mild to severe, some were permanent effects and some effects proved fatal. Worse effects were seen on puppies and the pregnant dogs.

In the field of veterinary, this drug has been used to treat periodontal disease, pancreatic insufficiency with small intestinal infection and tetanus. In humans it has been used to treat infections in tissues or deep wounds, gastrointestinal tract and infections in post operative cases.

Side effects known: This drug is highly bitter in taste and hence most animals find the taste repulsive and this leads to refusal in taking the drug. Thus it is best mixed with dog food and given to dogs in order that the bitter taste does not pose an impediment to administration of this drug. Some dogs might develop a stomach upset post ingestion and decreased appetite is noticed in few others. Some dogs develop excessive salivation, gagging, nausea, vomiting and reflux of ingested food. Some other side effects known are diarrhea, weakness, depression and withdrawal. Some dogs developed liver complications and some had blood in urine. The levels of Metronidazole in the blood keep rising steadily over the days of administration of the drug and signs of toxicity begin to develop after 7 to 12 days of administration by the oral route. Some neurological effects too have been recorded of this drug. The neurological side effects are nystagmus, dilated pupils, ataxia, tremors, stiffness, disorientation and seizure disorders. In most cases, the side effects resolve in a few days after stopping the drug. However the neurological side effects may or not regress following stoppage of the drug and in fact the neurological effects may worsen over a period of time

Before administration of the drug the veterinarian may want to test the liver function test of the dog which is imperative in all cases. In any case if the liver function tests does not seem to be normal or if the dog has suffered from a severe liver disease in the past or is currently suffering from a liver illness, Metronidazole may not be safe for prescribing. Also the veterinarian must be made aware of all the drugs the dog is taking, so that drug interactions may be prevented. Dogs suffering from tick related diseases are more susceptible to develop this drug toxicity, as both can affect the liver function.

Diagnosis of Metronidazole toxicity: The diagnosis can be made on a physical examination by the veterinarian. In case you notice any symptom of Metronidazole poisoning, one must immediately contact an animal clinic. To confirm the degree of toxicity, certain blood tests may be advised by the veterinarian.

Treatment: Once Metronidazole toxicity is confirmed, the drug must be withdrawn immediately. In cases where the toxicity is severe, the dog might require to be admitted, and intravenous fluids and intravenous Diazepam may needed to be given. An antiemetic too may be given in cases where the vomiting is very severe.