Metronidazole Toxicity in Dogs

Metronidazole is an antibiotic that can be prescribed for certain conditions. However, there may be side effects in dogs. One of the most frequent questions is if Metronidazole can cause death in dogs.

Metronidazole Killed My Dog

“A family in South Carolina experienced this firsthand when their dog died after ingesting metronidazole capsules prescribed by their veterinarian. After initially recovering from the symptoms of a stomach infection, their dog began having seizures. She was taken to the vet again several days later when her condition worsened.”

“A few years ago, I had a dog with a GI problem. After she stopped eating and my vet put her on a diet of canned food, she lost weight and started vomiting. My vet gave her some Metronidazole, which is an antibiotic. When I gave her the Metronidazole, I thought she’d be fine in a day or two. That night, my husband called me from work to tell me that our dog was dead. I didn’t know anything about Metronidazole at the time of my vet’s visit. My vet bills were huge and grieving our loss was quite emotional. Since then, I’ve learned a lot more about it and how it works — and also how dangerous it can be to your pets when they’re not on their medication correctly.”

“This drug made my dogs sick. I will never buy it again. The first time I used it, my dogs had diarrhea for days. I stopped using it and they got better. Then, I had to use it again because they got reinfected. The same thing happened! My dogs had diarrhea for days on end. This drug is not worth the money!”

Metronidazole killed my dog?

Metronidazole can have toxic effects on the central nervous system. When this happens, it’s referred to as metronidazole neurotoxicity. It can cause seizures, coma, or even death in dogs.

In the past few years, there has been an increased awareness among pet owners regarding metronidazole toxicity. The majority of them are unaware that metronidazole may be fatal to dogs and other animals.

The most common signs of metronidazole poisoning in dogs include depression, lethargy, staggering, vomiting, and diarrhea.

As always, if you suspect your dog has ingested a potentially toxic substance, consult with your veterinarian immediately.

What is metronidazole used for dogs?

Metronidazole is an antibiotic used to treat infections and is generally safe when used correctly. It’s also used to treat a variety of other conditions, including intestinal parasites, which can make it even more tempting to give your pet metronidazole.

Just remember, though: Dogs and metronidazole don’t always get along. In fact, the drug may be downright dangerous if your dog is given too much of it or if it’s used in some situations.

What are the side effects of metronidazole for dogs?

Reported side effects of metronidazole for dogs include:

  • Drowsiness or lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Changes in urination
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Stomach cramps
  • Changes in behavior
  • Skin rashes or itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face

There have been reports of liver damage and even death when metronidazole was taken by dogs with pre-existing conditions like kidney or liver problems.

How many days should I give metronidazole to my dog?

In some cases, it can be as little as 5 days. But for most cases, it’s best to give at least 10 days of medication.

As a precaution, if you’re using metronidazole on your dog, give it a 7-day course instead of the usual 14 days in most cases.

It’s important to consider the age and overall health of your pet when giving metronidazole. The medication can be toxic to puppies and kittens, so it’s best not to give it to them if they’re very young or very old.

If you have concerns about your dog’s health, talk to your vet before administering metronidazole.

How much metronidazole is too much for dogs?

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, the toxicity threshold for dogs is 13 mg per pound per day. At doses greater than that, the risk of toxicity increases substantially.

NOTE: It is the dosage that determines the extent of metronidazole’s toxicity. The higher the dose, the greater the likelihood of toxicity and death. At the lower end of dosing, the risk of toxicity and death is very low.

Metronidazole reviews from dog owners

Pet owners say metronidazole works well to treat their dog’s intestinal problems. They complimented metronidazole’s fast-acting nature and its ability to decrease intestinal inflammation and remove the cause of infection.

Many pet owners say they give their dogs metronidazole pills easily with peanut butter or cheese, but some reviewers say it’s more difficult to get their dogs to swallow metronidazole tablets whole.

Some say metronidazole works great when treating diarrhea in their dogs, saying it quickly stops any stomach issues from occurring. However, some reviewers say this product gave their dog terrible side effects such as vomiting, lethargy, and nausea.

Metronidazole has a bitter taste, but most dogs will accept it when mixed with food. However, if your dog is sensitive to bitter tastes, there is an alternative formulation of metronidazole that comes as a flavored suspension (liquid) instead of tablets or capsules.

Conclusion of metronidazole for dogs

Metronidazole is a commonly prescribed antibiotic for dogs. It is effective against most anaerobic bacteria and protozoa. Metronidazole is especially useful for diseases caused by Giardia, an organism that lives in the intestines

The use of metronidazole shouldn’t be abused and should be used only when necessary. It is important to note that metronidazole should not be given to pregnant dogs, nor should it be used if your dog has liver or kidney disease.

In addition to metronidazole for dogs, the veterinarian may prescribe probiotics for dogs or recommend dietary changes that may help ease your dog’s digestive issues!


Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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