Canine Constipation Treatment with Metronidazole for Dogs

Metronidazole for dogs is a type of medicine that is used to treat a variety of bacterial and parasite-related conditions. Because bacteria and parasites are among the most common causes of canine constipation, metronidazole is a useful medicine that many veterinarians recommend and prescribe on a regular basis. However, this medicine may not be best for your dog, as it depends upon the situation and also on the other medicines that your pet is currently taking. Read on for a brief overview of metronidazole for dogs.

Metronidazole Overview

Metronidazole is perhaps better known as the brand name drug Flagyl. This medicine is an example of an antiprotozoal and an antibiotic. These types of drugs work to eliminate parasites and bacteria from your pet's body. Metronidazole is only approved for use in humans; the medicine is approved by the FDA only in this use, and not for medicine in veterinary uses. However, because of the fact that the drug meets certain extra-label requirements, it can legally be prescribed by a vet for use in your pet under certain specific circumstances.

Metronidazole is effective against giardia, trichomonas and other related bacteria. These bacteria routinely cause a number of different digestive problems in dogs, including constipation. Metronidazole eliminates those bacteria, allowing your pet's digestive tract to gradually return to a normal balance as healthy bacteria are allowed to build up once again in a good way, and also allowing your pet's bowel movements to return to normal.

Metronidazole Side Effects and Risks

Metronidazole does contain a number of different potential side effects. For dogs, these include:

  • Liver disease and damage
  • Neurological conditions
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness in general
  • Loss of weight and appetite

This medicine is also generally not safe to use for your pet under a long term obligation. Because the long term effects are not well known in animals, it's generally considered to be unsafe. Long term risks of metronidazole for dogs may include more severe liver problems and a variety of neurological disorders and problems, some of which may be irreversible.

It's very important that you inform your vet of any and all other medicines that your dog is taking before you begin to give him metronidazole, because this medicine may react with certain drugs to cause adverse reactions.

Metronidazole Dosing and Administration

The exact dosing of metronidazole will depend primarily upon your pet's size and weight. The larger the dog, the more frequent you'll give him treatments of metronidazole for his constipation, and the larger each of those doses will be. It's important to follow your doctor's advice in this regard so that you get the proper mixture of different types of medicine in his system.

Metronidazole is available as a tablet, as a capsule and even in an oral syrup form. Most pet owners prefer the tablet because it's easiest to work with.