Metronidazole Treatment for Parvo Explained

Parvo (Parvovirus, CPV) is a virulent, highly contagious, deadly virus affecting dogs. It is primarily spread through contact with dog feces, indirectly or directly. Early diagnosis is critical in successful treatment for Parvo. The most severe cases are usually found in puppies. They are most vulnerable to the disease. Untreated dogs can die of Parvo in 48 to 72 hours.

Major symptoms are lack of appetite, vomiting (vomit looks clear and foamy and there is no accompanying change in diet), diarrhea (especially bloody diarrhea), and a very unusual change in the smell of your dog's feces. If you see any of these symptoms get your dog to the vet for a Parvo test immediately.

What Is Metronidazole?

Metronidazole (Flagyl) is one antibiotic often used in the treatment of Parvo, though other similar medications are also regularly prescribed (Timentin, Enrofloxacin and, Cefoxitin). This drug is most often injected in a mixture with B9 complex.

While some very mild cases in adult dogs can be treated at home, your dog is more likely to be hospitalized. Intravenous fluids are given in the hospital to stop dangerous dehydration and pain relievers are also given to treat the intestinal discomfort usually associated with Parvo. Puppies with milder cases have been known to recover in as little as three days, but such instances are rare. You should expect a 5 to 7 day hospital stay for your puppy and it will probably spend some of that time in intensive care.

Metronidazole Side Effects

Hives, breathing problems and swelling of the face tongue or throat have been reported in allergic reactions to Metronidazole. If you see these symptoms at home during, or shortly after, treatment with Metronidazole take your dog to get emergency treatment.

Serious side effects include; fever, seizures and bloody diarrhea. Also check for sores inside your dog's mouth. Notify your vet immediately if you see any of these things during treatment with Metronidazole.


Avoid giving your dog any diarrhea medicines during treatment with Metronidazole.

If you are treating your dog with Metronidazole at home; follow your veterinarian's dosage instructions to the letter and make no changes without consulting the vet. If you miss a giving a dose; call your vet for instructions on what to do next.

Tell your veterinarian about any prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs or nutritional supplements you are giving before your dog receives Metronidazole.

Be sure to tell your vet if your dog is taking Coumadin, Tagamet or Phenobarbital before using Metronidazole.

Don't give your dog any new medications while it is being treated with Metronidazole.

Parvo Prevention

While Metronidazole and a number of other medications are proven effective against Parvovirus, you must never underestimate the deadly threat Parvo represents for dogs, and especially puppies. Prevention is the best way to meet that threat. Provide for prompt and proper vaccination against Parvo as soon as a new canine friend comes to live with you.