Cats that show signs of illness traditionally go in for a veterinary appointment to get a checkup. Your pet’s health care provider may tell you that a prescription of Metronidazole will help. Most cat owners who are not in the health care professionals know little about such drugs. You may wonder if this medication is a safe alternative for treating your cat’s medical condition. It’s wise to know everything you can about your pet’s diagnosis and the drugs prescribed for treatment. Here is everything that is currently known about Metronidazole, what it’s used for, its effectiveness, and safety for cats.
What is Metronidazole?
Metronidazole is a drug in the antibiotic classification. According to Wedgewood Pharmacy, Metronidazole offers multiple benefits for cats and other animals including dogs, and horses. It provides antibiotic benefits to kill bacterial microorganisms, and promote healing. Additionally, Metronidazole delivers anti-inflammatory advantages that help reduce pain and discomfort due to irritation and swelling from the effects of bacterial infections. It is a drug that is commonly prescribed for various medical conditions diagnosed in felines. Metronidazole is the name of the drug that also goes by the brand names Metrogel, Porttostat, Metizol, and Flagyl. The drug is also used in humans and is deemed a strong antibiotic.
What is Metronidazole used for?
metronidazole is a drug that is prescribed to treat anaerobic/protozoal bacterial infections. These are the only type of bacteria that it is effective in combating. Metronidazole is commonly used jointly with other antibiotics if tests reveal bacterial infections of mixed origin, for more full-spectrum coverage. There are limitations to its recommended use, although it provides multiple benefits for cats with bacterial infections. Metronidazole may be safely used with penicillin, some cephalosporins, and aminoglycosides to fully address complex bacterial infections. Some of the infections that Metronidazole treats include Balantidium, Trichomonas, Entamoeba, and Giardia. It is also prescribed to treat inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, periodontal disease, pancreatic insufficiency, complications from severe liver disease, gingivitis, feline chin acne, tetanus, diarrhea of unknown origin, and clostridium perfringens enterotoxemia. Your animal health care provider may also prescribe Metronidazole for the treatment of meningitis and ear infections. There are many different reasons why your vet may prescribe Metronidazole for your cat. You’re entitled to a thorough explanation of why the drug is prescribed and what the expected outcomes will be. Most animal health care providers are happy to take the time to explain treatments and the rationale for prescribing them. It’s your job to advocate for your pet’s health and to obtain information about the treatments before administering them.
How does Metronidazole work?
Metronidazole is taken orally. It is fed to your cat in pill or capsule form. When it reaches the GI tract, it is absorbed and metabolized in the liver, and passed through feces and urine. It is a bactericide that kills bacterial microorganisms through a complex process. It disrupts the DNA of the invading bacteria, preventing its replication, and killing them effectively. It is a systemic medication that attacks the bacteria in all possible places it could hide.
Is Metronidazole safe for cats?
One of the most frequently asked questions is about the safety of Metronidazole for cats. Good RX explains Metronidazole is not FDA approved for use in animals. The drug is used off-label to treat bacterial infections. Metronidazole has been used for years, however, the USFDA has not sanctioned its use in animals, and its safety in feline use cannot be verified through this source. Animal health care providers traditionally prescribe Flagyl for diarrhea, based on the history of the drug in veterinary use, however, new studies suggest that Metronidazole may not be the best choice.
Recent studies question the frequent use of Metronidazole
IVC Journal explains that the drug may not be as effective for treating some gastrointestinal health issues as experts previously believed. There are questions about the safety of Metronidazole for cats, dogs, and horses. Clinical studies yield evidence that Metronidazole can cause diarrhea to worsen. It can also cause unhealthy changes in the gut microbiome of long-term cats. Evidence produced through research shows that the drug does not help IBD. Metronidazole can cause more harm than good. The decimation of the gut microbiome can lead to more serious health complications throughout your cat’s life. Some studies suggest that the changes in the gut biome last for several weeks and may compromise the healthy function of the gut.
When should Metronidazole be used to treat cats?
Metronidazole is not always the right choice for treating animals, but there are some situations where the potential benefits outweigh the risks. Metronidazole is still a powerful and useful antibiotic that works faster than most other antibiotics. In extreme cases of life-threatening anaerobic infections in cats, it is known for curing them. If your cat is seriously ill and in danger of death, this drug may be the best option for saving his life, when time is a factor. this medication works quickly to arrest bacterial infections of the gut, mouth, and jaw. The drug is also known to speed recovery time by up to two days. The risks associated with Metronidazole do not warrant discontinuing its use altogether, because of its promise for saving animal lives in extreme conditions, but the key is knowing when it should be prescribed.
What are the side effects of Metronidazole?
As with any mediation, Metronidazole does have the potential for adverse side effects. The most common immediate side effects are gagging, frothing at the mouth, drooling, and excessive salivation. These symptoms are the direct result of the bitter taste of the medication. Cats find it fairly intolerable and may refuse to eat when undergoing treatment. Metronidazole may also cause nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Less commonly, more serious adverse effects may present including hepatopathy, lethargy, weakness, and signs that the central nervous system is negatively impacted. If your pet begins to lose coordination and sense of balance, or tilt the head, they may be having a severe reaction to the medication. Seizures are also a possible side effect. Metronidazole has also caused reversible DNA damage to cat lymphocytes. there is also a possibility of a carcinogenic effect in long-term high dosages. VCA Hospitals also caution that this medication may be dangerous for cats that are on blood thinners. There is also the potential for an allergic reaction to this drug. If your pet has ever had an allergic reaction to similar drugs, it’s probably not a good idea to use this medication unless under extreme conditions where no other alternatives exist.
Which cats should not use Metronidazole?
Studies have shown that Metronidazole is not safe for unborn kittens. it should not be used to treat cats that might be pregnant or nursing kittens. This mediation also has the potential to worsen some medical conditions including liver disease, or nervous system disorders. Cats with any of these conditions are not generally considered candidates to receive these drugs, however, in emergencies, animal health care providers may use their judgment. This drug may be used in animals with the above conditions, but under conditions of extreme caution, possibly at a lower dose to mitigate the potentiality of adverse reactions.
does Metronidazole interact poorly with other medications?
Many drugs are compatible with Metronidazole, but there is a risk of serious drug interactions with some other medications. It may interact negatively with cyclosporine, phenytoin, warfarin, cimetidine, and some chemotherapy drugs. You should also inform your pet’s health care provider about any supplements, vitamins, or herbal therapies you give your pet as there is always a potential for interactions with medications. Human pet owners who are pregnant should not allow this drug to come in contact with the skin. You should also avoid inhaling the dust from crushed or split pills. If using the liquid, avoid contact with the skin. Any exposure should be removed immediately as there is a potential for this drug to be absorbed through the skin or the mucous membranes, potentially causing harm to unborn children. Use gloves when administering this medication to cats.
What kind of monitoring is recommended for Metronidazole for cats?
When administering Metronidazole to your cat, you should monitor him for a few things. Watch him for the first few days after the treatment has begun to look for signs of adverse effects. If you notice abnormal behaviors, or if his condition worsens, contact the prescribing animal health care provider for further instructions. Some reactions are not life-threatening and may go away as the treatment progresses. It’s best to consult a professional to know when there is cause for concern as each cat has different healthcare needs. Also, monitor your pet’s condition to ensure that the medication is working. If you do not see results within a few days, consult the prescribing practitioner.
How is Metronidazole given to cats?
Metronidazole comes in 250 mg and 500 mg tablets, 375 mg and 500 mg capsules and 5 mg injection forms. it is also available in liquid for oral use and some gel forms for topical use. Your vet may give the cat an injection at the clinic under extreme conditions. Most often, a prescription is written. Take it to a local pharmacy or online pharmacy for home use. The dosage depends upon the size, and weight of your cat. Metronidazole dosages get determined at the discretion of the health care professional. Dosages may vary from one cat to another, depending on your cat’s health care condition. The dosage can only safely be determined by a professional animal health care provider. the dosage is usually given every twelve hours, but in some cases, only given once every 24 hours. The average dosage range is between 10 mg to 25 mg. Overdosing this medication is likely to result in toxic effects. Extreme caution must be exercised to avoid overdosing. The most typical dosing recommendation is for 1/2 250 mg tablet for cats over 11 pounds. A quarter tablet dose for cats between 6 to 14 lbs. the medication is considered safe when given in these amounts. You should never give Metronidazole sooner than 8 hours from the last dosage. If you miss a dose of Metronidazole, it’s best to skip the dose and begin the dosing cycle over.
Do you need a prescription for Metronidazole?
Metronidazole is a prescription-only medication. You cannot order this medication without a prescription from an animal health care provider or a human health care provider. Some online pharmacies provide a veterinary diagnostic and treatment service that will allow you to obtain a prescription online without going into an animal health care clinic.
Should I give my cat Metronidazole?
The decision to give or withhold this drug from your cat is personal. There are distinct advantages for some cats. Metronidazole use is a personal decision. We strongly recommend talking to your pet’s healthcare provider for advice about treating with Metronidazole. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of this drug. Although the USFDA has not approved this drug for use in animals, many other countries have officially approved it as safe for treating cats, dogs, and horses. There are risks associated with most prescription medications. The most important consideration to make is whether the potential benefits outweigh any risks. It’s best to consult with your local vet to discuss the pros and cons of Metronidazole for your cat.
Metronidazole is a medication that vets prescribe to treat various health problems in cats. It’s been used for many years. There are concerns about its effectiveness for some health conditions. The safety of use in cats has also come into question. The drug has worked as a miracle treatment in some cases. It’s a powerful, fast-acting antibiotic that kills anaerobic bacterial infections in felines. If your cat is dying from the condition, this medication could save his life.