« Dog vitamins recalled... and pet owners have questions | Main | Puppy mills by the numbers: Where do you draw the line? »

24 June 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Ingrid King

It would be interesting to hear feedback from vets as to why Metronidazole is still used so frequently, despite the potentially serious side effects.

When I adopted my kitten at 7 months of age, she had blowout diarrhea and tested positive for giardia. The vet clinic I adopted her from treated her with Panacur and Metronidazole. The Panacur made sense to me, the Metronidazole made me cringe - seemed like a heavy duty drug for such a young kitten, considering the potential side effects. By the time I adopted her, she only had one dose left, so I finished it out. She still had raging diarrhea.

They sent me home with a small bag of dry i/d (a bland prescription diet high in by-products and grains) because that's what they started to feed her when she started with diarrhea. I had no intentions of feeding dry food, let alone dry i/d. After two days on a grain-free canned diet, probiotics and digestive enzymes, her diarrhea resolved. From blow out diarrhea to normal stools in two days by taking the grain out of the diet and providing digestive support? Maybe it was also a case of the drugs kicking in, but I thought it was pretty impressive. Two months later, her fecal test came back negative.


This is interesting. My many vets over the years I have lived off and on in Florida have often checked for Giardia. When positive (often) they warns me about potential harm to my kids and our neighborhood kids who may be barefoot on our lawn.

I used to get so freaked out over "zoonotic" diseases.

I like your approach for this specific issue- if no symptoms no treatment.

Dee Green

Excellent post, thank you. I also avoid "treating a disease" that is asymptomatic. I prefer to avoid prescriptions until the very things you've mentioned (probiotics, herbs, grain-free diet) have proved to not resolve the issue. Far too few people question the use of Flagyl and other antibiotics in dogs, IMO. I've often wondered if so many vets prescribe them because they dispense, as opposed to things like probiotics, herbs, etc., which they don't?


Want to hear something really scary? I was at an obedience trial a few weeks ago and overheard a conversation about treating "stress diarrhea" with metronidazole. The handler said that her vet let her buy a huge bottle of it and she uses it for a few days at a time whenever one of her dogs pops up with diarrhea at a trial or what have you. Great stuff! Really cheap!

I found this distressing on so many levels.


Years ago I found a JVMA article that reported that 60% of giardia in California is resistant to metronidazole. The article recommended fenbendazole and metronidazole in combination as the treatment of choice. I have never even heard of a vet suggest anything other than metronidazole. I no longer go to the vet for giardia. Fenbendazole is available OTC in several forms. You can find the dosing info for giardia on the Net. The nice thing about fenbendazole is how incredibly safe it is.

When I got giardia last summer, the doc prescribed metronidazole. It worked. So far as I know fenbendazole is not approved for human use. For sure I would not take it.

H. Houlahan

If I was as sick as Grahund was when he got the Montana Munge, and the metronidazole wasn't working, damned right I'd dose myself with fenbendazole! It would be panacur or a bullet if that went on for long.

I've had giardia, and fortunately the flagyl worked (I'm not in CA -- don't know what the resistance is among our PA cooties.) It is not the worst intestinal distress I've ever suffered, but it's in the top three (right after life-threatening food poisoning and colonoscopy prep).

When it gets bad enough, it's not the fear that you are gonna die, but the much worse fear that you will NOT that dominates.

The dogs do not appear to be nearly so distressed when they are affected. Advantage of the carnivore intestine.


And sometimes the Big D isn't about giardia at all, even though it shows up in stool samples. My standard poodle kept having on and off bloody diarrhea - and tested positive for giardia. He was treated with Flagyl, it would clear up for a while, then he would have another episode. This continued for about a year until he had his first (and only) Addisonian crash. His Addison's has been well controlled for about 7 years now, but he's become one of the "lucky" dogs who can't take Flagyl (he developed liver problems from it, now reversed).

Max Salinas DVM

The reason many vets choose Metronidazole at 5mg/kg for giardiasis is that it is very safe at this dosage (please, give all info before you say something is dangerous) and it has GI anti-inflammatory action that fenbendazole does not. However, I agree with what your main points are:Only clinical pets should be treated, and that fenbendazole is a far better product for this condition. Vets should, in my opinion, follow CAPC guidelines for parasite control. http://www.capcvet.org/capc-recommendations/giardia


My dog is a cream boston terrier and has had giardia since her breeder bought a new pup from another state in with ours who was sick and she did not vet the pup before putting it in with our pups.

Her litter mate cured after two treatments but mine is now approaching 8 months and has only two clear weeks after each treatment before she is back to diarrhea. She had water for stools when I went to get her and the breeder told me maybe she had an allergy to chicken.

She has been on fortiflora since first treated on gastrointestinal (Royal Canin) and other brands from the start. I change her bed every day, put towels down on the furniture, a bath every 4 days, wipe her but after pooping and in about two weeks after being treated with Panacur and 250 mg of metronidazole she is back with loose bowls.

How much of the herbs you have listed should a dog have.

I clean up and bleach her poop and wipe it then only let her play on a line with one other dog. and do not let her near any other and she is a lonely puppy with lots of energy.

She is stressed from not being a dog and I don't know what to do.

Terry pendleton

My newf pup has giardia with diarrhea that will not quit we feed her 3 times a day started with blue buffalo now switched to natural balance both grain free, but she poops 7 times a day all diarrhea! My vet has her on ronidazole 250mg is that good or?? I've had her now for 2 months now and nothing is working for the diarrhea need help


are you able to assist?
i have an 18-month-old dobermann bitch who has been taking propolin for mild incontinence. i moved her on to incurin 1mg ~2/3 months ago. yesterday she was put on metronide 400mg for diarrhoea. first dose last night and next dose this morning. about mid-day noticed considerable leakage. i have given her 1mg more of incurin (it's about 12 hours since last dose).
vet said metronide would not interfere with her existing medication.
have any complications been seen/noted about metronide and incurin used together? or have i just observed a coincidence?
any advice appreciated.

J Anderson

My 3 dogs are on their 3rd round of treatment...I am very frustrated...i have been bleaching everything from dishes toys and I even spray the yard as soon as they poop...i have the cleanest poopfree yard I know...i don't know what else to do!!

The comments to this entry are closed.