Metrobactin for dogs and cats



Active ingredient




What is Metrobactin?

Metrobactin is a brand name for the drug metronidazole. It comes in a tablet and is used to treat a variety of infections caused by bacteria and parasites. Your vet may give your pet Metrobactin if they have a stomach, skin, or joint infection. Only your veterinarian will be able to provide your pet with Metrobactin as it is a prescription-only medication (POM-V).

What does Metrobactin do?

The metronidazole in Metrobactin works to treat infections by damaging the DNA of bacteria. Damaging the bacteria’s DNA prevents the bacteria from multiplying and causes them to die. By getting rid of the bacteria, you also get rid of the infection, which will make your pet feel much better.  Metrobactin works well against bacteria that survive in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic bacteria). Certain conditions cause anaerobic bacteria to overgrow, particularly in the gut and in the urinary tract. Hence why Metrobactin is commonly used to treat urinary tract and stomach infections.

What is Metrobactin for?

Metrobactin is used to control the level of infection in a variety of conditions.

Here are the common reasons why Metrobactin is recommended for pets:

  • Dental disease
  • Liver disease
  • Skin infections
  • Joint infections
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Abdominal infections – these include stomach infections, abscesses, and inflammation of the fluid in your abdomen. 
  • Parasite infections – these include parasites known as protozoa.

There are several other situations where your veterinarian may think that it is suitable to give Metrobactin to control your pet’s infection, including after a culture and sensitivity test. Metrobactin may be given alongside other drugs to help treat your pet’s condition. Remember, Metrobactin should always be given under veterinary guidance, ensure to consult your vet so that you can do what’s best for your pet.

What are the side effects of Metrobactin?

Whilst most pets tolerate Metrobactin without any serious issues, it can have side effects just like all other medications. Although these side effects are usually rare, here are the common ones that you should be aware of:

  • Digestive issues – These may include vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea and being off their food. Giving Metrobactin with food should help to reduce this side effect.
  • Liver problems – Long-term use of Metrobactin can lead to liver toxicity. Although rare, the signs of this to look out for include yellowing of the skin and eyes, loss of appetite and sleepiness.
  • Allergic reactions – Some dogs may show signs of having an allergic reaction. These include itching, hives, facial swelling, or difficulty breathing.
  • Changes to the blood – Metrobactin can lower the number of cells in your pet’s blood, which are normally responsible for fighting an infection. In this case, your pet would be more at risk of an infection. Metrobactin can also decrease the ability of your pet’s blood to clot. This would lead to an increased risk of bleeding.
  • Neurological effects – These may include confusion, uncontrollable shaking, and incoordination. This happens in less than 1 in 10,000 animals taking Metrobactin.

Remember, the benefits of using Metrobactin usually outweigh these risks. However, if you do notice any of these side effects or are worried about a change in your pet’s behaviour, it is best to stop using Metrobactin immediately and get in touch with your veterinarian for more advice.

They will be able to provide you with guidance and adjust the treatment plan if necessary. This will help to ensure your pet’s safety and put your mind at ease. If your pet is on Metrobactin for a long time, your vet may do additional tests to monitor the health of their liver and blood.

Which pets is Metrobactin not suitable for?

Whilst Metrobactin is suitable for most pets, there are a few situations where Metrobactin should be avoided, and alternatives should be discussed with your vet.

  • Metrobactin should not be used in pets with liver disease.
  • Metrobactin should not be used if your pet is allergic to metronidazole.
  • Metrobactin should not be used if your pet is allergic to any of the other ingredients in this product.
  • Ideally, your pet should only be given Metrobactin if a culture and sensitivity test has shown that the bacteria is sensitive to metronidazole.
  • Metrobactin should not be used in pregnant or lactating pets.
  • Metrobactin should not be used along with cimetidine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, cyclosporine, or warfarin.

How to give Metrobactin safely:

  1. Follow vet instructions: Always use Metrobactin exactly as your vet has prescribed. This includes the right dose and frequency. Never adjust the dose on your own, even if your dog or cat seems to be feeling better or worse. If you aren’t sure of the dose prescribed, please call your vet to confirm.
  2. Tablet form: Metrobactin tablets can be given directly into your dog’s mouth or can be hidden in a piece of food such as a strawberry or some cream cheese.
  3. Can be given with or without food: Metrobactin can be given with or without food. However, it’s best to give Metrobactin with food as this may reduce side effects such as vomiting. You can either put the tablet in your pet’s food or directly into their mouth after they’ve eaten.
  4. Check with your vet if giving anything else: Your vet should be aware of other drugs your pet is on, but it’s always worth double-checking in case there’s been a miscommunication somewhere. If your dog is on supplements or non-prescription treatments, even if these are herbal in nature, you should also tell your vet when they prescribe Metrobactin, as they may not be suitable to be given together.
  5. Storage: Metrobactin does not have any special storage recommendations. We suggest you keep the product out of reach of children and other pets to avoid accidental ingestion, in a cool, dry place.
  6. Handling: Ensure you use gloves when handling Metrobactin. Pregnant women should avoid handling this drug entirely. If you are allergic to metronidazole, avoid handling this product.
  7. Accidental ingestion: If your child accidentally eats Metrobactin, contact your doctor immediately and show them the packet. If you accidentally give your pet too much Metrobactin, contact your vet immediately.

How much monitoring do pets need on Metrobactin?

  • High monitoring need


    Most pets will not require any special monitoring while on Metrobactin.

For most pets taking a short course of Metrobactin for a known infection, there isn’t much need for monitoring. Your pet will need follow-up visits at the vet to check they are responding as expected, but they’re unlikely to need tests for metronidazole use.

That said, long-term use of Metrobactin may require tests for the liver and red and white blood cells. In addition, you should always monitor your pet for side effects and report any concerns to your veterinarian.

What does Metrobactin cost?

  • pound

    ££ – Moderate

    A two-week course of Metrobactin costs £10-50

The online price for Metrobactin ranges from £0.38-0.58 per tablet. The price of Metrobactin directly from your vet practice may range from £0.50 – £1 per tablet. You will need a written prescription from a vet to get Metrobactin online. This can cost from £10-30 depending on the practice, and you’ll need to factor in postage costs as well. In total, the cost of a one-off Metrobactin prescription is roughly the same, either online or directly from your vet.

Metrobactin FAQs

Why do you have to wear gloves with Metrobactin?

You need to wear gloves when handling Metrobactin because it can irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction in some people. Avoid handling Metrobactin if you are allergic to metronidazole or if you are pregnant.

Should I give Metrobactin to dogs with or without food?

You can give Metrobactin with or without food, but it’s recommended to give it with food. This will help reduce the chance of your pet experiencing stomach issues, such as vomiting. Giving Metrobactin with food will also help to maximise the amount of the drug that is taken up by your pet’s body. Giving Metrobactin tablets in food can also help to tempt your pet into eating them.

Can dogs take metronidazole on an empty stomach?

It is ok if your dog has taken metronidazole on an empty stomach. However, it is recommended to give the drug with food to prevent any stomach issues. Giving metronidazole on an empty stomach may also decrease the amount of the drug that is absorbed into your pet’s body.

What should you not mix with metronidazole for dogs?

If your pet accidentally ingests alcohol, do not give them metronidazole. Like in humans, alcohol and metronidazole should not be mixed. If this happens, contact your vet immediately. In addition, you shouldn’t mix metronidazole with avocado or banana. Metrobactin are chicken-flavoured and don’t usually need hiding in food, but a small amount of butter, or a dog treat designed to hide pills in may help if your dog doesn’t like the taste of Metrobactin.

Certain drugs should not be mixed with metronidazole. These include cimetidine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, cyclosporine, and warfarin.

How long between doses of Metrobactin for dogs?

Usually, Metrobactin is given once or twice a day. So Metrobactin doses are typically given every 12 to 24 hours. However, the time between doses of Metrobactin can depend on your pet’s condition, so always follow your veterinarian’s advice.

Metrobactin Datasheet

All drugs have a manufacturer’s datasheet, which gives information about the drug’s use and possible side effects. There is usually one in your Metrobactin box, but if you have lost it you can click on the button below to be taken on an online version.

Please note that the information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only. Although it has been written by a vet, we cannot consider the individual nature of your pet’s problems so it does not constitute veterinary advice. If you have questions about your pet’s medication or their health you should contact a vet, who will be able to help.