If your pet has diarrhea, antibiotics could be the cause. Antibiotics are a crucial tool for veterinarians when treating bacterial infections in pets, but they aren’t picky when deciding which bacteria to eliminate in your pet’s gut microbiome. As the drugs wipe out “bad” bacterial pathogens, your pet’s gut could also lose lots of key “good” bacteria that help the digestive system function properly. Loss of key beneficial bacteria may cause an ongoing bacterial imbalance in your pet’s gut that can contribute to or worsen health conditions like chronic digestive disorders.
Is There a Link Between Antibiotics and Diarrhea in Pets?
New Study Suggests a Common Antibiotic “Metronidazole”
Disrupts the Gut Microbiome of Dogs
A recent study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine investigated the effects of metronidazole on the microbiome in healthy dogs. The authors found that a 14 day course of treatment with metronidazole given to healthy dogs, resulted in significant changes in microbiome composition, including severely decreased amounts of a key beneficial bacteria, Fusobacteria. After 30 days of post-metronidazole treatment the dog's bacterial community did not recover, the canines were missing key bacteria for healthy gut function.
Metronidazole is the most commonly prescribed antimicrobial agent for acute diarrhea in dogs. Because past research has found the medication to be effective against certain causes of diarrhea in dogs, it has become many veterinarians’ go-to treatment. The problem is that there isn’t much scientific evidence that metronidazole actually helps some of the conditions it’s being used for. Read our in-depth article about metronidazole for dogs.
In this video, Dr. Karen Becker and Rodney Habib discuss the impact of metronidazole and what you can do to support your pet after a course of this medication.
Watch the video to get a coupon code for 25% off all AnimalBiome products.
- Metronidazole also known as Flagyl, is the most commonly prescribed antimicrobial agent for acute diarrhea in dogs.
- Antibiotics are known to cause both short and long-term changes to the bacterial community in the gut microbiome of cats and dogs.
- A recent study suggests that metronidazole disrupts the gut microbiome of pets.
- Dr. Becker recommends pet parents do a gut microbiome analysis after antibiotic treatment.
- A new study suggests metronidazole is not as effective as microbiome restoration therapy (fecal microbiota transplant--FMT) for addressing acute diarrhea.
If your cat or dog has taken metronidazole or broad spectrum antibiotics, AnimalBiome’s Gut Health Test can assess the state of your pet’s gut microbiome.
KittyBiome and DoggyBiome Gut Health Test Features:
Fast results, receive your report in about two weeks once your sample arrives in our lab
Detects bacterial imbalances and identifies which groups may be problematic
Actionable insights for personalized diet, supplement, or lifestyle changes to improve pet gut health
Learn how to change your pet’s diet to improve their gut health
Allows you to see how the gut responds to dietary changes or treatments by retesting
Using genetic sequencing, our at-home Gut Health Test detects bacterial imbalances, identifies which groups may be causing a problem, and tells you how to fix it. The test kit includes everything you need to collect a stool sample from your pet, and send it back to us for assessment.
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