For veterinarians, antibiotics are a crucial tool for treating bacterial infections in animals. However, these antibiotics aren’t selective when eliminating bacteria in your dog’s gut microbiome. As the drugs wipe out “bad” bacterial pathogens, your dog’s gut could also lose “good” bacteria that help the digestive system function properly.
Some of those beneficial bacteria:
- absorb crucial nutrients
- aid in fighting inflammation
- help maintain a strong immune system
Loss of key beneficial bacteria may cause an ongoing bacterial imbalance in your dog’s gut that can contribute to or worsen health conditions like chronic digestive disorders.
A new 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 group of beneficial bacteria, Fusobacteria.