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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 134
Experience:  20 yrs as small animal vet; 30+ yrs in animal care; cat owner for 40+ yrs
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Is metronidazole benzoate safe to give a cat My vet gave me

Resolved Question:

Is metronidazole benzoate safe to give a cat? My vet gave me a presciption since they suspect my kitten may have IBS. He was not available to speak with and I was wondering as I thought it could be toxic to my kitty. He is about 10 pounds and is 9 months old. He has had direaha back and forth so they wanted to use this. Usualy he gets ust metronidazole, but this time it is the metronidazole with benzoate. Thanks for your help.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 8 years ago.
Metronidazole benzoate is just the ester form of metronidazole. The benzoate form is frequently used when metronidazole is made into a suspension because it is less bitter tasting than the straight metronidazole. As long as the dose is correct, it is as safe to give your cat as the other.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
THe amount is 50mg. So if my kitty has taken the metro regular this should be fine for him as well. I just wanted to make sure because I didn't want him to have any problem or side effect from the bezoate becuase I had heard it was not good to give the kitty. Usualy they put it in a gel cap and it is white, but this one is blue with no gell cap. So I should not have a problem then if he has taken the metronidazole regular?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 8 years ago.
There has been some theoretical concern that benzene forms of different medications could potentially be harmful to cats. Here are some articles I found addressing that:
The pertinent statement is: "She concludes that veterinary caregivers should minimize the amount of benzene-containing agents used in cats until further safety studies are completed. However, metronidazole benzoate can be a less stressful, more palatable dosage form for short-term therapy. Veterinarians should be reassured that metronidazole, when indicated for short-term use in hepatocompetent cats, is a relatively safe choice."
Here is what they say regarding that concern: "
Note: Recently some veterinarians have expressed concern about using the benzoate form of metronidazole in cats. The concern is toxicity associated with exposure of cats to drugs containing benzene rings. While this concern must be acknowledged from a theoretical standpoint, our experience at IPS has not identified a practical problem in the administration of metronidazole benzoate. There are probably many reasons for this evidence to the contrary. First of all, IPS has compounded thousands of doses of this drug. The great majority of doses are prescribed to address a specific condition, and when the condition has been treated the prescription is discontinued. Therefore, the overall exposure to potentially harmful benzenes is limited. Another justification expressed by our client veterinarians is that the potential exposure to benzenes is of far lesser importance than the treatment provided by the metronidazole dose. In other words, metronidazole benzoate may be the only practical means of treating many cats and the alternative is ultimately the death of the animal. "

This is what the Companion Animal Parasite Council says about metronidazole benzoate: "
There is anecdotal evidence that metronidazole benzoate is tolerated better in cats than metronidazole (USP)." From

I would say that he should be just fine, but you may want to consult with your regular vet next week to confirm that, and let him know your concern. But I am sure that a few days of giving the benzoate until you can speak with the vet will be fine, and would be better than taking him off the medication entirely. Also, the 50 mg sounds about right for his size.

I hope this helps - good luck with him.

Dr. Z
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