Safety of Metronidazole topical for humans, ingested by cats

jahzara

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So I've been on Metrogel for over a year now for Rosacea. I realized that I wasn't actually washing my hands after applying it, and then I would touch my cats sometime later. Once I realized I could be distributing the antibiotic onto their fur which they then lick, I have now been making sure to wash my hands after application.

And it just now dawned on me... my one cat head boops me from time to time.
I'm concerned about the metrogel getting on his fur via the oils on his fur and on my face. And then he and his brother lick it.

Not to mention that we all touch our faces several times a day without even realizing it. And I obviously don't stop to wash my hands prior to my cat jumping up on the bed for a pet or as they come up to me in the hallway or something.

Could this have been causing any harm to them?
 

LTS3

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I'm not sure but it's a good question to ask your vet. Here's the prescribing info to share with your vet: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2005/021789lbl.pdf

Metronidazole (aka Flagyl) is often used in pets as an antibiotic to treat diarrhea and intestinal issues. A Human dose and strength of the same medicine is obviously a lot more than what is safe for pets. Your vet can determine if there is any health concern to your pets.

Maybe you can start to apply the medicine to yourself using gloves or cotton swabs / cotton pads to keep the cats safe from ingesting anything when you touch them?
 
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jahzara

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Thanks. That sheet says it contains 10mgs of the actual metronidazole per the whole 1g bottle (so not even per application.) I looked up the pill form and that contains 375mgs. So that's something. Much lower dose.

Figured I would see if it is prescribed for cats at all, and it is:

"The dosage for metronidazole is based on how much your cat weighs. A typical dose for most cases of diarrhea is 7.5 mg to 10 mg per kilogram of body weight twice daily. If the vet suspects a Giardia infection, the metronidazole dose may be between 10 mg and 25 mg per kilogram of body weight twice daily for 5 days. " https://www.goodrx.com/pet-health/cat/metronidazole-for-cats

So for a 10lb cat, the math works out to 33.75mg-45mg per dose (67.5-90mg per day). That's waayyy higher than what they would potentially get from dried residue on my fingers or face.

But yeah, still think I'll probably give the vet a call next week.
 
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jahzara

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Just as an update and to anyone who happens across this question for help in the future:

Doc said at most it would cause some nausea and vomiting and that the best way to treat that would be to end the exposure and give some probiotics, as the meds (at most) could kill off good gut bacteria.
 
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