Putative metronidazole neurotoxicosis in a cat

Vet Pathol. 2005 Sep;42(5):665-9. doi: 10.1354/vp.42-5-665.


A presumptive case of metronidazole toxicity in a 3.4-kg adult cat is described. The cat had been treated for suspected inflammatory bowel disease with an anti-inflammatory dose of prednisone and metronidazole (73.5-147 mg/kg PO q24h) for approximately 40 days prior to presentation. Clinical signs were primarily related to the central nervous system, including acute tetraparesis, unresponsiveness, tremors, and vocalization. The patient was euthanatized after 12 days of supportive care. Necropsy revealed no significant macroscopic lesions. Histologic evaluation revealed multifocal, fairly well-demarcated foci of necrosis in the brainstem, extending from the diencephalon to the medulla oblongata. To our knowledge, this is the first report to document histologic lesions associated with metronidazole administration in a cat.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Infective Agents / adverse effects*
  • Brain Stem / pathology
  • Cat Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Cat Diseases / pathology
  • Cats
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / pathology
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / veterinary*
  • Metronidazole / administration & dosage
  • Metronidazole / adverse effects*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Metronidazole