Doxycycline for Dogs

Doxycycline for dogs is a broad spectrum antibiotic that kills different types of bacterial infections in pets. It’s a prescription medication that’s commonly administered to cure dogs suffering from Lyme disease and Chlamydia. In addition to this, vets often prescribe doxycycline to treat urinary tract infections and certain medical conditions like the Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

What Doxycycline Contains

The medication contains Doxycycline Hyclate and is available in the form of 100 mg tablets and capsules. The drug is generally prescribed as a course. Although some pets may show signs of full recovery before the entire course has been given, you shouldn’t discontinue the medication even if your pet gets back to normal.

This tetracycline antibiotic works effectively on most pets. However, some dogs are allergic to tetracycline drugs and such pets should be given an alternate medication.

Dosage and Administration

As a general guideline, dogs should be given 2mg to 5mg of the drug, per pound of body weight every 12 hours or 24 hours. The dosage and duration of treatment depend upon the type of infection your dog is suffering from. Although it isn’t necessary to give this medication with food you must make sure that the dog consumes plenty of water while he’s being treated with this drug.

Also avoid giving your pet any foods that contain dairy products as this will reduce the absorption of the medication by the body. If your dog has been prescribed doxycyline in the past and you still have a few tablets left, make sure you take a look at the expiration date that’s mentioned on the package as expired doxycycline can damage your dog’s kidneys and cause death.

Precautions for Doxycycline Use

  • The medication is not suitable for dogs that are pregnant or lactating.
  • It shouldn’t be administered to dogs that are allergic to antibiotics that are similar in composition.
  • It’s not safe for use in dogs suffering from kidney disorders.
  • Do not give your pet any laxatives, multivitamins or supplements that contain calcium 2 hours before or after you administer the drug.
  • Administer the medication on time and follow the instructions that are listed on the package in case you forget to give a dose. 
  • The medication can have certain drug interactions when combined with antacids, supplements, penicillin-based antibiotics and over the counter drugs.

Side Effects of Doxycycline

Dogs taking doxycycline often show signs of nausea and diarrhea. However, if the pet develops symptoms of allergic reactions like facial hives, swelling of the lips or tongue and difficulty breathing, you must discontinue the medication and seek immediate medical help.

Some dogs could also suffer from

  • loss of appetite
  • hair loss
  • lesions
  • mental confusion
  • jaundice

If this happens, stop giving your pet the medication and conduct a vet check at the earliest.

Tips for Pet Owners

Drugs like doxycyline effectively treat bacterial infections and restore your pet’s health. However, they need to be used with caution because they cause plenty of side effects. If your dog suffers from recurring infections you must look for herbal remedies or homeopathic medications that have fewer, if any side effects.

Also take preventive measures to protect your dog from contracting bacterial infections in the future.