Treating Respiratory Infections With Doxycycline for Dogs

Doxycycline for dogs is a prescription antibiotic to treat dog respiratory infections caused by bacteria. Doxycycline cannot be used to treat fungal or viral infections.

Symptoms of Respiratory Infections

Signs that your dog may be suffering from a respiratory infection include:

  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • difficulty breathing
  • fever
  • lethargy
  • pus or discolored or blood nasal discharge

If you dog exhibits any of these symptoms take him to your veterinarian's office as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will be able to make a proper diagnosis and recommend a treatment and prescribe any necessary medication.

Treating Respiratory Infections with Doxycycline

Respiratory infections that can be treated with doxycycline include the bacteria mycoplasma, kennel cough, also known as tracheobronchitis, which is highly transmittable through airborne bacteria or other bacterial infections affecting the respiratory system.

Your veterinarian may also recommend that owners provide plenty of fresh water and a soft-food diet by adding water to dry food or feeding canned or semi-moist food to their dog. Always continue the medication until the prescription is completed, even if symptoms clear up after a few days. It is also important to follow the directions of your veterinarian or the instructions on the medication, and to follow correct dosage amounts to avoid an overdose.

Potential Side Effects of Doxycycline

Generally, doxycycline is a safe medication that causes no side effects in dogs. Nausea and vomiting are the most common side effects of doxycycline but can be prevented if the medication is given with food or after your dog is fed. If vomiting continues or other side effects develop, including skin rashes, diarrhea or loss of appetite, contact your veterinarian's office immediately. Allergic reactions may also be caused by doxycycline so let your vet know if your dog has experienced any other allergic reactions to medications in the past.

Doxycycline can also interact with other dog medications, including laxatives, calcium supplements, antacids and vitamins, so the antibiotic should never be administered without a vet's prescription and consultation. Always tell your vet of any medications your dog is taking, any other canine health issues and if your dog is pregnant or lactating. This medication is most effective in dogs with an active immune system and pets with suppressed immune systems may not be able to take this antibiotic.

Improving Dog Health

Encouraging great dog health is important to prevent health problems like respiratory infections. There are several steps that owners can take to improve their pet's immunity and fight off bacteria that can cause dog inflammation of the respiratory tract, including proper nutrition, multivitamins and supplements.

Vaccinations can also help to prevent respiratory infections like kennel cough. Bordetella is the most common cause of kennel cough and any dog that is at risk of exposure to other dogs carrying the bacteria should be vaccinated according to a schedule agreed upon with your veterinarian. Puppies are at a high risk of respiratory infections due to their lower immune systems so look out for any symptoms of infection in your puppy and avoid exposing him to other animals before he has received the right vaccines and built up a strong immune system.