Tetracycline Side Effects in Dogs

Tetracycline is a powerful antibiotic medicine that can be used to treat a wide variety of infections in your dog's body, but the tetracycline side effects that may come about through treating your pet are important to recognize as well. This medicine is often used to treat respiratory and wound infections caused by bacteria, as well as certain other types of infections. While the medicine is designed and approved for use in both humans and animals, it's nonetheless important to find out exactly what the potential risks and side effects are of giving tetracycline to your dog before you begin treatment. Read on for a brief overview of the common side effects of this medicine.

Gastrointestinal Effects

The most common side effects associated with the use of tetracycline in dogs include nausea, stomach upset, diarrhea and vomiting. These are all moderately common, and it's not unusual to see one or more of them in any dog taking this medicine. In most cases, these side effects are mild in scope, and they do not give cause for any serious concern about your pet's overall health. Nonetheless, it's a good idea to take precautions to help eliminate these side effects. One way of doing that is to give the medicine along with food that your pet eats. This helps to calm his stomach. However, it's crucial that you do not give tetracycline to your dog along with any foods containing dairy products or high levels of calcium.

Discoloration of Teeth

One of the more unusual side effects of this medicine is permanent discoloration of the teeth. This generally only occurs in young animals (less than about 6 months of age). It will not cause permanent health damage, but the effect on your pet's teeth is such that many people will prefer not to give medicine of this type to a young dog. Consult with your vet about the risk on your puppy's teeth before you provide him with tetracycline.

Liver and Kidney Damage

Extended use of tetracycline has been associated with liver and kidney damage in some animals. This is by far the most serious potential side effect of this medicine. If you give your pet tetracycline for more than a few days, you'll need to check in regularly with your vet in order to have him monitor your pet's liver and kidney health. At the first sign of damage, the medicine regimen will need to be adjusted or halted immediately.

Reactions With Other Medicine

There are a variety of other side effects which may come about as well, and which are generally due to the reaction of tetracycline with other medicines in your dog's body. Because these side effects are difficult to predict, it's very important that you tell your vet about all other medicines that your pet is currently taking before you begin a treatment program involving tetracycline.