There are many different uses of doxycycline for dogs, including the treatment of conditions such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, chlamydia and Lyme disease. Many bacterial infections can also be treated using the drug, so there may be other reasons that a veterinarian decides to prescribe doxycycline to a dog. It can also be prescribed for urinary tract infections. The drug is classed as a broad-spectrum antibiotic because it is able to kill many different types of bacteria.
Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic and works by preventing bacteria from making proteins that are vital to their survival. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of doxycycline for dogs, but veterinarians do prescribe it to both dogs and cats on a regular basis. The drug is also used in humans for things such as malaria prevention. It comes in capsules or tablets containing 100 milligrams (mg) of the antibiotic.
Broad spectrum antibiotics, such as doxycycline, can be used to treat many conditions. The most common diseases it is used to treat are chlamydia, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. All of these conditions are bacterial infections that are sensitive to the protein-preventing effects of the drug. The dosage of the drug is usually between 2 and 5 mg per pound in weight of the dog, administered either every 12 or every 24 hours. A prescription from a veterinarian for the necessary amount is required to obtain doxycycline for dogs.
Common side effects of doxycycline include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, but unless these are particularly severe, they should not be cause for the dog to stop taking the drug. Owners of dogs experiencing these symptoms should speak to the dog's veterinarian to ensure that the drug shouldn’t be stopped in the specific instance. More serious and less common side effects include dark colored urine, jaundice, and loss of appetite. Any sign of an allergic reaction, such as the development of hives or swelling of the face should be discussed with a professional and is likely to result in discontinuation of the drug.
Dogs currently taking antacids or bismuth subsalicylate may not be able to have doxycycline. Other mineral and vitamin supplements can also cause negative interactions with the drug. Doxycycline for dogs should usually not be prescribed if the dog is taking any penicillin antibiotics. Pregnant, nursing, or young dogs are also not generally advised to take the drug.