What is doxycyline?
Doxycycline is one of semi-synthetic dog antibiotics of tetracycline series that is suitable for the treatment of ehrlichiosis in dogs. To be more precise, it is a 2nd generation tetracycline which is absorbed in high quantities by the digestive system contracting a very strong bond with plasma proteins, so the half-life of this antibiotic is longer than that of the classic tetracyclines.
What is doxycyline used for (in dogs)?
After the administration of doxycycline dose for dogs, the active ingredient is distributed in less than 3 hours and uniformly throughout the body with a balanced distribution between the blood and the other compartments of the organism. and includes: mycoplasma, haemophilus, salmonella, pasteurella, bordetella, E. coli, staphylococcus, streptococcus, Clostridium welchii, chlamydia, corynebacterium, Ehrlichia canis, Haemobartonella spp., etc.
When choosing the antibiotic therapy for dogs, the first choice falls on Doxycycline considering its marked efficacy against B. Bronchiseptica and Mycoplasma spp. The duration of therapy is recommended for at least 7-10 days. In moderate forms of pneumonia (large preserved organic functions and absence of lethargy) in which an infection caused by B. Bronchiseptica or Mycoplasma spp. oral doxycycline once again remains the solution of choice.
Due to its active action against many types of bacteria, Doxycycline is used in veterinary medicine to treat:
- Tick-borne infections (ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, etc.);
- Infectious diseases of the urinary tract (cystitis, pyelonephritis);
- Respiratory system infections (otitis media, bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.);
- Purulent skin infections.
Doxycycline is not used to treat viral or fungal infections, but may be prescribed to prevent secondary bacterial infections.
Is doxycyline safe for dogs?
Doxycycline is approved for safe use in fighting some conditions, e.g. adulticidal heartworm in canines, by the American Heartworm Society, which speaks in favor of the safety of the drug use in dogs.
If your dog needs to take this antibiotic it is essential that it is clear that it is not recommended to give the dog an antibiotic for human use. Doxycycline dosage for dogs is already strong enough that could cause various problems; however, the one for human use is even stronger and contains components that have only been tested on humans and not on dogs. The medicine is not prescribed to:
- During pregnancy to prevent unwanted effects on the fetus.
- Animals treated with phenytoin or barbiturates.
Do not administer doxycycline together with antacids, as absorption would be impaired. Adjust the dose of doxycycline in case of hepatic insufficiency, as delayed metabolism could increase the median time of the drug and produce toxicity. It is not necessary to adjust the dose of doxycycline in case of renal insufficiency.
Doxycycline vs amoxicillin
It is possible to be able to use another antibiotic instead of doxycyline, and amoxicillin is the most commonly used alternative; however, the veterinarian himself must advise you to administer a different product. This can also change according to the type of infection and the severity of the infection your dog suffers from.
Amoxicillin is different from doxycycline mostly in its side effects: in dogs, it can cause restlessness, itching, confusion, bleeding, and allergic reactions.
Doxycycline for dogs dosage chart
Antibacterial treatment for ehrlichiosis lasts up to a month, even if the symptoms of the disease are no longer observed. Like other antibiotics for dogs, doxycycline treatment is prescribed exclusively by a veterinarian, he draws up a treatment regimen and determines the dosage of the drug.
You cannot use the drug in the dose recommended by the instructions. Doxycycline is used in official medicine for the treatment of humans; other dosages are needed for veterinary purposes.
Usually veterinarians prescribe an antibiotic in tablets or capsules of 100 mg at the rate of 10 mg of doxycycline per 1 kg of body weight 1 time per day. You can divide the indicated dose into 2 doses and give the dog in the morning and evening with food. It is important to strictly observe the daily (or 12-hour) interval between taking the medication. Disruption of the schedule reduces the effectiveness of treatment.
In case of bartonellosis, ehrlichiosis, leptospirosis and brucellosis, the treatment is administered for at least 30 days at the discretion of the veterinarian. For dogs, 10 mg / kg per day is given. Respiratory, urogenital and intestinal infections are treated with 5-10 mg / kg of the animal per day for 10-15 days. When given a single daily dose, the 10 mg / kg dose is used, while if the drug is given every 12 hours the dose will be 3-5 mg / kg.
Side effects of doxycycline (in dogs)
The medicine can cause allergies, vomiting, and in some dogs – diarrhea. If negative reactions of the pet’s body are observed, you should immediately inform the veterinarian about them. In addition, some veterinarians claim that dogs diagnosed with allergies should not take this drug to avoid a possible allergic reaction, even a serious one. In any case, the veterinarian will perform tests to ascertain the presence of the bacterium that has affected your dog and, through some tests, will be able to understand the type of bacterium and which antibiotic is considered the most suitable to eradicate it. Among the symptoms it is possible to note:
- Lack of appetite
- Difficulty breathing
- Low blood pressure
Where can I buy doxycycline for dogs?
Like other antibiotics for dogs, doxycycline is available in veterinary drugstores, both physical and on-land. Some drugstores for humans also offer doxycycline for sale online. We remind you that the medication is a prescription-only, which entails that your pet’s veterinary specialist will have to approve its use following in-person examination, and possibly laboratory tests. Doxycycline over the counter should only be purchased when you are well-informed of the possible effects and side effects of the medication.