Doxycycline for Dogs - Side-effects & Dosage

Doxycycline for Dogs - Side-effects & Dosage

Author WDF Staff


Most dogs have to take antibiotics at least once in their lives. One of these antibiotics is doxycycline for dogs. Doxycycline for dogs is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used for treating different bacterial infections. If your vet ever prescribes this drug to your dog, you might have a lot of questions that are left unanswered. Here is what you need to know about doxycycline for dogs.

What is doxycycline?

Like we said in the introduction, doxycycline is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that targets a whole range of different bacteria. It is an excellent choice for unknown bacterial infections. According to Wedgewood Pharmacy, doxycycline for dogs is effective against a wide range of different microbes. Some of these microbes are:

  • Spirochetes
  • Mycoplasma
  • Rickettsia
  • Leptospira
  • Anaplasma
  • Chlamydia

Dogs aren’t the only species that can benefit from this medication; cats and horses can take it as well. Horses can only get the oral type of doxycycline, while cats and dogs can get a doxycycline IV.

Doxycycline for dogs - usage

All antibiotics have a specific use, and the vet should know why they prescribe this medicine for your dog. Since it is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, doxycycline for dogs is often prescribed to treat an existing bacterial infection or as a precaution for a potential infection. This drug is useless against yeast or viral infections, but it is prescribed as a precaution in some cases.

worried frenchie

For example, canine parvovirus can leave a puppy vulnerable to secondary bacterial infections. As a precaution, the vet will get the infected puppy started on doxycycline to prevent harmful bacteria from infecting the puppy while its health is down.

Some of the existing bacterial infections that doxycycline for dogs is prescribed are:

  • UTI
  • Infected wounds
  • Respiratory infections
  • Blood-borne infections
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Lyme disease

Even if your dog doesn’t have any of these conditions, there is no need to panic. Doxycycline for dogs has a broad-specter of effect, so you can be sure it will handle whatever infection comes its way.

Doxycycline side-effects

Like any other drug, doxycycline for dogs can have some side-effects. Luckily, doxycycline is a drug dogs tolerate pretty well. Still, there are potential doxycycline side-effects for dogs that dog owners should be aware of. The most common doxycycline side-effects in dogs are:

One important notice you and your vet should be aware of - Pregnant dogs should not take doxycycline if it is not absolutely necessary. All tetracycline antibiotics can cause skeletal deformities in unborn puppies. You should absolutely let your vet know if your dog is pregnant before prescribing a potentially harmful drug to the unborn puppies.

Doxycycline dosage for dogs

Like with any other medication you are using to treat your dog, the dosage is the most vital part. Your vet will let you know the safe doxycycline dosage for dogs, but according to the Merck Veterinary Manual, the exact doxycycline dosage for dogs is 2 - 5 mg per pound of body weight every 12 - 24 hours. Here is a useful chart you can use as a measuring point:

Doxycycline dosage for dogs

Don’t try to adjust the doxycycline dosage for dogs on your own or without consulting your vet. Even if you miss a dose, you shouldn’t give your dog a double dose. Adjust the time and make sure to remember the new 12 - 24-hour schedule.

How to give doxycycline to dogs?

Luckily, this is a reasonably easy drug to give to your dog. There is no need for adding extra food or anything else when your dog takes this drug. You should ensure the dog has plenty of water, and you are good to go.

Unlike other antibiotics, doxycycline for dogs has a high bioavailability. That means dogs can easily absorb it without any problems. Nevertheless, you should always follow your vet’s advice and stick to the recommended dosages.

World Dog Finder team

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