If you believe your pet has developed a bacterial infection, your pet should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Medications are available that can quickly resolve the infection and get your pet back to good health.
Depending on your pet’s diagnosis, doxycycline may be the antibiotic your veterinarian prescribes because it is effective against a variety of infections.
What Is Doxycycline?
Doxycycline is a broad-spectrum tetracycline antibiotic used to treat or prevent bacterial infections.. Doxycycline is not effective for treating viral or fungal infections.
Why Is Doxycycline Prescribed in Veterinary Medicine?
Doxycycline is commonly prescribed because it treats a variety of infections and is generally well-tolerated by both cats and dogs. It may be prescribed for respiratory tract infections, skin/dental infections, kennel cough, tick-borne diseases, and heartworm disease.
Other Uses for Doxycycline in Veterinary Medicine
While doxycycline isn’t effective against viral or fungal infections, it is sometimes prescribed in these cases to prevent against the development of a bacterial infection. This is often the case in dogs diagnosed with parvovirus and valley fever. Dosage and Administration of Doxycycline
Doxycycline is available in both oral (tablet or liquid) and injectable formulations, but when administered at home, it is given orally. For this medication to work as expected, it needs to be administered to the pet exactly as prescribed by your veterinarian. Results may be noticeable in just a few days, but do not stop the course of treatment until it is complete or instructed by your veterinarian. Stopping a course of antibiotics early may create further complications for your pet.
For liquid forms of doxycycline you will need to measure the medication carefully with an oral syringe when administering to ensure your pet is receiving the appropriate dose. If you are giving your pet tablets or capsules, you should follow it with 6mL of water or food. Never give a pet a dry pill of doxycycline, especially cats; this medication can cause irritation to the sensitive lining of your pets mouth and esophagus. If you give the tablet with food, avoid dairy and foods fortified with minerals (calcium and iron) because it can reduce the effectiveness of the drug.
If you miss a dose, then give the next dose as soon as you remember or, if it is close to the next scheduled dose, wait and resume with the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not administer a double dose to catch up on a missed dose.
Special Precautions for Using Doxycycline
Doxycycline should only be administered to the pet it is prescribed for. It should be kept well out of reach of children and pets. Doxycycline is contraindicated in pets with a known hypersensitivity or allergy. Doxycycline should be avoided or used with extreme caution in pets diagnosed with liver disease. It should also be used with caution in young pets.
Doxycycline should not be given to pregnant pets during the first half of pregnancy, and it should be used with extreme caution in the last half of pregnancy and only when the benefit outweighs the risk.
Possible Side Effects of Doxycycline
Doxycycline is generally well-tolerated in most pets. The most common side effects include decreased appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. Feeding your pet a small portion of feed before administering the dose may decrease these side effects.
In some animals, doxycycline may increase sensitivity to sunlight and lead to an increased risk of sunburn, especially on the nose, eyelids, ears, and other areas where the skin is directly exposed.
Other more serious, but not as common, side effects can occur. If your pet has a change in behavior while on this medication contact your veterinarian immediately as it could be an early sign of a serious side effect.
Known Drug Interactions With Doxycycline
If your pet is taking other medications, supplements, vitamins, or herbal therapies, be sure to discuss them with your veterinarian and pharmacist before starting doxycycline. The following may have significant interactions with doxycycline: antacids, sucralfate, ivermectin, penicillins, iron, multi-vitamins, and phenobarbital.
Proper Storage and Disposal of Doxycycline
Doxycycline should be stored at a controlled room temperature away from moisture, heat, and direct sunlight. Do not store it in the freezer.If your veterinarian discontinues your pet’s use of doxycycline, the remaining medication should be disposed of in the trash. To dispose of this medication, remove it from its original container and mix it with an undesirable substance such as coffee grounds or cat litter. Put the medication in a sealable bag or container and dispose of in regular trash.