Doxycycline Killed My Dog

Doxycycline is a tetracycline drug that is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. This multipurpose antimicrobial is given intravenously or orally. Doxycycline treats heartworm, urinary tract infections, and several other disorders that are transmitted by ticks. In some instances, it also demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects.

If your vet prescribed Doxycycline but after your dog took it things went south, it can be a challenging time for you. It is hard to understand how the drug meant to cure your dog ends up being the cause of his death. This article will help you in understanding more about this antibiotic and what could have contributed to the great loss.

Doxycycline Killed My Dog

Just because your dog experienced a negative side effect doesn’t mean that the Doxycycline killed him. Additional factors may contribute such as an underlying medical condition, a drug interaction, or an allergic reaction. Therefore, make sure your veterinarian is aware of your dog’s general health before prescribing a Doxycycline treatment. Additionally, go over any potential Doxycycline adverse effects with your veterinarian.

How Does Doxycycline Work?

Doxycycline functions by attaching to a ribosomal subunit and preventing the linking of amino acids, thereby inhibiting the synthesis of bacterial proteins. Bacteria are unable to operate without proteins. Since it is bacteriostatic, it prevents bacteria from multiplying but does not necessarily kill them.

Doxycycline treats a broad range of infections caused by susceptible gram-negative, gram-positive, anaerobic, and other bacteria.

Why Might Your Pet Be Prescribed Doxycycline?

Doxycycline is an antibiotic that can be used to treat a variety of bacterial infections in canines and other small animals, including:

  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Mycoplasma
  • Psittacosis
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Anaplasma (a bacterial tickborne disease)
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Salmon poisoning
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Gum disease (periodontitis)
  • Heartworm disease

Doxycycline can be used to prevent dogs with parvovirus from developing secondary bacterial illnesses, but it is ineffective against viral or fungal infections.

Is Doxycycline approved for use in dogs?

Doxycycline is FDA-approved for human use; however, there are no versions specifically made for use in animals, and using the human version in canines is regarded as going “off-label”. This is common considering many medications are prescribed “off-label” for use in veterinary medicine.

In addition to being used “off-label,” doxycycline is also recommended for the treatment of small animals, reptiles, horses, birds, cats, and rodents.

How much doxycycline should I give my dog? 

Depending on your dog’s weight and the condition being treated, your veterinarian will be able to advise you on how much doxycycline to give your canine. A reduced dosage may be advised for dogs with liver or kidney issues or be altered due to interfering medications. The usual dosage for doxycycline in dogs is as follows; however, you should always follow your veterinarian’s guidelines:

Weight of Dog (lbs)Dosage (Every 12 hours)Dosage (Every 24 hours)
511 mg22.5 mg
1022 mg45 mg
1533 mg67.5 mg
2044 mg90 mg
3066 mg135 mg
4088 mg180 mg
50110 mg225 mg
60132 mg270 mg
70154 mg315 mg
80176 mg360 mg
90198 mg405 mg
100220 mg450 mg

Does Doxycycline Interact With Any Other Medications?

Tell your veterinarian if your canine is taking any of the following medications as they may interact with doxycycline:

  • calcium supplements
  • iron supplements
  • kaolin
  • multivitamins
  • penicillin, cephalosporin, or aminoglycosides
  • pectin
  • penicillin
  • warfarin
  • anticonvulsants, such as phenytoin, phenobarbital, or primidone
  • bismuth subsalicylate
  • Doxycycline uptake may be affected by antacids like aluminum hydroxide, calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide, or sodium bicarbonate.

If your dog is currently taking any of these medications, this does not strictly prevent him from taking doxycycline; instead, the timing of some medications may need to be adjusted, or extra monitoring may be necessary. For instance, it is recommended for a dog to take doxycycline two hours before or after taking oral antacids, bismuth, kaolin, or pectin, and to wait about three hours before taking iron supplements.

How Long Does It Take For Doxycycline To Work In Dogs?

Doxycycline typically starts to work within the first 24 to 48 hours of treatment. At this point, the medication begins to stop the infection-causing bacteria’s development and reproduction. The maximum therapeutic impact, however, may not be felt for several days or even weeks.

Even if the dog seems to be feeling better, it’s crucial to remember that the entire antibiotic treatment must be taken as directed by the doctor. Early medication termination could lead to antibiotic resistance in the bacteria and a recurrence of the infection.

Additionally, it’s crucial to adhere to the doctor’s recommendations and maintain all follow-up appointments to track your dog’s reaction to the medication.

How Long Should A Dog Be On Doxycycline?

Depending on the condition being treated and how each dog responds to the medication, the course of doxycycline treatment can differ.

The normal suggested course of treatment for the majority of common bacterial infections is 7–14 days, including skin, respiratory, and urinary tract infections. Nevertheless, based on the severity of the infection and the response to treatment, treatment may occasionally need to be continued for an additional 4-6 weeks.

Doxycycline Side Effects

The most common adverse effects of doxycycline are nausea and vomiting. Usually, if food is given along with the medication, this adverse effect can be avoided. The majority of tetracycline-type medications should not be taken with food because doing so stops the antibiotic from being absorbed; however, doxycycline does not appear to have this issue.

A secondary adverse impact that coexists with nausea and vomiting is loss of appetite.

A rare doxycycline side effect is diarrhea. It’s frequently a sign that the dosage is too excessive, so you should take your dog to the vet so they can adjust the dosage or figure out what’s causing diarrhea.

Should the pill become stuck in the pharynx, the pH level of doxycycline may irritate the esophagus and eventually result in scarring. Request your vet to use doxycycline in liquid form to prevent this side effect.

Young animals’ teeth may become discolored or yellowed as a result of doxycycline use. Doxycycline binds to calcium, and calcium plays a crucial role in the development of teeth.

Additionally, doxycycline can make your dog’s skin more vulnerable to sunburn, particularly on hairless areas like the nose, eyelids, and ears. When the sun is out, keep your canine inside, and go for early morning or late afternoon walks.

Doxycycline shouldn’t be administered to pregnant female dogs because it can result in developing pups having skeletal limb deformities. Before receiving treatment, let your vet know if your canine is pregnant.

It should not be given to mother dogs who are still nursing their pups because it is excreted in milk. It should also not be given to young animals still growing their bones and teeth or to pets with severe liver disease.

How to Give Doxycycline to Dogs

Doxycycline has a high bioavailability, making it simple for the body of the dog to ingest. Unlike other tetracyclines, it can be administered with or without food as long as the canine has access to fresh water. The best method to administer doxycycline to your canine is in accordance with your veterinarian’s recommendations. This is because your veterinarian has access to comprehensive scientific literature about the uses, side effects, dosages, and drug interactions of doxycycline.

Doxycycline For Dogs Reviews

Tetracycline is a family of antibiotics that includes doxycycline. It is frequently used to treat a variety of bacterial infections in dogs, including skin, urinary, and respiratory system infections.


  • Capable of fighting a variety of bacterial infections
  • Many dogs can tolerate it
  • Can be administered orally or through injection.


  • Can lead to GIT problems
  • Can result in photosensitivity, increasing canines’ vulnerability to sunburn
  • Cannot be taken with other medications because of interaction

Alternatives To Doxycycline For Dogs

Examples of alternatives to doxycycline herbal treatments like Echinacea, goldenseal, and garlic.

Infections can be prevented and treated using probiotics, enzymes, and other natural supplements that strengthen the immune system.

Prior to administering any natural remedy or over-the-counter medication to your canine, it is crucial to seek veterinary advice.

What Happens If You Accidentally Give Your Dog Too Much Doxycycline?

The dog may first experience gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. After taking the medication, these signs could start to appear within a few hours and last for several days. The dog may become dehydrated because of diarrhea and vomiting which would require urgent medical care.

Furthermore, doxycycline may alter the intestinal flora, resulting in an increase in pathogenic bacteria and a decline in helpful bacteria. Antibiotic-associated diarrhea and colitis can result from this, which can be challenging to manage and may call for additional medications.

Liver and kidney damage can result from taking too much doxycycline. This may result in a decline in organ performance and other serious health issues. Jaundice, vomiting, and diarrhea are all possible signs of liver or kidney injury.

Last but not least, doxycycline can make your dog more sensitive to sunshine, which can sometimes result in skin cancer, rashes, and sunburn. During treatment, it’s crucial to keep dogs out of direct sunlight. This is especially for dogs with light-colored skin or fur.

What Should I Do if I Miss a Dose of Doxycycline for My Dog?

Doxycycline should be administered to your canine right away if a dose is missed. If the next dose is almost due, skip the missed one and go back to your normal dosing schedule. Never administer two doses at once to your dog as this may raise the chance of negative side effects.

You should speak with your doctor for guidance on what to do if you consistently forget to give your dog two doses of doxycycline.

What Should I Do If My Dog Experiences An Allergic Reaction To Doxycycline?

Rarely, doxycycline may cause an allergic response in some dogs. Hives, facial or tongue swelling, breathing problems, or collapse are all indications of an allergic response.

It’s important to seek veterinary care immediately if you see any of these symptoms. An allergic response to doxycycline can, in extreme circumstances be fatal.

What Should I Do If My Dog Vomits After Taking Doxycycline?

Rarely, doxycycline may cause an allergic response in some dogs. Hives, facial or tongue swelling, breathing problems, or collapse are all indications of an allergic response.

It’s important to seek veterinary care immediately if you see any of these symptoms. An allergic response to doxycycline can, in extreme circumstances be fatal.

Can Doxycycline Be Used For Skin Infections In Dogs?

Doxycycline can be used to treat bacterial dermatitis and other skin infections in canines, including hot spots. Additionally, it can be used to address illnesses spread by ticks, like ehrlichiosis and Lyme disease.

Before beginning any treatment, it is crucial to accurately diagnose the underlying cause of the skin infection. To decide the best course of treatment, your veterinarian may suggest additional diagnostic procedures like skin scrapings or bacterial cultures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does My Dog Need A Prescription To Take Doxycycline?

Yes. Doxycycline should only be given to dogs with a prescription from your vet.

How Should I Store Doxycycline?

Doxycycline should be kept at room temperature in a dark, tightly-closed container. Keep out of children’s reach. Any storage directions on the packaging should be carefully followed.

Always examine the tablet or capsule packaging to see if they are out of date. Do not give a dog expired medicine.

Can Doxycycline Be Used To Treat Viral Infections In Dogs?

Doxycycline is an antibiotic that treats bacterial infections. It is ineffective against viral diseases like parvovirus and canine influenza.

Before beginning any treatment, it is crucial to accurately identify the infection’s type. Your vet will help you determine the best course of action for your dog’s sickness.  

Can Doxycycline be Used to Treat Heartworm Disease in Dogs?

Yes, doxycycline is usually prescribed along with other drugs to treat heartworm disease in dogs. Doxycycline doesn’t immediately kill heartworms, but it is thought to weaken them and make them more susceptible to other drugs. Doxycycline can lessen the severity of the dog’s symptoms while being treated by weakening the worms.

Can I Give My Dog Doxycycline for a Human?

No, you should never administer human medication to your dog without first contacting a vet. The dosage of drugs that are safe for people may not be safe for dogs, and vice versa. Without adequate veterinary guidance, giving your dog doxycycline or any other medication could be harmful to them.

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