Can I Give My Dog Doxycycline?

Can I Give My Dog Doxycycline?Doxycycline is a broad spectrum antibiotic that’s used by veterinarians for treating Lyme disease, UTIs and many other types of infections. There are some important details you should know prior to giving your dog this popular prescription drug.

While this antibiotic can be very effective, some pets are allergic to Doxycycline. Even if your dog is able to take this medication, you must carefully follow strict guidelines for successfully administering it.

One thing’s for certain: you should never provide your pet dog with a leftover supply of Doxycycline because it’s just too risky. Sure, it does an excellent job at preventing bacteria from spreading but safety is the top concern.

Can I Give My Dog Doxycycline? Answer: Yes, with vet approval

This tetracycline antibiotic is often prescribed for all sorts of canine infections including Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

It cannot be stressed enough that Doxycycline needs to be used under strict guidance from a veterinary professional. Ask for detailed dosage instructions in order for the treatment to be effective, while also reducing the possibility of side effects. Young or pregnant pups or dogs with liver disease are especially susceptible to harm when given Doxycycline.

A much safer option, especially for a typical UTI, is an all-natural herbal remedy designed especially for pets.

Dosage and Directions

Your vet will likely instruct you to provide 2-5 milligrams per pound of your dog’s body weight every 12 to 24-hours. In tablet form, you can break it up and mix the contents in with their meals. Although taking Doxycycline with food is not required, it may reduce side effects. The use of a syringe may help you to administer this medication in liquid form.

Doxycycline is given over a specified time period, even when a dog appears to be healthy or greatly improving. The time-frame may vary based on the type of infection being treated. It is absolutely critical that you exhaust the medication completely for a full recovery.

Tip: Do not give your dog any dairy products while on this medication since it tends to reduce absorption and the effectiveness.

Possible Side Effects

Giving your dog a broad spectrum antibiotic can come with undesirable side effects including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhea. If your canine develops any of these symptoms, do not stop the medication but advise your vet immediately. Liver or kidney damage is rare but it does occur. A good veterinarian will have you to stop the use of Doxycycline when doing so is warranted.

Keep a Close Watch

Closely monitor your dog while they are on Doxycycline. This way you catch any negative side effects early on. If need be, an alternative treatment can be provided. Watch for a loss of appetite, hair loss or signs that your dog is confused. While such symptoms may pass, they should be brought to the attention of a professional. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Antibiotics in General

Antibiotics are routinely prescribed to dogs when the immune system cannot fight off an infection. Doxycycline, in particular, is effective at penetrating certain infections. Treatment, however, is not always so straightforward which is why you need to involve your vet. For example, Doxy could negatively interact with several other drugs including antacids and many others.

Once again, never use someone’s leftover prescription to treat your dog. Besides, infections usually require a professional diagnosis to form the basis for safe and effective treatment. Another common mistake that owners make is failing to fully complete such prescriptions. This is very important because there is always the possibility of a relapse.

Conclusion on Doxy

Only a vet can decide if Doxycycline is right for your dog. If so, get detailed directions for dosage and duration. Do not provide this powerful drug to your canine on your own as the consequences can be tragic. Know the side effects and what to do if they occur. There are pros and cons to using Doxy which need to be discussed with a vet after their diagnosis. Follow these tips to ensure that your dog receives the best possible care for their infection.

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Louise August, 2016

My dog is an 8 pound Chihuahua/Dachshund mix diagnosed with Lyme disease. Her vet prescribed Doxycycline 200mg and so she gets a 1/4 tab each day. What kind of behavior should I expect to see? She’s been on it one day and already seems lethargic. Is this normal? I am so worried about her.

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Leo April, 2016

Our vet gave my Shih-Tzu some Doxyvet to treat a wound on his testis. It healed but last month he passed away at the age of 3 years old because of kidney failure. Doxyvet was the only antibiotic he took since he was a puppy.

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Donna April, 2016

Can you give a dog a human dose of doxycycline 100mg for ear aches?

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Karen November, 2015

I would only give this to my dog if there was nothing else on this earth. Synthetic medication shouldn’t be given.

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Cam November, 2015

My dog was in a fight over a bone with my other dog. He unfortunately suffered a few bite wounds to his leg and upper back. Is it okay to give him doxycycline in this case? I’m worried that these will get abscessed but can’t really afford another $800+ vet bill. I have some 100mg tablets and he weighs 60 pounds. I’m just not sure how many days to give him 100mg for?

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Karen November, 2015

I wouldn’t. Kefir is a better alternative. 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon is a good amount. If your dog is not used to this, then start gradually. Keeping the wound clean is a priority. Clean using an antiseptic, something like Betadine diluted, or diluted tea tree oil. Keep clean and dry. The wounds need to form a scab. If the skin is red or a lump starts to form, go to a vet immediately as it could be infected. Antibiotics would be last resort for dogs.

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Bernadette October, 2015

My 52 kilogram, 12 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback was diagnosed with Ehrlichia and treated with Doxycycline. The first day was an injection but day 2, 3 and 4 was in tablet form. He was incredibly nauseous and vomited on day 2. On day 3 and 4 we gave him 1.5 tablets in chicken. Day 3 he vomited again but on day 4 he vomited up at least 1 liter of blood that was full of big clots.

The vet is treating his ulcerated stomach but he’s only eating tiny bits of soft food out of my hand. We are now on day 8 and I’m injecting 5ml of Mildox daily. The vet says he has to have this for 21 days in total. I am trying to get him to eat and drink every hour. He is loosing body weight fast but we do see a slight improvement everyday. In your opinion, are we on the right path?

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Patricia September, 2015

My dog was diagnosed with Ehrlichia and was prescribed 2ml Doxycycline every morning for 28 days. But after 2 days, she seems energetic again and lively. Appetite is back to normal. She seems to be normal. The problem is she may be pregnant but the vet told me we needed to save the mother too. She warned me of a possible miscarriage if we let her drink this medicine. Should I stop giving it to her now since she seems normal already? By the way my dog is a Toy Poodle.

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Kate October, 2015

You must continue the Doxy for a month. Do not stop! All dogs feel better after a few days but the parasite is not eradicated for at least a month. After that you should have a blood test to be sure parasites are no longer in her blood. If she’s pregnant and has tick fever, it can be passed on to the puppies so they will have to be treated also.

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Donna August, 2015

My 62 pound Golden Retriever was diagnosed with heart worms but he shows no symptoms at all. The vet is treating her with Doxycycline, 500mg, once a day for 30 days. He says we will test in 3 months and possibility repeat the treatment once or twice more. Is this standard treatment? Previously, he was also found to have hook worms and ear infections. I just rescued this dog. At 6 years old he had never seen a vet, had a bath, been in a house or been trained in any way. He has thrown up the Doxycycline twice but am trying to make sure he takes it with food.

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Nicole November, 2015

Yes, this is normal, but you should also giving your dog at least a monthly heartworm preventative in conjunction with Doxy. They work together to eradicate heartworms, not just one or the other.

One of my rescue dogs had heartworms when I got her and she was pretty bad off. The vet wanted to do the fast kill by injecting with Immiticide), but I did my research on this and spoke with many rescues. I found out the fast kill usually does more harm than good. So I shopped around to many vets and was able to find one that would help me with treating my dog using the slow kill option. This is what you’re doing with Doxycycline and HeartGuard.

Sometimes they have you do the HeartGuard every two weeks instead of once a month, but make sure to speak with your vet. As a reference, my dog was 45 pounds when I got her, but severely underweight. She is now a healthy 80 pounds. I gave the HeartGuard every two weeks, but I can’t remember what the dosage was for the doxy. Also try to find something to give your dog to help his kidneys because as the worms die, his kidneys will be working overtime trying to detoxify. I recommend Kidney Rejuvenator by Amber Technologies. Good luck and hope this helps!

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Abha July, 2015

My dog was suffering from loss of appetite and she stopped drinking much, despite the hot tropical weather. She also developed tick fever. The vet prescribed 100mg Doxycycline, three times a day, for my 70 pound Lab. There were 3 weeks of improvement but she’s again listless, fatigued, and does not want to eat. Is there a non-antibiotic remedy?

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Matt July, 2015

It could be that the vet misdiagnosed the problem. Did your pal take all the doxycycline doses at the right times? Sometimes infections need a long and sustained attack and can survive if a dose was missed even once.

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Jeannette May, 2015

How long should my 130 pound dog be on Doxycycline? She has Lupus and she has thyroid problems? She also has a high liver panel.

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Pat June, 2015

Milk thistle will help the liver enzymes. 500mg or 1,000mg for a couple of weeks and then back off to one every other day and so on. It helped to keep my dog’s elevated liver enzymes down to a normal level. He had thyroid cancer and that was 4 years ago. He’s now 14 and a half. Good luck!

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Edna December, 2014

Doxycycline was given to my dog 3 times, 30 days each time, during the second half of 2014 because she had Anaplasmosis. The first time her ALT (Alanine aminotransferase) reached 200, the second reached 380. When it was decreasing she had PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and had to repeat. The third ALT is 576. Did anyone have the same experience?

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DorrieL February, 2015

I have not but there’s a veterinary product called Denamarin that contains S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and milk thistle. It helps with liver and sometimes kidney symptoms.

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Edna May, 2015

Thanks for that. She also has taken Denosyl. At the beginning she got better but now she is the same.

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Susie May, 2015

If your dog has Lupus Discoid, as my dog had, I recommend 400mg of Vitamin E once a day. My guy has been clear of the pink spots on his nose and mouth now for 9 years. It may take a month to show results but it’s also good for the heart. I get a big bottle at Costco. As far as the other issues, try to find a semi holistic vet. I have had the best luck with that. I also feed some Sojos grain-free in a big bag and add raw turkey with a splash of olive oil on top. I hope this helps!

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Daisy December, 2014

Can you give a dog Doxycycline for ear infections?

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Ron January, 2015

It depends on what is causing the infections as to whether or not it would be effective. When my 85 pound GP had a bacterial ear infection (I can’t remember what type was causing it) he was prescribed a daily ear flush with a Baytril solution and twice daily applications of Otibiotic ointment.

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La Neva August, 2014

I have a Shih Tzu 5 years old and 12 pounds. A vet thinks he has a bladder or kidney infection. I have Doxycycline 100mg. Will that be suitable for that problem?

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Skye November, 2015

Your vet will give you a prescription for the correct amount of the correct antibiotic. 100mg of Doxy is too much for a 12 pound dog. Most doses are between 2-5mg per pound of weight but it depends on why the animal is on antibiotics and for how long. Don’t medicate without consulting your vet!

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K July, 2014

My 55 pound Coonhound-mix was prescribed 200mg of Doxycycline per day. I know that Doxy is serious medicine but he is very agitated and has a history of panicking during thunderstorms. He will take some food and he hasn’t vomited but I’m worried the stress will make him sicker. He has been taken outside much more than usual, but we have avoided the sun. We’re also avoiding dairy. The vet was not helpful, any advice?

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Ron January, 2015

My 125 pound German Shepherd had the worst case of thunderstorm phobia that I have ever seen. One of the best things that worked for him was 10mg of Melatonin 1/2 an hour before storms arrived. His whole phobia kit included Rescue Remedy, Benadryl, a Thundershirt, closing the blinds and turning all the lights on so that the flashes weren’t so bright and turning up the TV to overwhelm the noise. He was also fine if he could either get under the bed or between the couch and the wall with me sitting on it.

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Sharon February, 2015

I’ve never heard of using melatonin for a thunderstorm phobia. Benadryl doesn’t work on my Shih Tzu. I was given Acepromazine (Ace) but don’t like how it works. My vet never mentioned a storm remedy. How did all this work for your pup, especially the Melatonin? Thanks

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Ron February, 2015

Here is a PDF with a lot of helpful info on dealing with thunderstorm phobia:
http://www.dvgrr.org/docs/education-training/thunderstorm-phobia.pdf?sfvrsn=2

The melatonin worked for Shaemus if I gave it to him well before the thunderstorms arrived. They just didn’t seem to bother him as badly. The Benadryl was just to make him drowsy as opposed to anxious. Usually just Melatonin and being in his safe spot was enough to get him calmed down.

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Mary May, 2014

My dog has been diagnosed with tick fever and was prescribed Doxycycline, 2 tablets a day for one month. Should I give her some Probiotic tablets as well?

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Ron February, 2015

The Doxycycline will kill both the good and bad gut flora, so giving them a probiotic during a round of antibiotic would be of no benefit. I would definitely give them a live culture yogurt with extra probiotic added once the round of antibiotic was over.

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Karen November, 2015

Consider goats’ milk or in the kefir form instead

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Bethany Finley May, 2013

I have some 100mg Doxycyline. How much should I give my Pitbull? He weighs 65 pounds. He has a very bad skin problem and also bites himself so bad that he bleeds. I have also given him Amoxicillin but that didn’t clear it. Will these pills help?

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Karen November, 2014

Bactrim is better for skin infections. Use it under strict vet instructions. A rule of thumb on most antibiotics is 5mg for every pound so I would say 55mg, 2x per day. I am not a vet nor do I have training in this area. I have just had dogs for more than 30 years and I’m experienced in caring for my own pets. You should go to a vet for a prescription. I would love to hear what the vet says.

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DorrieL February, 2015

Ask your doctor about Benadryl and the appropriate dose. Dogs can take more antihistamine than we can.

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Ron H February, 2015

I came across this paper from the Walker Valley Veterinary Hospital regarding OTC meds and dosages. I have it printed out and stuck to the side of my refrigerator for quick reference. http://www.walkervalleyvet.com/otc-meds.htm

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Karen August, 2012

My Chi is prescribed a quarter 25mg tablet twice a day for a respiratory infection. He was also neutered yesterday by the shelter. Now he has loose green stool. He missed a dose after surgery and started gaining stool consistency until I fed him Doxy again. The vet said this is okay because adoption and surgery cause stress Aka runny stool. I will give him his entire prescription unless the vet says otherwise.

Is it okay to stop giving my dog Doxy? His stool is very watery, green or yellow. Will this loose stool last until the script is done? Is it really worth giving my pet something that won’t cure and could hurt?

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