The Truth About Using Doxycycline On Your Dog!

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Doxycycline is a well-known broad spectrum antibiotic that vets often prescribe for dogs with Lyme disease, UTIs and many other types of infections.

Can I Give My Dog Doxycycline?That’s right! Doxycycline works on animals too. With that being said, some pets react poorly to it.

There’s no doubt that administering this medication is a big responsibility.

And one thing is absolutely certain:

You should never provide your dog with a leftover supply of Doxycycline.

Doing so is too risky!

Obviously you want to prevent bacteria from spreading, but safety is a major concern.

With Vet Approval, Your Dog Can Take Doxycycline

This tetracycline antibiotic is effective for all sorts of infections including Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

But it cannot be stressed enough:

Any dog that may benefit from Doxycycline should be under a veterinarian’s care with detailed dosage instructions. It’s the only way to ensure effective treatment and reduce a possibility of side effects.

Warning: Young or pregnant pups or dogs with liver disease are especially susceptible to harm from taking Doxycycline.

Dosing Tips And Helpful Information

Your vet may instruct you to provide 2-5 milligrams per pound of your dog’s body weight (every 12 to 24-hours).

In tablet form, break it up and mix the contents in with meals.

Although taking Doxycycline with food is not required, it could reduce side effects. But do not give your dog any dairy products while on this med as it tends to reduce absorption and effectiveness.

Pro Tip: A syringe helps for the liquid form.

As is the case with human use, Doxycycline is given to dogs over a specified time period. This varies based on the infection being treated.

Important: Exhaust the medication completely for a full recovery.

Doxy Has Side Effects

Giving your dog a broad spectrum antibiotic can come with side effects including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea

See any of these symptoms? Advise your vet ASAP!

Liver or kidney damage is rare but it does occur.

Pausing Doxycycline treatment may be necessary, but a professional should make that call.

Keep a Close Watch

Closely monitor your dog while they are on Doxycycline.

Try to catch 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.

These symptoms may pass, but they should be brought to a professional’s attention.

Antibiotics In General

Antibiotics are routinely prescribed to dogs.

Doxycycline, in particular, is effective at penetrating certain infections.

But treatment isn’t always straightforward. Strict guidelines must be followed.

Doxy could negatively interact with other drugs including antacids.

Again, never use leftover prescriptions on your dog. Besides, infections require a diagnosis for safe and effective treatment.

The Bottom Line

Only a trusted vet should decide if Doxycycline is right for your dog.

Detailed directions, including dosage and duration, are essential whenever an animal is put on an antibiotic.

Do not provide this drug on your own. And be familiar with Doxycycline’s side effects and what to do if they occur.

There are pros and cons to using Doxy on your dog. Please discuss the situation with your vet prior to use.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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65 thoughts on “The Truth About Using Doxycycline On Your Dog!”

  1. My 13 year old Lab has Tracheitis/Tonsillitis was prescribed 100mg of Doxy (2 capsules two times a day). This seems like a lot to me because she only weighs 70 pounds.

  2. I have a 21 pound Bichon that was prescribed 50mg of doxy twice a day. She has been on Phenobarbital (16.2mg) two times a day for the last 2 1/2 years. After starting her on Doxycycline and Hydrocodone (5mg), which was prescribed by my vet, she became anxious and acted like she didn’t know me. She was very scared.

    I contacted the vet and he said to stop the Hydrocodone. Her strange behaviors continued. The vet then said to stop the doxy and just go back to her regular dose of Phenobarbital. Her honking cough continues and she is still very anxious and licks everything in sight.

    This behavior is mostly at night as she sleeps all day from no sleep at night. I’m not sure what I should do for her. Any feedback would help!

    1. Try CBD for dogs. It helps. I treat mine with it and it works!

  3. My dog was prescribed this for a nose infection. She suffered liver failure 2 weeks later and had to be put down. I think these pills caused her death, and I’m so mad at my veterinarian for accusing me of poisoning my dog.

    They should have been aware that this drug has serious side effects. Unfortunately, I am finding this out too late.

  4. We took our dog to the vet and he discovered heart worms. He put our dog on Doxycycline and Prednisone for 56 days straight. Our dog died on Sunday. Did this cause his death? He was fine before he put him on all of this.

    1. The American Heartworm Society protocol (updated in 2014) calls for 30 days of Doxycycline that may, if needed, include 4 weeks of Prednisone. Day 60 is when the first Immiticide injection is given.

      The dog’s exercise must be restricted to going out to potty on a leash and going back indoors immediately. The dog must be kept calm. I can’t say whether the meds killed your dog, but 56 days is not standard treatment.

    2. Doxycycline is given for bacterial infections and also for dry skin. It’s a strong medication and not for fungal infections. 56 days is a very long time.

  5. I started my 15 pound dog on Doxycycline with food for gagging and a possible bronchial infection. I added traces (about 5mg.) of the powder from capsules to 10 feedings. I am blown away at her improvement already.

  6. I have a 76 pound black Lab. The vet prescribed 600mg of Doxycycline a day and Heartgard once a month. He is walking slowly, eating a little and not drinking at all. Will he get better or will he die?

    1. 600mg seems high. I thought the recommended dosage was 2 to 5mg per pound of weight. Could anyone else weigh in on this? I hope your pup improves quickly.

    2. My 76 pound German Shepherd was only prescribed 150mg plus Heartgard. 600 seems very high.

  7. I have a 17 year old, 12.7 pound Spitz with Lyme’s Disease. The vet put him on 40mg of Doxy twice a day and he’s having a hard time walking and standing up.

    This coincides with the onset use of the meds. Is this the Herxheimer Reaction you were describing? He has no vomiting or diarrhea. Thank you.

    1. I have a 130 pound Great Dane. He’s newly diagnosed with Lyme disease after falling into a neighbor’s pool (and swallowing a large amount of gross water). I honestly didn’t see a lot of improvement in him until about the 14-18 day mark.

      I was helping him get up and down, bringing food and water, etc. I also started him on CBD oil to help with pain. I am relieved and happy to say that he is about 90% recovered!

      He is walking and also jogged a little today. I read all this stuff about seeing improvement in 24-48 hours . But, again, I did not see improvement that fast. Don’t give up hope!

  8. My 75 pound Lab has a skin infection with swelling. Can I give her a human dose of Doxy? How about 50mg? She suffers from horrible allergies that often result in sores with swelling.

    We’ve tried nearly every treatment to get her allergies under control. Currently we are using a new dog food called Blue Buffalo Freedom and also seasonal support chewables from GNC. Can I give her the Doxy?

  9. My Doberman mix is on 110mg of Doxycycline. All blood tests are negative and all x-rays are inconclusive, but she is still very lethargic and not hungry and weak. Any suggestions?

  10. My 11 pound, one year old Pug is on 50mg of doxycycline once a day for congestion and runny nose and also possible kennel cough. It’s been 4 days at this point and vomiting and diarrhea have become regular since day 2 of using the drug.

    On the 4th day, semi-loose almost odorless feces with a trace of mucus containing what looked like trace blood showed up. Should we continue to administer the drug?

    1. Are you breaking it up to two doses a day and giving after dinner? I would call my vet. That isn’t right and can probably be remedied.

  11. My 5.1 kilogram dog was prescribed Doxyvet 10 (Doxycycline) because of blood parasites. Being paranoid, I went to another vet and asked for a 2nd opinion. They both recommended Doxycycline but the dosage is different. 1st one said I need to give 6ml every 12 hours. The other said 2.7ml twice daily. I don’t know who to believe anymore.

    1. We were just told to give our 10 pound Pom 25mg of Doxycycline Hyclate twice a day with food for a possible bronchial infection. She has collapsed trachea issues. This was from Med Vet in Columbus, Ohio which is known as one of the best. I trust them completely.

  12. I have five puppies over 3 months old with various weight levels dependent on their degree of illness. I think they have Lyme disease based on my research.

    The 3 male puppies are showing signs of having an arched back with difficulty walking due to shaky limbs. They also tend to lie down quickly after walking for short distances.

    The illnesses started about two weeks ago. I’ve provided Doxycycline (capsules) opened and mixed with food for two days. The first day I mixed two capsules, and the second day I mixed three capsules with food. I thought an increased dose would be appropriate.

    For the last two days, I forgot about giving medication. My question is what is the right dose and how long should I provide Doxy?

    1. I gave my dog Doxy for 8 years for Lyme. When I took her off, within 3 days she would loose control of her bladder and her back legs would crumble. She lived to be 17.

      1. How much did you give her? How much did she weigh? My fur baby is a Shih Tzu and has Lyme. I’m looking on here to see if the vet gave her the correct amount. And how long it will take to see her getting better?

  13. 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.

    1. Yes. It’s called a Herxheimer Reaction. Symptoms increase before they decrease. Google the term and you’ll see what I mean.

  14. 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.

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

    1. My dog is being treated with this med (100mg) by a vet. 1/2 pill every 12 hours to keep it active in him.

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

    1. What alternative would you suggest for Lyme disease?

      1. First, you need to know what you’re dealing with. How do you know the dog has an ear ache? Are you dealing with a yeast infection or mites or some other kind of infection?

        Consult with a holistic or homeopathic vet or look for one who works with Chinese medicine. Stay clear of harmful meds. They will only compromise the dog’s immune system. Look for natural treatments.

      2. If it is diagnosed Lyme, homeopathic typically is not enough. Lyme is a “smart bacteria” and the replication cycle makes it difficult to treat short term. Typically it takes long term antibiotics.

        If it’s an ear problem only, the other reply is on point. I wish homeopathy only had helped my own Lyme Disease. I took antibiotics long term and now support my system with immune-boosting supplements.

  17. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. I would look for signs of access before treating. Kefir kills candida fungus and while it’s effective for that, there is a time and a place for antibiotics. Keep an eye out for redness, puss and other signs of infection.

  18. Bernadette says:

    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?

    1. Is there a different antibiotic your vet can prescribe? What you’re describing is a bad reaction. If you continue, use bananas for soothing the stomach.

      I’m sorry about the Ehrlichia. It is truly a bad disease, but it can be treated.

      Go to and join. You can ask others questions in their interactive forum. They all have Lyme and experience dealing with it.

  19. 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.

    1. 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.

  20. 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.

    1. 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!

  21. 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?

    1. 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.

  22. Jeannette says:

    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.

    1. 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!

  23. 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?

    1. 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.

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

    2. 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!

    3. I am not a veterinarian so this is not medical advice. I adopted a rescued Alaskan Malamute at the age of 10. He was diagnosed with Anaplasmosis and I only gave one month of Doxy. He lived 6 more years with no further treatment. Maybe I was lucky.

  24. Can you give a dog Doxycycline for ear infections?

    1. 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.

  25. 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?

    1. 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!

  26. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. 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

        1. Here is a PDF with a lot of helpful info on dealing with thunderstorm phobia:

          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.

  27. 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?

    1. 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.

    2. Consider goats’ milk or in the kefir form instead

  28. I have some 100mg Doxycyline. How much should I give my Pit bull? 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?

    1. 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.

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

  29. My Chi is prescribed a quarter 25mg tablet twice a day for a respiratory infection. He was also recently neutered. 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 ie. 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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