Doxycycline is a tetracycline-class antibiotic used by veterinarians to treat animal patients suffering from certain bacterial infections and microorganisms.
Types of Infections Treated by Doxycycline
Doxycycline is primarily used to treat susceptible bacteria. However, it is not used for the treatment of infections caused by virus or fungi.
Common conditions in which Doxycycline is prescribed include respiratory infections, urinary infections, blood-borne infections and infected wounds. This antibiotic is a very popular treatment choice for tick-delivered bacterial diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis, as well as certain water-borne infections like leptospirosis.
Possible Side Effects of Doxycycline
Doxycycline is generally safe and effective for use in animals when administered according to the prescription and in most cases, it does not produce negative side effects. Some animals may experience diarrhea, which is simply the result of a change in the population of intestinal bacteria. If this occurs, contact your veterinarian, as the dosage may need to be adjusted.
If the animal experiences hives, swelling of the face, lips or tongue or has difficulty breathing, contact the veterinarian immediately, as these are signs of an allergic reaction. It is useful to note that doxycycline is a very bitter-tasting medication. In dosage forms that have excessive contact with taste buds, excessive drooling or foaming may be noted due to the flavor.
Doxycycline Precautions and Possible Interactions
Doxycycline should not be administered to an animal with a known allergy to the medication or one who has been hypersensitive to it in the past. This medication should not be administered to animals younger than seven months of age, as Doxycycline may bind to calcium in the teeth, causing discoloration.
Similarly, it should be avoided during the first half of pregnancy, as it may alter the growth or skeleton of the unborn animal(s). Doxycycline can be administered to a pregnant patient in the second half of the pregnancy, but typically only when the benefits outweigh the risks.
Doxycycline should not be administered in tablet form to cats, as it may damage the esophagus. When it is given, it is important to follow administration with at least 6 ml of water given via syringe.
If the patient is taking any other medications, it is important to discuss them with the veterinarian, since Doxycycline can potentially interact with one or more of them. Certain drugs, such as iron or calcium supplements, kaolin, antacids, bismuth subsalicylate and some antibiotics have shown to interact with this medication. If Doxycycline is being administered orally, absorption of the medication may be inhibited if the animal is also taking calcium or other calcium-containing medications (or dairy products such as cheese or cream cheese).
How Is Doxycycline Supplied?
Doxycycline is available from qualified veterinary compounding pharmacies in oral tablet, oral capsule, oral solution, injectible solution and topical formulations. The treating veterinarian determines the mode of administration, as well as dosage and frequency. In order for the medication to work as intended, following veterinary directions and completing the entire course of treatment is very important, even if the animal seems to be feeling better.
Author: Giano Panzarella