Tylosin is a macrolide-class broad spectrum antibiotic that’s used in veterinary medicine to treat felines, canines and livestock. However, the drug is only used as an antibiotic in the treatment of infections in livestock. In cats, dogs, and other smaller animals, it is used predominantly for its anti-inflammatory properties to treat inflammatory conditions in the bowel. As such, it is commonly prescribed to pets that are suffering from diarrhea.

How Tylosin Treats Inflammatory Conditions

Tylosin’s strong anti-inflammatory properties come from it being made from natural bacteria. The drug works by interfering with the protein-manufacturing abilities of other bacteria, and it does this while not impacting the patient’s own ability to manufacture protein. Because Tylosin is a bacteriostatic antibiotic, it doesn’t kill off the bacteria in the patient’s bowel, it simply prevents it from growing and reproducing. By limiting the growth of the bacteria, the drug helps the patient to manage the infection using his or her own immune system.

Tylosin and Epiphora

Tylosin is also used to treat animals with severe tear staining, or Epiphora. Some small, white-haired canine breeds have shallow tear wells that result in excess tears being released, which usually causes the pet to exhibit unsightly, dark red-brown stains under its eyes. Tylosin is often prescribed to help treat this cosmetic condition, but the exact way in which it helps reduce Epiphora is currently unknown.

Potential Side Effects of Tylosin

Tylosin is usually very well tolerated, especially among canines, so it hasn’t been found to have a serious potential for side effects. The most common side effects reported include pain at the injection site, anorexia, and diarrhea. This drug can also cause a patient’s liver blood tests (ALT and AST) to be falsely elevated.

Tylosin Precautions & Drug Interactions

Tylosin, while shown to be safe for dogs, cats, livestock, ferrets, rabbits, birds, reptiles and even pocket pets, should not be prescribed to horses. It should be used with extreme caution in patients that are pregnant or lactating, as it has not been fully studied in that regard.

This medication is very similar to erythromycin, and as a result, if the patient is already on erythromycin, Tylosin should not be used, as cross-resistance has been shown to occur. Tylosin has also been shown to increase digoxin blood levels. Therefore, if the patient is already taking digoxin for a cardiac condition, then Tylosin should not be prescribed.

Dosage and Administration of Tylosin

Tylosin is available in powder, injectable, oral liquid, and capsule formulations. Because this medication has a foul taste, obtaining it from a veterinary compounding pharmacy is highly recommended, because various flavorings can be added to the formulation to make it more palatable for the patient.

This medication is only available by prescription, and the dosage and administration varies per its use and the patient being treated.

Author: Giano Panzarella

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