By Dr. Karen Burgess

Brand name and formulations

  • Doxycycline (generic)
  • Vibramycin (brand name)
  • Minocycline (similar formula, reliability not as proven in animals)
  • Tablets, Capsules

What is Doxycycline?

In the tetracycline family of antibiotics which are bacteriostatic (hinder bacteria reproduction as opposed to killing bacteria). Doxycycline is known to be effective against a variety of tick borne infections, Leptospira, Chlamydia, Mycoplasma, and Bordetella. It also can affect several gram positive and negative bacteria. Doxycycline has also been used in conjunction with ivermectin in the treatment of heartworm disease. Doxycycline is also thought to have some anti-inflammatory effects.

How is Doxycycline given and what if a dose is missed?
Doxycycline is typically prescribed for once or twice daily dosing. If a dose is missed and it is relatively recent, administer said dose.

How should Doxycycline be stored?
Store in light resistant container. Liquid formulations lose their potency in a week.

What pets should not take Doxycycline?
Caution should be taken with use in dogs with liver enzyme elevation. Young growing animals may develop permanent tooth staining with doxycycline use.

What side effects are associated with Doxycycline?
Doxycycline may cause nausea and vomiting in some dogs. Giving on a full stomach may help with these signs. Liver enzymes will elevate in as many as 40% of treated dogs. The significance of this is unknown. Cats should not be given doxycycline “dry” due to a risk of esophageal stricture. Always follow tablet or capsules with a minimum of 6 mls of water in cats.

What drugs should not be given with Doxycycline?
Doxycycline should not be given within 2 hours of some antacids. Phenobarbital therapy may be affected by doxycycline use.

What follow up is necessary with Doxycycline use?
Medication should be used for some time after signs of illness or disease are gone. Notify us if a refill is necessary.