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Doxycycline is a semi-synthetic tetracycline antibiotic, derived from oxytetracycline. It may be used orally (dogs, cats and horses) or intravenously (dogs and cats). Tetracycline antibiotics are broad-spectrum and bacteriostatic. Their mechanism of action is through the inhibition of protein synthesis, and the alteration of cytoplasmic membrane permeability within the susceptible organism.
Doxycycline is more lipid-soluble than other tetracycline antibiotics and may reach higher levels in some of the difficult to penetrate areas, such as synovial fluid, central nervous system, prostate, and the eyes.
Tetracycline antibiotics, including doxycycline, are effective against a broad spectrum of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, and wide variety of other organisms including Rickettsia, Spirochetes, Mycoplasma, Leptospira, Anaplasma, and Chlamydia. In addition to its use as an antibiotic, doxycycline is used in low doses as an anti-inflammatory and adjunct treatment for arthritis and degenerative joint-disease in dogs and horses. This use is based on the inhibition of metallo-matrix proteinases.
Doxycycline is well-absorbed after oral administration and its absorption is minimally affected by the presence of food in the stomach. Doxycycline may be used in animals with decreased kidney function because it is eliminated primarily via the GI tract.
Doxycycline is used in dogs to treat susceptible bacterial infections and infections caused by Rickettsia, Canine ehrlichiosis (anaplasmosis), Toxoplasma, Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), Leptospirosis and Neorickettsia helminthoeca (salmon poisoning).
Doxycycline is used in cats to treat susceptible bacterial infections and infections caused by a number of other organisms including Bartonella, Hemoplasma, Chlamydia felis, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and Toxoplasma.
There is some interesting research regarding the use of doxycycline as a “pre-treatment” in animals with circulating microfilaria due to heartworm disease. The research indicates that the pathogenic microfilaria are generally infected with a symbiotic bacteria called Wolbachia, which is sensitive to doxycycline. Pre-treatment with doxycycline is postulated to adverse reactions to microfilaria death.
Doxycycline gel is used topically in the mouth of dogs and cats for periodontal disease. Local application in the sulcus provides higher concentrations of the drug than may be achieved with systemic antibiotics.
Doxycycline is used in horses to treat susceptible bacterial-infections and tick-borne diseases such as Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease).
She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.
Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.
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This content is intended for counseling purposes only. This content is informational/educational and is not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or patient. No claims are made as to the safety or efficacy of mentioned preparations. The compounded medications featured in this content have been prescribed and/or administered by prescribers who work with Wedgewood Pharmacy. You are encouraged to speak with your prescriber as to the appropriate use of any medication. Wedgewood Pharmacy’s compounded veterinary preparations are not intended for use in food and food-producing animals. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.