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Developed in collaboration with Kelly Cairns, DVM, MS, DACVIM | Vice President of Medical Excellence and Education | Thrive Pet Healthcare
Last reviewed: 9/28/2023
Doxycycline is a prescription antibiotic medication commonly prescribed by veterinarians to treat a wide variety of current and secondary bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. It is generally well-tolerated by both cats and dogs.
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, for the treatment of heartworm disease in dogs and cats and is FDA-approved for the treatment and management of periodontal disease in dogs, usually in gel form. It is often also used off-label in cats.
Your veterinarian may prescribe doxycycline under the brand names Vibramycin®, Oracea®, Monodox®, Periostat®, Doryx®, or Acticlate®. It is generally given by mouth in the form of a tablet, capsule, liquid/suspension, or oral gel, but may be given intravenously when necessary.
Doxycycline is in the tetracycline class of antibiotics and works by blocking the bacteria’s protein synthesis that they need to live. Without these proteins, the bacteria’s cell wall becomes altered and its ability to properly replicate and grow is compromised
Other broad-spectrum antibiotics may be used in place of doxycycline. These can include other tetracyclines (minocycline), oxytetracycline, amoxicillin, clindamycin, or floxacin antibiotics like enrofloxacin or orbifloxacin.
Veterinarians prescribe a specific dosage of doxycycline based on the pet’s weight and condition. It is available in a number of forms, including oral capsules, tablets, and oral suspension.
The most commonly used dosing strengths of doxycycline are 50 mg, 100 mg, and 300 mg. Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s dosing instructions carefully.
When the appropriate dosage form is not available, it may be compounded by a specialty pharmacy. Wedgewood Pharmacy specializes in compounding and provides medication options that help ensure accurate dosing, especially for hard to medicate pets.
Wedgewood Pharmacy provides medication options that help ensure accurate dosing, especially for hard to medicate pets. Click below for a complete list of Wedgewood’s dosing forms and strengths.
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If you miss giving your pet a dose of doxycycline, give the next dose to your dog or cat as soon as you remember or, if it is close to the next scheduled dose, return to the regular schedule. Do not give two doses at once (double dose) to catch up. If you are not sure what to do, call your veterinarian and follow their directions.
Oral overdose of doxycycline in most instances will cause pronounced GI distress like those listed above.
If you suspect your pet or another animal has overdosed accidentally or has eaten this medication inadvertently, contact your veterinarian or A.S.P.C.A.’s Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. Always bring the prescription container with you when you take your pet for treatment.
If you or someone else has accidentally ingested this medication, call the National Capital Poison Center at 800-222-1222.
Wedgewood Pharmacy’s doxycycline preparations start at $0.12 per dose. However, your veterinarian will prescribe a specific dosage based on the pet’s weight, condition, and other factors.
Compounded medicines are prepared for the exact strength your veterinarian prescribes. The price of the medication will depend on the dosage and the medication form, with certain dosage forms and higher strengths generally being more expensive.
In addition, the cost of a medication will depend upon the price of the other active pharmaceutical ingredients and may increase the cost of the finished drug.
Looking for Doxycycline?
We can let your veterinarian know that you are interested in our compounded Doxycycline.
Dr. Kelly Cairns is vice president of Medical Excellence and Education for the 400+ hospitals in the Thrive Pet Healthcare veterinary system. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine; a member of the board of directors of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association; and a member of the editorial board of dvm360.
She began her career with rotating small-animal internships at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where she obtained Diplomate status. She enjoyed a rewarding clinical practice as an internist and medical director for a multi-specialty/ER hospital until joining Pathway Vet Alliance (now Thrive Healthcare) in January 2018.
She lectures internationally on profession-related wellness and leadership-coaching topics, veterinary education models, and internal medicine.
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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.